The market town of Tregaron, on the western edge of the Cambrian Mountains is a gateway to many sites of natural and historic importance in West Wales. All roads lead to the market square which is surrounded by characterful buildings including the 13th-century Talbot Hotel, an old drovers’ inn, which supposedly has an elephant buried in its grounds.
The popular Welsh Gold Centre, where the world-famous Rhiannon jewellery is made, includes a Welsh craft shop and tearoom.
Local heroes and history
In the town square, a statue commemorates Henry Richard the MP for Merthyr Tydfil who was a founder and first secretary of the League of Nations, fore-runner to the modern United Nations.
Twm Siôn Cati, often described as the Welsh Robin Hood frequented the hills and valleys around Tregaron and his exploits were legendary throughout South Wales. A wood carving of him stands in the square and his will is displayed in the town’s museum. The Twm Town Trail, designed by local school children, is a popular walk, joining places linked to him.
The Kite Centre and Museum just out of the square on the road to Llanddewi Brefi, has information on Red Kites and other birds of the area, local history, costume, Cors Caron and a reconstructed Victorian school room.
Attractions of the area
To the north, Cors Caron ― also known as Cors Goch Glanteifi (the red bog on the banks of the Teifi) or just ‘Tregaron Bog’ ― lies between Tregaron, Ystrad Meurig and Pontrhydfendigaid. A huge area of marshy ground covering over 1000 hectares, it was once part of the extensive lands belonging to the monks of Strata Florida Abbey. Now, it is an important National Nature Reserve with many species of rare birds, rare plants and mammals. Level boardwalks offer circular routes out into the reserve.
The 21 mile Ystwyth Trail, along the track of the former Great Western Railway, links Tregaron with Aberystwyth and is a multi-use cycling, walking and riding track which crosses Cors Caron.
Six miles north of Tregaron, near Pontrhydfendigaid, lie the ruins of Strata Florida, the Cistercian Abbey founded in 1164, once the Westminster of Wales and the place where many Welsh Princes are buried.
To the east of the town, the peaceful and unspoiled Cambrian Mountain range is one of Wales' most special areas. It is one of the few areas left in Southern Britain where it is possible to escape the sound of traffic and enjoy the lack of light pollution. During the summer, visitors from all over Wales come to the mountains on Sundays for services at the isolated chapel - Soar y Mynydd.
Travel north through Pontrhydfendigaid, to Teifi Pools (Llyn Teifi), a series of lakes high in the Cambrian Mountains which are the source of the River Teifi. An anglers' paradise, the biggest lake, Llyn Teifi is well stocked with wild brown trout.