Motivated by a desire to share “the biggest undiscovered secret in Britain”, Richard Smith set up Cambrian Safaris in rural Wales six years ago, and has since showcased his home region to people from all over the world.
Richard has lived in Mid Wales long enough to know most of the hidden gems the region has to offer, and he shows guests around them on full or half-day tours.
Cambrian Safaris’ tours include one based on the popular Welsh TV detective series ‘Hinterland’, which was filmed in the Cambrian Mountains near Aberystwyth. There’s also another themed ‘The Mines’ that delves into the rich mining history of Mid Wales.
“The areas we cover are beautifully diverse and enjoy spectacular landscapes, views, scenery, local history and wildlife,” says Richard, who lives near Aberystwyth. “We aim to show visitors places they will want to go back to again and again.
“The tours are designed to be flexible and we customise each one depending upon my customers’ interests and prior knowledge of the area. They come for a relaxing day out with no pressure of time and no rushing from place to place.”
Richard has lived in Mid Wales for around 25 years and previously worked as a guide at Dolaucothi Gold Mines and Llywernog Silver Lead mine, giving him plenty of tour guide experience and a wealth of local knowledge. Richard’s wife Hester is also passionate about their surroundings, and works at Devils Bridge Waterfalls.
“The idea of Cambrian Safaris came about because we both like to share the secrets and hidden delights of Mid Wales with visitors to the area,” explains Richard. “It’s an area rich in not just spectacular landscapes, but also the stories which go with it. Yet it’s the biggest undiscovered secret in Britain.
“We discovered that many people were passing through without understanding what the area has to offer and some of those we spoke to were delighted to be given a few hints and pointers.
“A theme I like to expand upon is how the place where you live - the landscape in particular - influenced people and their fortunes in the past.”
Visitors of all nationalities have been passengers in his Land Rover, including a current head of state and his family. In the last couple of years, he has seen a trend for more foreign visitors but says the tours are designed to suit anyone wishing to discover Mid Wales’ secret places.
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