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Exploring Mid Wales’ Religious Heartlands

Mid Wales is a heartland of picturesque religious buildings, borne from – and remaining through - spiritual revolutions. Non-conformism took hold here in the 19th century, seeing preachers amassing huge crowds at Welsh chapels, but there are also older places here to stir the stillest of souls – places perfect to visit, just a drive away, when you stay at Penrhos.

Come west, where life is peaceful.

Capel Soar y Mynydd, Tregaron, Ceredigion:

You’ll find this church in an isolated, hilly location, when you travel on the tiny, sheep drovers’ road to Capel Soar y Mynydd. Whitewashed and sitting quietly above the Camddwr tributary river, near the Llyn Brianne reservoir, the chapel was built for the farming families that once thrived in this area. Sadly, most of them left the area in the mid-1940s after a heavy snowstorm cut them off from the world for three months. Former American President Jimmy Carter, on holiday in Wales exploring his love of Dylan Thomas, is also said to have visited ‘the most remote chapel in Wales’.

Despite its remoteness, the chapel is kept open today, and is worth the journey for its serenity and the surrounding natural beauty of the mountains.

Church Of The Holy Cross, Mwnt, Ceredigion:

When Welsh sailors returned from the sea, this is where they would worship. This 13th century chapel sits above the breathtaking National Trust beach at Mwnt, where dolphins and seals are often spotted. Local legend says that you’ll see something else in the darker, colder nights of winter: the bones of dead soldiers from the attempted Flemish invasion of Wales in 1155.

Made of Preseli stone, the chapel is open daily for visitors, and the services at Christmas Eve are magical. Here, it’s lovely to breathe in Wales’ past and its present, and to feel the faith in our glorious land.

Mandala Ashram, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire:

Carmarthenshire isn’t just a heartland for non-conformist Christianity. It's also home to the Mandala Ashram - one of the only yogic ashrams outside of India.

Swami Nishchalananda came to this beautiful, wild corner of West Wales in 1985, and set up this spiritual hermitage in an old prayer meeting house. It had no running water back then, but now it has simple communal rooms with all mod-cons, and offers three vegetarian meals a day, amidst sessions of yoga and meditation.

Ashrams are not affiliated to any particular religious beliefs, and all interested groups open to the idea of spirituality are welcome. The panoramic views of the western Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) also soothe the soul.

Book a stay at Penrhos Park, where these destinations, and many more, are only a short drive away! Our friendly staff are also happy to offer alternative destinations to suit your mood, the weather and all budgets.


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