The Cambrian Mountains are one of the few remote areas left in Southern Britain; they have the least light pollution, and are one of the few places where it's possible to escape the sound of traffic. This peaceful, largely unspoiled and rugged landscape is dotted with traditional hill farms and small rural communities. Some say this is where the ‘real Wales' is found.
The sparsely populated countryside is a great area for walking and fishing and supports a wonderful range of wildlife. Red Kites and other interesting birds can be seen and otters and polecats live in the nature reserve of Cors Caron.
Tregaron and Teifi Pools
The smallest town in the county of Ceredigion, Tregaron has an appealing frontier feeling with miles of empty hills beyond in one direction and the vast Cors Caron wetland in another. Nearby is Strata Florida Abbey, a 12th century Cistercian monastery, its graveyard the burial place of many Welsh princes.
In the hills behind lies the remote and timeless landscape of the Teifi Pools (known as Llyn Teifi) : five lakes amid craggy rocks, one of them the source of the River Teifi. Llyn Hir, the smallest of the lakes is reputed to hold the best brown trout. It's easy to fish from the bank and is great for evening fishing in summer. Permits available from local Post Offices or contact the Tregaron Angling Association.
Attractions of the Cambrian Mountains
The narrow valleys through the Cambrian Mountains range from gorges and ravines to broad valleys – all corridors for streams and rivers draining from the upper plateaux. This is where some of the valleys were flooded to create reservoirs at the Elan Valley and Llyn Brianne, which provide water for the English West Midlands and South Wales.
To the north are the uplands of the Ystwyth and Rheidol rivers, with the restored landscape walks at Hafod, the dramatic waterfalls of Devil's Bridge and the forest recreation centre of Bwlch Nant yr Arian with its Red Kite feeding station, waymarked walking trails and some of the best mountain bike trails in Britain.
A Managed Wilderness
It is the special quality of remoteness which characterises this area and makes it of national significance. Despite giving the impression of wildness, the landscape and its beauty are maintained by the local communities, landowners, farmers and estate managers who look after them. These people have helped mould the landscape for centuries, and continue to do so today.
The Cambrian Mountains in Wales has launched its first ever discovery map which features over 80 fantastic businesses and attractions.
The map encourages journeys of discovery across one of Europe’s oldest mountain ranges where you can visit stunning mountain peaks, breath-taking waterfalls and make your own discoveries along the way.
The map routes are marked in gold and encourage you to visit communities in this rural part of Wales where you will receive a warm and authentic Welsh welcome.
This forgotten part of Wales offers memorable experiences for all ages in a less touristic environment.
Our Favourites of the best things to do in the Cambrian Mountains
Take the Vale of Rheidol Railway to Devil's Bridge
Go walking at the Teifi Pools followed by a cream tea at The Talbot Hotel, behind which is (allegedly!) buried an elephant!
Walking at Bwlch Nant yr Arian followed by watching the afternoon Red Kite feeding.
Visit Strata Florida Abbey
Cycle through Cors Caron Nature Reserve
Looking for somewhere to stay in the Cambrian Mountains?