“ Machynlleth, sometimes abbreviated to Mach), is a market town in the traditional county of Montgomeryshire (Sir Drefaldwyn), north Powys in Wales. It is in the Dyfi Valley, and is at the intersection of the A487 and the A489. It had a population of about 2,000 people according to the 2001 census. It was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404, and as such claims to be the "ancient capital of Wales." It applied for city status in the 2000 and 2002 competitions. „
I have had a home 2 miles away away from Machylleth now for over 14 years and the charm of this town has never faltered. I was 7 when we first decided to buy a static caravan in Wales and looked everywhere before settling on a small site by Machynlleth or as i have come to call it Mach. When i was this age i thought of Mach as my playground with the leisure centre and its water flume in the swimming pool which my dad had to push me down everytime as when i reached the top i didn't want to go down it and the fact that i could go into the restaurant afterwards and have my favourite; Jacket potato with cheese and sweetcorn priced very reasonably at £2.50. Also just opposite was a playground which i spent many an hour and also once a year there is sheepdog trials which me and my sister are enthralled with as it is amazing to go and see. In my teens Mach began to appeal to me in a different light with respect to the shops. Mach you see has many shops appealing to all kinds of people, it is a very ethnicy town and a pleasure to walk around any day of the week. The following are a few of my favourite shops; First Ian Snow, my favourite shop in Machynlleth. This shop sells lots of ethnic gifts and clothes. It has a kind of hippy feel to it and guaranteed you can find a gift token in there. It appeals to all ages with its section of toys for kids and then clothes and home gifts for adults. This shop always smells nice aswell and i still cant work out what creates the smell, sort of like an incense smell. Definitely worth a visit. The Spectrum Gallery is another one of my faves because their products are so stunning. Selling jewellery which i can guarantee you will fall in love with and then gifts for the house. Do not forget to go have a look at the very back of teh shop where they have a show gallery in the garden of all sorts of garden delights. Also upstairs with furniture and pictures is worth a look. You will find all of the products in this shop are unique. Just beware of the cat who resides in this shop as if a dog goes near him then ill just say god help the dog. Ian Jenkins is another jewellers where the staff are always pleasant and they sell lots of unique and strange pieces of jewellery. If you like pewter then this is the shop to be as they have a great pewter selection. Also there is a great kitchen shop, bike shop and designer gallery selling very expensive but very bequtiful pieces of art. The brass rubbing shop is brilliant too providing fun for all the family and allowing you to learn some history at the same time by lookng around the museum. Now at 23 and after 14 years i am still in love with Machynlleth as much as i ever was and am down there every weekend. Now the welsh and english culture appeals to me alot. Machynlleth is a market town and every Wednesday without fail you will find a bustling funfilled market across all of the main streets. I suggest you get there early as parking becomes limited with many people parking in nearby resedential streets. The clocktower is stunning and is in the centre of the town and you can see it almost wherever you are in town. The tower was built to mark the coming of age of Charles Stewart Vane-tempest, Viscount Castlereagh, the eldest son of the fifth Marquess of Londonderry of Plas Machynlleth. There are also 3 medieval houses in the town including the parliament house and the royal house. Events at Mach are always good including sheepdog trials, the annual carnival in July and the Owain Glyndwr Festival in September. Here you will be able to see all of teh residents in medieval dress. These events are usually advertised locally around one month before they begin. There are many places to visit right near Mach too such as the CAT (centre for alternative technology) centre which offers lots of technology experiments and also a section where you can eat plants, Snowdonia natural park and Aberdyfi which has a stunning beach and one of the main fun things to do is crab fish. Also nearby are facilities for quadbiking and laser clay shooting which we did for my sisters birthday last year and we all thought it was brilliant. Also Mach allows you to go on some great hill walks with some stunning scenery. Places to stay in Machynlleth are all lovely and reasonably priced including Maenllwyd guest house from £30 a night and also if you are adventurous then you can even stay in a tipi just outside the town. When visiting machynlleth you can visit the information centre which will give you all the information you need on where to go and what to do situated at the top of the town by a very good fish and chip shop if you are hungry. Basically i love this town and everybody i have bought here have loved it. There is so much to see and do and is a fantastic and fascinating little town. If you want to go then dont hesitate and go enjoy the charm of this lovely town. Situated in midwales, Machynlleth is very easy to find and is on sign posts for up to 50 miles away from the centre. By road, people from Midlands use the motorway network as far west as Telford, then come into Mid-Wales via Shrewsbury and Welshpool or Newtown. This is how i travel and it is pretty easy to follow.
Now Machynlleth wouldn't have been my first choice for a weekend away, owing to the fact that I hadn't ever heard of it. I did, however, fancy visiting the Centre for Alternative Technology and it only took a little research to discover that it is based in Machynlleth, so off we went! What a lovely place! We were fortunate enough to be there during the town's carnival which meant that every shop was adorned with a beautiful bright banner. It was raining when we arrived, and what usually puts me off Wales is the way everything always looks grey and bleak in the rain (lots of slate etc.) Not so in Machynlleth where the bright banners were immediately cheery and welcoming; a welcome extended to us by the friendly people inside all the interesting shops we visited. Machynlleth is probably not great for shopping if you live there, but for visitors it hold a host of treasures from the Centre for Alternative Technology's cafe (selling yummy organic cakes, pasties, salads, beers and ciders) to ethnic clothes shops, craft shops, and a health food shop. We asked about public transport to CAT in one of the shops and were immediately directd to the bus stop, but were also advised that if the bus times didn't suit - locals were friendly and would give us a lift if we stuck a thumb out (great stuff!) We stayed at the camp site next to the Centre for Alternative Technology. It was lovely and peaceful and just next to a forest so we explored the walks there too (in the rain!). We found the local shop (I think it was called Norma's stores), which also doubled as the local pub and we whiled away a pleasant evening chatting to the locals and drinking beer. Had we wanted to venture further afield, the shop windows in Machynlleth were full of posters advertising gigs, theatre events and choral concerts. Quite a choice for a little place! As well as the Centre for Alternative Technology which is well worth a visit, there is also King Arthur's Labyrinth nearby (a family attaction.) - I can't comment on it though as I didn't go there! We did, however, take a short train ride to Aberdovey; a lovely sea-side town with not much in it except a few shops, cafes and pubs, but with plenty of sea what more do you need? We had a beer, an ice cream and a stroll along the beach then it was back to Machynlleth in time to buy food to cook back at the camp site. If you fancy a weekend away, I'd really recommend Machynlleth - beautiful scenery, interesting things to do and really friendly locals - I loved it!