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About Your Guide.

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Your Guide.

Richard Smith.​

I have lived in the area for almost 30 years and with my wife Hester for about 27 years who I met at the Dolaucothi Gold Mines in 1995 when I was a tour guide there.

I worked at the Llywernog Silver Lead mine Museum for16 years, (now the "Silver Mountain Experience") before starting Cambrian Safaris in 2012.

Hester works at the Devils Bridge Waterfalls.

The idea of Cambrian Safaris came about because we both like to share the secrets and hidden delights of a little known part of Wales, with visitors to the area.

We discovered that many people are passing through without understanding what the area has to offer and some of those who we have spoken to were delighted to be given a few hints and pointers.

Richard says; 

In my 16 years as tour guide at Llywernog mine, it was the reactions of visitors, to what they are being told, which makes me want to tell people more about central Wales. An area rich in not just spectacular landscapes, but also the stories which go with it.

A bit more about us. (Richard writes)

I was brought up in the south east of England, but my association with Wales started with the majority of childhood holidays being taken in Cardiganshire (as we knew it then), as well as Cornwall, the Lake District and Scotland.

I am married to Hester, a Dutch lady I met at a the Dolaucothi Gold Mine where I had been working as a volunteer for a short time in 1992 and 93, then as a tour guide for the season in 1995. Hester used to come on her own to the UK backpacking - and people back home wondered why she bothered going to Wales, ever since she's been making a strong case!

We have 2 children, Dylan, 22, a chef at Y Talbot Tregaron and Bethan, 20, who loves Horse Riding, particularly dressage, and is a working pupil at Ingestre stables near Stafford where she is making rapid progress with BHS qualifications. Over the years we have spent a lot of time at the Rheidol Riding Centre near Aberystwyth. We live on the edge of a small village about 10 miles from Aberystwyth, a little way up in the hills, and have a few chickens and 2 Dogs, (flatcoated retrievers). There are some great views to Cardigan bay from just up the road.

Places have always been important to me, perhaps partly because of the experiences I have had in those places. A theme I like to expand upon is how the place where you live, the landscape in particular, influenced people and their fortunes in the past.

In my 'youth' I spent the best part of a couple of years in the Lake District, working with the National Trust, often climbing mountains daily to repair footpaths.

I worked at the Llywernog Silver Lead Mine between 1996 and 2012, conducting guided tours through the mine and telling visitors what it was like living in the 'wild west' of Wales for the people who came here to work in the mines and how the Geology and Geography of an area influenced peoples led their lives in the past. I now work there again part time in its newer guise as the Silver Mountain Experience, and I enjoy doing a variety of maintenance, development work and of course guided tours!

Mid Wales has been my home for 30 years now, including my time as a student in Aberystwyth. To me, one of the things that is most special about the area is the variety in the Landscape, how rapidly the character of the landscape can change as you cross a hill or round a corner.

There is little I like more than sharing this lovely country with others, both our local patch here in Mid wales, and a wider over view of the whole of Wales for the international visitor.

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