Here at Love Our Adventures, we love adventures of all shapes and sizes! While the grand trips up mountains or through forests always fill us with joy, sometimes you just need a brief stop-off somewhere pretty. Dyfi Furnace is an excellent and super speedy stop-off in gorgeous surroundings that can refresh even the weariest of traveller; if you find yourself travelling out on the southern edge of Snowdonia and want to drop in somewhere between your bigger adventures then Dyfi Furnace is for you. Situated on the primary A-road between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth, it is a route often travelled by many an adventurer and for those looking to break up the monotony of a longer jaunt with a picture-perfect waterfall and a little taste of history, be sure to pencil in a stop at this great little spot.
Dyfi Furnace is right on the edge of the main road, but still easily missed thanks to the twists and turns of the A487. The furnace is nestled in a small hamlet, bearing the name Furnace, and those aforementioned twists mean traffic will naturally slow in this area anyway helping you to spot the entrance. Plus, brown signs do mark the entrance so keep your eyes peeled to make sure you spot where to get in. The parking is ample, accessed via a lane directly opposite the furnace itself there are plenty of little areas to park up in a surprisingly peaceful spot considering its proximity to a major road. The only two drawbacks here are both caused by the poor visibility on the A487, firstly, you will need to take care crossing over to the furnace on foot, and secondly, if you plan to turn right out of the car park it can be a little perilous as the sharp turn after the bridge cuts visibility dramatically.
As the name may have given away, the main attraction here is a furnace. Specifically, this is an iron blast furnace, that was positioned on the Afon Einion to make use of the water power, plus the local sprawling woodland allowed for the production of charcoal to keep the fires lit. Constructed somewhere around 1755, the charcoal fires would only be running for around 50 years before its eventual closure. The main purpose of the furnace was to produce and then supply pig iron which was mostly sent on to the forges in the Midlands for further processing, however by 1810 the site was abandoned. The unmissable waterwheel, pictured above, is a relic of the building's later application as a saw-mill. Some evidence has been discovered that points to the site having previously been silver and lead works somewhere in the early 16th Century operated by the Society of Mines Royal, an English mining monopoly, so this site has plenty of history as a hub of industry.
Unlike many journeys outlined on Love Our Adventures, there is not too much to highlight about the walking route here - all that stands between you and the furnace is a single main road you will have to play a game of frogger to dodge traffic and reach the other side. Stairs are dotted around so accessibility may be limited for some but viewpoints to the waterfall may be accessed from across the bridge - should you wish to risk walking into traffic. This is mostly a worst-case scenario, as the A487 is busy but only by North Wales standards so you should not have too much difficulty getting across and back again. If you are able, take time to explore around the Furnace and read some of the information it offers up about the area's history, and wind your way up until you stand at the top of the falls. As mentioned previously, this is only a short stop-off between other adventures but it makes an absolutely excellent addition to a grand day out.
Considering how easy Dyfi Furnace is to get to, with no massive hikes proving an exhausting barrier to entry, this is a no brainer for anyone who happens to be travelling this way. Even if you only have 5 minutes to spare, 5 minutes is all you will need to see the sights and take in the history of the furnace. Drop-in as you pass through, enjoy a bit of fresh air and a moment to stretch your legs before getting back on the road to your next stop. If you are looking for things to do in the area, there are plentiful nature reserves including RSPB Ynys-hir and Cors Dyfi ready to be rambled around as you explore along the Afon Dyfi. Plus, as this is such a well-connected road you have the option of the beautiful Welsh coastline to the West and the Snowdonian mountains starting to grow just north of the Afon Dyfi.