The medicinal waters which attract visitors of all classes and callings-including clergy of numerous denominations-to this ancient market-town issue from two sets of wells situated about a mile westwards : Park Wells (saline, sulphur and chalybeate), and Glanau Wells (sulphur and chalybeate). The former have commodious pump-rooms adjacent.
The town consists mainly of one long street whose houses exhibit a pleasing diversity of outline and altitude. Just off its lower (eastern) end, on the side remote from the river, are the earthworks of a once important castle, partly destroyed by Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, last native Prince of Wales, and afterwards rebuilt by his enemy Edward I. It was in consequence of his being treacherously refused admittance to this stronghold that Llewelyn was finally captured by Edward's men. The scene of his death (Cwm Llewelyn) and his reputed burial-place (Cefn-y-Bedd) are some three miles from the town along the road to Llandovery.
Neither for these relics of ancient strife, nor for the comparatively modern developments of the Spa, will the tourist care so much as for the exquisite scenes beside the Wye. No stranger, however brief his stay, should miss the walk alongside the river by the Penddol Rocks, and through the Wern Wood. The scenes on the Irfon, also, especially by the Suspension Bridge, are very pretty. Still further acquaintance with the Wye can be obtained by boat. At the boating pavilion on Groe Green, and its landing stages, there are plenty of rowing-boats on hire.
On a summer evening the river above the Weir presents a lively scene, the waters being dotted with craft. With such facilities for rowing, it would be strange if no races were organized here. As a matter of fact, the Aquatic Sports are very successful, and draw large crowds to the town.
The Groe Green mentioned above is esteemed one of the finest recreation grounds in mid-Wales. It covers about twenty-two acres, and between it and the Wye is a popular promenade, with seats placed at intervals. There are tennis-courts and bowling-greens near the Pavilion. Ever since the early 'sixties, Builth has been famous for its cricket. No doubt the possession of an ideal playing-ground has had much to do with this.
For particulars regarding Fishing, the proprietor of one's hotel may be consulted. The Wye yields good catches of salmon and trout ; and in the Irfon, the Ithon and Edw (all within easy reach of Builth), trout, chub and dace are plentiful. Pike provide sport all the year round.
There is a nine-hole Golf Course amidst charming scenery.
This is the best centre for excursions, whether by road or by rail, in all Mid-Wales. Its railway facilities are summarized in another section (see p. 12). Besides the roads up and down the Wye valley, there are excellent highways linking Builth Wells with Llandovery, with Brecon and with New Radnor. The Llandovery Road ascends the Irfon valley, skirting the extensive mountain area of Mynydd Eppynt, traversing the spa-towns of Llangammareh Wells and Llanwrtyd Wells (see below), and descending the fine ravine of the Bran. The road to Brecon, passing right across the Mynydd Eppynt and attaining a height of 1,372 feet, affords a fine breezy run followed by a descent of the lovely Honddu valley. The New Radnor road takes one through the wild scenery of the upper Edw valley to the outskirts of Radnor Forest (a mountain, not a wood). A pleasant road runs from Builth through Disserth to Llandrindod Wells (8 miles).