Llanwrtyd Wells: Spa Route
Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 45 minutes
Parts not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.
Note: Easy though can be wet and muddy at times.
Start at the town square, you can park behind the hotel. Start out in a westerly direction along Dol-Y-Coed Road, past The Drover’s Tea room. Continue along the road past the fire station until you reach the former Dol-Y-Coed Hotel building. This was originally a country house built in 1537. However, when the spas were discovered, it subsequently changed into a hotel and was prominent in the development of Llanwrtyd as a spa town in the 19th Century.
Follow the footpath sign and turn left off the lane to walk in front of the building, with the river on your left hand side. Go through the gate in front of you and continue along the tree lined avenue towards the spa buildings. This is where the vicar of Llangammarch, Theopholis Evans, discovered a spring bubbling to the surface around 1732. As the popularity of the spa increased, the building on the left was built in 1820 and the rest of the buildings around 1884. Whilst nearby Llandrindod Wells tended to cater for the gentry, Llanwrtyd was generally more popular with the people of South Wales, from the steel and coal towns. Not only were croquet lawns, bowling greens and hard tennis courts built here. Llanwrtyd Wells also became important in the cultural development of the people, with many summer schools set up. The decline of the wells began in the 1940’s, partly as a result of the founding of the National Health Service. By the end of the 1950’s Llanwrtyd Wells was a ghost of it’s former self.
At the Spa buildings veer left towards the river. Do not cross the bridge but turn right at the river and follow the path along the river. Continue walking along the path to the end of the Dol-Y-Coed Park, through a kissing gate, to join the bridge.
Cross the bridge into a field and bare right heading up towards some houses. Go through the gate and at the lane turn right, go through the next gate (which need to be lifted to open properly) and follow the grassy track through the field towards the trees. Follow the path round until you see some low tin sheds, go through the gate to the left of the sheds which leads onto the lane. Turn right onto the lane and cross a small bridge, follow the lane past the old mill site and on to St David’s Church.
Turn right at the church and follow the lane over the river, baring right until you pass a row of houses that were part of the original Llanwrtyd Wells village. Follow the lane for about ½ km alongside the river heading back towards the town. A path leads off the lane to the right, follow this back to the bridge and the kissing gate leading to Dol-Y-Coed park. Here you can continue along this side of the river back to the Dol-Y-Coed Hotel building, and back to town. Alternatively you can cross the bridge again and head left this time across the field to the gate onto the lane passing the Victoria Wells Log Cabin Motel. Here, follow a grassy path left down to a gate and into the field. Follow the track down to the river until you see the bridge opposite the spa buildings. Cross here and follow the track back to the hotel, and on back towards town.