The wonder of Wales
Published: Friday 1st Dec 2017
Written by: Francisco Rosas
Wales, land of the dragon, of wide-open spaces and spectacular horizons. A vibrant, heritage-rich country with hundreds of awe-inspiring locations – from its majestic mountains and glassy lakes to the golden beaches and dolphins that patrol them. With cosy cottages at every turn, your home-from-home won’t take long to find and, with our truly local knowledge, you’ll experience some of Wales’ most beautiful attractions, hidden locations and local gems.
Monumental Castles and Broad Valleys (Mid Wales)
Each corner of Wales has its own identity, unique atmosphere and picturesque views. And, in the middle of this elevated country, you’ll find deep running valleys, largely undiscovered in comparison to Snowdonia.
Elan Valley stretches 72 square miles of glorious landscape, with unspoilt nature and imposing reservoirs and dams. Whether it’s by foot, on wheels or on a four legged friend, there are miles upon miles of scenic trails, catering for the seasoned hiker or leisurely stroller, cycling enthusiast or horse whisperer. Keen anglers can fly fish off the shorelines of the reservoirs and spend the day relaxing at the water’s edge.
*Please ensure you obtain permits/licenses – information can be found here.
Man-made historical landmarks are in abundance, with several castles scattered across the region. Powis Castle rises dramatically above its surrounding, vibrant gardens. Comprising of the castle, its gardens and a fascinating museum, there’s plenty to explore – with events running throughout the year and a restaurant and cafe on site to fuel your adventures.
Fine Dining in the Marches
Michelin Star dining in the shadow of an age-old castle might seem unlikely but, in Montgomery, Checkers provides just that. A family-run restaurant in a quaint town in the Welsh Marches, Checkers offers an impressive, six course dining experience within relaxed and comfortable surroundings.
Mid Wales bridges the gap between man and nature, with stunning views of breathtaking locations to wake up to. For more truly local knowledge around your country cottage please contact us today.
Soaring Mountains and Golden Beaches (North Wales)
Throughout Wales, each horizon offers a striking new backdrop. In the North you’ll discover the highest peaks in the UK outside of the Scottish highlands, and the open ocean silhouetting the shores of Ireland at the horizon's edge.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park offers experiences for thrill seekers and outdoor adventurers alike. Mount Snowdon, standing just over one thousand metres above sea level, is the highest peak in Wales. And if you’re brave and willing, you can join the thousands of courageous climbers and amatuer walkers that scale its peak each year. With paths for people of all skill levels, and even a train for those just after the views, it’s a must visit. Snowdon is the centrepiece of this rugged region but not the only attraction. Inside the National Park you’ll find beaches, white water rafting and Zip World — an exhilarating collection of heart-pounding zip wires, treetop nets, an alpine coaster and much more, suitable for young ones above three and big kids too. An adrenalin-filled adventure for couples, friends and families alike.
A slower pace
If you’ve done enough trekking and you’re ready to relax on a beach or stop off in a beachside bar, the perfect place to recharge is just around the corner. Heading onto the Llŷn Peninsula provides you with nearly 100 miles of coastline, including the stretch known as the Welsh Riviera. Beaumaris is a small coastal town on the southeast coast of the peninsula, but makes up for its small size with magnificent views, from the aptly-named “perfect castle” that was never finished to the Snowdonian horizon. With independent shops and award-winning food at ‘The Bull’, this area of outstanding beauty is a magnet for visitors. A short drive north will bring you to the golden sands of Benllech and Lligwy, perfect for both winter walks along the sand or summer days spent next to the sparkling waters.
Number one spot
A traditional pub on a quaint beach, nestled in the picturesque fishing village of Porthdinllaen, The Ty Coch Inn is officially ranked in the top ten beach bars in the world. And number one in Wales! Family-run, with an outstanding reputation, this old school pub has outlived its competitors and survives as the only pub on the beach today.
Dolphin Pods and Secret Coves (West Wales)
If you find yourself drawn in by crystal blue waters, wild rugged cliffs and far-reaching, soft sandy beaches, the West of Wales is for you.
Cardigan Bay stretches from the northern Llŷn peninsula to the wild bluffs of Strumble Head in the South. Along the Heritage Coast of the bay, you’ll be treated to plenty of blue flag beaches and rarely-visited coves, brimming with wildlife. Mwnt, Penbryn and Llangrannog offer more than just golden sands and clear ocean, with a linked coastal path producing some of the most breathtaking views in the West of Wales. Ynys Lochtyn headland sits proudly, reaching into the deep blue, while seals and pups soak up the sun at its base.
The views from land are spectacular, but those from the water are even greater. Why not test your balance on the waves and get surfing? The bay offers smaller waves and clean waters, perfect for those starting out. Or get up close and personal with nature, take to the open waters in a kayak and try to keep up with hundreds of Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals and Porpoises.
A different take
After long days spent on the coastal trails of Penbryn, rest your legs and indulge in quality dishes, inspired by coast and country at The Ship Inn, Tresaith. With a seaside terrace and idyllic surroundings, you can sit back and take in the sights and sounds. If you fancy something a little different, how about Pizza under a tipi? This might sound unusual but the brothers at Pizzatipi have pulled it off. Woodfired handmade pizzas, cakes and bakes, Welsh craft beers and candlelit dining are all combined to create an unmissable experience.
Two Cities, one sizable difference (South Wales)
South Wales provides the best of both worlds when it comes to variety. A hub of Welsh culture, you’ll experience big city living and wilderness wonders practically on each other’s doorsteps.
Home to the capital city, Cardiff, this region is loved by keen shoppers and sports fans alike, with the city streets coming alive to the tune of supporters singing their teams’ anthems when a big game’s on. An easy city to explore on foot, why not pay a visit to the National Museum Cardiff and walk among dinosaurs, national art and marine marvels? Standing strong in the centre of the city is Cardiff Castle. With a history dating back over two thousand years - with settlers pre-dating Roman times - you’ll want plenty of time to soak up the stories inside this castle’s walls.
Good things come in small packages
A day in the big city can really take it out of you, so follow it up with a trip to Britain’s smallest city, St David’s. Perched quietly on the south west coast, this attractive, quaint village was given city status in the 16th century because of its cathedral, proving a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the ages. Surrounding the city are countless, breathtaking coastal views and miles of wildlife-rich countryside. But you’ll also find Tenby Harbour, with its pastel colours lining the idyllic coastal village, and Folly Farm, an adventure park and zoo with everything from penguins to giraffes.
Truly local treats
Foodies will be delighted to find a wide variety of options when it comes to indulging their tastebuds. Coast, a shoreline restaurant in Saundersfoot, serves up locally-sourced Pembrokeshire ingredients with creativity and style, mixing a fabulous dining experience with magnificent views. Or you can head to Cafe Môr, an award-winning, street food gem, serving local bacon butties and lobster rolls in delicious Welsh laverbread, all made with locally-sourced ingredients. A real favourite with residents and visitors alike.
Serious hikers should consider a journey across the west and south coasts on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Stretching 186 miles, it follows the shoreline from St Dogmaels to Amroth, revealing remarkable sights at every turn. For more info about coastal cottages along this route please contact us today.
Blue Flag Beaches, World Heritage Sites and National Parks: the land of the dragon has it all. Ready to share its picture-perfect horizons with you, why not book a magical break to Wales today? Choose your region, find your perfect cottage and let our truly local knowledge make your stay one to remember.