The historic town of Machynlleth is at the heart of an area of outstanding natural beauty and diversity and visitors to the area should take the opportunity to visit the nearby Dyfi Osprey Project and the RSPB Reserve and Visitor Centre at Ynyshir. The area - the Dyfi Biosphere - is recognised as one of only two UNESCO Biosphere Reserve sites in the UK.
Nearby the Centre for Alternative Technology has been hugely proactive in promoting ecological technology and lobbying for environmental policy both in the UK and internationally. The centre itself is extremely popular amongst visitors both as an inspiring educational resource and as a fun day out.
The earliest record of Machynlleth may well be contained in the legend of 'Cantre'r Gwaelod', a mythical area of fertile farmland that enriched the local people. Since then the town has enjoyed a distinguished history. Machynlleth claims to be the ancient capital of Wales are based upon Owain Glyndwr’s short lived government of 1404, which was housed in the Parliament buildings that are still open to the public today.
As well as the Centre for Alternative Technology there are a host of other attractions in the area including King Arthurs Labyrinth, Corris Mine Explorers. The Museum of Modern Art Wales houses a superb permanent collection and its Tabernacle buildings provide a venue for numerous festivals, including the Machynlleth Comedy Festival. The weekly Machynlleth market is hugely popular, dating back to a Royal Charter issued in 1291, whilst the Talyllyn Railway offers an alternative way to enjoy the local landscape. The town itself is full of independent shops offering local crafts, organic foods and plenty of places to stop for a paned (cuppa).
Machynlleth is a hub for visitors with a passion for the outdoors. Located on both the Glyndwr's Way National Trail and the Wales Coast Path, as well as numerous 'Dyfi Discovery' short walks, the area is great location for walking and cycling.
Despite Machynlleth’s rich political history and contemporary ecological and alternative subculture, it has also played an important role in the history of rock and roll. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant has owned property here since he was a boy and penned the iconic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as well as many more songs in his cottage just outside Machynlleth.