Llanidloes and Llyn Clywedog

“We have to do research, just to see what is on offer in the area so we can, with great authority, pass the information on to our guests. This is tough hard work, but someone has to do it. It is especially arduous when the sun is shining, the skies are clear and bright and the scenery is breathtaking.” Ian @ The Owls

Friday 23rd February 2018 and we are at the beginning of the ‘cold snap.’ With brilliant sunshine, dry under foot and plenty of layers to combat the cold we set off on a research tour. We are still getting to know the area and want to be able to share everything Mid-Wales has to offer with our guests and the best way for us to know what we are talking about is to get out there and experience it all for ourselves.

Our first stop was The Gilfach Nature Reserve just outside Rhayader. We had been here before and done a big walk and just couldn’t remember where it was but Ian had a hunch he knew where to go and he was right. We only wanted a quick walk and found they had marked a new route up a big hill and along a ridge with fantastic views and a very steep descent. It was quite a climb but only took about an hour. Benji didn’t seem to notice the up or the down – I did! We had tea and coffee from our flask with homemade Welsh Cakes in the company of a stunning little robin who joined us at our picnic table.

We headed on to Llanidloes which looks lovely in the tourist information brochures however it exceeded all expectations. We found a real treasure. A market town and when the tourist season gets going you could spend a day here. Benji was a hit here. The slightly ‘other worldly’ lady from an Antique shop beckoned us in making Benji welcome – it was a bit narrow and I was terrified he would make a sudden movement and break the merchandise but all was fine. The owner insists that all her things are affordable and that she keeps the shop going to keep her three rescue dogs – who I feel I know very well. She made a valid point that she adopts the old dogs that other people may not want. Her latest is a 10 year old Labrador bitch called Jess (originally Jet but she feels that is too masculine). The next friend Benji made was with a posh lady from the posh shoe shop. He got a doggie biscuit here so was angelic sitting and waiting in the hope another one would come his way. This shop owner asked if we had seen their damn and recommended we went up and had a walk. So after buying some focaccia bread in the vegetarian shop we headed up to the hills, The Llyn Clywedog Reservoir and Damn and stumbled across the Bryntail Lead Mine an historic site of Wales. The whole area is criss-crossed by bridle paths and the Glyndŵr Way National Trail. Yet again views to take your breath away and just the most wonderful crispness in the cold bright sun. After another cuppa at a perfectly placed picnic table overlooking the reservoir we drove around the whole reservoir and at every turn there was a picture.

We were never more than three quarters of an hour away from Builth Wells and yet we had experienced such peace and remoteness. A brilliant little tour that surprised and pleased us that you could share if you came to stay in Builth Wells, Powys Mid-Wales.

Gilfach Nature Reserve2

Gilfach Nature Reserve


A Robin joins us for a picnic at Gilfach

Llanidloes building

One of the many interesting buildings in Llanidloes

Bryntail Led Mine

Bryntail Lead Mine