The valley of Cwmystwyth is a must see for anyone visiting mid Wales. The mountain road from Rhayader to Aberystwyth winds through the valley carved by the River Ystwyth and its solitude and beauty is a joy for anybody who loves wild places. Silver, lead and zinc were mined here from at least Roman times and the remains of its industrial and ancient past does come as a surprise as you reach the lower end of this valley.
Cwmystwyth is considered the most important non-ferrous metal mining site in Wales and there is evidence of mining activity from early times through to the peak of activity in the late 19th and the early 20th century. The contrast between the activity and noise of lead mining and the peace and quiet there now would astonish workers from that time. Cwmystwyth is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
There is much to see here and it’s likely that you’ll be alone in this dramatic landscape with its eerie shells of buildings and piles of mining waste. There are many walks in Cwmystwyth and to get the full experience I recommend that you explore the hills and mountains that shadow this stunning valley.