Rhayader & Gilfach Nature Reserve

Two family weddings in August and September meant we missed out on camping trips over the summer. We did manage the final Llanwddyn Folk Weekend at the beginning of September but, before we knew it, October had arrived and it was getting a little chilly/damp for camping. We managed to squeeze in an overnight stay and a visit to Kelmscott Manor on the way to a family gathering in early October. And, of course, there was the eventful trip to the Isle of Wight towards the end of the month. Inbetween these two trips, we did manage to get away for a few days in glorious Mid-Wales.

We booked a two-night stay in the Bear Apartments, Rhayader - self-catering accommodation comprising large bedroom, spacious bathroom, and well-appointed kitchen/dining room/lounge (Photo 1). Good price and location and our host, Julie, was charming (5 ✩ rating from us).

Photo 1: Kitchen/Dining Room/Lounge - Bear Apartments, Rhayader

We arrived in Rhayader just after midday on a warm (for October) sunny day and headed straight for the Gilfach Nature Reserve just outside Rhayader. We spent an enjoyable 3 hours, including lunch, there.

Photo 2: Lunch Spot Overlooking the Information Hut adjacent to the Car Park

Photo 3: Art Work near the Information Hut

Photo 4: Art Work near the Information Hut

Photo 5: Blue Skies and Orange Bracken - Gilfach, October 2023

Photo 6: Mary Forging Ahead

Photo 7: View from the Trail - Gilfach Nature Reserve
The Marteg River flows through the valley - a great spectacle after rain:

Photo 8: Magical Marteg River

Video 1: Marteg River (Gilfach Nature Reserve) in Full Flow

In mid-November, you can view leaping salmon from the platform as they head for their spawning grounds. Alas, we were too early for the show!

Photo 9: Salmon Viewing Platform
We made it as far as the Byre visitor centre (toilet, help yourself refreshments in high season, and lots of information) before returning to the car and heading back to Rhayader.

Photo 10: Byre Visitor Centre

A bit of shopping in Rhayader followed by an early tea before heading off to the Lost Arc ...

Photo 11: The Lost Arc Venue

... for a concert by Hands of the Heron - a trio of singer/songwriters from Bristol playing dreamfolk choral alt-pop. No, I'm not sure what that is but it was an excellent evening nevertheless.

A trip on the Vale of Rheidol Railway was planned for tomorrow.


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