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Pictures of Rhayader

in the county of Powys

About Rhayader

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Several roads converge on this peaceful market town on the upper Wye. It is an historic town which is renowned as an angling, pony trekking, walking and touring centre, it is also the nearest town to the beautiful Elan Valley Reservoirs.

The town lies in the heart of Mid-Wales, its history can be traced back to the 5th century, although excavations of Neolithic remains point to the region being inhabited long before this date. Interestingly, the town takes its name from one of its local beauty spots, a waterfall known as the Waterfall on the Wye - this translated into Welsh is "Rhaeadr Gwy".

Situated half way between Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, Rhayader is surrounded by some of the finest scenery in Wales. The area has an incredible beauty, with rolling farmlands, forestry, and hills rising in places to 1500 feet above sea level. Not unnaturally, the town is also known as the "Gateway to the Elan Valley" where visitors can see The Penygarreg Dam, one of a series begun in 1892, which holds back the water of the River Elan for piping to the Midlands. The chain of reservoirs took over 60 years to complete, with the Claerwen Reservoir finally being opened by the Queen in 1952.

The town, which nestles amidst the peaks of the Cambrian mountains, has a number of friendly shops, the usual household commodities are catered for and there is a range of specialist shops with crafts, Welsh dresses, pottery and antiques. It also has pleasing hotels, inns, bed and breakfast houses, and caravan & camping parks.

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