The spa towns of Mid-Wales, strung out along the Heart of Wales rail line between Swansea and Shrewsbury, were once all obscure villages, but with the arrival of the great craze for spas in the early eighteenth century, anywhere with a decent supply of apparently healing water joined in on the act. Royalty and nobility spearheaded the fashion, but the arrival of the railways opened them to all. Today, best of the bunch is undoubtedly the westernmost spa of Llanwrtyd Wells, hunkered down beneath stunning mountain scenery and renowned for its bizarre events. Llandrindod Wells, the most famous spa, attracted the international elite in its Victorian heyday, and has two excellent museums to enjoy. In between, the larger town of Builth Wells was very much the spa of the Welsh working classes and there’s no real reason to stop, except in mid-July when it hosts the absorbing Royal Welsh Show, Britain’s biggest rural jamboree.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Wales features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

06 Nov 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

For a small country, Wales offers incredible diversity – and many of its (beautiful) landscapes and experiences remain surprisingly undiscovered. From pristin…

19 Sep 2017 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook