Llanwrtyd Wells

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About

Llanwrtyd Wells is the smallest town in Britain. It is also one of the friendliest, having a long history of catering for the many visitors who, today, come to enjoy the unspoilt landscapes of the surrounding Cambrian Mountains.

Llanwrtyd is one of three historic 'spa' towns in the area and is a great base to stay and explore and in many ways it is a fantastic advertisement for Wales all on its own. It is a mecca for walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers and pony trekkers keen to experience the charm of the town and the spectacular mountain scenery. Many of the walking and cycling routes in the area follow old Drovers roads, used for over 500 years by farmers selling their livestock in the profitable markets over the border.

Take your time to explore the surrounding area with it's many old Roman roads, ancient standing stones, tiny chapels and churches, stunning scenery and abundant wildlife to explore. Look out for Red Kites soaring above the town and, if very lucky, you well get a glimpse of rare red squirrels on your travels.

Scenic drives begin with 20 mile Abergwesyn Pass route from Llanwrtyd Wells to Tregaron on the western edge of the Cambrian mountains. The route is a single track which runs through an almost brutally wild landscape of moors, escarpment, pine forest and scurrying streams. In the middle, there’s a steep series of hairpins called the Devil’s Staircase.

Llanwrtyd Wells is famous for holding really quirky events including World Alternate Games, Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse Marathon. For a small market town, it also boasts an unusually large range of great places eat, as well as a cookery school run by chef, Peter James at the Drovers Rest Restaurant in the town centre.

The first Mountain Bike centre in the UK opened in Llanwrtyd Wells in 1985 and the town is well-located for cyclists and mountain bike enthusiasts with many forest trails and the more challenging mountain routes nearby to suit every level of rider.

Just 1.5 miles south of Llanwrtyd Wells is Colonel's Water on the River Irfon which is renowned for its grayling and trout fishing. Wading is relatively easy along the majority of the beat in normal flows.The Irfon is an upper tributary of the River Wye, flows through the town centre joining the River Wye at Builth Wells.

Llanwrtyd has a railway station on the scenic Heart of Wales line which runs from Shrewsbury to Swansea.

LOCAL HISTORY
It was the discovery of the mineral waters that originally brought fame and visitors to Llanwrtyd Wells. In 1732, the Reverend Theophilus Evans discovered a rather healthy looking frog sitting in a well. Evans deduced that the water the frog had been living in might have some medicinal qualities. Very soon enough the sulphuric spring at Dolycoed was a destination for health tourists from all over Britain.

Nearby springs at Llandrindod and Builth helped to make this part of the southern Cambrian Mountains famous as a health tourism area and the industry was further strengthened by the expansion of the railways into wales during the 19th century.

Prior to the arrival of the railway in 1868, Llanwrtyd was on a stagecoach route (now the A483) between Swansea and Llandrindod Wells. The arrival of the railway brought visitors to the town in huge numbers from South Wales.

Llanwrtyd does have one more claim to fame. The Reverend William Williams of Pantycelyn, Wales' most famous hymn writer and author of 'Guide Me O Thou Great Jehova', composed his magnum opus during his three year curatorship in the town.

Heritage Trail
You'll find information about the Heritage Trail from the Llanwrtyd & District Visitor Centre where you can a brochure which gives information about the locations and a map of the route.

There is also a Children’s Trail which follows the same route as the main trail but has been developed to encourage children to learn about the history by ‘finding the frogs’ around the town. A special Children’s brochure is available from the Centre which details their trail, along with puzzles and questions which can be answered by following the route and then on return to the Centre they will be given a gift for the successful completion of the booklet.

Events

Saturday, 8th June 2024 - Saturday, 8th June 2024

Image Credit: Jason RandallWhole Earth Man v Horse MarathonThe first Man v Horse Marathon was in June 1980 - and so began Green Events and its first, longest standing and now internationally acclaimed event.
more info

Saturday, 22nd June 2024 - Saturday, 22nd June 2024

The Drovers' WalksDrovers Walks follow in the footsteps of the Drovers of old who used to drive their sheep, cattle, pigs and geese across the Cambrian mountains and Welsh borders to the market towns of England.
more info

Saturday, 24th August 2024 - Saturday, 24th August 2024

Bogathlon - Return of the mud!Watch friends, family and fellow competitors as they race around the bog field!
more info

Sunday, 25th August 2024 - Sunday, 25th August 2024

Image Credit: Peter BarnettWorld Bogsnorkelling ChampionshipsThe annual World Bog Snorkelling Championships are held in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales.
more info

Saturday, 5th October 2024 - Saturday, 5th October 2024

Trailhead Get Jerky Devil's Staircase Ultra TrailTrailhead Get Jerky Devil's Staircase Ultra TrailTrailhead Get Jerky Devil's Staircase 50k Ultra Trail, organised by Green Events in Llanwrtyd Wells, will take place on 5th October 2024.
more info

Sunday, 20th October 2024 - Sunday, 20th October 2024

Ron Skilton Half MarathonRon Skilton Memorial Half MarathonThe Ron Skilton Memorial Half Marathon was first run in 2005. It raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
more info

Saturday, 23rd November 2024 - Sunday, 24th November 2024

eat out, food and drink, Llanwrtyd WellsLlanwrtyd Wells | Real Ale RambleHeld in conjunction with the Mid-Wales Beer Festival, the Llanwrtyd Wells Real Ale Ramble follows one of 2 waymarked routes of 12 or 20 miles or 2 guided routes of 5 and 8 miles.
more info

Tuesday, 31st December 2024 - Tuesday, 31st December 2024

New Year Walk In 7at Llanwrtyd WellsNew Year Walk InA short torch light walk from the square at 22:00 returning for traditional midnight celebrations in the square to welcome the New Year.
more info

Facilities

Booking & Payment Details

  • Cash Point

Catering

  • Picnic site

Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Parking with charge

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Llanwrtyd Wells is located on the main A483 road between Builth Wells and Llandovery. There is on-street parking available in the town.

Public Transport Directions

The train station is approximately a 10 minute walk from the town along a paved walkway.

Llanwrtyd Wells

Type:Town

Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, LD5 4RW

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Related

The Irfon View Road Ride, Llanwrtyd WellsTHE IRFON VIEW ROAD RIDE Distance 14km (8.7m) TimE 1 - 2 hrs

Three Rivers Road Ride, Llanwrtyd WellsTHREE RIVERS ROAD RIDE Distance 30.5 (19m) Time 1.5 - 3hrs

Llanwrtyd WellsLLanwrtyd Wells | Heritage Trail, Llanwrtyd WellsMany of the locations in Llanwrtyd Wells have an interesting history and walking the Heritage Trail is an excellent way of learning about the town and taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Abergwesyn Pass | CyclingAbergwesyn Pass | Scenic Drive, Llanwrtyd WellsThe Abergwesyn Pass from Llanwrtyd Wells is a 20 mile single track route that runs through an almost brutally wild landscape of Abergwesyn Common moors, escarpment, pine forest and scurrying streams

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