Bordered by the dramatic landscapes of two national parks, Mid-Wales is often overlooked. Yet this region of plunging coastline, wooded river valleys and small market towns is something of a well-kept secret. As devotees of the bilingual detective series Hinterland (or Y Gwyll, filmed throughout the region) know, this is Wales at its most rural, a sweep of undulating hills that the Industrial Revolution bypassed. Criss-crossed with country lanes and dedicated cycling and walking routes, it's an excellent area to explore under your own steam.
Apart from exuberant, student-populated Aberystwyth, you won't find much excitement in the urban areas, but in any case, it's the places in between, and the people who live in them, that are far more interesting. From struggling farmers to pioneers of sustainable development and the weird and wacky minds of Britain's smallest town, the region reveals more about the Welsh than you may ever have imagined.