Skip to content

Roundton Hill

Filled with rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and quaint towns, mid-Wales is an ideal place for visitors looking to explore beautiful landscapes.

Here’s our curated guide to the must-visit destinations in the area:

Llandrindod Wells

Often shortened to “Llandod” by locals, Llandrindod Wells is a Victorian spa town and was rated the happiest place to live in Wales for three years running. It’s home to two museums: the Radnorshire Museum and the National Cycle Museum. Wander around the Llandrindod Wells Lake, drop into the cafe, and keep a look out for the lake’s Water Beast fountain!

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

We enjoy taking a nice little walk around the Lake, and sitting outside the cafe with the dogs.

Builth Wells and the Wyeside Arts Centre

Builth Wells has a lovely range of independent cafes and shops, and the Wyeside Arts Centre is at the heart of the community with a cinema, live performances, art classes and an art gallery. There’s a Farmer’s Market held on the last Friday of every month (9am-2pm).


It is also home to the 150-acre Royal Welsh Showground, which hosts a variety of events including the Royal Welsh Show (July), Winter Fair (December) and Smallholding Festival (May).

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

The Wyeside Arts Centre is absolutely worth a visit – we love taking a glass of wine or coffee into the theatre and enjoying a satellite-live performance from the front-row of world-class venues.

Rhayader, Elan Valley and Gigrin Farm

About half an hour drive from Glanoer, Rhayader is the oldest town in mid-Wales and described as “the gateway to the Elan Valley”. Within the town itself, there are some great places to eat. Plus, the traditional, family-run Hafod Hardware shop – famous for its heart-warming Christmas videos and visited by King Charles III (then Prince of Wales).

On the outskirts of Rhayader is the Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre. While hundreds of red kites are fed every day,

Look up!

the centre has limited opening during quieter times of the year. Alongside general hides, there are specialist photographic hides available as well.

Close by is the fabulous Elan Valley, with its renowned reservoirs and dams amongst the Cambrian mountains. The visitor centre is open daily (except Christmas Day), with a gift shop, cafe and play areas.

Elan Valley

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

Do not miss the kite feeding at Gigrin Farm! The sight of 300-plus red kites flying overhead and swooping down is spectacular!

Water-Break-its-Neck waterfall

Part of the wider Radnor Forest, Warren Wood is home to the delightfully-named Water-Break-its-Neck (Dŵr-Torri-Gwddf) waterfall, which featured on Ellie Goulding’s music video for Your Song:

Unfortunately access to Water-Break-its-Neck is currently closed, but the other walks are still open.

Whilst Waterfall Country in the Bannau Brycheiniog / Brecon Beacons National Park is spectacular, it is a fragile landscape and has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers in recent years. Visit Wales provides advice on going to Waterfall Country.

Dave & Sue’s top tip: 

It’s a lovely trail, but make sure you take your wellies for this walk – and a towel for the dog!

Nature reserves

The local Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (RWT) has 18 reserves across the historic county of Radnor, covering a range of habitats and home to stunning wildlife. The Trust’s flagship reserve is Gilfach Farm Nature Reserve, to the west of Rhayader, which is famous for its leaping salmon in autumn.

The closest RWT reserve is Werndryd, which is just 20 minutes walk from the Barn and is a tiny nature reserve next to the Franksbridge village school. It is a boggy nature reserve with a boardwalk, and is particularly good for insects such as dragonflies and damselflies.


Cors y Llyn National Nature Reserve is located between Builth Wells and Newbridge on Wye, and features a Scandinavian-style dwarf pine forest, a wildflower meadow and swampy woodlands.

For plant enthusiasts, the Barn is a 20-minute drive from Stanner Rocks National Nature Reserve which is home to the tiny-but-beautiful Radnor Lily, or Early-Star-of-Bethlehem. This reserve is the only place in Britain that this Mediterranean plant grows. It blooms towards the end of February and early March, and it is advised to contact the warden to arrange to see it.

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

Make sure you take your camera to snap some beautiful shots!

Bannau Brycheiniog / Brecon Beacons National Park

Designated in 1957, Bannau Brycheiniog / Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three existing National Parks in Wales – with more proposed. There are a range of ways to explore this park and discover its treasures, including walks and hikes, horseback riding, paddlesports, and even heading underground to its caves.

This Top 10 activities list provides an initial guide to be inspired by, with something for everyone.

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

We love to go wild swimming at Llyn Cwm Llwch, in the shadow of Pen Y Fan.


Straddling the border between England and Wales, Kington is a delightful market town with plenty of opportunities for walking, as well as browsing the independent shops. It has its own walking festival in spring and food festival at Christmas.

The 177-mile Offa’s Dyke Path, constructed on the orders of King Offa in the 8th century, passes through Kington.

Hergest Croft Gardens is part of the larger Hergest Estate, and is a Victorian house built in 1895. The gardens cover 70 acres and feature more than 5,000 rare trees and shrubs. There is an entry fee for the gardens, but the tearoom and gift shop are free to enter, and are dog-friendly.

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

The best thing about Kington is Hergest Ridge – the views are just breath-taking! Go for a walk along the ridge, and then end up at Hergest Croft for a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Hay-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

Famous as the “town of books” and the Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye (Y Gelli) is a 35-minute drive from the Barn and is a market town just sited on the Welsh side of the border. As well as having over 20 bookshops, Hay has fabulous antique emporiums, an amazing chandelier shop, and quirky, retro clothes shops.

Hay Castle (Castell Y Gelli) opened in May 2022, for the first time in its 900-year history, and is used for community events including youth groups, art exhibitions, talks and concerts.

The Wye Valley is a National Landscape (the new term used for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and is a wonderful place to explore – whether on foot, on your book, or on the water.  Hire a canoe and spend a wonderful few hours drifting down the Wye with just the birds and wildlife for company.

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

Hay is one of our favourite places in all the world. A MUST for book lovers!  Take the scenic route from Bettws and take in some marvellous views over the common.

Wild Swimming

Take a dip into the wild waters and enjoy an incredible sensation that resonates with all your senses. There are a number of great locations close by where you can really reconnect with nature.

Pen Y Fan tarn

Wild swimming spots:

Pen Y Fan Tarn, Libanus – swim in the shadow of the mighty Pen Y Fan.

The Wash Pool, Llanwrtyd Wells – a magical spot in a forest glade.

Wolf’s Leap, Llanwrtyd Wells – craggy and isolated, deep pool and gullys.

Dave & Sue’s top tip:

The Wash Pool at Llanwrtyd is one of our favourite spots. A large clear pool surrounded by trees, wade in from the beach edge and swim right up to the waterfall. Truly magical!

Wash Pool

Back To Top