Rolling Welsh hills, a dramatic coastline and winding roads that dart off into the horizon make BBC4’s moody detective series, Hinterland, scenically gripping.
Despite the dark investigations of detective Tom Mathias, there are moments of beauty and light relief throughout (like when the police get caught up on a country road due to a static heard of sheep), plus local references – the occasional line in Welsh reminds the viewer where they are in the world.
One thing’s for sure, this small town murder mystery is magnificently shot, and it reveals a lesser-discovered area of the UK. “We got to know the countryside really well and fell in love with it,” explained director and producer Ed Thomas to the BBC. “Hopefully that affection comes out on screen.”
See below for a handful of spots to visit from the show…
In the first episode, we see DCI Tom Mathias running along a rugged stretch of coastline back to the farmland where his caravan is situated. Meanwhile, episode three opens with views out onto the cliffs and Irish Sea, as seagulls squawk in the background. Find it south of Aberystwyth off the A487, south of the The Conrah Hotel.
The stone building seen throughout the series is actually the former County Hall. This listed building overlooks the beach. Interestingly, the town’s actual police station was situated here until the ’90s. The hospital waiting area in episode two was also filmed inside the building. Find it on Marine Terrace.
DI Mared Rhys and Mathias visit an amusement arcade in the first episode, when they are looking for a suspect. This typically British attraction may be full of flashing lights and fruit machines, but cross the road to Aberystwyth’s Royal Pier and you’ll be rewarded with a particularly pleasant view over Cardigan Bay and Constitution Hill in the distance. Find it on New Promenade.
In the first episode, detective Mathias follows bloodstains on the railings overlooking the cascades of water, and then tackles this treacherous waterfall, where he redeems Helen Jenkins’ body. This spectacular site is open to the public most of the year. Along with the falls, there’s a nature trail and three bridges (see above) to explore. Find it 12 miles from Aberystwyth in the Rheidol Gorge.
The Halfway Inn doubles for the local pub in the series. In episode three it’s possible to spot Brecon beer on the pumps, in real life there’s a selection of worthy ales and good food to choose from, and a mighty view from which to enjoy it all, overlooking the Rheidol Valley. Find it in Pisgah on the A4120 towards Devil’s Bridge.
Devil’s Bridge Hotel
In episode one, the Hafod Hotel doubles as a creepy guest house and former children’s home, where horrid abuse took place. None of that went on in real life, of course, this place was originally built as a hunting lodge. Sat at the western edge of the Cambrian Mountains and Elan Valley, it’s a beautiful place for a stop after visiting the falls. Climb to the top with your camera and snap a few shots over the gorges of the Mynach and Rheidol rivers. Good tip: they do a tasty carvery on a Sunday. Find it 20 minutes from Aberystwyth on the A4120.