Being one of the oldest towns on the River Wye, Rhayader is an ideal base from which to explore sections of the Wye Valley Walk that run north and south from the town and for walkers of the whole route it is an excellent place to stop and stay awhile.
Walking & Cycling
The Wye Valley Walk
The 136 Mile (218km) Wye Valley Walk starts in Chepstow and follows the River Wye northwards through Herefordshire, entering Powys at Hay-on-Wye. It continues through the market towns of Builth Wells and Rhayader, continuing towards the Hafren Forest, north of Llanidloes, where it joins the Severn Way.
The Radnor Ring - Cycling
The Radnor Ring Regional Cycle Route 25
The Radnor Ring is a delightful 86 mile scenic ride, linking the small towns of Rhayader, Llandrindod Wells, Presteigne and Knighton. A circular route on quiet country lanes crossing some of Mid Wales' most spectacular scenery with off-road mountain biking alternatives.
An 84 mile circular cycle route around the old county of Radnorshire. The route follows a mixture of country lanes, river valleys, traffic-free trails and mountain roads, offering spectacular views of some of Mid Wales' most awe-inspiring scenery.It passes through some stunning landscapes, climbs over some strenuous passes and even has an optional off road section for those that would prefer to ride it on a mountain bike.
The route is signed mainly signed as National Route 825 but takes in some of National Route 8 (Lon Las Cymru) between Rhayader and Newbridge -on-Wye. The route predominantly runs through Powys but in the East, the route creeps back and forth over the Welsh English border in to Herefordshire passing through Kington, Presteigne and Knighton.
The towns and villages offer plenty of accommodation options and the whole route is dotted with country inns that provide perfect places to stop for lunch. As an introduction to cycle touring in Wales, this would be a hard one to beat.
36 mile Gwastedyn Church Trail
This circular 36 mile trail over an established pilgrimage route begins and ends in Rhayader and Cwmdeuddwr. Linking seven historic churches, the route uses mountain paths, lanes and old railway lines to guide you into the heart of our magnificent mountain, river and lake country. To follow the Trail takes you into a world of history and literature derived from the world of the Celtic Saints, the Romans and Romano British, the Normans, the Welsh princes, the medieval monks through to the romantic poets and the Victorians.
Mae’r llwybr hwn, sy’n dilyn llwybr pererindod sefydledig, yn 36 milltir o hyd ac yn dechrau a diweddu yn Rhaeadr a Chwmdeuddwr. Mae’r llwybr sy’n cysylltu saith o eglwysi hanesyddol, yn eich tywys drwy ardal odidog mynyddoedd yr Elenydd gyda’i hafonydd a’i llynnoedd, dros lwybrau mynyddig ac ar hyd ffyrdd a hen reilffyrdd gwledig. Mae dilyn y Llwybr yn eich cyflwyno i fyd hanes a llenyddiaeth o gyfnod y Seintiau Celtaidd, y Rhufeiniaid, y Brythoniaid Rhufeinig, y Normaniaid, y Tywysogion Cymreig, mynachod y canol oesoedd, hyd at y beirdd rhamantaidd ac oes Fictoria.
This trail is divided into more manageable six sections - see our Walking and Cycling page.
The Gwastedyn Trail is funded by the Community Welcome Scheme, which is managed by Powys County Council Tourism Section and is one of sixteen Rural Development Plan projects, which aims to assist local communities with small scale community based tourism projects.
Elan Valley Trail - Sustrans Cycle Route 81
The Elan Valley trail is a glorius accessible, route forming 9 traffic free miles of National Route 81 which connects Aberystwyth and Wolverhampton via Shrewsbury and Telford. This section of the route is truly stunning as you cycle on the old railway line which helped to create the Elan Valley dams and reservoirs.
Following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway for most of the way, the Elan Valley Trail offers families, novice cyclists and committed enthusiasts the opportunity to experience this beautiful part of the country at its best whilst staying healthy and helping the environment.
The trail starts from the pretty community of Cwmdeuddwr on the western side of Rhayader. Parking is available locally and Rhayader contains a number of cafes, shops, pubs, a bike shop and toilets. The linear Elan Valley Trail can be ridden in either direction but most people head west from the town towards the valley.
After leaving Cwmdeuddwr the route climbs over the impressive Rhayader Tunnel, a Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Reserve that is home to many bat species. Approximately half a mile later the route crosses a road, it's at this junction where Lon Las Cymru splits off and the Elan Valley Trail continues straight along the path.
At the next junction you can either continue along the trail up to the spectacular dams and reservoirs, or drop down to the Elan Valley Visitor Centre where you can stop off for refreshments at the cafe, delve into the history of the area and visit the tourist information centre.
The trail climbs steadily from the northern end of Garreg Ddu Reservoir, providing stunning views of the surrounding valleys and the four reservoirs that feed Birmingham's water supply, and continues up to the finish at Craig Goch Dam where toilets are available. A large part of the trail has a tarmac surface, so it is also suitable for less able users, but the northern end is not surfaced.
9 mile traffic free section of the Lon Cambria National Cycle Route 81. National Route 81 connects Aberystwyth and Wolverhampton via Shrewsbury and Telford.
Nantgwyllt to St Harmon Walk
This section of the trail from Nantgwyllt Church (Grid ref SN 909639), covers 11 miles, including mountain tracks over over high ground, before descending to cross the River Wye and following the Marteg valley to St Harmon Church.
Nangwyllt Church, Elan Valley
A Victorian church built at the turn of the 19th century by Birmingham Corporation to replace the small Nantgwyllt Church which was swallowed up by the flooding of the Elan and Claerwen Valleys to supply water for Birmingham in the early 20th Century. Nearby was the “House under the Water” made famous by author Francis Brett-Young. The poet Shelley lived at both Cwm Elan and Nantgwyllt houses, both of which were drowned. The Church has an exhibition of photographs showing the construction of the dams.
Eglwys Nantgwyllt, Cwm Elan
Eglwys Fictoraidd a adeiladwyd ar dro’r bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg gan Fwrdeistref Birmingham yw hon. Fe’i hadeiladwyd i gymryd lle eglwys fach Nantgwyllt a ddiflannodd pan foddwyd Dyffrynnoedd Elan a Chlaerwen er mwyn anfon dŵr i Birmingham ar ddechrau’r ugeinfed ganrif. Gerllaw roedd y ‘Tŷ dan y Dŵr’ a wnaed yn enwog gan yr awdur Francis Brett-Young. Bu’r bardd Shelley yn byw am gyfnod byr yn nhai Cwm Elan a Nantgwyllt - dau dŷ a gafodd eu boddi. Yn yr eglwys mae arddangosfa o luniau sy’n dangos y cronfeydd yn cael eu hadeiladu.