Much of rural central Wales is well off the standard tourist route. There are some attractive small towns in the area, including pretty, alternative Llanidloes, castle-topped Montgomery and historic Welshpool, near the English border. Around the towns, winding country lanes stretch across the landscape, which is littered with traditional villages and pretty churches.
The area also makes good walking country, particularly in the Rhaeadr Valley to the north west, close to the border, and the Elan Valley in the centre of the country.
The one heavily trafficked sight in the area, close to Welshpool, is grand Powis Castle. Turned into more of an Elizabethan palace than a castle, the partially ruined building houses a museum focussing on the history of British controlled India as well as a collection of spectacular state rooms. Its stunning garden has received international acclaim.
In south Wales, rural Carmarthenshire is the area often overlooked. More winding country roads offer spectacular driving and the landscape is perfect for stretching the legs. Some wonderful gardens and ruined castles mean the area has its share of attractions as well.