Machynlleth, a rural market town located within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere radiates an eco-friendly and quirky vibe. While exploring the town, visitors can encounter locals who are enthusiastic about art, nature, wholesome food, sustainable living, cycling, and even comedy. Antique stores, alternative lifestyle shops, and galleries featuring local artists and craftspeople are abundant. Every Wednesday, there is a lively market to browse, and an annual world-famous comedy festival is held in the town.
Machynlleth's main street, Heol Maengwyn, is a bustling hub filled with a variety of shops, galleries, cafes, and the Owain Glyndŵr Centre. This local history museum is dedicated to the national hero who held his parliament on this very site in 1404, which is now known as the original Senedd. Crowned by a magnificent Victorian clock tower, Heol Maengwyn is also home to a vibrant Wednesday market, which has been a tradition since it was established by royal charter in 1291.
MOMA Machynlleth, situated in a Victorian town house and a former Wesleyan chapel known as The Tabernacle, is an intimate museum of modern art that boasts an extensive collection of local treasures. Its exhibition spaces, featuring white walls, showcase contemporary Welsh paintings, prints, sculptures and photography. Visitors can also recharge with top-notch coffee and cake at Y Tabernacl Coffee Shop.
The Machynlleth Comedy Festival
Every May bank holiday, Machynlleth hosts a fantastic comedy festival that attracts both established and up-and-coming comedians. With plenty of new material and experimental formats, you're sure to have a good laugh. You might even catch a show in an unusual venue, like on the Corris Steam Railway or in a local gin distillery. Be sure to book your tickets in advance if you'd like to attend the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
The Centre for Alternative Technology
Located in the Dyfi Biosphere in Mid Wales, The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a renowned ecological centre that showcases practical solutions for a sustainable future. Experience a unique arrival by taking Europe's steepest water-balanced cliff railways to reach the visitor centre and explore a hidden world filled with operational examples of renewable energy, picturesque organic gardens, innovative green buildings, and responsibly managed woodland habitats. With numerous attractions and activities, CAT is an ideal destination for families. Children can unleash their energy in the eco-adventure playground, embark on family-friendly trails and scavenger hunts to discover the world of green living, or join the exciting program of family activities, shows, and workshops offered during school holidays. Daily free tours, an eco-conscious gift shop, and a vegetarian café serving delicious treats and hearty lunches ensure that CAT caters to all your needs for an enjoyable day out.
The Corris Craft Centre
Visit the Corris Craft Centre, set against a wooded backdrop in the Dyfi UNESCO World Biosphere. Discover handmade crafts and products in the 9 individual workshops and enjoy craft making activities like chocolate making, pottery painting, candle dipping and furniture building. The on-site café uses locally sourced produce and there's a Welsh Deli too. Look out for air displays from the Mach Loop nearby too!
King Arthur's Labyrinth
King Arthur's Labyrinth is a unique underground adventure. The adventure, which is a 25 minute drive from Capel Soar, takes you through a magical waterfall and deep into the mountains of Southern Snowdonia where you will encounter legends of dragons, giants, and King Arthur himself. With dramatic scenes, light and sound, this adventure is perfect for wet or hot days. Book online for the best prices and to secure your seats.
Corris Mine Explorers
Corris Mine Explorers offers an authentic and fascinating experience where you can follow in the footsteps of Victorian slate miners with expert Mine Guides. You'll explore the tunnels and chambers where the world's finest slate was excavated by hand and explosives. The mine, which has been virtually untouched since its abandonment in the 1970s, provides a unique glimpse into the past. This all-weather activity is enjoyable and engaging, making it a perfect day out even on a rainy day.
RSPB Ynys-Hir Nature Reserve
RSPB Ynys-Hir nature reserve is a magnificent sanctuary for wildlife in the heart of Mid Wales, situated within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere. The reserve is comprised of oak woods, reedbeds, pools and saltmarsh, offering an ideal habitat for various species. With over 3 miles of trails to explore and five viewing hides, visitors can enjoy the serene environment and observe wildlife up close. The reserve has received recognition as a Ramsar, Natura 2000, and SSSI site.
Thanks to excellent reserve management, visitors can experience a splendid show of birds and other wildlife, starting right from the car park, where different sections of the bird feeding station and pools in front of the picnic benches are home to a host of bird species.
The RSPB Ynys-Hir Visitor Centre, a comfortable log cabin with a wood stove to keep visitors warm on colder days, overlooks the pools, and provides sightings of at least 15 bird species.
Mountain Biking in the Dyfi Valley
Machynlleth is an excellent starting point for a thrilling cycling experience, with the help of Dyfi Mountain Biking, a dedicated group of local volunteers. They have established three marked routes, named Mach 1, 2, and 3, that traverse roads, lanes, and bridleways. Additionally, they have developed CliMachX, an exciting off-road trail in the forest that features rocky jumps and a thrilling final descent.
Dyfi Osprey Project
The Dyfi Osprey Project, created by a group of devoted conservationists, provides a sanctuary for ospreys and has already celebrated a major achievement with the birth of three healthy chicks which were featured on BBC Springwatch. From approximately April to September, visitors can view the ospreys through scopes, binoculars or live footage. In addition, a two-storey observatory is available for visitors, providing views of various habitats for birds, mammals and insects.
The Corris Railway has a rich history dating back to the 1850s, when it was initially constructed as a tramroad using horses and gravity to transport slate from the quarries of Corris Uchaf and Aberllefenni in southern Merionethshire. The slate was then loaded onto ships and sent to various destinations. In the 1860s, the railway started transhipping its slate to the standard gauge railway at Machynlleth instead of delivering it directly to the ships. Nowadays, there is a free museum where visitors can also purchase train tickets. Additionally, a small café is present at the museum. The museum can be accessed for free on days when passenger services are operational.