top of page

Around the Cambrian Mountains

Here's a bit more about the tours we offer in and around the Cambrian Mountains. 

Below is a more detailed look at the tours we offer of mid Wales. Starting with the area within 15 miles or so of Aberystwyth which can easily offer a full day of exploration or a half day overview. 

We then look slightly further afield at the broader Cambrian Mountains. 

Back in the local patch, we can offer a mainly rough track tour, a tour of the Silver Lead mines, a tour combined with the Vale of Rheidol Railway or a tour with a visit to the Silver Mountain Experience. 

Alternatively we can also offer a tour around the Southern part of the Snowdonia National Park Between Machynlleth, Dolgellau and Tywyn. 

If you have somewhere else you'd like to explore - do ask! 

Best of all - we always mix and match to make a tour for you! 

Aberystwyth's Picturesque Hinterland.

Our Local Patch.

An Introduction to the mountains and valleys near Aberystwyth.
Starting in Devils Bridge, or from your accommodation, this tour is designed to introduce you to Aberystwyth's 'Hinterland' of north Ceredigion. Taking in the upper parts of the steep sided Rheidol and Ystwyth valleys and smaller valleys just to the north, a selection of steep back roads lead to breath taking views.

Remote lakes, isolated farmsteads, Red Kites over head, hanging oak woodland with Redstarts and Pied flycatchers, forestry and open moorland. Locations used in the t.v. series 'Hinterland' are included and short unsurfaced track sections and an optional longer rough track, taken at the usual sedate pace.

Hinterland usually refers to the intermediate land between the valley bottom and the mountain tops. Much of the filming of the tv series was done in the Ceredigion uplands with fine views to the coast from the fringes of the Cambrian Mountains.

The Welsh name for the series, Y Gwyll can be translated as "the Dusk"-reflecting the spirit and the mood of the drama.

Picturesque is a reference to the appreciation of the landscape shown by visitors of long ago. 

During the second half of the 18th century members of the English upper classes with time on their hands took the 'Grand Tour' of Europe. Some however began to discover that places like Mid Wales had the landscape qualities they were looking for to delight and inspire.

​Follow in the footsteps of artists, poets, writers, and the aristocracy, who came to marvel at the rugged landscape and 'hunt' out the best spots for a painting. At a time when it was fashionable to take a tour of Europe, Aberystwyth was becoming a genteel seaside resort, and Mid Wales was at the heart of the Picturesque movement. 

Further afield

Elan Valley, mountain roads and reservoirs.
Tour  around the Elan Valley reservoirs and surrounding area.  (Full day or Half day.)

Alongside a sequence of 5 reservoirs and from wooded valley sides to high open moorland,  this tour will take you past the dams and over a high upland route with views to Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. The Elan valley is known as the 'Welsh Lake district', the 5 large reservoirs built in the 1890's - 1900's and 1940's / 50's  supply water to the Midlands.  A stop can be made at the visitor centre, or at a local cafe. There are fantastic photographic opportunities on this trip, and it may be possible to see several different birds of prey, Kites and Buzzards are almost guaranteed, Kestrel, Peregrine falcon and others are possible. This tour will also often pass through Cwmystwyth, heavy with Lead mining history.

There is an optional rough track section of about 1 hour, which follows an original section of the old coach road to Aberystwyth. 

Usual start point Devils Bridge. Please enquire if you wish to start in Rhayader.

Mountain Drovers Road and remote Llyn Brianne.

This Full Day tour passes through one of the remotest parts of Wales (or England). The mountain road is a single track former drovers route running for 20 miles between the lush grazing lands of the Teifi valley in the west and the Wye valley on route to Hereford to the East.

 It climbs to 1600 feet, with views to the Brecon Beacons, passes through forest and over open moorland, plunging into the deep valleys feeding the long fingers of the Llyn Brianne reservoir and passing through the beautiful, peaceful upper Irfon Valley. 

A lunch stop can be made at a farm guest house where we have made a special arrangement (when available), or at one of a number of Inns or Cafés in Llanwrtyd wells, there are many potential picnic spots too. The tour then circles to the south with stunning views of the Brecon Beacons and the Llyn Brianne reservoir, and can take in a spectacular high rough track section which takes an extra hour or so. It is also possible to consider visiting the Dolaucothi Gold Mine.

Cardiganshires'  Silver Lead mines.

Around the upper reaches of the Rheidol and Ystwyth valleys are over 100 old Lead mines which in the 1860's employed as many as 5,000 miners and their families.

​The mining had largely ended by the end of the 19th Century but the spoil heaps and ruined buildings are still significant features on the landscape.

This tour is intended to be a general introduction to the mining heritage of the area and to shed a different light upon the remains which tend to be viewed rather negatively.

The tour will feature a selection of mine sites, miners cottages, chapels and the small lakes created to supply the mines with water to power their pumps and machinery. 

Many of the miners in the 19th Century came here from Cornwall, bringing their expertise and culture. Cornish names contrast with the Welsh names on gravestones in local churchyards, (with the exception of Williams)  - I haven't found a Poldark yet though! 

Southern Snowdonia, with Bomber lane

Tour the less well known southern part of the Snowdonia National Park taking in Tal-y-Llyn, Castell y Bere and Mary Jone's house in the beautiful Dysynni Valley, 'Bomber lane'  and Cregennan lakes.

The dramatic ruggedness of Southern Snowdonia contrasts greatly with the varied but less rocky landscapes which our other tours explore. 

There are a variety of options for this full day out, including a look at the area of the slate quarries of Corris, (around the Centre for Alternative Technology, King Arthur's Labyrinth,) and Aberllefenni or a ride on the Tal-y-Llyn Railway, famous for its connection with the Thomas the Tank engine stories. 

We will visit Castell Y Bere, Constructed by Llywelyn the Great in the 1220s and Mary Jones' cottage at Llanfihangel-y-pennant. 

Passing the dramatic Craig yr Aderyn ('bird rock') where Cormorants and Choughs nest, we set off up 'Bomber lane' which climbs high above the Dyssinni Valley and continues over the western flank of Cadair Idris, with views from 1300 feet high above the Mawddach estuary with Barmouth to the north. 

Following the end of conflict in Europe US Forces began to return home, some as their period of service came to an end and others in preparation for the expected attack on Japan. Most returned by sea but some USAAF personnel returned by air. This aircraft was one of many that were being flown back to the USA with those additional passengers. It was being flown from Polebrook in Northamptonshire to RAF Valley on Anglesey before the final leg back to the USA, on board was a crew of ten with another ten passengers. As with a number of other flights engaged in this operation it never left the British Isles.

While approaching Valley in low visibility the crew requested a course to steer and this was transmitted to them by Valley, however the aircraft flew on the reciprocal course which took it inland towards Dolgellau. After a short while the crew realised the error and began a turn to starboard to take them back out to sea. Before this turn was completed it struck high ground close to the summit of Craig Cwm Llwyd on the southern side of the Mawddach Estuary, it travelled approximately 300 feet along the crags before its last impact where the wreck broke up and was destroyed by fire.

Cambrian Safaris tours can include complimentary hotel pick-up, so you just sit back and relax as you are chauffeured by your guide in style and comfort in our luxurious Land Rover Discovery to enjoy the wild tranquillity of some of the of the most stunning scenery in the UK.

Join us for spectacular touring around the Cambrian Mountains.

Your guide has extensive knowledge of the local area and will try to adjust every tour to your interest; whether that be wherever they may lead you.

Wellness, Mindfullness, get away from it all, peace and quiet, whatever the buzzwords, we believe in time out. 

bottom of page