Things to do

Some of the best mountain biking in the United Kingdom is virtually on our doorstep ...

Enjoy quality time with friends and family in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains

Things to do

With the outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, games room and spacious accommodation, there’s plenty to do without even leaving your accommodation. Don’t forget we are situated in a recognised Dark Site; so the vast night skies provide lots of opportunities for star-gazing in the evenings too. But when you do want to get out and about, there are so many places to visit, activities and days out to enjoy during your holiday in Wales. Here are just some to help you start planning your stay.

Food & Drink








Food & Drink

Jules’ Cakes offer in-house cupcake workshops to suit all ages. Unleash your artistic talents decorating delicious cakes to take home or enjoy straight away! Your can book a 2 hour workshop at the Barn, when she will show you how to decorate 30 cupcakes, choosing from three themes. This can be booked direct with Jules. If you’re having a celebration during your stay at Cae Madog Barn, Jules’ Cakes can also bake you beautiful occasion cakes. Have a look at her website to see a range of her amazing cakes or check out her Instagram page.

Brigands Inn, Mallwyd provide locally sourced produce and have a vast menu that covers breakfast, lunch, dinner and takeaway.

Machynlleth, our local town, is worth a visit for a browse round the shops and eateries. Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the country pubs or cafes, most of which offer extensive vegetarian and vegan options.

Just outside Machynlleth is Ynyshir, the most highly-awarded restaurant in Wales, named Best Restaurant in the UK two years running in 2022 and 2023. It has two Michelin stars, five AA rosettes, and is ranked in the UK’s top five UK restaurants by the Good Food Guide.


Some of the best mountain-biking in the UK is virtually on our doorstep.

Coed-y-Brenin (Welsh for King’s Wood) is a forest in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales near Dolgellau – about a 40 minute drive from the barn. It has mountain bike courses for all levels, ranging from green to black in severity, including the infamous ‘Beast of Brenin’ – 38km of exhilarating, skill-stretching intensity.

Machynlleth is closer to home (about 20 minutes away) and has some gnarly trails that offer all the thrills (but hopefully not the spills!). Mach 1-3 trails take you out on challenging natural trails while the more recent cli-machx trail winds you high into the Dyfi forest before firing you down superbly technical single-track descents that seem to go on forever.

Dyfi Mountain Biking has a good selection of Mach trails maps. The Holey Trail Bike Shop in Machynlleth also has maps of specific recommended and cross-country routes in the area.

Nant-yr-Arian Forest sits high on the mountains just inland from Aberystwyth (half an hour from the barn) and offers stunning high-level wilderness riding. With trails heading out into the epic scenery of the Cambrian Mountains, this is a fantastic area for those who like their riding rugged. Just be prepared for everything from true mountain climbs to river crossings and technical rocky descents.

The Hafren Forest sits in 40 sq kilometres of stunning scenery and is only 15 minutes from the door. It is threaded with bike trails through the forest – many of them leading you to high viewpoints looking down across the tranquil beauty of Clywedog reservoir. Road bikers can take the 18 mile circular trail around the reservoir, stopping off to visit the Severn break-its-neck waterfall and the abandoned lead mines.


The Hafren Forest has a number of walks of varying length, ranging from easy going board walks to riverside trails, there is something for everyone. The walks offer fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, and get you up close to some of the brilliant waterfalls in the area.
The Hafren Forest is also a great place for picnics and horse riding, with its excellent bridleways.

Pen Pumlumon Fawr (Plynlimon) is the highest point of mid-Wales, standing at 757 metres (2,467 ft). The principal land cover within the area (known as the ‘Green Desert’) contains nationally and internationally important habitats and species, such as dry and wet dwarf-shrub heathland, blanket bog, unimproved acid grassland and a number of small lakes. Folklore says there is even a sleeping giant in Plynlimon – will you spot him when you visit?

Wales Coast Path one of the few footpaths in the world to follow a nation’s coastline. Enjoy panoramic views on a clifftop stroll and explore some truly picturesque fishing villages.

Brecon Beacons National Park is loved for its big green open spaces, offering miles and miles of wonderful walking during your holiday in Wales.

Snowdonia National Park covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, it is the largest National Park in Wales, has the highest mountain in England and Wales and the largest lake in Wales. Well worth a visit whilst you’re here.


There’s a range of activities available at nearby Dovey Valley. From shooting lessons to clay pigeon shooting to a simulated game shoot. Great if you’re organising a corporate retreat or group booking at Cae Madog Barn.




Forest Experience Rally School offer a variety of driving experiences, from 1:1 to corporate driving days, and is only a few miles down the road.


Llyn Clywedog World Class Trout Fishing: One of Wales premier fly-only trout fishing waters, Llyn Clywedog is a 615 acre reservior built on the head waters of the river Severn.

Boat hire is available and please remember you will need the correct Seasonal Environmental Agency Rod Licence and Permits. You’ll find all the information – including prices and where to get your licence and permit – on their website. 

Nature & Wildlife

Elan Valley Reserve is 70 square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir. The environments are all of national importance for their diversity of plants and land birds in Wales. The estate received the International Dark Sky Park award and also has a wealth of nocturnal wildlife that thrives under the unspoilt dark skies.

Dyfi Wildlife Centre find out all about the Dyfi Osprey Project.

Cadair Idris Visitor Centre & Tea Room at Southern Snowdonia. Showcasing the wildlife, geology and legends of Cadair Idris National Nature Reserve, with interactive games, animated films. You can even see infrared footage of rare lesser horseshoe bats in the roofspace.

RSPB Lake Vrynwy Reserve listen to the pied flycatchers and redstarts, watch dippers nesting by the rocky streams and goosanders bobbing on the water. You might even be lucky enough to spot a peregrine hunting during your visit.

UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere with landscapes ranging from moorland to sand dunes to saltmarsh and woodland forests. Look out for otters, osprey, red kits and even dolphin pods in the bay.

Railways & Days Out

Rheilffordd Tayyllyn Railway the oldest preserved railway in the world, affectionately known as ‘The Railway with a Heart of Gold’.

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways comfortable carriages and historic steam engines. Take in the breath-taking scenery of the coastlines, ancient oak woodlands, mountains, rivers and castles on a journey aboard an historic steam engine. Step back in time and explore Snowdonia in comfort.

Vale of Rheidol Railway enjoy the scenic trip through ancient woodlands to Devil’s Bridge, home of the famous waterfalls, nestled in the magnificent Cambrian Mountains.

Fairbourne Railway has been running from Fairbourne village to the mouth of Mawddach Estuary, connecting with the ferry to Barnmouth for more than 100 years.




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Contact us

Mr and Mrs Nelson,
Cae Madog Barn, Bont Dolgadfan,
SY19 7AP.

Telephone: 01650 521761
Mobile: 07816 540172