Visit Builth Wells: Places to stay, things to do

The heart of mid-Wales is all things: rugged, windswept, tranquil and spectacular. Nick Peers revisits his childhood haunts to reconnect with the past

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Why go there?

Builth lies in the very heart of Mid Wales, situated at the confluence of two rivers (the Irfon and the Wye). This tiny town is packed with history, character and charm, and visitors can get their bearings by taking in the

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riverside walk

, which goes around the perimeter of the town, taking in both Wye and Irfon rivers and showcasing the town’s impressive collection of bridges, including the mighty Wye Bridge, originally built in 1775.

The Lôn Las Cymru cycle path

goes through Builth, although it’s more suited for a summer visit when it’s blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna. Should bad weather prevail, take a trip to the

Wyeside Arts Centre

, which has made the town a local cultural hub for the past 30 years.
Builth is an excellent gateway to Mid Wales’ varied and beautiful landscape. Fancy a bike ride in the Cambrians while quaffing local ale? Head west to Llanwrtyd Wells on the 14 November to take part in the

Real Ale Wobble

. Want to drink in one of the most spectacular views in the country? Do a loop of the Eppynt Mountains on the B4520/B4519, stopping (you’ll know when) to drink in the entire Irfon Valley and rugged

Abergwesyn Common

.
Those with no fear of water or wet weather might want to head 15 miles downstream on the Wye to Glasbury, where you can hire a canoe or kayak for a

unique view of the river

. The Elan Valley reservoirs offer a stunning drive – you’ll find these to the west of Rhayader, a 15-mile drive away on the A470. Don’t forget to stop off at

Gigrin Farm

to see red kites being fed daily at 2pm. And if all that isn’t enough, the

Brecon Beacons National Park

is just an hour’s drive south of

Builth

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Where to stay
The Caer Beris Manor is a spectacular building in a gorgeous location, set in 27 acres above the River Irfon on the western outskirts of Builth. Prices start from £70 per person, per night for single occupancy, or £60 per person per night for double occupancy, and include a full Welsh breakfast.

Where to eat

The Greyhound Hotel offers a cheaper alternative to the Caer Beris when it comes to accommodation (£55-£75 per room per night, including breakfast), plus boasts its own richly varied menu covering all tastes, appetites and budgets, which is sourced locally where possible.
 
Tell us a local secret
Llewelyn the Last, so titled because he was the last prince of an independent Wales, was ambushed and killed just north of Builth in December 1282. A stone monument at the place where he fell can be found in the village of Cilmeri, one mile west of Builth on the A470. After his death the title Prince of Wales was conferred on the future Edward II, starting the tradition that continues to this day.
 
Picture: Copyright Eirian Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.