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Reservoir overlooking the Brecon Beacons.

Powys is a superb county located in east central Wales.

The county encompasses scenic trails, wildlife, historic sites, designated Dark Sky locations, and imposing mountains. What could be better?

Whether you’re travelling with family, friends, or solo, you’ll find plenty to see and do in Powys!

Continue reading to discover all you need to know about Powys with our ultimate guide…

Things to do in Powys

Aerial view of an old hillfort and lake.

Taking its name from the Kingdom of Powys, Powys is the largest county in Wales, full of a variety of attractions and activities to discover.

The county borders the Snowdonia National Park and the Shropshire Hills AONB, and is home to some of Mid Wales’s most popular destinations.

Including Newtown, Welshpool, Llanidloes, and Montgomery. As well as most of the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park!

Look forward to cycling through woodlands, trying out watersports on a vast lake, or sitting back and watching the stars glimmer in the night sky. Powys has all this and so much more for you to experience!

1. Powis Castle and Garden

An impressive medieval fortress settled in the charming market town of Welshpool. Built in the 13th century by Welsh princes, the castle is now owned and maintained by the National Trust.

Wander through the castle, where you can enjoy an array of exhibitions, explore the grand state rooms, and discover collections from around the world, including India, East Asia, and Europe.

Be sure to check out the Clive Museum which showcases artefacts from South and East Asia.

Outside of the castle, you can enjoy leisurely strolls around the picturesque Grade I gardens, encompassing 17th century terraces. Afterwards, why not browse the Courtyard Shop, or refuel at the Courtyard Cafe?

2. National Showcaves Centre for Wales

Set within the beautiful surroundings of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is the award-winning National Showcaves Centre for Wales.

Explore the depths of three magnificent caves, Dan yr Ogof, Cathedral Cave, and the Bone Cave, with their fascinating formations.

You can also step back in time and meet over 220 life-sized dinosaurs, visit the Shire Horse Centre and Farm, or tour the museum, and the Fossil House.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are playgrounds and opportunities to pan for gold. Perfect for the little ones to enjoy!

Did we mention all this is included within the price of your ticket?

3. Tretower Court and Castle


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Tucked away in the pretty town of Crickhowell in the Usk Valley, is the 900-year-old wonder of Tretower Court & Castle.

Built by Roger Picard II in approximately 1100, the tower spanned four storey’s, and is now owned and maintained by Cadw Heritage.

As well as the tower, there is the remarkable medieval court, created by Sir Roger Vaughan during the War of the Roses. Delve into history as you wander through the Great Hall, or take in the beauty of the 15th century gardens.

This popular attraction is also home to the Bwyty Bach restaurant  where you can make a pit stop, before picking up a souvenir from the gift shop.

4. Elan Valley


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If it’s scenic hikes and bike rides you’re after, where better than the breath-taking Elan Valley? Surrounded by the imposing Cambrian Mountains, there is 70 miles of beautiful Welsh landscape to explore.

See the very best of the valley by following one of nine scenic walking trails, where you’re sure to pass one of four dams, making for the perfect hiking backdrop.

The valley is also renowned for its International Dark Sky Park status, so you can get acquainted with the wonders of the night sky.

After exploring, why not reward yourself with a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the Penbont House Tearoom?

5. Glansevern Hall & Gardens

A gorgeous Grade II* listed house set along the banks of the River Severn in Refail. Surrounded by 25 acres of beautiful grounds, where you can get up close to wildlife at the Bird Hide, enjoy the surroundings of the Formal Garden, Folly Garden, and the Georgian Orangery.

Throughout the gardens you will find a variety of plant life, woodland and lakeside trails, and the tranquil Water Garden.

Guided tours of the grounds are offered, as well as distillery experiences where you create your own Essential Oil. What better way to remember your visit?

Don’t forget to pop in to the Naissance Cafe for a bite to eat, or if the weathers nice, you can dine alfresco out in the courtyard.

6. Henrhyd Waterfall


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Adding to the Brecon Beacons already incomparable scenery is the 90ft Henrhyd Waterfall. This famous waterfall is renowned for being the tallest in South Wales. As well as its appearance in the final scene of The Dark Knight Rises as the entrance to the Bat Cave!

Grab your walking boots and embark on the wonderful Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech walk. Stretching for 3.5 miles, this popular route ensures you can make the most of the riverside setting and the falls.

7. Falconry Experience Wales


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Be sure to add the Falconry Experience Wales to your Powys itinerary. At this award-winning conservation area, there are a number of different experiences to choose from.

From individual and group falcon experiences to owl encounters, you’re sure to have an unforgettable day out!

Keep your eyes peeled for Raptor Conservation Day’s with Wildlife Presenter, Iolo Williams. Promising an informative day of talks, birdwatching, and encounters.

8. Lake Vyrnwy


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This idyllic lake is settled on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, surrounded by the Berwyn Mountains. A hidden gem offering something for everyone.

Try your hand at a variety of watersports, including kayaking, sailing and canoeing, or soak up the scenery on a walk or bike ride. There are trails for all abilities, varying from one to five miles.

The lake is also known for its excellent stargazing opportunities, thanks to its low light pollution. What better way to remember your trip to Powys than with an evening under the stars?

9. Gilfach Nature Reserve


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For those seeking out further opportunities to spot the local wildlife, Gilfach Nature Reserve is not to be missed!

Once a working farm, this reserve is now home to a wealth of creatures, including six species of bat, fifty five species of birds, and leaping salmon in the River Marteg. At certain times of the year, you will also find livestock grazing in the fields.

There are a variety of trails to choose from, from the leisurely nature trail, to the Oakwood Path. Or if you want to learn more about the wildlife and their habitats, pay a visit to The Nature Discovery Centre.

10. Dolforwyn Castle


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Calling all history buffs to explore the fascinating ruins of Dolforwyn Castle! Built in the 13th century by Llywelyn the Last, the castle was denied continued construction by King Edward I. Llywelyn defied the kings orders resulting in a siege and the castle being abandoned in the 14th century.

Follow in the footsteps of Welsh lords and explore the interesting ruins which have spectacular views over the Severn Valley.

11. Centre for Alternative Technology

A must-see during your holiday to Powys is the world-renowned Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth. Located in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, the centre is dedicated to a greener future and living sustainably.

There’s a variety of activities for all the family to enjoy, including adventure playgrounds and the CAT’s Quarry Trail.

The centre offers many opportunities to develop your learning, from short courses to hands-on displays. It promises a a fun-filled day out amongst nature for all!

12. Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary

Tucked away in the Brecon Beacons National Park is the beloved Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary. Dedicated to providing care and protection to not only primates, but also horses, donkeys, meerkats and pigs too.

There is even the option to adopt an animal of your very own, a perfect gift and way to show your support!

13. Red Kite Feeding Station & Rehabilitation Centre

Our final recommendation for things to do in Powys is the Red Kite Feeding Station. This attraction also enjoys the spectacular surroundings of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Sit back in the hide and watch as these magnificent birds of prey soar through the sky and dive for the food provided by the station.

Be sure to bring your camera to get epic pictures of the birdlife, which includes Ravens, Buzzards, and of course, Red Kites.

The birds are fed at 2pm GMT and 3pm BST throughout the year. After watching the feed, you can wander along the farm trail, enjoy a hot drink in the coffee shop, and visit the gift shop.

Events in Powys

Crowd at a music festival.

As well as a variety of activities and attractions, Powys is well-known for its jam-packed events scene.

Tantalise your tastebuds at Newtown Food Festival in September, or enjoy a day of agriculture at the Royal Welsh Show in July.

If it’s live music you’re after, check out our blog on music festivals in Wales for further inspiration.

Weather in Powys

Before your trip to Powys, check out the seven-day weather forecast. Come rain or shine, you will always find something to see or do in this beautiful county.


Has our ultimate guide to Powys inspired you to visit? Choose from our range of handpicked cottages in Powys to find your perfect base.

For further things to add to your itinerary, check out our blog on waterfalls in Wales, where you can expect truly stunning scenery!