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.
Walking & Cycling
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.
Wildlife Centre of Wales
Rhayader and surrounding areas are important habitats and home to a variety of wildlife, flora and fauna.
With so many differnet places to experience nature as it should be, we've complied a pack of local wildlife sites for you here.
Download the map of the sites to help you plan your wildlife adventures.
Ysfa to Llanwrthwl Walk
This 3 mile walk beginning from St Mark's Church (Grid Ref: SN 991 644), follows forest and farm tracks and crosses the River Wye to reach Llanwrthwl.
St Mark’s Church, Ysfa
A Victorian Church built of stone with brick interior between 1870 and 1871. Its main claim to fame is that the first stone was laid by Revd Kilvert, the diarist, in 1871 and his diaries describe the opening which was somewhat lively due to children playing in the lime and the wind blowing it on to the gathering, smarting their eyes. There was also something of a commotion in the tent resulting in it being torn. There is a beautiful Victorian model of the Church inside. The church is said to have been built by the local gentry for worship by their servants.
Eglwys Sant Mark, Ysfa
Eglwys Fictoraidd a adeiladwyd rhwng 1870 a 1871. Mae’r eglwys wedi’i hadeiladu o gerrig gyda briciau ar y tu mewn. Mae’r eglwys yn enwog oherwydd gosodwyd y garreg gyntaf gan y Parch Kilvert, y dyddiadurwr, ym 1871. Mae ei ddyddiaduron yn disgrifio’r agoriad a oedd braidd yn fywiog oherwydd i’r plant chwarae yn y calch a chwythodd y gwynt y calch ar y dyrfa gan losgi eu llygaid. Cafwyd hefyd rhywfaint o gynnwrf yn y babell a chafwyd ei rhwygo yn ystod y digwyddiad. Mae model Fictoraidd hardd o’r Eglwys y tu mewn. Dywedir bod yr eglwys wedi cael ei hadeiladu gan y bonedd lleol fel lle addoli ar gyfer eu gweision a’u morwynion.
36 mile Gwastedyn Church Trail
This circular 36 mile trail over an established pilgrimage route begins and ends in Rhayader and Cwmdeuddwr. Linking seven historic churches, the route uses mountain paths, lanes and old railway lines to guide you into the heart of our magnificent mountain, river and lake country. To follow the Trail takes you into a world of history and literature derived from the world of the Celtic Saints, the Romans and Romano British, the Normans, the Welsh princes, the medieval monks through to the romantic poets and the Victorians.
Mae’r llwybr hwn, sy’n dilyn llwybr pererindod sefydledig, yn 36 milltir o hyd ac yn dechrau a diweddu yn Rhaeadr a Chwmdeuddwr. Mae’r llwybr sy’n cysylltu saith o eglwysi hanesyddol, yn eich tywys drwy ardal odidog mynyddoedd yr Elenydd gyda’i hafonydd a’i llynnoedd, dros lwybrau mynyddig ac ar hyd ffyrdd a hen reilffyrdd gwledig. Mae dilyn y Llwybr yn eich cyflwyno i fyd hanes a llenyddiaeth o gyfnod y Seintiau Celtaidd, y Rhufeiniaid, y Brythoniaid Rhufeinig, y Normaniaid, y Tywysogion Cymreig, mynachod y canol oesoedd, hyd at y beirdd rhamantaidd ac oes Fictoria.
This trail is divided into more manageable six sections - see our Walking and Cycling page.
The Gwastedyn Trail is funded by the Community Welcome Scheme, which is managed by Powys County Council Tourism Section and is one of sixteen Rural Development Plan projects, which aims to assist local communities with small scale community based tourism projects.
Cwmdeuddwr Wildlife Walk
A circular walk from the old station yard car park to the Groe Park and back via St. Brides Church. A distance of 1 mile / 1.5 kilometres that takes about an hour to enjoy. Parts of the walk suitable for wheelchairs and push chairs are marked on the downloadable map. The more you stop, look and listen the more you will see!
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.