“Before using TXLoad, we used to ask guests to pay by cheque or BACS,’ Ann said. “We heard about TXLoad from MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism) who advised us to take a look at the benefits. I made initial enquiries with TXGB and decided to go ahead.
My web developer handled the set-up for me on my own website and I inputted all the bookings we already had for the rest of the year, and next year into the system. TXLoad enables me to take direct bookings on my own website, https://www.madogswells.co.uk/, and on www.visitmidwales.co.uk.
We have just received our first five-night booking. If other businesses don’t have an online booking system, then TXLoad is definitely worth trying.”
More information about TXGB for businesses can be found here.
What is TXLoad?
TXLoad provides a simple booking management system for FREE and is ideal for those businesses that don’t yet take online bookings via their own website or social media profiles - or those that rely solely on online travel agents to drive sales.
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To celebrate this anniversary, Ceredigion County Council has created a series of 26 circular walks, each taking in a section of Coast Path but returning to the start point using inland routes.
Launching in April until October, a new walk will be published each week on the council’s social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
E-leaflets will be available to download or print from the website, together with other useful information such as a Coast Path mileage chart to help you plan your walks.
The e-leaflets contain a simple map, route distance, availability of services, such as toilets, parking and public transport and information about the walk itself, such as the number of gates and the presence of stiles and steps.
A recent Welsh Government review of the Coast Path indicated that the creation of circular routes incorporating inland settlements were seen as a strategic priority.
The circular routes make it easy to walk sections of the Coast Path without having to make an out and back journey, have two vehicles or be under pressure to meet a bus at the end of your walk.
They link settlements set back from the coast, which often have services available for walkers or points of interest that might otherwise be overlooked on a purely north or south journey.
Councillor Clive Davies, cabinet member with responsibility for economy and regeneration, said: “The Ceredigion Coast Path is a very special part of the Wales Coast Path. I’ve walked a few areas of the path, a spectacular section being between Cwmtydu and New Quay and, of course, closer to home a section I used a lot as a child between Aberporth and Mwnt.
“Iolo Williams noted at the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron that Cwmtydu to Llangrannog is his favourite stretch of the Wales Coast Path. Increasingly, people have found walking the Ceredigion Coast Path beneficial for their mental and physical wellbeing and our rangers and volunteers do an excellent job in maintaining and monitoring the paths condition.”
Further information will be provided on the council’s social media platforms, including the details of six guided walks to be held over the summer holidays as part of marking this special year.
When venturing out into the countryside, the council says sturdy footwear is essential as is weather appropriate clothing and drinking water. A recent OS map of the area is always a good idea and walkers should follow the Countryside Code.
Arched bridge on Llanon to Llanrhystud Circular route.
Tourism, hospitality, attraction and activity businesses across Mid Wales are being encouraged to be creative to capitalise on this year’s theme adopted by Visit Wales, “Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails”.
Val Hawkins, chief executive of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism), believes the theme, which encourages both visitors and residents to explore epic trails, is perfectly suited to Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
MWT Cymru - https://www.visitmidwales.co.uk/ - represents around 600 tourism, hospitality, attraction and activity businesses across the rural heartland of Wales.
Visit Wales, the tourism arm of the Welsh Government, wants trails to be the springboard into exciting experiences and new opportunities. The theme aims to encourage visitors and residents to find forgotten treasures, embrace journeys of the senses and make memories along pathways around attractions, activities, landscapes and coastlines.
From works of art to mountains, from coast to castles and from Welsh food and drink to stargazing in Dark Skies, there are trails for all businesses to link themselves with and for visitors and residents to enjoy.
“Following the pandemic, people are seeking curated experiences that reconnect them to heritage, culture, nature, community or something else altogether,” explained Val.
“They want inspiration, recommendations and interlinked, tailored selections - cherry-picked trips rather than infinite choices. “Whether the trail is a path through dense ancient woodland, a section of the Wales Coast Path, a culture crawl linking arts venues together or a food-fuelled walking route around local producers’ eateries, there’s a way to find a trail to suit all occasions, interests and businesses.
“In Mid Wales, there have always been trails - be they trails connecting landmarks together, trails through the great outdoors or trails weaved through language, culture and ancestry. 2023 is a call for us to celebrate Wales’ trails, from the well-trodden to the brand new, and to open up our country for all to enjoy.
“This year holds massive potential for Mid Wales and I am encouraging our member businesses to be creative and innovative in putting together a whole range of attractive options for visitors, from traditional walking and heritage trails to taste and stargazing trails.
“There are lots of opportunities for businesses to engage with communities, other businesses and visitors for their mutual benefit.”
MWT Cymru wants its members to make use of trails all year round to breathe new life into activities and events.
They are being encouraged to embrace the seasons, pair up with activity providers with ready-made trails, offer a flexible trail itinerary that can be changed to suit the weather, create historical trails by linking up with museums and events, use existing trails to run guided tours of historic buildings and use Welsh words along trails to increase visitor engagement.
Mid Wales has many areas with truly Dark Skies protected from light pollution, where people can enjoy the wonders of stargazing. The Elan Valley is an International Dark Sky Park, the Cambrian Mountains has many accessible Dark Sky Discovery Sites and both the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks have been designated International Dark Sky Reserves.
Businesses are encouraged to offer stargazing-related trails and events, such as the self-guided Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail.
Focusing on unique Welshness, ‘only in Wales’ trails that have a real sense of place are suggested. The trails can be based on the area where a business is located, its history, heritage and use of the Welsh language.
Taste trails are another popular way of engaging with visitors, allowing businesses in destinations to work together to showcase Welsh cuisine through food and drink, cooking workshops and food presentations.
Many existing walking, running and cycling trails across Mid Wales offer fantastic opportunities to explore the great outdoors. For example, the region includes sections of Offa’s Dyke Path, Glyndŵr’s Way, the Cambrian Way and the Wales Coast Path.
The region is also perfect for water-based trails including kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, coasteering, surfing, rafting and wild swimming. Mucky trails could include gorge walking, assault courses, paintballing, bog snorkelling and wild running.
For those interested in trails on wheels, Mid Wales has ideal locations for mountain biking, cycling, quad biking and guided off-road motorcycling. High and low trails comprise climbing, abseiling, caving / potholing and zip lining.
In addition to walking trails, there is geocaching, orienteering, foraging, birdwatching and running.
Wildlife is another big visitor attraction and Mid Wales has many nature reserves, rivers, lakes, two National Parks and the Cambrian Mountains within its catchment. Tourism businesses are being encouraged to create trails celebrating their nearby flora and fauna, which might include the once Red Kite, osprey, bottlenose dolphins and otter.
Pictured with the new window vinyl installation in South Street, Rhayader. are Rhayader 2000 chair Kerena Pugh, secretary Bill Stow and Tom Jones of Hafod Hardware, designer of the new Rhayader branding and vinyl design.
The directors of Rhayader 2000 have commissioned a promotional film and four short films to showcase the town and its new branding - “Rhayader - The Outdoors Capital of Wales”.
The filming has begun and will continue during the year, showing the different seasons and activities on offer. The new branding, designed by local artist Tom Jones of Hafod Hardware, has increased awareness, helped by a new website and social media presence.
During a busy 2022, Rhayader 2000 board set out its vision and values. The vision is to work to ensure that Rhayader is a flourishing and unique place to live, to do business and to visit.
Its values are inclusive, supporting and promoting the well-being of all local residents, businesses and visitors.
The board emphases that it listens to and respects all views, welcomes change, is creative in its approach, is friendly and collaborative, works with Rhayader Town Council, businesses and other partners to achieve its vision and cares about the environment of the town and surrounding area.
Rhayader 2000’s work during 2022 focused on continuing to implement its strategic plan objectives and strengthening the new branding by working in close collaboration with the town council.
The board is keen to increase its work with local businesses, forming a stronger communication and ‘working together ethos’ to help Rhayader grow even further.
A new window design vinyl has been installed in South Street, to remind drivers passing through the town, what a wonderful place Rhayader is to stop and take a break.
A Totem Interactive Board, installed in the town centre in January 2022, has provided visitors with access to Rhayader website to find information on what to do, where to stay and eat from businesses that are listed. New businesses are asked to subscribe and current subscribers are encouraged to continue their much valued contribution.
The board is looking forward to Rhayader benefitting from new signage throughout the town after working with town and Powys county councillors and Powys Highways.
Rhayader was very colourful and vibrant during the summer months thanks to a hanging basket scheme. A new Rhayader Town Guide, Rhayader Town Trail and the three Rhayader Walking leaflets have all been redesigned using the new branding and logo.
Another important role of the board is to deliver the Ted Taylor Travel Fund legacy to help local young people living within a five mile radius of Rhayader to travel abroad.
Following the relaxation of Covid travel restrictions, the board announced an increase in the upper age limit for qualification to 23 until July 2023 to help young people who missed the opportunity to apply to the fund during the two years of lockdown.
Applications can be made via www.rhayader.co.uk//ted-taylor-travel-fund . Kenneth Rees, a recipient of the legacy, has made a short video to highlight the travel fund’s opportunities.
Rhayader 2000’s future work will focus on the vision and values, showcasing all the wonderful aspects of Rhayader and the surrounding area.
“The work to date would have been impossible without the support of the entirely volunteer board, town councillors Rhys Thomas and Jane Narborough, former county councillor Kelvyn Curry and new county councillor Angela Davies,” said Rhayader 2000 chair Kerena Pugh.
To contact Rhayader 2000 for information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2023 Visit Wales are inviting visitors and residents of Wales to explore the epic trails of Wales as we show what is on offer - using trails as a springboard into exciting experiences and new opportunities.
The year is all about
"Picking up from the success of our previous five themes, “Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails” aims to inspire our stakeholders, partners and the media, to use the theme as a way to showcase the full range of products that Wales has to offer."
"This themed year will also take place off the back of a high profile and exciting Autumn for Wales with the FIFA World Cup and several months of activity (including TV and Video on Demand) with the Autumn and Winter breaks campaign."
"We hope that this year’s theme will be welcomed by industry and encourage visitors to different corners of the country throughout the year."
The “Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails” industry guide is now available, along with a logo, logo guidance and high-quality images, for industry partners to download and use for “Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails” marketing: Take a look and download them on Assets: Llwybrau | Visit Wales.
World Rally Championship star Elfyn Evans yesterday (Tuesday) launched a series of walking routes in his home village which offer spectacular views of the famous UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere in Mid Wales.
The Llwybrau Cerdded - Mawddwy - Walking Paths are based in Dinas Mawddwy, an unspoilt, hidden area between Machynlleth and Dolgellau which is steeped in history.
The paths comprise eight, waymarked, circular walking routes, ranging from one-and-a-half to 12 miles, covering a total distance of 46 miles. They have been developed by Cwmni Nod Glas Cyf, a social enterprise formed by an industrious group of volunteers.
This area has the second highest road in Wales, which takes travellers over the famous Bwlch y Groes pass between Dinas Mawddwy and Llanuwchllyn. It’s also where the infamous Red Bandits - y Gwylliaid Cochion - roamed in the 16th century.
Cwmni Nod Glas Cyf was established by a group of volunteers in 2012 to create opportunities for social, economic and the environment in the Mawddwy area.
Directors, partners and local supporters were joined by Elfyn at the Red Lion in Dinas Mawddwy on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the launch of a leaflet and website promoting the walking routes, which are perfectly timed for the Year of Trails, the 2023 campaign theme adopted by Visit Wales. Visit www.dinasmawddwy.co.uk for more information about the walks.
Elfyn said: “The Mawddwy area is a very special place for me, as someone who grew up here and the paths here have been important to me in my career and personal life.
“These circular routes are a great way to get to know the area and its people and an opportunity for me to also bring my own family to appreciate them.
“Thank you, Cwmni Nod Glas for putting the Dinas Mawddwy area on the map and I hope they will benefit the local economy.”
The launch marks the culmination of five years’ work, interrupted by the pandemic. Cwmni Nod Glas Cyf’s secretary Arfon Hughes explained: “Most of the tourism providers in the area realised that there was a lot of interest in walking by those staying who needed to better understand where they could go without trespassing.
“These businesses wanted to find ways of attracting more visitors to the area and encouraging them to stay for longer. Since the pandemic, people have wanted to get outdoors a lot more and we feel that we are sitting on a little goldmine here with interesting valleys, views and history.”
The walking routes take in spectacular mountains, deep valleys, waterfalls, footbridges, moor and grazing land where farmers have carved a living for generations and magnificent views.
Five of the routes start and finish in Dinas Mawddwy, while the others finish in Llanymawddwy, Mallwyd and Aberangell. All the walks follow public rights of way and are suitable for reasonably fit people.
Sites of interest along the routes include St Tydecho churches in Mallwyd and Llanymawddwy, Pont Minllyn Bridge, Melin Meirion Mill, Buckley Arms and Llew Coch / Red Lion, the medieval Ffynnon Cae Gwyn Well, Y Plas (mansion) bell, slate quarries in Dinas Mawddwy, former drovers’ accommodation at Foty Fach ruin, Afon Clywedog, Dolobran Mill and Cerist, to name but a few.
The project was funded with grants form Europe, the Welsh Government, UK Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund and partners include Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd County Council, National Trust and NRW.
The walks are the latest venture to regenerate the area by Cwmni Nod Glas Cyf, which has already secured grants to buy and renovate an old shop in the centre of Dinas Mawddwy - Yr Hen Siop. A cafe offers refreshments and flats provide accommodation for local people at a fair price.
The social enterprise is also leasing a woodland at Lawnt y Plas, the site of the former Plas – a 365-paned Victorian gothic style mansion - which is where most of the circular walking routes start from.
Cwmni Nod Glas Cyf is a member of MWT Cymru, the independent organisation representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses in Powys, Ceredigion Gwynedd and Southern Eryri./ Snowdonia.
MWT Cymru’s chief executive Val Hawkins said: “The development of the Mawddwy Walking Paths is a great addition to Southern Eryri / Snowdonia as a walking destination and the timing is perfect ahead of the Year of Trails in 2023.
“It’s great to see the local community coming together to promote this unspoilt area.”
Ffestiniog Railway, voted the most scenic European rail journey. Image by Chris Parry.
The chief executive of an independent Mid Wales tourism organisation has congratulated three Snowdonia railways for being named in the top 10 most scenic European rail journeys.
In a survey by consumer advice magazine Which?, 1,400 rail passengers were asked to rate their favourite rail journeys, scoring each for scenery, comfort, facilities, cleanliness, food and drink, service and value.
Ffestiniog Railway, which runs from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, came out top, scoring 91% and Talyllyn Railway and the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Caernarfon shared sixth place with 86%.
Val Hawkins, chief executive of Mid Wales Tourism (MWT Cymru), congratulated all three Welsh railways and welcomed the international spotlight on the picturesque region.
“To not only have Ffestiniog Railway recognised as the most scenic rail journey in Europe but also two other railways in the top 10 is fantastic news for the region,” she said. “It really puts Southern Snowdonia and Wales on the international map.
“More visitors are discovering that this beautiful part of Wales has so much to offer as a destination in its own right.”
Stretching 13.5 miles between the harbour at Porthmadog and the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway.
Clare Britton, commercial manager for the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, said: “We are thrilled to have both railways in the Which? top 10 against very stiff competition.
“We already know that Snowdonia is a beautiful place, but it now seems Which? readers have arrived at the same conclusion. I think it’s great for Ffestiniog Railway to come out on top because it’s iconic and one of the oldest preserved lines.
“We are also delighted that the Welsh Highland Railway has been recognised because it also travels through the most beautiful scenery.”
Talyllyn Railway, the world’s first preserved railway.
Talyllyn Railway is a narrow-gauge railway which opened for goods traffic in 1865 and for passenger services soon after. Trains have run every year since between Tywyn, on the Cambrian Coast and Nant Gwernol, seven miles inland.
In 1951, operation of the line was taken over by Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and became the world’s first preserved railway. The line is operated primarily by volunteers, with a small paid staff.
Stuart Williams, the railway’s general manager, said: “We are delighted that the world’s first preserved railway has been recognised as a great attraction for a global audience. For a little railway like ours to be named in the top 10 scenic rail journeys in Europe is amazing.”
Welsh Highland Railway, rebuilt by volunteers at a cost of £28 million. Image by Chris Parry.
Welsh Highland Railway, which runs from beneath the castle walls in Caernarfon to the foot of Snowdon before dropping again to sea level at the harbour in Porthmadog. The original railway closed in 1936 and has now been completely rebuilt by volunteers at a cost of £28 million.
With the 25-mile line now complete, together with a new £1.25 million two-platform layout at Harbour Station, Porthmadog, it is now possible to connect with the Ffestiniog Railway and experience 40 unbroken miles of spectacular narrow-gauge steam.
Award-winning film ‘Staying (Aros Mae)’, which was filmed in the Elan and Claerwen Valleys, near Rhayader in 2019, was screened in the town on Saturday to thank the community who helped make it.
Written and directed by previous Elan Valley artist-in-residence Zillah Bowes, ‘Staying (Aros Mae)’ features members of the community as cast, including Stephen and Kerena Pugh who were chosen to play farmer Huw and his wife Megan.
The short fiction film is about Ruth, played by actor and 9Bach singer Lisa Jên Brown, a newly divorced gallery manager selling her city home, who sees a video of a sheepdog for sale and visits Huw and Megan in the hills.
The film captures a way of life in the Valley, where neighbouring farmers come together to gather sheep on horseback and quad bikes in the remote and beautiful landscape.
Most of the filming took place at Marchnant Farm, managed by farmer Steven Lewis and his partner Chris. Their sheepdog Mick is a star of the film, which was screened at The Lion Royal Hotel, Rhayader last Saturday evening.
Zillah lived in the Elan Valley for a year before shooting the film and got to know the tenant farmers and their way of life, while working on her long-term photography project Green Dark. She also spent time getting to know farmer Stephen Pugh and his wife Kerena to prepare them for the roles as Huw and Megan.
Stephen and Kerena, who live in Nantmel where they farm and run Lȏn Lodges tourism business, were introduced to her by one of the film’s three executive producers, Peter Cox, who lives near Rhayader.
Kerena had acted before in the Rhayader Young Farmers productions and both she and her husband played part in the Rhayader Community Play written by Peter.
“We spent six months getting to know Zillah and understanding the storyline,” explained Kerena. “Our characters in the film were fictional and we had to take on the roles of Huw and Megan working as a farming couple.
“This film is very atmospheric because Zillah wanted to capture the feeling and essential qualities of everyday life in the Valley.
“We were involved in four days of filming and had never done anything like that before. We enjoyed the experience and it was quite a privilege to be asked to work with such accomplished professionals as Jack Thomas-O’Brien from Sixteen Films and cinematographer Robbie Ryan, to name but a few of the amazing team.
“Zillah gave a lovely speech thanking the community before the film was screened on Saturday. It has been screened around the world and shown at over 15 film festivals.”
Stephen added: “Zillah wanted to capture life today in the Valley as authentically as possible. So much research went into the film and the onus was on us to do justice to the Valley farmers.
“Credit goes to Steven and Chris Lewis because they gave up so much of their time.”
‘Staying (Aros Mae)’ has received widespread international recognition, winning awards at BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying film festivals including Grand Jury Prize at Premiers Plan Angers Film Festival and Special Mention at Encounters Film Festival.
The film was produced by Jack Thomas-O’Brien at Sixteen Films in conjunction with Ffilm Cymru Wales, BFI NETWORK Wales and BBC Cymru Wales, and is due to be broadcast on BBC Wales later this year and then available on iPlayer.
‘Staying’ won Special Mention at Encounters Film Festival in 2021. The jury commented: "The jury would also like to give a special mention to Zillah Bowes’ ‘Staying (Aros Mae)’ for the sensitivity and complexity of her storytelling.
“In ‘Staying (Aros Mae)’ Bowes immerses us in the quiet and idyl world of Mid Wales, a world devoid of stereotypical heroes or villains and instead populated by three-dimensional characters all dealing with their own particular inner struggles and repressions.
“Bowes’ empathy for her characters is evident in her use of image and sound to weave a naturalistic filmic tapestry that suspends judgements and instead, encourages exploration and questions."
Redmond Bacon, who interviewed Zillah on Directors Notes, said: "The contrast between city and rural life has rarely been as keenly observed than in Zillah Bowes’ ‘Staying (Aros Mae)’.
“While its Cardiff-set scenes feel cool and clinical, the countryside opens up both the perspective of the film and the emotions of its central character – captivatingly embodied by Welsh actor and 9Bach singer Lisa Jên Brown – journeying to find a Border Collie in the wake of a break-up.
“At times approximating a western, the film uses the landscape in deep and evocative ways.”
The Quarry Pottery is offering a one-to-one pottery throwing workshop with a special behind the scenes tour.
A Mid Wales attraction has launched a luxury draw offering prizes that money just can’t buy, as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.
The exclusive prizes are one-off, tailored experiences offered by the independent craft studios at Corris Craft Centre, near Machynlleth, which opens daily from 10am to 5pm.
Amongst the top prizes, the Quarry Pottery studio, which is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is offering an exclusive one-to-one pottery throwing workshop with a special behind the scenes tour with the potters themselves.
Lahn Hinchliffe, owner of the Quarry Pottery, said: “My parents established the Quarry Pottery back in 1982 when the Corris Craft Centre first opened.
“This year we have launched pottery throwing workshops but our one-off prize also includes an exclusive behind the scenes tour to view the kiln where our pottery is fired, the glazing area and so much more.”
Visitors to the craft centre this year who make a purchase in the studios will be given a free entry into the luxury prize draw.
Other exclusive prizes include a one-to-one candle carving workshop offered by The Candle Studio, a chocolate pizza making workshop for four plus a chocolate tasting session in the Chocablock studio and a private tasting and cocktail class for up to six people at the Dyfi Distillery.
The remaining prizes are a print or photography tutorial for one with Sammi Wilson Art, a pyrography course for one with Taran Eco Designs, a leather tooling workshop for one with Hyde & Sheep and £75 each from Delyn Glass and Agau Jewellery to spend on the companies’ glass sculptures and jewellery collection, respectively.
The nine winners will be drawn at random at the beginning of November.
Hannah Quincey, the craft centre’s general manager, said: “Our 40th anniversary is a real milestone. Over the years, the craft centre has evolved and changed enormously and, during this time, received lots of support from local residents and visitors to the area.
“The luxury prize draw is our way of saying thank you to everyone for their support. We’re looking forward to the next 40 years.”
Voluntary donations are encouraged to the Wales Air Ambulance and the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue, charities which assist local people and visitors alike to make Mid Wales a much safer area.
Looking for places to visit and things to do this February half-term? We’ve put together a round-up of ideas in Mid Wales to inspire you.
All of these attractions and more can be found on www.visitmidwales.co.uk
Half term dolphin spotting trips in New Quay
New Quay Boat Trips, run by Winston Evans and his son Jonathan, will be welcoming passengers onboard its Dreamcatcher boat for one-hour trips from New Quay pier, starting from February 11.
The company usually begins its trips on April 1 but has brought them forward this year due, weather permitting, to the high demand from customers.
As the Dreamcatcher only carries 12 passengers, passengers are advised to book in advance online at https://newquayboattrips.co.uk/ or by calling 01545 560 800.
A Dolphin Spotting Boat Trip offers a fun, educational experience for all ages. Boats sail exclusively within the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, home to hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals. ‘Sea Watch Foundation’s Recommended Boat Operator’, and their skippers are all ‘WISE’ qualified, ensuring your boat trip will be conducted in accordance with the marine code of conduct.'
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth
Show the love for your planet at the Centre for Alternative Technology this February half term.
In partnership with the Climate Coalition’s ‘Show the Love’ campaign CAT’s expert team will be running green heart willow weaving activities and helping families think about and discuss what they love the most about planet earth.
CAT is offering half priced entry all winter, and free visitor tours run every morning through half term with activities taking place in the afternoon.
CAT is situated just three miles north of Machynlleth in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, Mid Wales.
Between February 21-27, free tours take place every morning from 11:30am to 1pm and the green heart willow weaving craft activity runs from 2pm to 4pm. Activities are free with an entry ticket, and there’s free entry for locals. Enjoy interactive displays, the adventure playground, and hearty vegetarian meals. Dogs are welcome too!
The Silver Mountain Experience, near Aberystwyth
A silver-lead mine in Mid Wales which dates back more than 250 years is launching a new attraction in time for the February half term school holiday.
The brand-new Kindling’s Treasure Trail at The Silver Mountain Experience, near Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth challenges children to find all the treasure with the chance of winning a treat.
Steeped in mining history, The Silver Mountain Experience is open throughout the winter season, offering unique tours that explore the history of the site, both above and below ground.
Families with young explorers will love the adventurous ‘A Dragon’s Tale’ guided tour where they join a quest to find the friendly resident dragon hidden within the mines.
Alongside the tours, there are a variety of different surface attractions which are included within the price of the tickets. Children can run wild in Woo Hoo Woods, go gem panning, den building and dig for fossils.
The Rhiannon Gallery Exhibition, Tregaron
The Rhiannon Gallery Exhibition is running until February 28, showing a collection of paintings and ceramics by the gallery's artists. Visit the Craft Centre and enjoy a meal or a cuppa at Café Hafan to complete the experience.
This special attraction has been extended to include even more facilities. You can watch Rhiannon's jewellery being handcrafted by Welsh speaking goldsmiths in the Exhibition Workshops. Special jewellery is created in silver and gold, including rare and precious Welsh Gold, mined a few miles away in North Wales. https://oriel.rhiannon.co.uk/en
Beyond Breakout in Newtown
Beyond Breakout has fun at the centre of everything it does and is totally family friendly. Choose from in-person games, digital games and outdoor games.
What are breakout rooms? They are real life games where you and a group of friends or family will be shut in a room and given an hour to escape. Solve the puzzles, find the clues and work out the solutions in your bid for freedom. Laugh together whilst you work as a team to escape as fast as you can.
Beyond Breakout is now running Outdoor escape games which are the perfect way to see Newtown through new eyes. You have two hours to save the world from Trolls and Goblins by closing the Magic Portal, or unleash your inner Super Spy with Operation Mindfall which launches this month.
The games use all the best bits of Geocaching, treasure hunting and escape rooms with the latest augmented reality.
All games are designed for between two and six players and anyone and everyone can play. Children under 13 years of age must have an adult in the room with them. Under 16s must have an adult with them for outdoor games. https://www.beyondbreakout.co.uk/
Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool
The popular National Trust activity trail, ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, is returning to Powis Castle from February 19 to 27.
Exciting activities on the trail include getting to know a tree, making friends with a bug, welly wandering and wintry adventures.
No pre-booking is required, as trail activity sheets can be collected from the welcome cabin in the car park. The trail is free to take part in and standard admission prices apply. Guaranteed fun for all the family.
Powis Castle and Garden is open from 10am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm). The courtyard café is open for drinks, cakes, light bites and sandwiches. For further information, visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden
Llanerchaeron, near Aberaeron
As this National Trust park begins to wake up for spring, February half-term is the perfect time to find out what their conservation team has been up to over winter!
Llanerchaeron has plenty of activities for all the family including ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities. Booking not required. Free event but normal admission fees apply. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/llanerchaeron
Free half term comedy and theatre workshops at Ceredigion Museum
Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth has announced its programme of half term activities, which are free for children and young people interested in theatre and comedy.
On Wednesday, February 23, between 10am and 4pm, Lucy Gough and Stephanie Tillotson will facilitate a free, daylong session in two halves at the museum called ‘Patching the Whole’ for 14-18 year olds.
On Thursday, February 24, between 10am and 4pm, comedian Eleri Morgan will deliver a comedy workshop for seven-14 year olds at the museum called ‘Quick Comedy for Kids’. Eleri will reveal some useful hints and tips on how to be a stand-up comedian in a session packed with fun, games and the chance to test out a set on stage
Both half term workshops are free, but booking is essential. Email email@example.com to book.
For more information about things to do and places to stay in Mid Wales, see www.visitmidwales.co.uk
Picture Captions / credits:
New Quay Dolphins - credit Jonathan Evans.
Family fun at The Centre for Alternative Technology
Dragons Tale at Silver Mountain Experience.
Alex Allpress Pottery, Builth Wells.
The Rhiannon Centre
February half term fun at Powis Castle and Garden - National Trust.
Image: Trevor Ray Hart
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