The Welsh Marches denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods. The English terms 'Welsh March' and 'The March of Wales', were originally used in the Middle Ages to denote a more precisely defined territory, the marches between England and the Principality of Wales, in which Marcher lords had specific rights, held to some extent independently of the King of England.
The Black Mountains are a group of hills spread across parts of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales, and extending across the national border into Herefordshire, England. They are the easternmost of the four ranges of hills that comprise the Brecon Beacons National Park.The Black Mountains may be roughly defined as those hills contained within a triangle defined by the towns of Abergavenny in the southeast, Hay-on-Wye in the north and the village of Llangors in the west. Another 'gateway' town to the Black Mountains is Talgarth.
The Brecon Beacons National Park contains some of the most spectacular and distinctive upland formations in southern Britain and covers an area of 520 square miles. Visitor centres at Libanus, Pen-y-Cae and Pontneddfechan. Stretching from Hay-on-Wye in the east to Llandeilo in the west and including four ranges of mountains; the Black Mountains, the Central Beacons, Fforest Fawr and the Black Mountain(Mynydd Du).
Lake Vyrnwy is set amidst the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains. With spectacular waterfalls, and unspoilt open countryside, a visit to Lake Vyrnwy is a wonderful day out for all the family. Lake Vyrnwy is such a beautiful location, the mountains embrace a lake containing some twelve billion gallons of water resulting in scenery reminiscent of the Alps. The lake which is 5 miles long and half a mile wide looks incredibly natural and you can hardly believe that it was created in the late 19th century by Liverpool Corporation, to provide a storage reservoir of safe water for the rapidly growing city of Liverpool.
Walking in Powys and Mid Wales Marches
Wye Valley Walk: The Wye Valley Walk is an easy grade continuous walking trail that follows the river valley from Chepstow to Rhayader, and continues to its source near Pumlumon in the hills above Aberystwyth. The 136 mile (218km) route criss-crosses the lower border between Wales and England through a wonderful variety of scenery.
Glyndwr's Way: The 132 mile National Trail is set in the heart of Wales' breathtaking Cambrian Mountains countryside and is dedicated to the 15th Century Welsh warrior and self proclaimed 'Prince Owain Glyndwr'.
Severn Way Walk: The Severn Way is the longest river walk in Britain, tracing the 210 miles of the River Severn. From its source at Plynlimon (Pumlumon) in the Cambrian Mountains to the sea at Bristol. This waymarked route passes through some beautiful countryside, lovely villages, castle towns and market centres including: Newtown, Llanidloes, Montgomery & Welshpool.
One of the earliest of the National Trails, this long distance footpath must rate as the best walk in Britain. The 177 mile (285km) route extends from North Wales to Chepstow in South Wales following an 8th Century earthwork built by King Offa sometime between 756 and 796
Powys Lakes, Waterfalls & Reservoirs
The 70 square mile Elan Valley Estate has five reservoirs and is popular with people who come to see the spectacular scenery, which is ideal for walkers, cyclists and bird watchers. A series of dams were constructed at the end of the 19th century to provide water to Birmingham and many parts of mid and south Wales. There is a large Visitor Centre which is a good starting point for your visit.
Lake Vyrnwy is a beautiful location, where the mountains embrace a lake containing some twelve billion gallons of water resulting in scenery reminiscent of the Alps. The lake which is 5 miles long and half a mile wide looks incredibly natural and you can hardly believe that it was created in the late 19th century by Liverpool Corporation.
Llyn Clywedog: Clywedog is a man made lake where there are a number of walks including the Clywedog Gorge Trail around the Bryn Tail Mine workings and the Llyn Clywedog Scenic Trail.The National Trail of Glyndwr's Way also passes beneath the dam before pursuing a course along the southern shore of the lake.
Pistyll Rhaeadr is an enchanting waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains, just inside Wales, west of Oswestry and Shrewsbury. At 240ft (80m) high it is the UK tallest single drop waterfall.
Llyn Brianne- Llyn Brianne is a spectacular reservoir at almost 300m (990ft) above sea level. It holds over 64 million cubic metres of water contained by a 91m (300ft) stone-built dam and is the largest of its kind in Europe.
Castles in Powys
Powis Castle: The world-famous Powis Castle & Gardens are overhung with clipped yews sheltering rare and tender plants. Laid out under the influence of Italian and French styles, it retains its original lead statues and an orangery on the terraces. High on a rock above the terraces, the castle, originally built in around 1200, began life as a medieval fortress.
Montgomery Castle: Montgomery Castle is a stone masonry castle looking over the town of Montgomery in Powys, Mid Wales. It is one of many Norman castles on the border between Wales and England.
Dolforwyn Castle was built between 1273-77 by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (Llywelyn the Last) as a forward position in his territory, and overlooking the English lordship of Montgomery.