NEW signs have purchased and placed at either end of Llanwrtyd Wells, to let people know that Britain’s smallest town is back open for businesses.

The signs inform drivers that there's food and drink available, as well as a post office, parking, toilets and fuel too. The town has even got some new shops too, so locals will be hoping that more people stop off here to enjoy the town and pump some much-needed funds into the local economy, as Covid-19 continues to ease off and life starts to return to normal.

“Llanwrtyd Wells Town Council are keen to inform travellers that Llanwrtyd Wells is open,” said mayor Lynda Pace Avery.

“We are aware that some visitors do not know what Llanwrtyd has to offer. Therefore, the town council has purchased advisory signs which have been placed at either ends of town on the A483.

“The toilets will be open from Monday (May 10). We hope it will promote Llanwrtyd.”

In contrast to its past history as a spa town, when hundreds flocked to take the waters for their claimed medicinal effects, the town and surrounding area has become better known in recent years for offering a plethora of outdoor activities such as pony trekking, mountain biking, walking and birdwatching, while its string of ultra-quirky and madcap events – like the Man versus Horse Marathon, Beer Festival and World Bog Snorkelling Championships – would attract visitors from all over the world, pre-pandemic.

This year’s Man v Horse was disappointingly cancelled for a second successive year by organisers. The quirky race – which pits people against horses over a 22-mile distance – is one of the most popular events on the annual Mid Wales calendar, but was cancelled last year due to coronavirus. Organisers Green Events had provisionally pencilled in a June 12 date for the race’s comeback, but instead they have followed suit with many other local events this year by postponing once more.

The World Bog Snorkelling Championship were first held in the town in 1985, and usually take place every August Bank Holiday in the dense Waen Rhydd peat bog. Competitors travel from as far afield as Ireland, Germany, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the US to take part.

Both the men’s and women’s world records are currently held by English competitors. Neil Rutter set a new men’s world record by completing the two-length, 120-yard course in 1 minute 18.81 seconds in 2018, with compatriot Kirsty Johnson’s 1 minute 22.56 second women’s record standing since 2014.

Llanwrtyd, with a population of 850 at the 2011 census, has long been referred to as Britain’s smallest town, even though modern-day proof would appear to be as murky as the water in the bogs that now provide the town with its fame. It is far from the smallest settlement; there are much smaller villages and hamlets. But what makes it a town is its ancient charter and its town council form of government.