Powys, Montgomeryshire, Wales

The Best Things to do in Powys

We have lots of inspiration for interesting things to do in Powys. If you’re a keen walker, explore the riverside forests and countryside trails along Offa’s Dyke. Meanwhile, if you love exploring beautiful gardens, there are those of grand country homes like Powis Castle and those that are a little wilder to visit. With a quirky art museum in the mix too, as well as tips for places to eat, there is something to suit most tastes.

National Trust's jewel in the crown Powis Castle, overlooking Welshpool in Powys on a summer's day

Powis Castle and Garden

If you like visiting country houses, the National Trust’s Powis Castle, just outside Welshpool, is one of the best things to do in Powys. Built in the 13th century by Welsh princes and developed by the Herbert family who lived here from the 1570s, Powis Castle is a historical gem.

As you approach the entrance you may well spot the peacocks strutting their stuff in the courtyard. Inside, there are rooms decorated with beautiful furnishings and fabrics, tapestries and paintings to feast your eyes on. Plus, there’s the unique Clive Museum collection of South Asian artefacts.

Meanwhile, the world-famous Powis Castle Garden is an attraction in its own right. Highlights include the 17th century Italianate terraces, an Edwardian formal garden and stunning views across the Severn Valley.

The renowned RHS partner Dingle Garden on a late summer day, overlooking the ornamental pond

Dingle Garden and Glansevern Hall Gardens

About a 15-minute drive apart, Dingle Garden and Glansevern Hall Gardens combined together make a lovely day out on a good weather day.

Dingle Garden, near the town of Welshpool, is an RHS partner garden and covers 4.5 acres. Well known for its colour-themed and unusual planting, there is plenty of inspiration for gardeners. Yet, most visit purely for taking in the beauty, the divine scents and the sounds of nature the garden promises. Stroll around the stream-fed lake, admire the trickling waterfall and enjoy a picnic, then pop into the adjoining nursery to pick up some plants.

Glansevern Hall Gardens, open at weekends, are situated on the banks of the River Severn and cover 25 acres. Expect to see diverse and exotic planting, plus a 5-acre lake, a water garden and a formal walled garden. There are lakeside and woodland trails to help you explore and some surprises along the way, including a Folly Garden. There are special experiences available too, including picking herbs for distilling into your own essential oil.

A couple walking the Offa's Dyke footpath at Montgomery Canal on a sunny day

Take a hike

Powys is a beautiful region of mountains, hills and valleys, making it ideal if you like to spend some of your holiday time walking. The county also has many places where you can join the famous Offa’s Dyke walking route. Offa’s Dyke was created in the 780s as a border between Wales and England.

One such route begins from the charming town of Montgomery where you can set off on the 4-mile Offa’s Dyke Circular Walk. It’s the perfect ‘taster’ walk as it is relatively easy and flat. The trail traverses parkland, ventures down farm paths and runs beside part of Offa’s Dyke. You can look forward to beautiful countryside and far-reaching views.

Or head into Hafren Forest for a walk beside waterfalls along the accessible boardwalk that stretches along the bank of the River Severn.

Montgomery Castle, overlooking the very pretty market town of Montgomery in Powys

Dine out

One of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Powys is The Checkers, housed in a former coaching inn in Montgomery. Owned by chef Andrew Birch, who has over 20 years of experience as a chef, including a stint at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill in London, dining here promises to be refined, yet relaxed and intimate too.

The Checkers is in the Michelin Guide and also boasts an AA Rosette award for culinary excellence. Open for the latter part of the week you can book in for a 3 or 6-course tasting menu at lunch, or an 8-course tasting menu at dinner. Cuisine is modern British, and dishes utilise the best local, seasonal produce. Look forward to the likes of Braised Rabbit Cannelloni and Roast Welsh Lamb.

For something more casual, Montgomery is also home to the Castle Kitchen, a café and delicatessen where you can rest with a latte and a scone. It’s a welcome pit stop after exploring the town’s shops, castle or Offa’s Dyke.

The wonderful and weird Andrew Logan museum in the pretty village of Berriew, home to The Alternative Miss World and the Giant Cosmic Egg

Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum

A real find if you’re into art and sculpture, the Andrew Logan Museum in Berriew is the first museum in Europe that was opened by and is dedicated to a living artist.

A feast for the eyes, the exhibits are a colourful, flamboyant and unique collection of artworks with many interesting and quirky pieces that will capture your attention and imagination. Created over several decades, there is plenty to see including sculptures, mirrored portraits, glass jewellery and a section dedicated to the Alternative Miss World.

What’s more, there are jewellery masterclasses available with Andrew where you will learn the skills to make your own piece of wearable art.

Gaer Fawr Woods in may with carpets of bluebells, just outside the village of Guilsfield

Gaer Fawr Wood

Gaer Fawr Wood, owned and managed by the Woodland Trust, is a delightful and tranquil place for a walk. It can be found on a hill just outside of the village of Guilsfield near Welshpool.

There are several paths through the woodland, much of which is ancient, that lead up to the Iron Age hillfort at the top. Once the trees are in full leaf, the views are obscured, so a winter walk once the leaves have fallen are best if that’s what you’re looking for.

If you’re visiting the area in spring, there is a beautiful display of bluebells that make any walk at this time extra joyful.

Wine and cheese platter laid out on a table outside at Kerry Vale Vineyard

Wine tasting

While it’s not actually in Powys, the Kerry Vale Vineyard is just a stone’s throw across the border, in Shropshire. This award-winning vineyard offers several tours and wine tasting experiences, perfect if you enjoy and appreciate good wine.

The Vineyard Tour with Cheese and Wine is a great pairing experience. It starts with a guided tour of the vineyard where you will learn about the grape growing and harvesting process. Then, you will try some of the English wines produced here and finish off with a delicious platter of local cheeses, breads and chutneys, plus a glass of wine of your choice.

Or simply just pop along for lunch in the café and to pick up some wine from the shop to enjoy back at your cottage. If you think you’ve earned a treat, the café does a very good afternoon tea with sparkling wine too (pre-booking essential).

Contact Us

If you have any questions about any of our cottages or if you’d like some help with your booking, you are very welcome to get in touch with us.

We are always happy to help and go out of our way to tailor your perfect UK holiday.

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