Powys, Montgomeryshire, Wales

The Best Places to Visit in Powys

Discover some of the best places to visit in Powys. Explore a host of delightful market towns, each with something different to offer, but all offering plenty of Welsh charm and character. Or take advantage of the rich natural beauty whether on a boat trip along the River Wye or venturing on a walk in the countryside along Offa’s Dyke.

Ruins of Montgomery Castle on top of a hill in Powys, Wales


Montgomery is a small, but very charming town, that locals affectionately refer to as ‘Monty’. There may only be a handful of shops, but you can easily while away an hour or two looking for things like gifts and local produce. Bookworms should head to the bookshop that’s housed in a 16th century timber building. However, Bunners, an old-fashioned ironmonger turned real treasure trove, has to be seen to be believed. There’s also a farmer’s market on Thursdays.

A good selection of places to eat include quaint cafes serving tea and cake and an award-winning fine dining bistro, called The Checkers. There’s also local ale produced at Monty’s brewery and wine from the local Montgomery Vineyard to try.

Amongst Montgomery’s many other delights are the Bell Museum, the imposing Town Hall and the 12th-century castle ruins on the hill that overlooks the town. From up here there are sweeping views across the countryside. Due to its location in the Welsh Marches, just 1 mile from the border with England, Montgomery is also a good place for walkers wishing to explore Offa’s Dyke.

Steam train travelling through the countryside along the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, Powys Wales


Welshpool is a market town that sits on a pretty stretch of the River Severn on the Welsh borderland, not far from Shropshire. There are plenty of visitor attractions, both in town and just a short drive away, plus fantastic countryside nearby.

One of the most popular things to do in Welshpool is visit the National Trust’s Powis Castle and Garden that overlooks the Severn Valley. The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway historic steam train is also popular and offers a scenic journey through Mid Wales.

For even more beautiful scenery, Offa’s Dyke is just 1 mile away, perfect for walkers to explore. Meanwhile, a stroll or a barge trip along the Montgomery Canal may reward you with wildlife sightings, thanks to part of it being a designated Special Area of Conservation.

Other attractions include Powysland Museum where you can discover local archaeological finds including a collection of Roman coins. Between the town’s main streets and narrow lanes, you won’t be short of places to satisfy retail therapy cravings either.

Footpath with gate leading to a field in the countryside at Knighton, Powys


The small and historic market town of Knighton is set in the rolling countryside of the Marches and sits right on Offa’s Dyke. Part of the town is in Shropshire and part is in Powys. So, it is fitting to visit Offa’s Dyke Centre where you can find out more about this famous border, from the Welsh princes to the flora and fauna.

Knighton is another of Powys’ excellent places for walking. You can ease yourself in with a self-guided tour of the town. Or venture on Offa’s Dyke Path or Glyndwr’s Way, both of these National Trails pass through the town. Plus, you can take advantage of the Heart of Wales line and walk one way and return by train.

The town is a delightful mix of 17th century half-timbered houses, winding streets and monuments including the clock tower. However, if you are looking for one of the quirkier things to do in Powys, Knighton is close to The Spaceguard Centre. This working observatory and astronomical research facility is dedicated to the potential hazards that asteroids pose to planet Earth.

Hay on Wye


Hay-on-Wye is a small, picturesque market town that sits on the Welsh side of the Powys/Herefordshire border, on the banks of the River Wye. It is known as the ‘Town of Books’ and attracts literature fans from across the world. Book worms can pop into beautifully laid out second-hand bookshops, or time a visit for the renowned Hay Festival held every May.

There are also lovely traditional shops from butchers to bakers to pick up local produce to savour back at your cottage. If you’re in town on a Thursday, there’s a morning market too, which is nice for a potter about.

As part of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Hay-on-Wye is one of the best places to visit in Powys as a base to enjoy the countryside and embark on outdoor adventures. Follow walking trails and cycle paths. Take a boat trip or hire a kayak and discover the River Wye – there is lots of wildlife to spot including kingfishers and otters if you’re lucky. Or head out on a horse-ride in the Black Mountains nearby.

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