Eighteen miles northeast of Aberystwyth is MACHYNLLETH (pronounced “ma-hun-cthleth”), a bustling little place with a great vibe, as well being the undisputed centre of all things “New Age”, thanks in large part to the nearby Centre for Alternative Technology. The wide main street, Heol Maengwyn, is busiest on Wednesdays, when a lively market springs up; Heol Penrallt intersects this at the fussy clocktower.

Centre for Alternative Technology

After the oil crisis of 1974, seven acres of a once-derelict slate quarry were turned into the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an almost entirely sustainable community. At one stage, eighty percent of the power was generated from wind, sun and water, but this is no back-to-the-land hippy commune. Much of the on-site technology was developed and built here, but with the rise of eco-consciousness the emphasis has shifted more towards promoting its application in urban situations. CAT’s water-balanced cliff railway  whisks visitors 200ft up from the car park to the beautiful main site, sensitively landscaped using local slate and wood, and you can easily spend half a day sauntering around. There’s plenty for kids, a good wholefood restaurant and an excellent shop. Check the website for summer residential volunteer programmes.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Wales features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

11 Apr 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
Here be monsters: on the trail of Teggie in Wales

Here be monsters: on the trail of Teggie in Wales

David Atkinson goes in search of the elusive Teggie – a monster rumoured to live in the waters of Bala Lake, Snowdonia.  The mist descends like a slow ma…

02 Mar 2017 local_activity Special feature
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

22 Feb 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month