Why not take advantage of this glorious township and the mountains and go walking or hiking.
The spectacular beauty of this area makes you appreciate spending a few hours exploring.
Make sure that you wear suitable shoes and have water....and disappear for some time out!
Its jewel is undoubtedly the Elan Valley, flooded a century ago to provide safe drinking water for Birmingham. This created a wealth of different habitats, free from pollution, where fungi thrive.
This is also home to some of our rarest wildlife: from red kites soaring majestically; to oak woods full of pied flycatchers and redstarts; and waters where otters and salmon play.
It is also rich in history. Nant-y-Gro Dam, for example, was blown up by Barnes Wallis to prove his theories about the destructive potential of a bouncing bomb. Or there are the remains of Cwm Elan House to which Percy Shelley, the poet, fled after being sent down from Oxford.
I was told I was going bird watching!!! Not being one of my main interests, I half heartedly tried to get excited!!! How mistaken was I.. I found it a fabulous experience and would fully recommend it.
Gigrain Farm is the place to be.. It is a Red Kite feeding and rahabilitation centre. There are five hides to observe the birds. Beef is purchased for the birds and place in the paddock near the hides. At 2.00pm (3.00pm in summer) the birds begin to fly in...What amazing animals they are..Dont forget your camera...
The farm is also a camping and caravan site..
The town Clock was built on the site of the Old Market Hall. It was built in the mid 20th Century as a Memorial to the two World Wars. On the North face is a mother and child with Ivy for sympathy, clasping hands for friendsip. On the East face is a Welsh Dragon fighting the Prussion Eagle and the Old Coat of Arms of the district flanked by leeks, the national Emblems of Wales. On the West face is a soldier and a Welsh Dragon and on the South face and angel placing a Victory wreath. The palm branch signifies peace and on the shield is the Trinity and Cross signifying great sacrifice.
Around 1799 six toll houses set up on all main entries to the town of Rhayader, gates were built across the roads and those entering the town had to pay a rather unpopular fee to get in. The locals were finding the extra expense hard to meet and eventually people became so angry that between 1839 and 1844 they resorted to violence. Local tollgates were a convenient target. No-one is completely sure why the local tenant farmers and workers created Rebecca and her daughters as a disguise, but it is thought that the idea comes from the Bible. In Genesis Rebecca recommended that some "possess the gates of those which hate them".
The different groups of attackers were often led by a "Rebecca" and were all dressed in women's clothing. The riots were called the Rebecca Riots.
The original building was mentioned in 1676 as being one of the two inns in Rhayader at that date. Some changes were made in 1683, including the rebuilding of the three chimney stacks, and this date is carved into the old timbers inside the building. Nowadays the Swan Tea Rooms occupy the ground floor of the building. There is a gargoyle above the large window and to the left of the frame is the date 1683, this was originally the porch of the Old Swan Inn.
The Cwmdduddwr Arms is a listed building probably built in the early 17th Century. It is a good example of local style of building - mixing stone and weatherboarding.
From here you can hire bikes, buy them or even have them repaired. There is also a sign above the door stating that the premises is licenced. I didn't go in to have a look but chances are you can have a pint while you wait for your bike to be repaired!
The Police station and Courthouse were built about 1870 with Courts sitting until the mid 1990's. It is a lovely building with lovely arches and distinctive studded doors.
Nowadays part of the building is used as an Antique market place, it is well worth a wander around here as it's a bit like an Aladdin's cave.
From the town Centre of Rhayader you can pick up one of the many walking trails alongside the River Wye. The scenery is fantastic & you can see many different species of wild flowers, butterflies and birds along the way.
Rhayader Castle (1177 - 1231) was a wooden structure built by the Welsh Prince Rhys Ap Gruffrudd to defend the first major crossing of the River Wye. It was later destroyed by Llewelyn the Great in his fight against the Mortimers.
Today, the site of the Castle is marked by a flagpole. The northern ditch is the most readily visible, from the riverside path below, while that on the east is partly followed by a footpath. The summit of the site is undulating, and may contain the remains of buildings; a slight bank on the side away from the river may be part of a rampart above the eastern ditch. Any trace of a bailey has been lost below housing.
There is an information board on the site of the Castle explaining about its' full history.
The Parish Church of Rhayader is said to stand on the site of the old Garrison Church of the Castle. Whilst foundations of a new tower were being dug, several skeletons were discovered laid neatly in a mass grave. One was of enormous size with a thighbone longer than a meter. It is generally agreen that these were soldiers of the garrison of Rhayader Castle who had been slain by Llewelyn the Great and that the 'Giant' was the Castle Commander.
Rhayader has lots of really great looking Pubs, most of which serve locally produced meals at reasonable prices too.