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Furnace is a quaint little village on the A487 with an 18th century foundry for smelting iron ore. The bellows that pumped air into the charcoal-fired blast furnace were powered by the large water wheel which was driven by the River Einion plunging as a waterfall.
Take the narrow country lane from Furnace up into the hills and enjoy the scenic wooded valley called Cwm Einion (Artist’s Valley). It is best to walk if you can as the road is very narrow but it is worth the uphill climb. The remains of a silver lead mine can also be seen.
The turning for Ynyshir RSPB Nature Reserve is also in Furnace. The reserve is a very popular attraction and enables you to observe waders and many other birds in the superb setting of the Dyfi estuary. There is a visitor centre and the most extensive network of lovely walks and bird watching hides in Wales. The reserve has a great variety of habitats, from salt and freshwater marsh to woodland, thus encouraging many different species to breed there.
The historic town of Machynlleth is only a few minutes away and has attractions such as Celtica, Tabernacl and Owain Glyndwr’s Parliament buildings.The popular Centre for Alternative Technology is situated a few miles further on the A487.