Bwlch Nant yr Arian | View of the Lake

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About

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre is managed by Natural Resources Wales, the centre offers something for everyone. From beautiful scenic walks to world class mountain biking the centre is well-known for its long-established tradition of feeding red kites every day. 

Perched on a hilltop nine miles east of Aberystwyth, visitors have breathtaking views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountain uplands. Remnants of the lead mining industry are still visible along the trails but today bilberry and heather cover the hills whilst majestic red kites circle above.

The visitor centre is the starting point for a range of waymarked trails for walkers, mountain bikers, runners and horse riders including an  accessible lakeside trail, children’s play areas, animal puzzle trail, picnic sites, ridgetop and woodland walks, mountain bike skills park and three challenging mountain bike trails. 

Bwlch Nant yr Arian has been awarded the Visit Wales Gold Award for attractions that make an exceptional effort to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for visitors. The Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales which in time it will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

The Visitor Centre has also been awarded the Green Flag Award. in recognition of a green space that has the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Visitors can get a discovery backpack at the visitor centre and discover more of the great outdoors. Each backpack contains useful goodies like binoculars, a magnifying glass, a bug pot and nature identification cards along with a guide explaining how to use them.

RED KITE FEEDING & BIRD HIDE
See Wales' National bird of prey being fed daily at Bwlch Nant yr Arian which has been a red kite feeding station since the 1990s.Over 100 of these distinctive birds of prey come in to feed every day. The feeding takes place by the lake at 2pm in winter (GMT) and at 3pm in summer (BST). Follow the accessible Barcud Trail to the viewing area and large bird hide or watch through your binoculars from the outside seating area at the café.

WALKING TRAILS
The waymarked walking trails start from the visitor centre and are of different lengths.

The Barcud Trail is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs and goes around the lake to the viewing area for the red kite feeding. Our three Discovery Trails follow the same route.

The Miners' Trail follows a leat which once carried water to power lead mines. It goes onto the ridgetop where the Giant’s Chair is a great place to take in the view before the descent to the lake.

The Ridgetop Trail goes up onto the heather clad ridge and has views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. Head past the stone viewpoint before dropping down through the trees and onto the narrow leat path.

MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Bwlch Nant yr Arian has a range of purpose built mountain bike routes that weave their way through conifer plantations, down steep slopes and alond river beds. The mountain bike trails start from the visitor centre car park. They are waymarked and have been graded for difficulty. See page our website for grading information and read the information panel at the start of the trails to make sure you pick a trail that’s right for you.

The Arian Trail follows low-level forest roads and a section of public road around the lake and is suitable for all the family.

The Melindwr Trail is designed in two loops to allow competent riders of blue-graded trails to improve their skills before progressing to the next grade.

The Pendam Trail has some of the best flowing sections here with relatively short climbs and the Summit Trail weaves its way through the forest and onto the moorland; both trails are graded red.

The Syfydrin Trail is a black-graded long and challenging ride which takes in all of the Summit Trail and goes onto the high open hills with stunning views.

MOUNTAIN BIKING SKILLS PARK
The mountain bike skills park is a purpose-built track for mountain bikers to practice their technique or warm up. Features include rollers, step ups, berms, tabletops, hips and bowls. 

BWLCH NANT YR ARIAN | HORSE RIDING
The Mynydd March Trail is waymarked and named after a local hill (Mynydd March or Horse Mountain) is a great introduction to horse riding in the Cambrian Mountains.

The circular Mynydd March Trail has stunning views over Cardigan Bay and Pumlumon Fawr, Mid Wales’ highest mountain.  It follows forest roads, public roads and trails with some short steep sections.

RUNNING TRAILS
There are two waymarked trails (Y Llo and Y Fuwch) offer an introduction to trail running. The  trails follow forest roads and singletrack paths with occasional roots, mud and rocks, and have steep ascents and descents.

ORIENTEERING
There are four permanent orienteering courses including an easier course for beginners and a harder course for experienced orienteers. Get the map from the visitor centre, then try to find the controls (marker posts) in the right order.

CHILDREN'S PLAY AREAS
There are two play areas, one for toddlers and one for older children. All of the play equipment is of robust timber construction which blends in with the forest surroundings.

CAFE & SHOP
The café menu includes hot and cold snacks and a delicious choice of cakes, and there is a takeaway service. There is seating inside and outside; the outside seating area overlooks the lake.

The shop sells wood crafts, jams and chutneys, bottled Welsh beer, books and an ever changing range of gifts. Please check opening times and food service times on our website.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION
The Barcud Trail and Discovery Trails are suitable for wheelchair users. There is wheelchair access to the visitor centre, café and toilets, and parking for Blue Badge holders.

The café has facilities for the hearing impaired.

Please note:
NRW occassionally need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations, or in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff. Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.

For full details of the visitor facilities here (including trail lengths and grades) and information about any changes or temporary closures to trails or other facilities please go to the Natural Resources Wales website.

Book Tickets

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Facilities for hearing impaired
  • Facilities for visually impaired
  • Wheelchairs available

Booking & Payment Details

  • Free Entry

Catering

  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site

Children

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome

Groups

  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits

Parking

  • EV Charging - 2 EV Charging points on site
  • Parking with charge - Pay on arrival. Ticket machine takes cards and coins. It does not give change. £1.50 for 1 hour | £3 for up to 3 hours | £5 for all day

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Onsite Catering
  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre is 9 miles east of Aberystwyth on the A44 towards Llangurig and the visitor centre car park is signposted on the left. Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer map 213. For satellite navigation, the postcode is SY23 3AB. Car Parking Charges: Please pay at the ticket machine in the car park on arrival. The ticket machine takes cards and coins. It does not give change.

Public Transport Directions

The nearest mainline train station is Aberystwyth ( 9 miles). The 525 bus from Aberystwyth - Ponterwyd/Llanidloes stops on request at the entrance to the car park. For details of public transport visit the Traveline Cymru website.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian | Forest & Visitor Centre (NRW)

Type:Forest or Woodland

Bwlch Nant yr Arian, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3AB

Add Bwlch Nant yr Arian | Forest & Visitor Centre (NRW) to your Itinerary

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Call direct on:

Tel0300 065 5470

Opening Times

Visitor Centre & Cafe (10 am - 5 pm) (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
Shop (11 am - 4:30 pm) (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
Red Kite Feeding 2pm in winter (GMT) | 3pm in summer (BST). (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Open seven days a week except Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's day

Awards

  • Other AwardsGreen Flag Award Green Flag Award 2022
  • Visit WalesVisit Wales VAQAS Visit Wales VAQAS 2016
  • Visit WalesVisit Wales Gold Attraction Visit Wales Gold Attraction 2021

Related

Bwlch Nant yr Arian | Waymarked trails for walking and runningBwlch Nant yr Arian | Walking Trails (NRW), AberystwythBwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre sits at the head of a dramatic valley and has commanding views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. Expect beautiful scenic walking trails all of which are waymarked and start from the visitor centre.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre | Cafe & ShopBwlch Nant yr Arian | Cafe & Shop (NRW), AberystwythPerched on a hilltop near Aberystwyth, Bwlch Nant yr Arian is famous for feeding red kites daily. Range of waymarked walking, mountain biking, running and horse-riding trails and a mountain bike skills park. Café, shop and play area.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian | Walking trails with viewsBwlch Nant yr Arian | Running Trails (NRW), AberystwythBwlch Nant yr Arian is famous for feeding red kites daily. Range of waymarked walking, mountain biking, running and horse-riding trails and a mountain bike skills park. Café, shop and play area.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian | Mountain Bike Skills ParkBwlch Nant yr Arian | Mountain Biking (NRW), AberystwythMid Wales is a serious stop off and venue for people wishing to improve their dirt jump and pump track skills and the Mountain Bike Skills Park at Bwlch Nant yr Arian equips people to more safely enjoy their cycling out on the existing mountain bike trails.

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