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.
Walking & Cycling
Riverside Wildlife Walk
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.
Llanwrthwl to Cwmdeuddwr Walk
A relatively easy 3 mile walk beginning from St Gwrthwl's Church in Llanwrthwl (Grid ref: SN 970 638), mostly along tarmac lanes, crossing the River Elan where it meets the River Wye, and finishing at St Bride's Church at Cwmdeuddwr, just south west of Rhayader.
St Gwrthwl’s Church, Llanwrthwl
A late Victorian building on a 4,000 year old site with large sacrificial stone. The font is 13th century, possibly from Abbey Cwmhir. The valley leads up to the original abandoned village. The area abounds in bronze age cairns, standing stones and circles. Legends surround Carn Gafallt, named for King Arthur’s hound, Saith Maen, seven maidens turned to stone by St Gwrthwl for dancing on Sunday and Drygarn Fawr and Gamriw with their massive cairns. Little is known of St Gwrthwl, “The Confessor” who could have founded his church in the 5th or 6th Centuries with connections with Vortigern or St David and St Afan. His saint’s day is the 2nd March. Of note is Penuel URC Chapel to the South dating from 1832
Eglwys Sant Gwrthwl, Llanwrthwl
Adeilad o’r cyfnod Fictoraidd diweddar ar safle 4,000 mlwydd oed gyda charreg aberthol fawr. Mae’r bedyddfaen yn perthyn i’r drydedd ganrif ar ddeg, o bosibl o Abaty Cwmhir. Mae’r dyffryn yn arwain i fyny at y pentref gwreiddiol sydd bellach yn anghyfannedd. Mae llu o garneddau, meini hirion a chylchoedd o’r oes efydd yn yr ardal. Mae chwedlau yma sy’n gysylltiedig â Charn Gafallt, a enwyd ar ôl ci’r Brenin Arthur; Saith Maen, saith o forynion a gafodd eu troi’n garreg gan Sant Gwrthwl am ddawnsio ar Ddydd Sul a Drygarn Fawr a Gamriw gyda’u carneddau enfawr. Ychydig sy’n wybyddus am Sant Gwrthwl, ‘Y Cyffeswr’ a allai fod wedi sylfaenu ei eglwys yn y 5ed neu’r 6ed ganrif ac a oedd â chysylltiadau gyda Gwrtheyrn neu Ddewi Sant a Sant Afan. Dydd y nawddsant hwn yw 2 Mawrth. Mae Eglwys Ddiwygiedig Unedig Penuel a leolir i’r De ac sy’n dyddio o 1832 yn werth ei nodi.
St Brides Church, Cwmdeuddwr
Dedicated to St Bride which reflects the presence of a sacred well just outside the churchyard, which is a prehistoric circular site . It was here that Lord Rhys, the Welsh prince called together a gathering in the 13th century to present the vast area of the Elynedd to the monks of Strata Florida. The common of Cwmdauddwr Grange provided food for Rayader Castle. These ancient areas still exist in designated commons and sheepwalks. The present Church is Victorian but has some interesting plaques from Nantgwillt Church which was submerged when the Elan Valley dams were built in the late 19th Century. One of these commemorates the fact that Emmeline Lewis-Lloyd, who was a pioneering Alpininist, was the 8th woman to climb Mont Blanc. The Church has a very fine ironwork rood screen.
Eglwys Santes Bride, Cwmdeuddwr
Mae’r eglwys hon, a gyflwynwyd i’r Santes Bride, yn nodi presenoldeb ffynnon gysegredig yn union y tu allan i’r fynwent, lle sy’n safle cylchol cyn-hanesyddol. Yma y galwodd yr Arglwydd Rhys, y tywysog Cymreig, gasgliad o bobl ynghyd yn y drydedd ganrif ar ddeg i gyflwyno ardal enfawr Elynedd i fynachod Ystrad Fflur. Roedd tir comin Plasty Cwmdeuddwr yn darparu bwyd ar gyfer Castell Rhaeadr. Mae’r ardaloedd hynafol hyn yn dal i fodoli o fewn tiroedd comin a ffriddoedd dynodedig. Mae’r Eglwys bresennol yn perthyn i oes Fictoria ond y mae yma blaciau diddorol o Eglwys Nantgwyllt a gafodd ei boddi pan adeiladwyd cronfeydd dŵr Cwm Elan yn niwedd y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg. Mae un o’r rhain yn coffau’r ffaith mai Emmeline Lewis-Lloyd, a oedd yn un o’r gwragedd cyntaf i ymddiddori yn yr Alpau, oedd yr wythfed ddynes i ddringo Mont Blanc. Mae gan yr Eglwys groglen wych iawn o waith haearn.
Gwyn Llyn Gallop - Rhayader Walk
Elan Valley Trail - Sustrans Cycle Route 81
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.
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.