Start your tour with a hands-on experience at The Judge’s Lodging in the Welsh border town of Presteigne. Your clients will discover the life of the Victorian judges, their servants and criminal guests. They can wander around the judge’s chambers, staff quarters, holding cells and court room with an audio tour, featuring the voice of actor Robert Hardy.

Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and pre-booking is recommended. There isn’t a café but light refreshments can be provided on request. It is possible to visit outside normal opening times on request for groups of minimum 15. There is a car park suitable for coaches on Joe Deakins Road.

A small courtroom taken from the judge's seat.

The courtroom at The Judge's Lodging

Next is a 28 mile (45 km) drive to Elan Valley, known for its reservoirs and dams. Your clients can learn about the history of the dams and local area in the visitor centre and have lunch in the café, followed by visit to the gift shop and a scenic drive with plenty of photo opportunities. It is a 9 mile (14.5 km) drive around a series of four lakes, created between 1892 and 1903 to supply water to the city of Birmingham. Private ranger tours can be arranged where a ranger boards the coach / minibus to talk about the Elan Valley Estate and visit the six dams with the passengers. Another option is a private tour of the Pen-y-Garreg Dam - a unique experience of going inside a Victorian dam. The reservoirs are set in the Cambrian Mountains in a mixture of moorland, woodlands, farmland, streams and bogs.

River running through the Elan Valley
A dam holding back the water of the reservoir amongst hills beyond.

Elan Valley, and Craig Goch dam

Coach parking is available at the visitor centre. It is possible for a ranger to join your coach for a tour on request.

Note. Coaches need to follow a clockwise route when visiting the dams as the road is narrow in places. From the visitor centre head up to Garreg Ddu Dam, continue driving along Pen y Garreg (signposted Cycleroute 81) and finally parallel to Craig Goch Dam. Turn right at Pont ar Elan to return to Rhayader.

Mike Booth - Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Elan Valley

End your tour with free time in Hay-on-Wye, the town that is famous for its books and second hand book shops – the castle, the fire station and even narrow alleyways. Entry to the newly restored Hay Castle is free although there is a small charge for main exhibitions. Private tours can also be arranged in advance. It is also hosts the Hay Festival that takes place in May / June every year. The journey is 35 miles (56 km) from Elan valley. It’s not just book shops, there are plenty of independent shops and galleries to browse around and cafes and pubs too.

Coach parking is available at Oxford Road car park

Continue home or to onward destination.

Streets lined with bunting leading to a market square.
People in a bookshop, amongst shelves full of books.

Hay on Wye festival and town


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