Elan Valley

Close by Rhayader is the Elan Valley, which is accessible all year round.  Owned by Welsh Water, it is a truly beautiful area, designated a site of special scientific interest and a protection area for birds. With its lakes, dams, reservoirs, ancient oak woodlands, rugged mountains and Mooreland streams the region is a delight for bird watchers, walkers and cyclists.

There is an excellent cycle path you can walk or ride from Rhayader to the visitors centre at the first dam (Caban Coch) in the Elan Valley. Come out of here and go down to West St, turn right and follow the road down passing the river and the Triangle Inn on your left. Walk on a few hundred yards further and you will see an ornate wooden gate on the and that is the beginning of a 3 mile idyllic walk. The visitors centre is open between March and October, however outside these dates you are still welcome to visit the dams.There are 2 parks in Rhayader, Wan Capel that is just up the road, turn left out of our entrance and then take the first left to the end of the lane. Adjacent to the entrance to the park is the site of Rhayader Castle.  When you enter the park you will see a bridge, cross and turn right if you fancy a half hour walk along the river.The other park is The Groe, in Cwmdauddwr, great for paddling or soaking up the views in a peaceful settin

Gigrin Farm

Gigrin farm is the Red Kite feeding station, these beautiful birds of prey are fed daily together with ravens, Buzzards and other carrion feeding birds. Feeding takes place at 3pm in the summer and 2pm in the winter. There is also a nature trail bird reserve and picnic site.

Cycle Hire, Spares and Repairs

If you want to take up the challenge of doing the 16 mile circuit round the Elan Valley or you just fancy something a bit more gentle then go to Clive Powell’s Mountain Bike Centre to hire a bike. Clive also does off road tours if you want to do something a bit different. .

Art Breaks with Karl Sylvester

Karl is a well respected artist in Rhayader. He studied Fine Art at Edinburgh University and gained a Master of Fine Art Degree in painting.

He moved to the area four years ago inspired by the breathtaking scenery and is often to be seen around the Elan Valley with his easel, palette and brushes .He likes to work directly from the landscape in oils, in the plein-air tradition.

When the weather is poor , come along to the studio for still-life painting and drawing. Should you be staying mid-week, there is a life drawing group which you can attend.

Artist's statement

Working directly from Nature develops a good eye and compassion for the world around us. The practice of painting and drawing is a journey and a dialogue.We give something and receive something. It is ultimately life-affirming. The long tradition of European figurative and landscape painting appeals deeply to me.

Fungi Forays

Britain has the perfect climate for some of the most delicious wild mushrooms known to man. They grow in our woods, pastures and hedges by the bucketful, yet almost all of us ignore this natural bounty..


This is a tragedy. Many of the commonest mushrooms are not only superbly edible, but worth a small fortune on a restaurant menu.These two-day breaks, based in Mid-Wales’s spectacular Elan Valley, are an introduction to edible mushrooms. They are all about what is good to eat - and what to avoid.Led by Daniel Butler, environmental writer and fungi-fanatic, these breaks are targeted at the beginner. They seek to de-mystify fungi: to guide the novice through the good, the bad and the ugly to the genuinely delicious.