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Town:Llanwrtyd Wells

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Abergwesyn Valley

Abergwesyn Valley

Image Credit: Crown Copyright
Abergwesyn Valley





Llanwrtyd Wells is the smallest town in Britain. It is also one of the friendliest, having a long history of catering for the many visitors who, today, come to enjoy the unspoilt landscapes of the surrounding Cambrian Mountains.

Llanwrtyd is one of three historic 'spa' towns in the area and is a great base to stay and explore and in many ways it is a fantastic advertisement for Wales all on its own. It is a mecca for walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers and pony trekkers keen to experience the charm of the town and the spectacular mountain scenery. Many of the walking and cycling routes in the area follow old Drovers roads, used for over 500 years by farmers selling their livestock in the profitable markets over the border.

Take your time to explore the surrounding area with it's many old Roman roads, ancient standing stones, tiny chapels and churches, stunning scenery and abundant wildlife to explore. Look out for Red Kites soaring above the town and, if very lucky, you well get a glimpse of rare red squirrels on your travels.

Scenic drives begin with 20 mile Abergwesyn Pass route from Llanwrtyd Wells to Tregaron on the western edge of the Cambrian mountains. The route is a single track which runs through an almost brutally wild landscape of moors, escarpment, pine forest and scurrying streams. In the middle, there’s a steep series of hairpins called the Devil’s Staircase.

Llanwrtyd Wells is famous for holding really quirky events including World Alternate Games, Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse Marathon. For a small market town, it also boasts an unusually large range of great places eat, as well as a cookery school run by chef, Peter James at the Drovers Rest Restaurant in the town centre.

The first Mountain Bike centre in the UK opened in Llanwrtyd Wells in 1985 and the town is well-located for cyclists and mountain bike enthusiasts with many forest trails and the more challenging mountain routes nearby to suit every level of rider.

Just 1.5 miles south of Llanwrtyd Wells is Colonel's Water on the River Irfon which is renowned for its grayling and trout fishing. Wading is relatively easy along the majority of the beat in normal flows.The Irfon is an upper tributary of the River Wye, flows through the town centre joining the River Wye at Builth Wells.

Llanwrtyd has a railway station on the scenic Heart of Wales line which runs from Shrewsbury to Swansea.

It was the discovery of the mineral waters that originally brought fame and visitors to Llanwrtyd Wells. In 1732, the Reverend Theophilus Evans discovered a rather healthy looking frog sitting in a well. Evans deduced that the water the frog had been living in might have some medicinal qualities. Very soon enough the sulphuric spring at Dolycoed was a destination for health tourists from all over Britain.

Nearby springs at Llandrindod and Builth helped to make this part of the southern Cambrian Mountains famous as a health tourism area and the industry was further strengthened by the expansion of the railways into wales during the 19th century.

Prior to the arrival of the railway in 1868, Llanwrtyd was on a stagecoach route (now the A483) between Swansea and Llandrindod Wells. The arrival of the railway brought visitors to the town in huge numbers from South Wales.

Llanwrtyd does have one more claim to fame. The Reverend William Williams of Pantycelyn, Wales' most famous hymn writer and author of 'Guide Me O Thou Great Jehova', composed his magnum opus during his three year curatorship in the town.






Plan route to Llanwrtyd Wells using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 878467  Lat: 52.10730 Long: -3.63870

Llanwrtyd Wells is located on the main A483 road between Builth Wells and Llandovery. There is on-street parking available in the town.

The train station is approximately a 10 minute walk from the town along a paved walkway.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Llanwrtyd station