Some 16 miles east of Aberystwyth along the A4120 and then the B4154 you will find the Valley of Cwmystwyth, a once glacial valley now dotted with mine workings that date back to the times of ancient Britons. The Romans also worked these mines searching for lead, silver and zinc and they have been continuously mined up until the 1950's, making Cwmystwyth one of the most important historical mining areas in Wales.
The Valley is quite baron and a single lane road winds its way past the old mine workings and along side the River Ystwyth up into the Cambrian Hills. It's worth mentioning that if you have children with you, some parts of the old mine workings and buildings are dangerous. Once you have finished exploring, head up the road over the top of the Cambrian Hills for some spectacular views before heading down into Rhayader for a spot of lunch.
More information on Cwmystwyth.
Situated in Rhayader, the Lamb and Flag Inn offers a varied menu at reasonable prices, they also offer a great selection of options for children. Find the Lamb and Flag on North St, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5BU.
A series of reservoirs now make this Valley one of the most picturesque areas in mid Wales. The dams are ornate and the beautiful Valley with a mix of tree lined and moorland hill sides adds to the drama as they get reflected on the reservoirs surfaces (don't forget to bring the camera). At the bottom of the Valley as you come from Rhayader, you will find the Elan Valley Visitor Centre which has a good selection of facilities including an information desk, loo's, a Cafe and children's play area amongst other things.
En-route up the Valley, look out for places to stop to snap a few photo's and be sure to look overhead too - it's pretty likely there will be Red Kites and Buzzards flying overhead.
More information on the Elan Valley.