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Llanfyllin Town

llanfyllin

On our doorstep

This small town is always a hive of activity. There is a swimming pool, children’s playground, film club and various forms of entertainment from singing to drama. See Llanfyllin for more details.

There is a wetland site by the River Cain with board walks and a picnic area to enjoy whether you wish to explore the wildlife or relax and read a book. This has just won the Green Flag Community Aaward - the international mark of a quality park or open space..

A leaflet in the Cottage offers you a guided walk describing the many old and fascinating buildings in the Town which hint at some of its last four hundred year history. Charles I stayed at the Hall in Llanfyllin in 1645 on his way to the Battle of Chester on his retreat back to Chester.

There are many opportunities for walking and cycling in the area without the crowds often encountered elsewhere. Some are a gentle stroll while others are more adventurous. There are leaflets in the Cottage describing four walks all of which start just outside the gate. One walk takes you up to the nearby Lonely Tree with its stunning views over adjacent valleys. Tradition has it that, if you want good fortune, you must make the trek up the hill to give the tree a hug, even though it was a casualty of the 12th February storms in 2014. The tree was very old and the memories of many who have made the trek have been published in a book to mark the tree's demise and to raise funds for its protection and replacement. The tree was voted Welsh Tree of the Year 2014.

A wide variety of birds can be seen around the cottage and across the valley with opportunities to watch the different species from the garden seat or from the conservatory. Frequent visitors to the bird feeder include greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and siskin while buzzards, ravens and kites can be seen overhead. A badger frequently visits the garden at night.

Lake Vyrnwy

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Lake Vyrnwy and the RSPB reserve

No stay in Llanfyllin would be complete without a visit to this enchanting spot. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Berwyn Mountains, the tranquil shores of this crystal-clear lake are fringed by the largest intact heather moor and upland peat bog in Wales. Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir (the largest in Europe when it was completed in 1890) and the dam and straining tower are testaments to Victorian engineering.  Afternoon tea on the balcony of the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel overlooking the lake is a magical experience.

The thirteen mile road around the Lake offers a good level route for walking or cycling. Bicycles can be hired from either Artisans or the Barn Café near the dam.

There are off road walks and the Cottage has a leaflet describing these in detail. One of these is a walk to the magnificent Rhiwagor waterfall at the top end of the Lake.

The extensive RSPB reserve at Lake Vyrnwy surrounds the Lake and birds can be seen in a variety of different habitats from the water’s edge to moorland, from Black Grouse to Crossbills. There are a number of hides which are easily accessible from the road around the Lake. The reserve runs a large number of events during the year: RSPB Vyrnwy events

Mountains

On the Berwyn Mountains

The Berwyn Mountains lie just to the East of the Snowdonia Range. It is one of the most ancient and hauntingly beautiful areas of Europe. Being remote from any large towns, the night skies are very dark and excellent for star gazing.

There are some amazing waterfalls in the area, the one at Pistyll Rhaeadr being higher than Niagara Falls.

Historic Houses and Castles

Castles

This part of Wales was much fought over in the past and is full of castles: Powis Castle and Chirk Castle belong to the National Trust; Montgomery Castle and Dolforwyn Castle are in the care of CADW, the Welsh equivalent of Historic England. There are Iron Age hill forts nearby, some within a short distance of Cilfach.

Powis Castle is on the edge of Welshpool and, with its amazing elevated position and terraced gardens, is a favourite place for visitors.

Montgomery Castle was the site of a battle in 1642 which was lost by the Royalist Army. Montgomery town is blessed with very good cafes and restaurants as well as R H Bunners, perhaps the most famous hardware shop in the country. Well worth a visit.

Llangollen Canal and Pontcysyllte

Canals

The Llangollen Canal is just to the North of us while The Montgomery Canal is just to the South.

The Pontcysyllte aqueduct near Llangollen is one of Thomas Telford’s crowning achievements and is still in daily use after 200 years. This is a World Heritage Site and to travel by boat over the viaduct or to walk over the narrow tow path is an exhilarating experience, much enjoyed by many of our visitors.

The Montgomery Canal running from near Oswestry to Newtown is not yet fully open but there are sections offering boat rides while the Powysland Museum in Welshpool is housed in a historic canal warehouse.

The little railways

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Steam Railways

There are a host of narrow gauge steam railways in Wales, most of which were built to carry slate from the quarries down to the coast.

The Llanfair and Welshpool Light Railway is our local narrow gauge steam railway that was built to take agricultural produce to market from the fertile Banw valley. This runs from Llanfair Caereinion to Welshpool, both of which are only about 12 miles from the cottage.

Just to the north of us is the Bala Lake Narrow Gauge Railway running along the southern edge of the Lake on part of the track bed of the former mainline railway that ran from Ruabon to Barmouth.

For mainline train enthusiasts, there is the Llangollen Railway which runs up the picturesque valley of the River Dee from Llangollen to Corwen.

Also not too far away are the Talyllyn, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland and Vale of Rheidol railways, all of which are within reach, especially by mainline train from Welshpool.

And then there is the amazing Snowdon Mountain Railway (which takes you to the summit of Snowdon) and Llanberis Lake Railway.

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Boating, Watersports and Quadtrekking

There is canoeing, kayaking and sailing available at Lake Vyrnwy.

There is a further range of water sports on Bala Lake including canoeing, kayaking, wind surfing, sailing and raft building.

Just beyond Bala is the National Whitewater Rafting Centre for those who wish to have a bit of adventure during their holiday.

Just to the south east of us, just over the Welshpool to Oswestry road, is Border Quad Trekking providing a healthy range of adventure activities with Quad bikes, Archery, Climbing Wall and other sports. All ages from 6yrs catered for.

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Cycling

The thirteen mile road around Lake Vyrnwy that offers a good level route for family cycling. Bicycles can be hired from Artisans and The Old Barn Café, both near the dam.

Coed y Brenin, just to the north of Dolgellau, has extensive mountain bike tracks through the forest. There is a very impressive visitor centre that has a big car park and lots of facilities for bikers including a bike shop.

Coed Llandegla, just to the west of Wrexham, is another major centre for mountain biking. That too has a large car park, visitor centre and bike shop.

The Coast

A little further away

Although we are close to the English border, the coast is not far away and can be reached in less than an hour.

There are places like Aberdyfi - a thriving little harbour resort set within the Snowdonia National Park. Aberdyfi has water sports galore - sailing, sail boarding, rowing, canoeing, fishing and boat trips.

Barmouth, Fairbourne, Harlech and Llandudno are all just over an hour away from the Cottage.

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust has its Osprey project at Cors Dyfi just beyond Machynlleth. In its award winning observatory, you can watch the birds nesting during the season and learn about these iconic birds.

Just beyond Cors Dyfi is RSPB Ynys Hir, the estuary wetland reserve that has hosted the BBC Springwatch programme on several occasions.

The western edge of Lake Vyrnwy is the Eastern edge of the Snowdonia National Park with its huge range of walking and cycling opportunities and adventures.

Portmeirion, the Italianate coastal village built by Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1930s, could be a romantic visit on the way to Porthmadog.

Things to do around Cilfach Cottage

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