There’s so much to do!
Writing this list, we’ve realised it’s really long and there are so many wonderful things on it you’d need to stay for a fortnight to experience it all. Come and talk to us if you like and we can help you decide what might suit you best. We can also suggest a day trip incorporating more than one of the following.
1) The Precipice Walk – This is a circular walk with stunning click here for map and directions you can print
2) Bwlch y Groes : This is the highest road pass (1,799 ft) in Wales and is a stunning if hair-raising drive – only for the bold! Read about it here. Unsuprisingly, it made the Guardian’s list of Britain’s top 10 toughest cycle climbs
3) Dolgellau – A lovely, picturesque market town well worth a visit. There’s some very nice cake shops! Market day is Thursday
4) Torrent Walk – A fairly gently 2.5 mile walk along side a river and waterfall, best time to go is after heavy rainfall when it’s at its most dramatic. Download a printable map here Pop round the corner for tea and cake at Cil-y-coed (worth it when you find it!)
5) Barmouth Railway Bridge – Park at Morfa Mawddach station and walk to Barmouth over the railway bridge for an ice cream, fish & chips and amazing views. This is a very gentle, flat walk, highly recommended if you’re feeling like something relaxing with a treat at the end. For the very decadent you can even take the train back to Morfa Mawddach to finish
6) Cadair Idris – This is a truly wonderful and famous walk with stunning views which really captures Snowdonia in all its beauty. You can choose to walk to the top or just to the lake where you can take a chilly dip in the cool deep waters. The walk to the lake is on marked paths so not too hard to navigate. Click here for a map and instructions you can download and print. There’s a lovely tea room near the car park at the bottom so you can reward yourselves with something yummy!
7) Castell y Bere – a remote, historically important castle ruin built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, also known as Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd in the early 13th century. More here
8) Machynlleth – Our nearest town. Machynlleth is a lovely place for a wonder and a peruse of the shops. There’s several antiques shops, art galleries, supermarkets, cafes and the ever-popular Ian Snow. Wednesday is market day. In particular Machynlleth has the UK’s best chippy – perfect fish and chips every time!
9) Centre for Alternative Technology – still Machynlleth’s most famous visitor attraction? CAT was one of the earliest innovators in the green / alternative tech movement in the UK. It has shifted it’s focus toward educational activities in recent years but is still a good visit if you’re interested in alternative technologies, energies and buildings.
10) Caffi JoJo– For a nice trip from Gwalia you can walk on Glyndwr’s way to Llanbrynmair for lunch, the caffi has meals, coffi, groceries and gifts. It’s about 4 miles Caffi JoJo
11) Cambrian Coast Railway – Is this the most scenic railway journey in Britain? We think so. The track goes up the Cambrian Coast from Machynlleth to Pwllheli, for some of the journey it can feel like you’re travelling on the water, especially if you travel at high tide. Check out this pdf describing the journey. You can usually get a day ranger ticket which allows you to hop on/off all day. We suggest stopping at Criccieth for a pleasant stroll, a visit to the castle, the beach and probably an icecream
12) Museum of Modern Art, Machynlleth – MOMA Wales it’s free and it’s nice! Have a wonder if you’re in town.
13) Dyfi Osprey Project and Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve – one of our newer and highest profile local attractions. Go here and see ospreys! There’s a great new visitor centre and fabulous elevated viewing area where you can watch the osprey nest from
14) Aberdyfi – our nearest, prettiest seaside village. Where the mountains meet the sea! It’s a fairly quick trip from Gwalia (about 30mins drive) and well worth it, beautiful views.
15) Ynis Hir RSPB Nature Reserve – this is where the BBC Springwatch was filmed from 2011-13 because it is so awesome! It’s a wonderful and extensive 700-hectare reserve encompassing a variety of habitats ranging from impressive oak woodlands, heathland and wet grassland to saltmarshes, redbeds and freshwater
16) Ynyslas – Ynyslas is the wilder, less inhabited cousin of Aberdyfi, it sits on the opposite side of the Dyfi estuary and also has stunning views of sea and mountain. It is a wonderful beach to visit if you’d like a quiet, long, lonely walk. If you’re really enjoying it, keep walking and you’ll reach the submerged forest at Borth (and various tea, chip and ice cream shops!)
17) Borth – South of Ynyslas is the small seaside town of Borth. Worth a visit at low tide to see the Bronze age submerged forest. Oriel Tir A Môr Gallery is a super place for a coffee, cake and peruse of the art.
18) Borth to Aberystwyth cliff walk – this walk follows the coastal path over the cliffs between Borth and Aberystwyth. It’s a great one, lovely views (watch out for the Cardigan Bay dolphins off the coast) and it’s hard to get lost. We suggest parking at Borth and walking to Aberystwyth before catching a bus or train back to Borth again.
19) Aberystwyth – Our nearest ‘Big’ town. It’s nice, it has shops and supermarkets but who needs that when you’re on a trip to the wilderness?!
20) Corris Craft Centre and Little Italy Walk – Corris Craft Centre is definitely worth a stop. Check out our neighbour’s divine Dyfin Gin distillery there. The Craft Centre is also the starting point for a fabulous walk to see our own local wonder Little Italy. There’s a guide and map available to download here
AND) Mountain Biking – If you’re into mountain biking you probably know all this already but just in case, or if you’re new to the sport… About 15 mins drive away you’ll find the brilliant Climax trail, a 15km round trip with 9km of thrilling single track not far from Dyfi Bike Park home of the Atherton’s latest venture. Machynlleth is also the start of the Mach 1, 2, 3 & 4 trails. More information is on the Dyfi Mountain Biking website including essential info on closed dates. Further afield, mountain biking enthusiasts often make a day trip to the famous and fabulous Coed Y Brenin Forest Park.