This sparsely populated but beautiful countryside, stretches down into Mid Wales.
The town of Harlech is dominated by its magnificent castle built by Edward I, and now in the care of CADW. Just outside the town, on the B4573 is Lasynys Fawr, the home of Ellis Wynne (1671-1734) which has recently been restored. Further south on the A496 are Llanfair Slate Caverns which are well worth a visit.
On the coast of Cardigan Bay, the fine sandy beaches extend for miles (including Wales’ first official naturist beach near Dyffryn Ardudwy), and the beaches at Harlech, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Barmouth and Fairbourne have all achieved European Blue Flag status.
Barmouth is located at the mouth of the Mawddach estuary, and is a busy place in the summer with gift shops and cafes in abundance, as well as a leisure centre. The harbour here is also the start of the Three Peaks Race. It is also possible to catch a ferry across the mouth of the estuary.
A few miles inland is the market town of Dolgellau, the parliamentary capital of Owain Glyndwr’s Welsh territory in the 15th century, nestling in the shadow of the Cader Idris mountain range.
Further south, on the coast is the small town of Tywyn, and starting point of the Talyllyn Railway. Rescued from closure in 1950, the Talyllyn Railway was the first railway in the world to be operated by a preservation society, and nowadays operates from Tywyn to Nant Gwernol, where there are extensive forest walks.
Just north of Machynlleth is the village of Corris with both the Centre for Alternative Technology and King Arthur’s Labyrinth, both well-worth visiting. In Machynlleth itself is Celtica, a fascinating audio-visual presentation telling the story of the Celts.
Further south still is the university town of Aberystwyth. A busy town, with many high street names, it is also the starting point of the Vale of Rheidol Railway to Devil’s Bridge.
More information about this area is also available from the Mid Wales Tourism website at