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Machynlleth

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Machynlleth is a town in Mid Wales, generally referred to locally as simply "Mach"

Understand[edit]

Machynlleth Town Clock

This small market town was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404, and so there are claims that it was the "ancient capital of Wales". However, this has never received official recognition.

Since the founding of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in 1973, the town has acted as a magnet for people interested in an alternative lifestyle. Consequently, it has developed a thriving Bohemian community and is at the center of a network of organic farming settlements.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

By bus[edit]

By car[edit]

  • From South Wales and South-west England. M4 to end (near Swansea), A48 to Carmarthen, A484 to Cardigan and A487 to Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. Alternatively take the A470 from Cardiff to Cemaes Road and then the A489 to Machynlleth.
  • From the English Midlands and North. M54 to end (near Shrewsbury), A458 to Dinas Mawddwy then A470 to Cemaes Road and A489 to Machynlleth.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Cliff Railway at the Centre for Alternative Technology
  • The Centre for Alternative Technology (Internationally well known centre for the development of alternative technology), Pantperthog, Machynlleth (Frequent bus service from the clock tower (in Machynlleth) to the centre), +44-1654-705-950, [2]. 2008 opening: 3-13 Jan: CLOSED. 14 Jan-14 Mar: 10am - dusk. 15 Mar-2 Nov: 10am - 5.30pm. 3 Nov-31 Dec: 10am - dusk. 19 Jul-29 Aug: 10am - 6pm. The cliff railway operates: 15 Mar-2 Nov.  :CAT was founded in 1973 as a testbed for sustainable living. In 1975, it opened as a visitor centre, so that the practises developed here could be showcased to the public. The centre has developed continuously since then, and is now a very interesting place to spend the day, especially for families. The centre shows its sustainable credentials right from the word go, as the car park and bus drop off are located at the bottom of a steep hill below the centre. Visitors use the gravity-powered cliff railway to reach the centre from here. The carriages are fitted with water tanks, which are filled at the top and emptied at the bottom, so that the heavier top car slides down the hill, pulling the other car up as it goes (via a cable and pully system). From the top station it's level walking all around the centre, taking in displays on sustainable homes, transport, water, power generation, agriculture and more. The restaurant serves good, tasty food, but don't expect burgers and hot dogs here! Adult: £8.40, Child (5 to 15): £4.20, Concessions: £7.40, Child (under 5): free. Reduced prices Nov-Mar. 50% reduction on production of a train ticket to Machynlleth, £1 reduction for anyone arriving by bike, foot or bus.  edit
  • Royal House and Parliament buildings, Maengwyn Street, [3]. Located in the the centre of town, these historic buildings are believed to be built on the site of the first Welsh parliament and related buildings of that period.  edit
  • Y Tabernacl (Art Gallery and concert venue), Heol Penrallt, +44-1654-703-335, [4]. Mon-Sat 10AM-4PM. A small museum of modern art - worth having a quick peak if you're in town. Admission free.  edit
  • Dyfi Furnace, Furnace, Eglwysfach, Machynlleth (Next to the main A487 Aberystwyth road, about 6 miles out of Machynlleth), [5]. Open access - generally open at least 10am to 4pm.. Travellers passing by on the main road understandably tend to assume that this mid 18th century stone building with its large wooden water wheel must have been a mill. In fact, the water wheel powered the bellows of a blast furnace which was used to smelt iron, and Dyfi Furnace is the best-preserved example of an 18th century charcoal-burning blast furnace in the UK. The iron ore was shipped in from Cumbria, while the charcoal to fire the furnace came from the ample local forestry. The building is well-preserved and there's plenty of interpretive displays to help you imagine what it must have looked like when it was fully functioning. Free entry.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Mountain biking. There are a number of marked trails[6] in the Dyfi Valley, centred around Machynlleth, including the purpose-built CliMachx route.
  • Ynyshir Reserve (Wildlife reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), (Take the A487 towards Aberystwyth. At the village of Eglwysfach the reserve is signposted from the main road. You can also walk or cycle the 3 miles to the reserve from Dyfi Junction railway station.), 01654 700222 (), [7]. Reserve 9 am-9 pm, or dusk if earlier. Visitor centre 9 am-5 pm Apr to Oct and 10 am-4 pm Nov to Mar (closed Mon and Tue). Ynyshir has interest for the ornithologist at any time of year due to its mixture of habitats, including Welsh oak woodland, wet grassland and saltmarsh. The reserve has 2 waymarked nature trails and 7 observation hides. £2 car parking charge for non RSPB members..  edit
  • Cors Dyfi Reserve (Wildlife reserve managed by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust), (Take the A487 towards Aberystwyth. The reserve is about 3.5 miles outside Machynlleth, just south of Morben Isaf caravan park), +44-1938-555-654 (), [8]. Open year round. Cors Dyfi is home to one of only 2 pairs of Osprey in Wales. The Osprey Project is open from 10am until 6pm, April to September. Free admission.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Every Wednesday since it was granted a royal charter in 1291 Machynlleth town centre has played host to a street market. Still well worth a browse - even if you don't buy anything the bustling atmosphere is an attraction in itself.

Early Closing day in Machynlleth is Thursday, when most shops do not open after lunchtime.

Handicrafts[edit]

  • Sarah Janes Willis Studio Pottery, 21 Maengwyn Street. Tel:+44 1654 700116 [9] - all pottery is made on the premises. Open:Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM
  • Kelvin Jenkins Jeweller [10], 19 Maengwyn Street. 01654 703370. Sells gold and silver jewellery, handmade in the workshop onsite, as well as items from other manufacturers. One of the few jewellers working in Welsh gold, though these pieces can be very expensive.
  • Spectrum Gallery [11], Maengwyn Street. 01654 702877. Eclectic selection of glassware, jewellery, ceramics, original paintings and prints. Well worth a browse.

There are also a number of craft shops in the nearby village of Corris

Eat[edit][add listing]

IMG 0630.jpg
Pizzachef.jpg
  • Wynnstay Hotel, Maengwyn Street. Tel:+44 1645 702-941 [12] - serves fantastic food (in the restaurant or bar) that would out-compete many a top London restaurant, and the bar is also friendly toward people with well behaved dogs. It has an excellent list of unusual wines and great beers. If you can't stretch to the restaurant price tag (about £12 for a main course) then they have an excellent pizzeria at the back (the oven for which was imported from Italy!!!).
  • Quarry Cafe (Wholefood Cafe owned by the Centre for Alternative Technology), Heol Maengwyn, 01654 702624, [13]. 0900-1600 (1400 Weds); 1900-2300. Closed Sun.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Cefn Coch Farm Self Catering Holiday Cottages, Glaspwll (A few miles into the hills above Machynlleth), 01654 702068, [14]. Two beautifully presented holiday cottages in an amazing location on a hill farm. Each cottage has two bedrooms and one also has a double sofa bed.  edit
  • The Escape Guest House (The Escape Guest House), Tower Road, Pennal, Machynlleth (Between Machynlleth & Aberdyfi), 01654 791206, [15]. checkin: 3.00pm; checkout: 10.00am. The Escape is a magnificent Georgian 4 Star Guest House / B&B of immense charm and character set in a peaceful location just outside the popular market town of Machynlleth. from £50 prpn.  edit


Get out[edit]

The popular seaside resort of Aberdyfi, with it's yacht harbour and championship golf links, is just 10 miles to the west, accessible by the A493 road or by Cambrian Line trains.

Only 4 miles beyond Aberdyfi is Tywyn, home of the Talyllyn Railway. If you are travelling by car then on the return journey to Machynlleth, take a left turn off the road just 1 mile south of Tywyn, to pass through the picturesque Happy Valley. The road rejoins the A493 at the village of Cwrt.

Corris, just a few miles away on the Dolgellau road, is a pretty former slate-mining village and a focus for arts and crafts. There is a pottery in the village itself, and a variety of different shops and workshops at the purpose built Corris Craft Centre [16], next to the main road on the hillside overlooking the village, which has ample car parking. The interactive visitor attractions of King Arthur's Labyrinth and the Bards Quest are accessed from the Craft Centre site. Corris is also home to the narrow-gauge Corris Railway[17] and museum. There is also the CAMRA award winning Slaters Arms (Tafarn Y Chwarelwr)serving a variety of local beers and some from further afield. Recently upgraded food menu sounds promising.


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