I’d wanted to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) for years, but Machynlleth isn’t a place you pass every day.

The Dyfi Valley from down past Dolgellau was gorgeous, and a highlight of CAT itself was the range of views from the old slate quarry; as good as anything I’ve see in Wales.

The water-powered railway up the hill wasn’t working, but the steep walk was just what Mrs RM wanted to justify the banana cake at the top. The cafe is quite brilliant, with local beer the perfect accompaniment to healthy food.

CAT itself is stimulating visually as much as intellectually, and the “Guardian reader” count is surprisingly low.

All very hands-on for youngsters like the 51 year old bloke who got scared in the pitch black mole hole.

A bit Kelham Island, a bit End of the Road, a bit Mad Max if you need comparisons.

Machynlleth itself was just a wonderful traditional nearly-Marches town, but with Bass. Curiosity rather than antiques shop dominate a colourful but unfussy place.

The Dyfi Forester is my sort of pub, but you guessed that. Basic, benches and Bass (NBSS 3). The old style pump too, always a joy. No other customers at 2pm.

The other Guide entry (White Horse) looked equally atmospheric, but was closed (obvs).

That means a trip back, and another chocolate ice cream from the almost perfect Loisin Lush sweet shop.


  1. Mach is fairly easily accessible, not the worst place to have to go back to.

    Thank you for recommending the Alternative Technology place and the sweet shop, it looks like a great beezer.


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