Out and about in mid Wales…
Published: Wednesday 27th Mar 2019
I live just a few miles away from Welshpool, ‘The gateway to Wales’, the joy of living in mid Wales is that you are central to almost everything! Fancy a day at the beach, no problem, just an hour away. What about a day in Snowdonia, again, no problem, it will take only an hour or so. I bet the kids want to go on the Fforest Coaster after all!
But hang on a minute, yes, we have some wonderful things in Wales, the coast of Pembrokeshire and West Wales, Snowdonia, The Brecon Beacons, but what about all those wonderful attractions RIGHT on our doorstep!
Here’s some of the great days out which you and the family can enjoy, some of them are even free!
The small market town of Montgomery is a must when in mid Wales, complete with 13th century castle ruins overlooking the very pretty little town with market square. The castle is fab for the kids to have a run and a scrabble around and has far reaching views across mid Wales, to ensure one could see ‘the enemy’ coming. After a bit of exercise, have a wander around the town’s gallery and small shops, why not treat yourself to a spot of lunch at the Checkers, once a fine dining Michelin starred restaurant. The owners have taken the unusual step of handing back the coveted award in a bid to put families first. However, you won’t be disappointed, the food is still absolutely delicious and loses nothing other than the former price tag.
The renowned National Trust Powis Castle in Welshpool is well worth a visit. Great if you are a National Trust member but if not, not to worry. The castle is surrounded by fabulous parkland which you can amble around at will, taking in glorious views of the castle and stunning countryside. You might even spot a deer or two! You’ll also find Coed y Dinas garden centre just a few minutes away, great for a coffee or spot of lunch, there’s even a soft play area for the kids!
Just on the outskirts of the village of Guilsfield (Cegidfa) is the beautiful coppiced Gaer Fawr oak woodland. A network of paths lead up to an Iron Age fort at the summit, truly stunning in May with great swathes of bluebells underfoot. Something to note for the children, can you find the fairy’s front door?
While in Guilsfield, it’s worth paying a visit to the Derwen Garden Centre, great local fresh produce served every day, beautiful seasonal colour on display all year, themed gardens and a fantastic beech hedge maze to lose yourself in.
Slightly further afield (less than an hour from Welshpool) is the Mawddach Trail, which takes you from the lovely town of Dolgellau all the way to the seaside town of Barmouth, via Penmaenpool and Arthog. The trail follows an old railway line running besides the Mawddach Estuary, great for a family bike ride with the promise of ice cream at Knickerbocker’s ice cream Parlour in Barmouth.
Just a smidge over the border is the town of Bishop’s Castle, a really lovely town, teaming with great places to eat and drink and many lovely little shops. If visiting in July the British Stone Skimming Championship is not to be missed. You would never think that so many stone related events could be so much fun! Just don’t forget your picnic.
I hope you choose to spend some time with us in mid Wales and hope you find some of my ramblings useful.