The Elan Valley trail is a glorius accessible, route forming 9 traffic free miles of National Route 81 which connects Aberystwyth and Wolverhampton via Shrewsbury and Telford. This section of the route is truly stunning as you cycle on the old railway line which helped to create the Elan Valley dams and reservoirs.
Things To Do
Elan Valley Trail - Sustrans Cycle Route 81
Following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway for most of the way, the Elan Valley Trail offers families, novice cyclists and committed enthusiasts the opportunity to experience this beautiful part of the country at its best whilst staying healthy and helping the environment.
The trail starts from the pretty community of Cwmdeuddwr on the western side of Rhayader. Parking is available locally and Rhayader contains a number of cafes, shops, pubs, a bike shop and toilets. The linear Elan Valley Trail can be ridden in either direction but most people head west from the town towards the valley.
After leaving Cwmdeuddwr the route climbs over the impressive Rhayader Tunnel, a Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Reserve that is home to many bat species. Approximately half a mile later the route crosses a road, it's at this junction where Lon Las Cymru splits off and the Elan Valley Trail continues straight along the path.
At the next junction you can either continue along the trail up to the spectacular dams and reservoirs, or drop down to the Elan Valley Visitor Centre where you can stop off for refreshments at the cafe, delve into the history of the area and visit the tourist information centre.
The trail climbs steadily from the northern end of Garreg Ddu Reservoir, providing stunning views of the surrounding valleys and the four reservoirs that feed Birmingham's water supply, and continues up to the finish at Craig Goch Dam where toilets are available. A large part of the trail has a tarmac surface, so it is also suitable for less able users, but the northern end is not surfaced.
9 mile traffic free section of the Lon Cambria National Cycle Route 81. National Route 81 connects Aberystwyth and Wolverhampton via Shrewsbury and Telford.
Waun Capel Park Wildlife Walk
A circular walk from car park at the end of the Gasworks Lane off Bridge Street. where there are picnic benches by the river. The walk makes a circuit of Waun Capel Park and the castle mound, a distance of just over one mile / 2 kilometres that takes about an hour to enjoy. Parts of the walk suitable for push chairs are marked on the map.
Rhayader has a wonderful variety of wild plants and animals living among its buildings, parks and gardens. The fast flowing, boulder strewn River Wye passes right through the town forming a very important natural corridor along which wildlife travels, enriching the town for enjoyment of everyone.
Nantmel to Ysfa Walk
A fairly level 4 mile walk beginning from St Cynllo's Church at Nantmel (Grid ref: SN 034 664), past Llyn Gwyn Lake to St Mark's Church at Ysfa.
St Cynllo’s Church, Nantmel
A Georgian Church rebuilt in 1792 on an ancient site in a circular enclosure and restored in 1881. The lower part of the tower is though to be 13th C. The lytchgate is 18th C. Sundial dated 1773. It was the main church of the area for some enturies and has six bells. The list of incumbents starts in 1349. The font having been thought to be from the Cistercian Monastery, Abbey Cwm Hir, which lies to the north of the Church has been identified as being made out of a Jacobean chimney pot. The dedication of the Church is to St Cynllo circa 5th C. It is said of this saint that wherever his knelt or his horse trod the marks remained permanently in the ground. The hills behind the church contain many ancient monuments, standing stones and the site of a prehistoric village. The walk down from Camlo Hill to the Church provides some of the most stunning long distance views of the Trail.
Eglwys Sant Cynllo, Nantmel
Eglwys Sioraidd a ailadeiladwyd ym 1792 ar safle hynafol mewn tir caeedig ar ffurf cylch ac a adferwyd ym 1881. Credir bod rhan isaf y tŵr yn perthyn i’r drydedd ganrif ar ddeg. Mae porth y fynwent yn perthyn i’r ddeunawfed ganrif ac mae’r dyddiad 1773 ar y deial haul. Hon oedd prif eglwys yr ardal am rai canrifoedd ac mae ganddi chwech o glychau. Mae’r rhestr o ddeiliaid swyddi yn yr eglwys yn dechrau ym 1349. Nodwyd y bedyddfaen fel un a wnaed o gorn simnai Jacobeaidd. Cyflwynwyd yr Eglwys i Sant Cynllo tua’r 5ed ganrif. Dywedir am y sant hwn pryd bynnag y byddai’n penlinio neu lle bynnag yr oedd ei geffyl yn cerdded fod y marciau yn aros yn barhaol yn y ddaear. Mae’r mynyddoedd y tu ôl i’r eglwys yn cynnwys llawer o henebion, meini hirion a safle pentref cyn-hanesyddol. Wrth gerdded i lawr o Fryn Camlo at yr Eglwys gellir gweld rhai o’r golygfeydd pell gorau o’r Llwybr.
Riverside Wildlife Walk
A circular walk from the Rugby Club car park at the end of Water Lane off Bridge Street. The walk follows the river bank with picnic benches along the way and returns via the town centre clock, a distance of 1 mile / 1.5 kilometres that takes about an hour to enjoy.
Rhayader has a wonderful variety of wild plants and animals living among its building, parks and gardens. The fast flowing, boulder strewn river Wye passes right through the town forming a very important natural corridor along which wildlife travels, enriching the town for the enjoyment of everyone. This walk is part of a series of three walks to help you explore the variety and beauty of the wildlife on our doorstep.
Abbeycwmhir Village Visit
Abbey Cwm Hir (Abaty’r Cwm Hir) - The Abbey in the Long Valley. Here, in 1143 the building of an Abbey commenced which had it been completed, would have been the largest in Wales and where the headless remains of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (Llewelyn ap Gruffudd) the last of the Welsh Princes, are reputed to have been buried. The abbey ruins can still be seen and nearby the Hall at Abbeycwmhir has been splendidly restored, decorated and furnished and is a visitor attraction open by appointment and well worth a visit.
Abbeycwmhir, a village situated in the centre of Wales amongst the Cambrian mountains in the old county of Radnorshire steeped in history and natural beauty,virtually undiscovered by the modern world.
The name Abbeycwmhir derives from the Cistercian monastery built here in 1143 and translates as Abbey in the long (hir) valley (cwm). Abbeycwmhir is also the burial place of the last native Prince of Wales "Llewellyn the Last".His head was taken to London and his body buried here,there is a memorial stone for him in the ruins of the old Abbey. The village sits in the base of the valley close to the Clewedog brook and is surrounded by hills.Glyndwrs Way national walking trail and cycle route 25 pass through the village making it an ideal location for these activities. Hanging oak forests, rocky outcrops and unpolluted farmland make this the best place in the country to watch rarities such as red kites, peregrines, pied flycatchers and redstart,daily feeding can be seen at the UK's leading Red Kite Centre, Gigrin Farm just six miles away. Over 150 kites gather for the daily afternoon feeding sessions at Gigrin Kite Centre, not to mention scores of buzzards and ravens.