Generally an easy day's walking, much of it along the river, fairly level with some gentle gradients. The route leaves Newbridge on tarmac for 800 yards (750m). Treat this section with respect as traffic travels very fast on this road.
Close to Builth Wells, Penddol Rocks form a mix of rapids and deep pools, particularly spectacular after heavy rain. The route arrives in Builth Wells along a tree-lined avenue beside the Wye through a park called The Groe.
Llanelwedd, just across the river from Builth Wells, is the permanent home and showground of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. When the annual Royal Welsh Show takes place in July, Builth Wells is packed with exhibitors, visitors, and the farming community from across the country, for four days of competition involving livestock, tree felling, sheepdog trials, shearing, horticulture, honey and crafts, as well as attractions, displays, activities and live music.
In the 18th century it became fashionable to visit places with mineral springs to ‘take the waters’. Builth was blessed with Park Wells (saline water) and Glanne Wells (sulphur springs), popular with Victorians and Edwardians looking for health cures. The arrival of the railway in the 1860s helped the town’s popularity grow and ‘Wells’ was added to its name! The river bank area known as The Groe was turned into a pleasant public area with a boating pavilion and bandstand.
A monument at Cilmeri, just outside Builth Wells, marks the spot where the Welsh hero Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was killed in 1282. Llywelyn was the last true Prince of Wales before the title was re-used by Edward I and given to the male heir to the English throne. Legend has it that after his death Llywelyn’s head was washed in the nearby well. His death marked the end of organized resistance to English rule in Wales and claims to Welsh independence effectively died with him.