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A brief insight into Aberangell and the Dyfi Valley


Aberangell is a small village nestled in the Dyfi Valley where the rivers Angell and Dyfi join.  It sits in the Snowdonia National Park, on the county borders of Gwynedd and Powys.

In its history Aberangell was the terminus for the Hendre Ddu tramway and had a station on the Mawddwy railway.
The Hendre Ddu tramway was a narrow gauge railway, which was operational in the late 1800's.  This tramway stretched from Aberangell to the slate quarry at Hendre Ddu, which was 3½ miles away.  It also had several other branches connecting to more quarries, local farms and the forestry for timber.  There is still a slate works at Aberllefenni, but whereas the slate industry has declined the forestry is still working, but all the timber is now transported on articulated Lorries.

The  Mawddwy railway was a 6 mile rural line running from the main Cambrian line at Cemmaes Road (Glantwymyn) to Dinas Mawddwy, and had stations at Cemmaes, Aberangell and Mallwyd. 

Today Aberangell has a different life from the busy times back then.  The forestry still exists on the hills overlooking the village, but now tourism plays a big part in the area.  Even with all this change, thankfully, the village community still exists with locals and incomers alike. 

Aberangell is also part of the wider community of the Dyfi Valley.  The Dyfi River flows through the valley from a small lake called “Creiglyn Dyfi” (in the Cambrian Mountains) about 1900 feet above see level.  It then travels south through Dinas Mawddwy and down the valley to the estuary at Aberdyfi and out into Cardigan Bay.  The river is noted for its Salmon and Brown Trout but also for its ability to flood in very wet weather.

The Dyfi Valley has several villages in its catchments and the market town of Machynlleth.
The area has a long history and is still to this day making a name for its self.
The legendary Owain Glyndwr held a Welsh Parliament in Machynlleth in 1404 and through the ages there has been plenty of other royal visits, the most recent being Prince Charles in July 2000.

In its history the valley has supplied Lead, Slate, Wood and countless farm produce.  To this day farming is still an integral part of life in the valley, and the timber is now from sustainable forests.  Also Welsh slate is a valued resource, but now there are new pioneering industries at work today.

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is at the forefront of renewable energy and sustainability, which is taught to others from far and wide.

The valley has the status of a Biosphere; this was awarded by UNESCO in June 2009.

Ecodyfi is a community based organisation and has a vision for the valley to be a thriving bilingual community with a reputation for sustainability.


The area is very proud of its history and language, but it is also very welcoming to all.
The Dyfi Valley and the surrounding area have a lot to offer visitors and locals alike.
There are plenty of tourist attractions and boundless opportunities for outdoor pursuits including:

Golf, Fishing, Cannoning, Hand Gliding, Quad biking, Climbing, Shooting, Rallying, Enduro, Hill walking....  In-fact if you like the outdoors then there's bound to be something for you! 

Then there is the natural beauty of the valley.  Just around every corner or over the next rise is a view, which can change with the weather.  Both good and bad weather can bring out the dramatic.
One thing is for certain, there is always a photo opportunity waiting and the subject matter is so varied.  One minute you could be photographing a waterfall, the next you try to snap a passing jet, but remember, they are quick!

The Dyfi Valley has plenty to tell and to offer.  There are several websites with information and links, but the best way to experience the valley is to come, so find a way to visit us soon!


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© Martin Toon 2009