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“boring” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Centre for Alternative Technology

Centre for Alternative Technology
Llwyngwern Quarry | Pantperthog, Machynlleth SY20 9AZ, Wales
01654 705952
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Ranked #7 of 13 Attractions in Machynlleth
Type: Educational Sites, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Cultural
Activities: Dining, Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the world’s most renowned eco-centres, the Centre for Alternative Technology features interactive displays and practical examples of sustainable living, renewable energy and organic gardening. Nestled in the foothills of Southern Snowdonia, it’s a not to be missed attraction.As well its inspiring array of exhibits, CAT has a delicious wholefood restaurant, a green bookshop and beautiful organic gardens. Something to see for the all family.
Northampton, England, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

if you want to know just about composting, then its the place for you, we were looking for information on roof tiles,but no one knew anything about them, even though they were there. Even our daughter got bored.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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209 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A very interesting and engaging day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

It's a bit of a strange place being quite shabby in places but this became part of its charm once your brain gets in gear and realises that it's not a pristine laboratory you are visiting but a mend and make do, back to nature and educational treasure trove of ideas and working centre showcasing different ways of doing things. The newer buildings are very impressive and really fit in being a new generation of alt tech you could live with. The cafe was good, bear in mind veggie food though so no steaks and burgers for any meat heads. I had a great curry and coffee and the rest of the food on offer looked great. So long as you don't go expecting something like the polished Eden project and open your mind to something different i think you will enjoy your day.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingswinford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Poor visit on 28/09/12:”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

I'm sorry to say that this centre wasn't worth the admission. As a self directed tour it of unclear, badly planned mismatch buildings and unkept gardens without any clear message or accessible information.

I guess it's message should be: What is your carbon footprint, what does it mean to the environment and the planet, what can you do to reduce it.

However, what little information is given is difficult to read, badly presented, often overwhelmed by technical information, it's displays dated and not working. Paired with an unclear route, any message they are trying to make is lost somewhere between the insect chewed cabbages and the semi-tame rats (Yes we saw plenty running about). At one point my wife an I were convinced we weren't actually suppossed to be in that area at all (Near powerstation / electrical plant (?!)) until we spotted a touch screen info point that gave such complex data related to the production of energy that was completely ineffective.

This centre very much assumes that you have an existing in-depth knowledge of environmental issues and does not attempt to build anything more then we should buy overpriced "right on" products, stop flying, and move to the country and own an overgrown veggie patch until we starve to death.

It's an interesting place to visit as you've no idea what's around the corner. There has been a lot of change since my visit 18 years or so ago, but now it's seems a mess without any kind of message for the daily visitor. It feels like a lot of effort is now dedicated to it's students (Paying more then the entrance fee im sure) and live in volunteers but it's forgotten that fundimentally it is an outdoor museum. Something that Eden project has got so right!

On face value it's a quirky shabby garden that's interesting to stroll about, but as an education centre for the average visitor it fails.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Very run down and shabby”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

My partner and I visited last week. My partner had been previously, around 25 years ago and had often spoken to me about how great it was, looking to the future and alternative technologies... sadly he was very disappointed. The displays were not well kept, some seemed to have just been "abandoned" and the information was either out-of-date or just badly worded as to give the wrong meaning.

Once we learned that the centre had given up their ethic of using renewable fuel and switched to Propane (a fossil fuel! - propane is a nonrenewable energy source. That means we cannot renew our propane supplies in a short time.) we lost interest and came to the conclusion that they had totally sold out.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“So much to see, makes you think”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Second visit, both times rain, but never mind, such dedicated people. We took friends they loved it, good to see many students around the place doing post graduate alternative technology courses. Full of enthusiasm, initiative and we discussed so much, what we do what we could do, how useful that looks, let's buy that!

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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