The Cynghordy viaduct on the Heart of Wales line
Following on from being featured as one of Greentraveller.co.uk’s best rural places to visit near a train station, it was high-time to demonstrate how easy it is. While we only have 8 trains a day (and 4 on Sundays, which is why it’s so peaceful around here) it’s possible, with a bit of planning, to have a fab rural holiday without a car. Cynghordy station is just a short walk from the front door.
So here are five days out to get you started:
Sight seeing and shopping in Llandeilo
The magnificent Dinefwr Castle with its amazing views, along with Newton House and the Deer Park, all managed by the National Trust is a 1.5 mile walk (30 mins) from Llandeilo station. The second half of that walk is through the beautiful deer park and takes in some of the loveliest countryside in the area. The NT cafe at Newton House is very good but then if you walked back down into the centre of Llandeilo you would find lots of good places to eat, along with lots of little boutique shops for poking around in. And you’d still have time for a quick early supper before getting the last train back to Cynghordy.
Journey time 30 mins each way. Time between trains: 2 or 7 hours.
Depart 11:20. Return 19:16
If you just fancy a putter around the town for a couple of hours, then get the 14:15 home.
A shopping and lunch stop in Llandovery
We are just 10 mins away from our nearest town where you’ll find lots of little independent shops including a fab greengrocers & healthfood store called Iecyd Da (their facebook page), a butchers, a wonderful delicatessen and a large co-op on the outskirts. There are lots of great pubs and cafes – The Castle and The Old Printing Office are two of our favourites. There is also a ruined castle and a really nice kid’s playground next to it.
Journey time 10 mins each way. Time between trains: 3 hours.
Departing train 11:20 Return train 14:35
OR shopping and an early supper:
Departing train 16:26 Return train 19:38
A walk in the woods nr Sugar Loaf
Right opposite the station at Sugar Loaf Halt, just 9 mins from Cynghordy, is Esgair Dafydd, a vast expanse of open forestry land with hill climbs and many trails to discover on foot or bike. You’ll have 5 hours in which to explore the many trails. If you’re feeling intrepid, climb to the top of Garn Wen (510 metres above sea level) and take a fab view of 3 counties. Go on a nice day or wear proper outdoor clothing – and take a picnic. (If the weather turns, you’re close enough for us to rescue you by car – if you can find a mobile signal!) It is possible to walk to Sugar Loaf Mountain but does entail walking a half a mile section along a very busy road, you would actually be safer doing that by bike.
Journey time 9 mins each way. Time between trains: 5 hours.
Depart 10:45 Return 16:19 (Alternatively, if you want a bit of a shorter treck and can get back to Sugar Loaf Halt by 14:55, you can go on to the next stop at Llanwrtyd for a swift half before catching the 16:10 home again.)
Or if you want to take advantage of Summer evenings:
Depart 14:46 Return 20:16
Pop to the ‘corner shop’ in Llanwrtyd Wells
If you just need a pint of milk and a breath of fresh air, a relatively quick return trip to the UK’s smallest town might be just the thing. You’ll find all the basics at the Spar and have a chance to admire the pretty town and river before catching the return train.
Journey time 14 mins each way. Time between trains: 1 hr + 10 mins.
Depart 14:46 Return16:10
A visit to Llandrindod Wells
Locally known as ‘Llandod’, this pretty little Victorian spa town is a popular day out for locals and tourists alike. A vist to the Rock Park and a walk around the boating lake are a must. There is a cafe by the lake, but our favourite is near the station – the Herb Garden Cafe which at our last visit still sourced great local food and catered for all kinds of dietary requirements. And there is a Co-op, Tesco and an Aldi all very close to the station so good for a stock-up shop on the way home.
Journey time 45-50 mins. Time between trains: 4 or 8 hours.
Depart 10:45 Return 15:35 or 19:31
Depart 14:46 Return 19:31
There are lots more trips you can do including having a grand day out as far afield as Swansea Bay or the medieval town of Shrewsbury. Have a look at the Heart of Wales timetable for more ideas and we are always happy to help you work the timings out.
NB: The above times are not applicable for Sundays. I’m still working on those.