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Locals call it Llani for short. Folk from a little farther afield refer to it as “Planet Idloes” because of its alternative vibe. Even in Mid Wales, which has more than its fair share of original thinkers, Llanidloes is a one-off.

As Wikipedia rather unkindly points out, this liberal, counterculture atmosphere has made it a popular home for ageing hippies. But beads and kaftans remain optional in the busy whole-food shop, volunteer-run organic shop and famous Great Oak café.

Llanidloes has been a Fairtrade Town since 2006 – and every year its Green Fair combines talks by environmental experts with stalls offering a less energy-expensive way of life.

But then this has always been a place that knows its own mind. It won its first charter from Edward I in 1280 and was made a self-governing borough in 1344 – a status it lost only in 1974 (but don’t tell the locals).

The four wide streets at the heart of the town date from this time and the timber-framed Old Market Hall at the crossroads – the iconic building of Llanidloes and the only one of its kind left in Wales &