The busy market town of Machynlleth is a popular tourist destination, situated as it is just south of the Snowdonia National Park, and just a few minutes drive from the beaches of Aberdovey and Borth. Whilst many holiday-makers might head straight for the better-known Snowdonia attractions of Betws-y-Coed, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bala, Machynlleth has plenty to offer in its own right, and the surrounding area is packed with places to visit and things to do. In today’s post, we take a look at some of the best ideas for holidays in the Machynlleth area, whether you’re looking for thrills and spills adventure, a walk on the wild side, or some gentle relaxation in stunning scenery.
For adventure-seekers, Machynlleth is a great holiday base. There are some superb mountain biking trails in the Dyfi valley, wittily named Mach 1, 2, 3 and 4, all of which are detailed on the Dyfi Mountain Biking website. We’ve mentioned Zip World and Surf Snowdonia in a previous blog post, and both of these are within a reasonable driving distance from Machynlleth, so would make a fabulous day out. There’s good surfing to be had around Borth and Ynyslas, and many of the beaches along this stretch of coast are wide and open, so they’re great for kitesurfing and other beach-based sports.
For those looking to get up close and personal with some wildlife, there are some amazing opportunities in this area. Go for a falconry experience as Maes Dulas, near Machynlleth, or visit the Dyfi Osprey Centre, just outside the town. The Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve, back along the Dyfi estuary a little, is perfect for keen birdwatchers and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Visitors, both young and old, can glimpse rare birds or hire a pond dipping kit, to see what wriggly creatures they can discover.
One of Machynlleth’s top attractions is the Centre for Alternative Technology. Founded about 40 years ago, on the site of a disused quarry, the CAT centre offers a fascinating insight into the world of sustainable living and renewable energy. It’s an informative and inspiring place, with plenty of hands-on demonstrations and games for kids of all ages, making it fun to learn about our planet and ways that we can all help to reduce our impact on it.
West Wales is blessed with countless stunning beaches, and Machynlleth is just a short drive from some of the most charming of these. Borth’s long, sandy beach draws holidaymakers in throughout the season, both for the beach itself, and for the ancient submerged forest, which becomes visible at low tide. A little further north from Borth is Aberdyfi, or Aberdovey, in English. This pretty seaside village has a charming working harbour, and is a delightful place to while away a sunny afternoon, looking out across Cardigan Bay, with the foothills of Snowdonia behind the village. Continue north along the coast to reach Barmouth, another charming resort that’s full of character.
Machynlleth itself is also well worth a visit, as it’s a lovely little town with a busy arts and antiques scene, and a lively market every Wednesday. Browse the independent boutiques, admire the town’s architecture and perhaps take in an art exhibition at MOMA Machynlleth. With plenty of options for eating out, Machynlleth really does offer a great base for a fabulous holiday in West Wales.