The Cambrian Mountains are the spine of Wales, a vast moorland plateau gouged by glaciers and cleft by steep valleys.
They begin at the Plynlimon massif, source of no fewer than six rivers. Which is why quirky Llanidloes is the first town on the Severn and Rhayader the first on the Wye.
They stretch all the way south to Mynydd Mallaen near Llanwrtyd Wells, Britain’s capital of weird and wonderful sporting events.
And they contain some of the oldest rocks in Britain. Between the spa towns of Llandrindod Wells and Builth Wells – home of the Royal Welsh Show – lies an area internationally famous for its trilobite fossils.
But not every part has been 500 million years in the making. The Elan Valley Estate, or the “Lakeland of Wales”, was created in Victorian times by sheer force of will.
Once seriously considered for National Park status, the Cambrian Mountains may be less famous than Snowdonia or the Brecon Beacons but they’re just as special. Just as rich in rare species such as the golden plover, the black grouse and the red kite.
It may be what prompted the famously eco-conscious Prince of Wales to set up his Welsh home at Llwynywermod. His Cambrian Mountains Initiative aims to conserve this rugged landscape and the rural communities that depend on it.
And when HRH isn’t at home, you can stay in the courtyard next door and do your bit by walking the local drovers’ tracks, shopping in the market towns or eating in the award-winning restaurants. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.
For more information on the Cambrian Mountains Initiative Click Here
Builth Wells is the town of the bull. In fact the word Builth, or "Buallt" in Welsh, is thought to mean "the wild ox of the wooded slope".
The town's emblem is one of the ancient White Park cattle that roamed the area in post-Roman times. A magnificent bronze statue of a Welsh Black bull sits in lovely Groe park beside the River Wye. Even the local rugby team are nicknamed The Bulls.c
Builth Wells is south of Llandrindod Wells at the junction of the A470 and the A483. The nearest railway station is just two miles out of town at Builth Road, on the Heart of Wales line linking Shrewsbury and Swansea. There are bus services to Cardiff, Llandrindod Wells, Brecon, Newtown, Rhayader and Hereford.
Tourist Information Centre
Builth Wells Information, Curios and Welsh Craft, 24 High Street, Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3DN
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