Valley views: Welsh Glamping adds a magical touch to the Mid Wales glamping scene

The dead-end track peters out in a long, lovely buttercup meadow fringed by patches of stream-latticed native woodland whilst the Cambrian Mountains encroach craggily behind: until recently, you would only get to gaze on such stunning snapshots from the esoteric Afon Gwesyn valley if you were one of the few in-the-know hikers on the route up to the gorge’s swimming holes and the undiscovered uplands … Continue reading Valley views: Welsh Glamping adds a magical touch to the Mid Wales glamping scene

Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

There are hills that, though humble in height, captivate the imagination. Places that somehow draw you back time and again to their season-changing wilderness, their lonely trails, their idiosyncratic landscapes. Sugar Loaf (Sir Gaerfyrddin), a mere moor or two away from the endearingly odd town of Llanwrtyd Wells (of bog-snorkelling world championship and numerous other mad festivals fame), is one such place. The hill – … Continue reading Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

The source of the UK’s longest river

Walk length: 16km (out and back). For an upland that can make so many bold claims (highest point in Mid Wales, one of the greatest uninterrupted wildernesses in Wales and, as will shortly be elaborated upon, the source of Britain’s longest river, fifth-longest river and the longest two to flow across Welsh soil), Pumlumon is a very unfrequented place. We can vouch for that. When … Continue reading The source of the UK’s longest river

Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

Most people, in our experience, don’t know what a bothy is. Of those that do, most think these life-saving wilderness shelters are only located in Scotland. Of those that know there are actually eight or so in Wales, only a handful harbour a desire to stay at one and of those, not many ever do. Suffice it to say, then, that Claerddu Bothy, becalmed on … Continue reading Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

Walk lengths: Routes vary in length between 4.75 and 10km (one way), 9km-20km out and back) On a hike in a totally different part of Wales at a totally different time last year, Undiscovered Wales met, on the trail, what you could only describe as a true veteran of the hills. A hardened, rain-lashed, wind-grizzled walker who imparted a knowing look whichever part of Snowdonia, … Continue reading Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

No one could term the beach destinations of Llangrannog, bustling one-time hangout of Dylan Thomas, and Penbryn, home to one of Wales’ best beach cafes, off-the-beaten-track. Both are pretty popular when the sun comes out. But there is a sandy bay in-between attracting about three visitors to every 300 Llangrannog and Penbryn pull in, and is so Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-picturesque it makes even its beautiful neighbours seem … Continue reading Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood

Walk length: 4km. In almost all countries, it seems, there is a Robin Hood figure, usually treading that hazy space between fact and fiction in history: someone who takes from the rich, gives to the poor and then gets heroised in popular culture. In Wales, it is Twm Siôn Cati: a canny 16th-century Mid Wales outlaw about whom reams of stories have been written but … Continue reading In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood

Scaling Mid Wales’ highest summit, Pen Pumlumon Fawr

Walk length: 8km. All around us is yellow – rise upon rise of unpeopled yellowness, save for a tiny oasis of green, our start point, far below and insignificant on the horizon. Sun beats down out of an absolute blue sky. We turn and head on into the wilderness, heads bent into the driving wind…not a snippet from one of our trips to the Sahara, … Continue reading Scaling Mid Wales’ highest summit, Pen Pumlumon Fawr

Between the sea and sky: Ynyslas Dunes

A vast, open expanse of sea and sky greeted us at the Ynyslas dunes. Rolling south of the Dyfi Estuary for as far as the eye can see, this dune dreamscape lifts gazes and spirits – particularly on a spring day, when a stiff breeze buffets the Irish Sea and clouds billow atmospherically in a sharp blue sky. Driving the Coastal Way, the 180-mile route … Continue reading Between the sea and sky: Ynyslas Dunes

Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole

Making the journey north from Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, a distinct change takes place in the landscape. The county’s fertile lowlands, main towns and main roads are now behind you. The hills get bigger, the valleys deeper; communities more scattered. You are entering Mid Wales: the wildest tract of the country. Cwmdu village is about the most paradisal initiation to this region you could imagine, and … Continue reading Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole