Elan Valley – Beautiful Lakes & Dramatic Dams

Visiting Elan Valley is one of our top recommendations if you’re happy to travel a little further from The Cottages. It is about 90 minutes away, but the drive itself is a very enjoyable part of the day. Elan Valley boasts 72 square miles of unspoilt nature and reservoirs. But it is the dams that make this such a unique place to spend a day.

Visitor Centre

When you arrive, head to the visitor centre where you can get a guide with maps of the estate. There is a gift shop, cafe and loos there and they often host exhibitions. You can pay for parking (£3.00) here, then you can park in any of the car parks around the Estate. You can also hire a mountain or E-bike from the visitor centre. Either book in advance through the website or on the day.

Which Way First?

There are several routes you can take to explore the estate. You will see Caban Coch Dam first as it is close to the Visitor Centre. Caban Coch was the first dam worked on and was designed to look like a waterfall when it overflows. The stone in the quarry nearby was used inside the dams. The facing stone was a sandstone brought up from the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Caban Coch Dam - Visiting Elan Valley

Claerwen Dam

We like to visit Claerwen Dam next. There is a large car park at the bottom of the dam (with toilets and picnic benches). There is also a smaller parking space at the top of the dam. It’s worth doing both – the dam is so dramatic from the bottom, but you get great views from the top.

The construction of the Claerwen Dam, the last of the dams in the district, took six years, using a workforce of 470. It was ceremonially declared open by the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II in October 1952, in one of the first official engagements of her reign. There are walks that you can do here: More info on Claerwen

Garreg Ddu Dam

The submerged dam can only be seen at low reservoir levels. Garreg Ddu has two purposes: to hold back water to enter the Foel Tower, and to provide access to the Claerwen valley. The Foel Tower is where drinking water is extracted to start its three day journey to Birmingham. Drive across the bridge and there is a car park on the other side. Park here and there is a nice walk by the river and through woodland to the next dam – Pen y Garreg.

Visiting Elan Valley - Garreg Ddu

Pen y Garreg

Pen y Garreg is the smallest dam and reservoir. When full, it holds just over two weeks’ worth of water. The tower was built in the Birmingham Baroque style. This dam is unusual in that it houses an access tunnel to the central tower which is lit by apertures in the downstream side of the dam. This enables Pen y Garreg to be opened to the public on certain days of the year. The walk to Pen y Garreg from the car park at Garreg Ddu is steep in places, so do wear walking shoes or boots. You can drive to the top of the dam and view it from there if you don’t want to do the walk.

Pen y Garreg - Visiting Elan Valley Dams

Craig Goch

Craig Goch is the highest upstream of the series of dams in the Elan Valley and is often referred to as the ‘top dam.’ It is seen by many as the most attractive of the dams, with an elegantly curved retaining wall and a series of arches carrying a narrow roadway across the top of the dam. It has a domed valve tower and the structure is typical of the ‘Birmingham Baroque’ style of much of the waterworks scheme.

Craig Goch - Visiting Elan Valley, Mid Wales

Find Out More

The landscape is of national importance for the diversity of lower plants (mosses, liverworts and lichens) and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales. It is covered by 12 separate Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 

The Estate has been awarded an International Dark Sky Park Award and it is filled with a wealth of nocturnal Wildlife which thrives under the very dark skies.

Elan Valley is good to visit all year round as the landscape changes with the seasons. Autumn is a particularly splendid time to go for the colours.

Find out more about visiting Elan Valley : Elan Valley Trust and Elan Valley Welsh Water.

Make sure your route back to the cottages takes you along the Mountain Road from Elan Valley to Devil’s Bridge – it is awesome.

Waterfalls, Lakes and Dams of Mid & West Wales

Stunning Waterfalls, Lakes, Dams & Rivers to Explore

A visit to our beautiful corner of Mid & West Wales would not be complete without discovering some of its wonderful water features. The rivers are clean and full of wildlife. The lakes are so scenic and many have dramatic dams. The waterfalls are amazing and many come with a great walk included. This is just a small selection of the ones we know. Get out there and explore!

Cenarth Falls

Cenarth is a lovely small village on the border of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. The focus of the village is Cenarth Falls, a series of small waterfalls and pools on the river Teifi and a well-known salmon leap.
There is a Coracle museum and 13th-century flour mill overlooking the falls. 
Cenarth has a couple of pubs and a tea room serving traditional cream teas and meals with a large garden for warmer days.
There are boardwalks along the riverside making the walk easy and accessible.

Find out more: Our Visits to Cenarth

Llyn Brianne

Waterfalls, Lakes, Dams & Rivers in Mid West Wales - Llyn Brianne

The drive from Coedmor Cottages to Llyn Brianne is a delight in itself. Take your time and savour the views as you enter the Cambrian Mountains. 
The lake is actually a reservoir created in the late 1960’s/ early 70’s. But the scenery is reminiscent of Canada or Scandinavia – just beautiful. 
The dam at Llyn Brianne is the UK’s tallest at 91m (300 ft). Walk across the top of the dam and see martins swooping below.There is a good track to walk around part of the lake.
If you are keen on stargazing, the car park at Llyn Brianne is also a Dark Sky Discovery Site being part of the Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail.
The drive around the lake is a great way to take in the scenery and for an alternative route back to the cottages the road between Llyn Brianne and Tregaron is worth a detour for spectacular Cambrian Mountain scenery.
Find out more: Llyn Brianne

Devil’s Bridge Falls

Devil's Bridge Falls - Waterfalls, Lakes, Dams & Rivers in Mid West Wales

About 50 minutes away from Coedmor Cottages, Devil’s Bridge Falls is a picturesque spot known for its natural beauty and fascinating legend. The bridge itself is an architectural marvel, actually comprised of three bridges stacked on top of each other, each built in different centuries.
The walking trail from the bridges offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, wooded valleys, and lush greenery.
Make sure to visit the Devil’s Punchbowl, a dramatic chasm carved out by the River Mynach over thousands of years. The sight of the river cascading into the gorge below is truly awe-inspiring.
Round off your visit in The Hafod (next to the exit) for food & drinks. Or treat yourself to something sweet at Sarah Bunton Chocolatier.

Find out more: Visiting Devil’s Bridge Falls

Elan Valley

Elan Valley - Waterfalls, Lakes, Dams & Rivers in Mid West Wales

Elan Valley is one of our top picks for places to visit. Located about 90 minutes from our cottages, near the town of Rhayader, it is renowned for its stunning landscapes, reservoirs, dams and abundant wildlife.
There is a network of walking, hiking and cycling trails that cater to various skill levels. But simply driving around the reservoirs, as well as visiting the various dams, is a great day out. Start at the visitor centre to get your bearings (and coffee & cake).

The reservoirs are scenic but it is the dams which make this a unique place to visit. They are a marvel of engineering in addition to being very beautiful.
Make sure your route back to the cottages takes you along the Mountain Road from Elan Valley to Devil’s Bridge. You can thank us later. 🙂
Discover more: Visiting Elan Valley

Wolf’s Leap, Abergwesyn

Abergwesyn Pass in the Cambrian Mountains is one of our favourite spots (but don’t tell everyone)! It has dramatic awe-inspiring cliffs and the River Irfon flows through it. The most dramatic part of the river is Wolf’s Leap -a real natural wonder, with water cascading down rugged rocks into deep pools. There are several lovely spots beside the river to relax and have a picnic and if you are brave you can swim there too. Watch out for Peregrine Falcons on the cliffs above.
You drive the Devil’s Staircase to get to Abergwesyn which is known as one of the most epic roads in Wales. It is in total about a 60 minute drive from our cottages.

Find out more: Wolf’s Leap & Abergwesyn

Llyn Berwyn

If you really want to get away from the crowds, Llyn Berwyn is usually a very quiet spot. The drive from Tregaron is very scenic and there is a picnic spot at the small Cwm Berwyn car park with stunning views down the valley. A short walk from the car park through Cwm Berwyn woods is the hidden 40 acre lake. In summer you will see swallows swooping over the water from their nests in the boat house. Wild bilberries line the banks and you may see wild brown trout in the lake. It is about 40 minutes drive from our cottages and we recommend visiting as part of a day exploring the Cambrian Mountains.

Location: Llyn Berwyn on Google maps

Llyn Teifi Pools

Towards the west edge of the Cambrian Mountains, the Teifi Pools are a group of six lakes and reservoirs. They can be reached by a narrow, one-track road near the village of Pontrhydfendigaid, site of the picturesque ruins of Strata Florida Abbey. A few of the lakes have been harnessed for water supply and have dams. The rest are totally untouched. There are no signs of human habitation for miles.

Llyn Teifi is the largest of the reservoirs and is the source of the River Teifi. Surrounded by scenic landscapes, it is a popular spot for trout fishing and a great destination for nature lovers.
The area is almost completely undeveloped, and has a great feeling of remoteness.
You can find details of walks around the lakes on Google – here is a detailed 6.5 mile route: Teifi Pools Circular

Teifi Gorge

The Teifi Gorge is a Special Area of Conservation. Lined with steep, densely wooded banks, it is a haven for wildlife. You can take a half or full day canoe trip down the river, passing through the gorge. You have the chance to see some fantastic creatures like Otters, Red Kites, Salmon, Kingfishers and even Red Deer. 

Find out more: Canoeing on the Teifi

Four Falls Trail

Four Waterfalls Walk, Four Falls Trail, Brecon.

The Four Falls Trail is a scenic hiking trail that takes you through the breathtaking Brecon Beacons National Park, showcasing four stunning waterfalls along the way. The trailhead is easily accessible by car and is well-signposted from the main road.
The trail is a long challenging walk. You should allow at least three hours (plus snack-stops) to navigate it. Expect a fair amount of up-and-down over uneven terrain.

The highlight is the chance to see four beautiful waterfalls nestled within the lush woodland scenery. The waterfalls you’ll encounter along the trail are Sgwd Clun-Gwyn (the Fall of the White Meadow), Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn (the Lower Fall of the White Meadow), Sgwd y Pannwr (the Fall of the Fuller), and Sgwd-yr-Eira (the Fall of Snow). Each waterfall has its own unique characteristics.
Find out more: Four Falls Trail

Wonderful Wildlife and Nature Attractions

Wildlife and Nature in Mid West Wales

One of the best things about our location is the abundance of wildlife and nature in Mid West Wales. Even around the cottages in the meadows you will see a wonderful variety of birds. Our all year round residents include Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Redstarts, Woodpeckers, Red Kites, Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Tawny Owls, Ravens, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Blue, Great and Cole Tits, Robins, Magpies and Jays . In spring and summer we have Goldfinches, Wagtails, Long-Tailed Tits, Swallows, Cuckoos and a fleeting visit from the Housemartins. In Autumn & Winter we look forward to seeing Bullfinches, Redwings, Fieldfares and our local murmuration of Starlings. But there is so much more to see just a short drive away – here are some of our favourite spots.

Dolphin Watching

Wildlife and Nature in Mid - West Wales Dolphin watching New Quay

Cardigan Bay is home to Britain’s biggest resident population of dolphins – New Quay is a hotspot to see them. It is just 30 minutes away from Coedmor Cottages. Harbour porpoises are also frequently seen and if you’re really lucky the odd Orca or humpback may swim by!

You can sometimes spot dolphins from New Quay harbour wall or while walking the coastal path. To increase your chances, take one of the daily charter boats out into the bay from New Quay Main Pier.

Dolphin Spotting Boat trips offer a variety of different cruises. As well as dolphins and porpoises you may also see grey seals and you are guaranteed to see a variety of seabirds.

RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas

Wildlife and Nature in Mid - West Wales - Pied Flycatcher RSPB Gwenffrwd Dinas

This reserve is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the Cambrian Mountains. It is home to all sorts of birdlife including Red Kites, Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts, Common Sandpipers, Dippers and Grey Wagtails.

Dinas nestles along steep sided valleys clothed in woodland and bisected by fast flowing rivers. In May the woodlands are covered in a carpet of Bluebells. It is close to Llyn Brianne so worth combining a visit to both in the same day.

The Dinas trail is open from dawn till dusk, and the trail takes about 2 hours to complete. There is a boardwalk at the start of the trail from the carpark, however the majority of the trail is rugged, steep in places and next to a fast flowing river and to fully complete requires some scrambling.

Find out more: RSPB Gwenffrwd- Dinas

Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes

The stunning Teifi Marshes near Cilgerran is one of the best wetland sites in Wales. It is home to some of the most wonderful flora and fauna in the UK with a diversity of habitats to explore.

In winter the area attracts large numbers of wildfowl, notably Teal, Wigeon and Mallard. Exciting visitors include Water Rail, Snipe, Curlew and Lapwing. Peregrines hunt over the marshes and Herons breed nearby.
Other birds who breed here include Reed, Sedge & and Cetti’s Warblers as well as Whitethroats and Shelduck.
Otters are present in the marshes, Water Shrews are numerous and Sika and Red Deer are now resident. There are several Nature Trails and bird hides around the reserve.

Entry to the Reserve & Visitors Centre is free but there is a £4 charge for parking. There are toilets, a shop and exhibitions as well as a cafe with great views. Do check opening times before visiting.
Find out more: Welsh Wildlife Centre

Talley Lakes and Woodland

Talley lakes and woodland, Welsh Wildlife and nature

Just 30 minutes away from the cottages, the reserve consists of two lakes lying in glacial hollows separated by a narrow neck of land. Great Crested Grebes and Mute Swans regularly breed there and Tufted Duck and Pochard visit. Goldeneye and Goosanders are also winter visitors. The upper, southern lake is almost 16 acres and in summer the flowers and floating leaves of the Yellow and White Water Lily are a striking feature. It’s a real haven for wildlife and nature.

There are 3 walking trails through the woodland with beautiful views over Talley village and the historic Abbey.

Find out more: Talley Woodland & Talley Lakes

Bwlch Nant yr Arian

Bwlch Nant yr Arian has been a red kite feeding station since the 1990s, and over 100 of these distinctive birds of prey come in to feed every day.

The feeding takes place by the lake at 2pm in winter (GMT) and at 3pm in summer (BST). Follow the accessible Barcud Trail to the viewing area and large bird hide or watch through your binoculars from the outside seating area at the café.

There are also several miles of way marked walking trails to follow with spectacular views and a gift shop and cafe at the visitor centre. It is about an hours drive from our cottages.

More information: Visit Bwlch Nant yr Arian

Cors Caron

Cors Caron Wildlife & Nature in Mid West Wales.

Cors Caron National Nature Reserve is a vast area of wetland filling the broad valley of the River Teifi near Tregaron. The three raised peat bogs are surrounded by reedbeds, fen, wet grassland, woodland, waterways and ponds, and these varied habitats support a wealth of wildlife.

Red kite, hen harrier, curlew and skylark can fill the skies above the reserve, whilst the bog itself bustles with dragonflies, lizards and otters.

The fully accessible boardwalk goes over the south-east bog and to the large bog hide where you can enjoy a peaceful view of the landscape and wildlife. There is also a longer trail you can do that follows an old railway track along the edge of the reserve.

Cors Caron is about 30 minutes from Coedmor Cottages. Find out more: Visit Cors Caron

RSPB Ynys Hir

The reserve covers an area of 800 hectares containing some really important sites for wildlife. Ynys-hir treats you to a variety of habitats: Welsh Oak woodland, estuary saltmarsh, lowland wet grasslands, freshwater pools, reedbeds and peat bog.
The sheer variety here means there’s a whole host of wildlife to spot too. Pied Flycatchers, warblers, Small Red dragonflies, Brimstone butterflies, Otters, Common Lizards, Slow Worms, and Grass Snakes all call this patch home. 
With the mountains of southern Snowdonia to the north and the Cambrian mountains to the south, once you enter the Ynys-hir reserve, you’ll be surrounded by beauty.
Find our more: Visit Ynys Hir
It is around an hour and 10 minutes away form our cottages, but you can combine your trip with a visit to the nearby Dyfi Wildlife Centre & Osprey Project

Dyfi Wildlife Centre & Osprey Project

Cors Dyfi is home to the Dyfi Wildlife Centre and the Dyfi Osprey Project and is teeming with wildlife. The ospreys are typically around from April to September. Spring and summer are also the best times to see common lizards, grasshopper, reed & sedge warblers, yellow flag iris and four-spotted chaser dragonflies.

During the winter you may glimpse the elusive bittern in the reed beds. Year round there are regularly otter and red kites on the reserve.
There is a 360 observatory tower and an Osprey room where you can see the live feeds from the Osprey nest and footage from the Beaver Cameras. The on site cafe has a wildlife watching window and there is also a gift shop. Boardwalks from the observatory allow you to get closer to nature.
Find out more: Cors Dyfi & Dyfi Osprey Project

Skomer Island

Skomer is an excellent place for a daytime adventure. Bursting with seabirds including Atlantic Puffins, Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots and Razorbills, this National Nature Reserve is one of Britain’s most important seabird colonies. It is peaceful and wild at all times of year.

It is a 2 hour drive from our cottages to Martin’s Haven , but just a 20-minute boat trip from the mainland across to the island. Between April and August, boats depart Martin’s Haven every 30 minutes between 10:00 and 12:00. Return boats run from 15:00 onwards and are allocated according to your outward journey. Skomer is open April-August (Tuesday-Sunday) and in September on a reduced schedule. The Puffins are mostly seen from May to mid-July.
Find out more: Visiting Skomer


Ynyslas Beach and dunes are part of the Dyfi National Nature Reserve. You can park right on the beach and there are waymarked walks to follow and a visitor centre. The beach is on the Dyfi estuary and you can see pretty Aberdyfi across the water on the other side. An abundance of birds to spot and beautiful scenery. About an hour and 10 mins drive from the cottages.

Find out more: Visiting Ynyslas

Castles of Mid & West Wales

Magnificent Castles to Visit from the Cottages

Wales is often referred to as The Land of Castles. No surprise as it boasts the most castles per square mile in the whole world! There are some wonderful examples within a short journey from Coedmor Cottages. Here are a few of the best Castles of Mid & West Wales for inspiration.

Carreg Cennan Castle

Carreg Cennan - Castles of Mid & West Wales

About 50 minutes from the cottages, this dramatic castle stands on a great limestone crag. Nearly 300ft/90m above the River Cennen it has stunning views over the Carmarthenshire countryside.
One of the unique features of the castle is a natural limestone cave. Some recent findings down there suggest that is was one of the oldest inhabited caves in the whole of Wales.  
The castle is situated next to a traditional working farm which offers free parking. The farm is free to visit and also has Tea Rooms and a Gift Shop. 
Find out More: Visit Carreg Cennan

Dryslwyn Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Dryslwyn Castle.

Dryslwyn is a native Welsh Castle, sited on a rocky hill roughly halfway between Llandeilo and Carmarthen. The castle is about 45 minutes from the cottages. It stands on high ground overlooking the Tywi Valley with extensive views. Built in about the 1220s, it changed hands several times in the struggles between the Welsh and English over the ensuing centuries. It is considered one of the most important remaining structures built by a Welsh chieftain and is a Grade I listed building.

Find out more: Dryslwyn Castle

Dinefwr Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Dinefwr Castle

A medieval fortress that sits on top of a hill overlooking the River Tywi (about 40 minutes from the cottages). It has a strategic location that allowed its occupants to control and monitor the surrounding landscape. The castle has a long history, with its origins dating back to the early 12th century. Over the years, it was the seat of the Lord Rhys, a powerful Welsh prince, and played a significant role in Welsh history during periods of conflict with the English.
The rest of the Dinefwr Estate is beautiful too so a great day out with lovely walks.

More Info: Visiting Dinefwr

Laugharne Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Laugharne.

The castle, located on the estuary of the river Taf was originally established in 1116. It was rebuilt as a Norman stronghold. Two giant medieval stone towers stand guard over the remains of a magnificent Tudor mansion, all set in 19th century ornamental gardens. It changed hands twice during the English Civil War being eventually captured by Parliamentary forces in 1644.
This is the ‘brown as owls’ castle beloved of Dylan Thomas, Laugharne’s most famous resident. Why not visit Dylan Thomas’ Boat House too.

Laugharne is about an hour away from the cottages: Visiting Laugharne.

Llansteffan Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Llansteffan.

The castle sits on a much older Iron Age promontory fort occupied in 600 BC. This proves Llansteffan has been inhabited for several millennia. The hill where the castle stands overlooks the River Tywi estuary and Carmarthen Bay.
Although ruined, the castle retains its power to intimidate. Especially when you approach its massive twin-towered gatehouse, built in around 1280 and still looming large.

Llansteffan is about an hour away from the cottages: Visiting Llansteffan Castle

Kidwelly Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Kidwelly

A stunning medieval fortress rising above the river Gwendraeth. Kidwelly was used as a location for the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, appearing in the very first scene after the titles.
The plan of the castle consists of a square inner bailey defended by four round towers. They overlook a semi-circular outer curtain wall on the landward side, with the massive gatehouse next to the river. 
The castle occasionally hosts Bird of Prey events.
It is about an hour from our cottages – find out more: Visiting Kidwelly Castle

Newcastle Emlyn Castle

The castle is strategically located in a loop of the River Teifi and only approachable by land from the west. It was established as a timber and earth fort in the middle of the 13th century, then developed into a stone castle by 1287. Being left in ruins by the civil war of the 1640s, the ‘new castle’ of Emlyn has had an eventful history.

Visitors can walk round the remains of the castle (a short walk from the high street) and the surrounding loop of the Teifi River. It is about 40 minutes drive from the cottages to Newcastle Emlyn.

Find out More: Visit Newcastle Emlyn Castle

Cilgerran Castle

Castles of Mid & West Wales - Cilgerran Castle.

This striking medieval 13th-century fortress is perched on a wooded hill overlooking the spectacular Teifi Gorge – about 1 hour from the cottages. It offers beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. You can also combine your visit to the castle with a trip to the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve and Welsh Wildlife Centre.

Opening Times & Prices: Visiting Cilgerran Castle

Wonderful Gardens to Visit in Mid & West Wales

Cae Hir Garden Lampeter

Our Favourite Gardens in Mid – West Wales

If you enjoy wandering around beautiful gardens, there are some gorgeous examples within easy reach of Coedmor Cottages. They all have something different to offer and some are even free to visit. Here is a list of our favourite gardens in Mid – West Wales.

Cae Hir

Cae Hir Gardens - one of the best gardens to visit in Mid & West Wales.

Just 15 minutes from our cottages- a super place to spend a few hours wandering or just sitting and taking in the artistry of the planting and gorgeous views.
They have managed to create a staggering amount of beauty and variety in around 6 acres. You are bound to be inspired with ideas for your own outdoor space at home.

There’s also a small on-site nursery where you can buy some of the unusual specimens you see around the gardens. And the best way to round off your visit is to treat yourself to tea and a home-baked scone or cake from “Y Sied” tearoom.
The gardens open from 10am to 5pm daily through the season which runs from April 1st to October 31st. Cae Hir Gardens Website


Aberglasney - on of the best gardens to visit in Mid & West Wales.

Aberglasney is renowned as one of Wales’ finest gardens, including a fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden which is the only surviving example of its kind in the UK today. There are 10 acres to explore with woodland walks, kitchen gardens, a yew tunnel, formal planted areas and a unique Ninfarium with exotic plants.
The ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II listed mansion has been restored and often hosts art & craft exhibitions and events.
And no trip is complete without a visit to the on site Tearooms!
We have a partnership with Aberglasney to offer all our cottage guests 10% off the entrance fee – you will find a discount flyer in your cottage. 😊
More info: Visiting Aberglasney

National Botanic Gardens of Wales

National Botanic Gardens of Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is spread over 560 acres with an amazing collection of over 8000 different plant varieties. It has the largest single-spanned glasshouse in the world and the best display of Mediterranean climate zone plants in the Northern Hemisphere.
Along with the themed gardens there is also a Butterfly House and Waun Las Nature Reserve with wildflower-rich meadows. There are two cafes and a restaurant on site as well as the Garden Plant Shop selling plants and gifts and a craft shop and art gallery too. It is one of the most popular gardens in Mid – West Wales.
More Info: Visit National Botanic Gardens


National Trust Llanerchaeron - one of the best gardens to visit in Mid & West Wales.

Just 20 minutes away from our cottages is the lovely National Trust Llanerchaeron.
It is home to an elegant Georgian villa, designed by architect John Nash in 1790, complete with a walled garden, farmyard lake and wild parkland. It has remained unaltered for over 200 years.
The walled garden was built in the late 18th century and is still producing fruit and vegetables. The fruit trees are amazing shapes!
The parkland has beautiful woodland walks. We love to follow the old railway line track to Aberaeron (2 and a half miles) for a spot of lunch. It is a lovely pretty walk through the woods and open fields and along the river.

Find out more: Visiting Llanerchaeron

Tŷ Glyn Aeron

Gardens to Visit in Mid & West Wales - Ty Glyn

Tŷ Glyn Aeron gardens are open throughout the year, admission free (donations are welcome). They are set within a beautiful woodland area alongside the River Aeron and have a wonderfully secluded sensory walled garden.
The woodland glade features mass plantings of spring bulbs including snowdrops, wood anemones and bluebells. Within the walls of the garden, the lower level includes herbaceous borders, a restored orchard and a potager kitchen garden.
The gardens are part of the Ty glyn Trust, and have special fundraising days through the National Garden Scheme.
Find out more: Visit Tŷ Glyn

Bwlch y Geuffordd Gardens

Gardens in Mid - West Wales - Bwlch y Geuffordd Gardens

A garden with something for everyone. It’s a sculpture park, a water garden, a wildlife garden and a garden of peace and tranquility. It’s one of the lesser known gardens in Mid – West Wales.

Although the individual gardens differ widely in character, they still hang together as a delicious whole. It’s an appreciation of water, wood, and stone, an enthusiasm for plants and local wildlife.

Find out more: Visit Bwlch y Geuffordd Gardens

Colby Woodland Gardens

Gardens in Mid - West Wales - Colby Woodland Gardens

An 18th-century coalfield transformed into a hidden woodland garden covering eight acres. Spring brings carpets of bluebells, crocuses, and daffodils, then swathes of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, followed by hydrangeas and the summer wildflowers.
Enjoy shady woodland walks, the wildflower meadow and colourful walled garden in summer, and the marvellous colours of acers, dogwoods and sweet-gum in autumn.
Explore the meadow with its lovely stream, stepping stones, log bridge and abundant dragonflies and butterflies.

Find out More: Visiting Colby Gardens

Farmyard Nurseries

Farmyard Nurseries gardens.

Our favourite place to shop for plants also has garden and woodland areas you can walk around. The gardens and walks are open whenever the nursery is open.

While you are there, check out their amazing range of plants and shrubs. They are always great quality and the staff are brilliant if you need some advice.

It’s one of the lesser-known “secret” gardens in Mid – West Wales.

Find out More: Visiting Farmyard Nurseries

Best Beaches West Wales Within Easy Reach of the Cottages

Our Favourite Beaches to Visit in West Wales

We are really spoilt when it comes to beaches to visit in West Wales. Whether you prefer a secluded sandy bay or one you can walk along with views for miles, there is one to suit you. Head west to Cardigan Bay or south to Carmarthen Bay and Pembrokeshire and you will find quiet coves, quaint seaside towns and wildlife in abundance.


Penbryn best beaches West Wales

Penbryn is a mile long stretch of golden sand with caves to explore at one end at low tide. It is around 1/4 of a mile down the road from the car park or take the beautiful woodland walk from behind the Plwmp Tart cafe. This is about 1/2 a mile and steep in places, but is totally enchanting! The Wales Coast Path leads from the beach in both directions with gorgeous views across the bay. An ideal spot for stargazing – Penbryn Beach is a designated Dark Skies Discovery site.

The drive to Penbryn is about 40 minutes from the cottages. See more here: Walking at Penbryn


Llangrannog Beach - best beaches West Wales

A popular beach with surfers and great for people-watching. There are also excellent cafes and pubs beside the beach. The views from the coast path here are some of the best in Wales. At low tide you can also access Cilborth beach to the right. Grab a pizza from Tafell a Tan and eat it on the beach.

Find out more: Visiting Llangrannog


Cilborth Beach

A beautiful more secluded beach. Accessible at low tide direct from Llangrannog beach or by a set of steep steps from the coast path. The route is steep and unsuitable for people with limited mobility. This is one of our favourite beaches as it never seems to get too crowded and the high cliffs and rocks give it a lovely atmosphere. The cliffs are great for birdwatching too.

More Info: Cilborth Beach


Mwnt Beach is around 1 hour from the cottages and is situated between the towns of Cardigan and Aberporth, on the Cardigan Bay coastline. It is nestled within a designated conservation area, known for its rugged cliffs, sandy beach, and rich biodiversity. Watch out for dolphins in the sea and rare Choughs flying overhead. Mwnt is on the Wales Coast Path, and has breathtaking views along the walking trails. In Spring the Gorse is so beautiful and smells delicious. Overlooking the beach is the historic Mwnt Church, which dates back to the 14th century.

Find out more: Visiting Mwnt


Tresaith is a small beach with a lot to offer! It famously has an extraordinary waterfall to the right of the beach. The coastal path between Tresaith & Aberporth is a lovely walk (mostly easy). We love having lunch at the Ship Inn with views over Tresaith Beach. A perfect spot for Dolphin-Spotting.

The drive to Tresaith is about 40 minutes from the cottages. More about Tresaith.


Aberporth lies at the southern end of Cardigan Bay about six miles north of Cardigan and ten miles south of New Quay. It overlooks two sandy beaches both with European Blue Flag status. Dyffryn Beach is to the west of the headland and Dolwen Beach to the east. The beaches both have soft golden sand and shelve gently into the sea and there are rock pools to explore too.

The town is very pretty with some lovely cafes and pubs and the walk along the coastal path to Tresaith is one of our favourites.

Find out more: A visit to Aberporth

New Quay

New Quay is in Cardigan Bay, just 30 minutes drive from the cottages. It is a quaint and very pretty seaside town with two beaches – Harbour beach and Dolau. Just outside of the town are Traeth Gwyn (or Llanina beach) and Cei Bach – both much wilder and they tend to be quieter.

Take a walk along the harbour wall as it is a prime spot for seeing dolphins. Or take a boat trip for a better chance of seeing dolphins and seals. More on New Quay’s Beaches.


Cwmtydu is a small pebble beach in Cardigan Bay with direct access to a stunning part of the Coastal Path. You can park right behind the beach and climb the path to the right of the beach for amazing views. Walk along the cliffs to Castell Bach Bay and then to the very quiet beach of Cwm Silio. There is plenty of bird life around too – we often see kestrels, ravens and rare choughs. Cwmtydu and the surrounding coves are a popular place for seals to raise their pups so it is important during September & October not to disturb them.

Find out more: Visiting Cwmtydu


A little further than the beaches of Cardigan Bay, Saundersfoot is about an hour and 10 minutes away. It is a pretty Pembrokeshire town with a harbour and great pubs and cafes. We recommend lunch at Harbwr. The wide open beach is perfect for walking and if you fancy a longer stretch, try parking at Wiseman’s Bridge beach and follow the old tramway path along the sea front.

More Info: Saundersfoot Beach


Ynyslas Beach and dunes are part of the Dyfi National Nature Reserve. You can park right on the beach and there are waymarked walks to follow and a visitor centre. The beach is on the Dyfi estuary and you can see pretty Aberdyfi across the water on the other side. An abundance of birds to spot and beautiful scenery. About an hour and 10 mins drive from the cottages.

Find out more: Visiting Ynyslas