Part of the Kingdom of Powys, Welshpool can trace its history back to at least the 6th century when churches were planted on the marshy land just above the River Severn. It has a checkered history due to its proximity to the English border—only a four-mile trek.
The construction of Powis Castle on the hillside north of the town in the 13th century brought in trade and increased the population and buildings in Welshpool. However, in 1400 Owain Glyndwr, the last Welshman to hold the tile of the Prince of Wales, destroyed much of the town in a long rebellion against Henry IV.
Much of the town is of the Georgian period, but there are a few examples, such as the once popular Mermaid’s Inn, that could comfortably sit in the neighboring English town of Shrewsbury, due to its medieval timber frame.
While the town’s main attraction is Powis Castle, there are shops and restaurants, the canal, walks, and things like the Monday Cattle Market that also attract visitors. Its location on the Welsh border and the easy driving distance to Snowdonia National Park and the Shropshire Hills (an Area of Outstanding Beauty), as well as the rolling hills of the nearby countryside make Welshpool a great stopping point.
Arrive Trains Wales runs the Cambrian line, which stops at the Welshpool station. Welshpool is the starting point of the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, a heritage railway, which runs about 8.5 miles and is worth a look. Bus links go to major local towns, like Shrewsbury, daily. The town is located off major roads, so transportation is relatively easy. There is a long-distance trail, Glyndŵr’s Way, which runs 135-miles from Welshpool to Knighton.