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“Loved it here!”

Centre for Alternative Technology
Ranked #4 of 11 things to do in Machynlleth
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has been inspiring visitors about sustainable practice for over 40 years. With seven acres of hands-on displays, examples of environmentally responsible building, renewable energy, organic gardens and kids’ holiday activities, there is something for everyone at CAT. Follow CAT’s interactive Zero Carbon Britain Trail to discover how to live enjoyably in a world with reduced emissions. Or, winding up through managed oak woodland, the Quarry Trail opens up never-before-seen areas of CAT and breathtaking views of the Snowdonia National Park. On special evenings, the Quarry After Dark programme allows guests to experience CAT after the visitor centre has closed. This diverse programme of events boasts live music, talks, late night tours, film screenings and exhibitions. Nestled in a historic slate quarry CAT site is a little uneven in places and a lot of the displays are outdoors so please wear sensible footwear and waterproof clothing. During the winter months we close the Cliff Railway and some of the outdoor trails due to the unpredictable weather, please keep an eye on our website for updated information.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

Fantastic day out from start to finish. The views on the drive here from Harlech are absolutely stunning, once you arrive you get to the centre by going up the hill on a water powered train (all the kids loved this and again the view was beautiful) and once you're in to the centre there are many things to keep all ages entertained. The food at the cafe was superb, I have nothing negative to say about this place! Was fantastic! 5 stars!! Keep up the good work guys!!

Thank BrummieMummyto4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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234 - 238 of 410 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2014

We called in one afternoon as we were passing and the centre is fascinating and we were well informed with all the ideas of Alternative Technology . I would recommend this as a half day trip and would highly recommend the whole-foods restaurant.

Thank Welshcake2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Whilst on holiday with friends we came to visit. Great open space with some great ideas. There are a few areas which need a little TLC, but this doesn't detract from the principle of the site.

Kids aged 7, 8,10,11 all enjoyed the site... Safe to allow to wander around freely. The various play areas allowed for the adults to sit in the courtyard enjoying the wonderful food.... Never tasted salad like it ... SIMPLY DELICIOUS.

Large wooden Jenga and skittles to occupy kids /big kids!

Reasonable gift shop with a variety of gifts. Including a section of second hand good quality books, continuing the sustainability theme.

Overall a great day out and some useful information and relaxing for everyone involved.

Thank you very much for a beautiful setting and sharing your salad recipes !! ;)

1  Thank The_Bredsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I really enjoyed my stay at CAT in the WISE building that was part of a group visit - it was very economical and really good. My room was large with twin beds - my bed was very comfy with nice white bedding. There is an enormous window in the bedroom that frames an amazing view of layers of mountains and green with blue blue sky. There is a blind for the window and it slides open so you can choose to have as much air as you like. The walls are white with some wood sections and a couple of chairs and a table/ desk were also in the room. It was spacious and uncluttered. There's a little hallway between the door and the bedroom with a built in wardrobe and hangers so you can tidy everything away. The bathroom, with loo, shower and sink leads off from your private hall. Out of your door is the walkway to the rest of the building a dramatic view of the slate covered slope that you can walk up. The spaces we had to work in were great - light (but able to be darkened), with fresh air, computer, projector etc... and the food - YUM! They managed to cope with sloppy time keeping and lots of dietary requirements (Gluten Free, Vegan etc..). Lovely lasagne after a looooong walk for example. The people managing the building were very sweet and friendly too. We did a tour (with the graphic designer) of the whole site to see different eco house building methods and could explore at will when we had time. I was really moved by the whole place - the ethics, the people, its location and want to go again asap.

1  Thank lo K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We went here with high hopes as hubby had visited 20 years ago and found it fascinating. It cost £20 for two adults and one young teenager, the lift was good but a smaller version of the vernacular railway in Aberystwyth but with water to weight it. The site is overgrown and in need of lots of TLC. The signage was poor it stated this is a ------- but not what it does, not how much electricity it generated or saved. We were very disappointed in the site, the cafe with limited food options as I have allergies, and the signage, none of us learn anything, indeed hubby had a row with one of the staff as we were leaving as she took exception to him saying that he was disappointed and that information was scarce at best, and uninformative. She was aggressive and obnoxious. Hubby's comment. It was much better 20 years ago!!!

2  Thank katzka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire B, Public Relations Manager at Centre for Alternative Technology, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Thank you for your feedback.

I'm sorry you felt like you didn't learn a lot from the signage. We try to ensure there is something for all audiences on our site. We have recently installed 20 new signs as a trail around the site, which give an overview of many of the technologies we exhibit and promote. The sings only give an overview, as we don't want to overload them with information, but the information desk is staffed every day from noon for people who wish to find out more. There is a main display of what electricity is being generated from different sources on site behind the restaurant. I am sorry if this was not made clear.

Our vegetarian restaurant endeavours to accommodate all dietary requirements, and will make up meals specially wherever possible. I hope you will visit again, our head chef asked me to tell you personally that he will be happy to meet any allergy requirements you have if you come again. Re-entry is free for a year when you fill out a gift aid form with your entry fee.

We have recently appointed a new chief executive and are reviewing every aspect of our work for the future. If you would like to give more ideas on how we develop over the next 20 years I would be very happy to speak to you: kit.jones@cat.org.uk

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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