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Fantasy tour around Wales; Day 4. Cambrian Mountains.

Any tour of Wales should include, at the very least a full day in the uplands of North Ceredigion, an area missed by most tours as it is not a part of one of Wales' National Parks. But I would say this as its the 'home patch' of Cambrian Safaris and our original tours. Its the area I'm most familiar with and have lived in and been talking about for some 25 years or so.

From Aberystwyth the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway runs you up the side of the valley into the hills to the Village of Devils Bridge - where 3 bridges have been built on top of each other and a Waterfall drops into the valley below.

A few miles over the hill from Devils Bridge, a real secret garden - a little known, forgotten country estate where the 'Picturesque' movement was born in the 18th Centaury. In between a scattering of smallholdings where incoming miners encroached on common land to eke out an existence, growing crops, vegetables and keeping animals.

All around, the remains of Lead mines, the storey of which are told, in a nutshell, at the Silver Mountain Experience, a modern tourist attraction at an old mine, 3 different mine tours, museum, surface trail, escape rooms and café.

The magic of the country around Devils Bridge, on the western side of the Cambrian Mountains, is that there is so much variety in the landscape packed into a small area, visitors from all over the world compare with New Zealand, the Rockies, Eastern Europe, South America... on a smaller scale obviously.

So the day is spent at a relaxed pace, relatively local to Aberystwyth, without the need to push on to another area. We will take you right up into the mountains on rough tracks with spectacular views across west Wales, passing abandoned farms, several small lakes and all the highlights of our traditional tours.

An additional day could be spent in and around Aberystwyth or exploring further into the Cambrian Mountains, taking in the Elan Valley reservoirs perhaps - see older blog!

This area has a surprising variety of small distinctive hotels, guest houses, pubs and restaurants, you could stay on Aberystwyth's promenade or in a former mansion just in land or further into the hills in an old Drovers Inn or 19th Centaury alpine Chalet style hotel.

Tomorrow we head into the southern part of the Snowdonia National Park, the light brown shaded are on the top left side of the map below.

Map of Wales and Quite a bit of England. The area around the word 'Cambrian' - right in the heart of Wales, is the area of Cambrian Safaris 'home' patch and core tours.

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