WIN A Football Themed Holiday in Wales

Romantic Wales For Valentine’s Day

There are two romantic celebrations coming up soon which gives you a great opportunity to treat your other half with a romantic break. Dydd Santes Dwynwen (the Valentine’s day for Wales) on the 25th of January and of course Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February.

You can read all about Dydd Santes Dwynwen here and earn some extra brownie points for being extra romantic this year with a Welsh weekend away. Whether you decide to head away in January or February we have some great romantic cottage for you to choose from. Rural retreats with cosy log fires to take long romantic walks from are waiting for you. Here’s a selection of our Romantic Cottages……

Bwthyn Tawel – Abergavenny 

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Cae Cefn – Aberystwyth

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Crud y Deryn – Bala

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Cysgod y Ffynnon – Solva

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Hen Bost Nefyn – Llyn Peninsula 

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Penlon – Pwllheli 

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Y Daflod – Machynlleth

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To search our full range of cottages on offer head to our search page or contact us on 01650 511101 or info@bestofwales.co.uk and we’ll help you find the perfect romantic break.

Wales the land of Adventure

2016 was the year of adventure in Wales, and yes we did have an adventure. Our staff went out and about and explored all over Wales, taking part in some great adventures along the way. We went:

  • On a power boat trip with Rib Ride
  • Mountain Biking at Coed y Brenin
  • To Zip World Fforest in Betws y Coed
  • In search of wildlife at Folly Farm
  • Went Coasteering with Celtic Quest Coasteering
  • Went Surfing on the North Wales Coast
  • Exploring at Abergavenny Food Festival
  • Sampling a taste of Wales Rally GB
  • Went foraging with Wild Food Uk
  • Bouncing Below in Blaenau Ffestiniog
    and
  • Walked the Wales Coast Path

Thanks to all the attractions and activities for all the fun and here’s to more adventures in 2017

Catch up  with all the individual videos here

Exploring the Wales Coast Path

We recently headed out and explored the Wales Coast Path as part of the year of adventure, heading to Ceredigion in West Wales and exploring from Aberporth to Llangrannog. This was a short section of the coast path, and this is the benefit of the path, you can walk as little or as much as you want!

At a total of 870 miles, Wales was the first country in the World to have a coast path around its entire coastline, and the scenery, wildlife and countryside are well worth exploring.

To plan your walk you can head to the Wales Coat Path website and as we mentioned, do a short walk suitable for the whole family, or challenge yourself to a multi day walking holiday.

Watch how Lisa got on during her day out and why not get out and explore for yourself.

Zip World Bounce Below – Best of Wales Year of Adventure

It’s nearly Christmas and if you’re still searching for that perfect gift for a loved one, family or friends we’ve got the perfect thing for you.  Zip World has re-opened Bounce Below bigger and better this Autumn and is a fun day out for thrill seekers of any age, situated in Blaenau Ffestiniog where you can jump from net to net in the caverns deep underground.

Not sure if this is for you?  Elen our Customer Service Officer went as part of her year of adventure back in September and this is the latest of our #findyourepic have a look on how she got on…

Fancy making a weekend of it whilst your in the area? Have a look at our availability in the North Wales Snowdonia area:  http://www.bestofwales.co.uk/property_search_results.asp?startdate_cal=30-Dec-2016&enddate_cal=02-Jan-2017&numbernights=1&region_0=1819&region_1=0&level=0&showchange=1&town=&sleeps=&propertycode=&property=%23&showpage=1&search_frm=0&tab=1

Visit the website for more information and how to book your Bounce Below;

https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/detail/bounce-below

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Plans unveiled for Wales’s first ever boutique pop-up hotel

Plans have been unveiled to launch a new boutique hotel that will ‘pop-up’ at three secret, breath-taking locations across Wales next year.

It’s all part of Epic Retreats (which we’re proud to be partners of), a completely unique hotel that will celebrate Wales’s Year of Legends 2017 by allowing people to enjoy the best landscapes and experiences Wales has to offer while staying in one of eight bespoke cabins, designed specifically for the project.

Less than 200 bookings will be available, meaning a select few will get the opportunity to stay in the three locations with unparalleled views of the Welsh landscape. They will be treated to unique Welsh experiences during their stay inspired by their location – from sea fishing and beer tasting to having meals prepared by top Welsh chefs.

Today Epic Retreats has unveiled designs of the high quality ‘boutique’ cabins that have been inspired by Wales’s legends and its past – from the country’s famous industrial heritage to the story of King Arthur.

The designs were chosen through a competition tender which invited architects from across the world to design unique glamping units themed on the mythology, tradition and beauty of Wales. And we are pleased to announce the 8 winning designs as:

Arthur’s Cave

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Arthur’s Cave

This design is inspired by the legend of King Arthur and a cave where he and his knights slept while travelling – it is said it could be discovered once but never again. Locally sourced sheep’s wool insulation will be placed within the panels to provide a high level of thermal insulation and the build benefits from a full width sliding door to offer panoramic views of the Welsh landscape.

Black Hat

This unusual structure is inspired by France’s failed attempt of a British invasion through Fishguard back in 1797. It is said that as the French began their assault, hundreds of local Welsh women came to witness the fighting between the French and the local militia.

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Black Hat

Dressed in their traditional scarlet tunics and tall black hats they were a formidable sight and at a distance may have been mistaken for British army Redcoats – suffice to say the French didn’t stick around for long. A king-sized bed fits within the upper floor of the hat and the domed roof allows for stargazing opportunities.

Cabin in the Woods

This nature-inspired building sits on legs high above the ground and explores the theme of the ‘animated forest’ shaping the Welsh landscape. Inspired by the poem Cad Goddeu, meaning ‘battle of the trees’, from the medieval Welsh manuscript known as the “Book of Taliesin” the unit will be developed to give the impression of movement.

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Cabin in the Woods

Its highlights include a padded sleeping area and a stove area with featured chimney above, as well as a box window designed to catch the morning sun to wake travellers naturally. It will use raw materials derived from the Welsh landscape including timber, steel, slate and leather.

Dragon’s Eye

Inspired by the legend that is the Welsh dragon, this eye-shaped pod could fool passers-by into thinking such a creature was hiding in the great outdoors. The walls will be covered with recycled plastic cut in the shape of a dragon’s scales. And the cabin features a wet room and Hungry Penguin wood burner for cooking and heating.

Little Dragon

This vertical unit celebrates the best Wales has to offer. The three prongs represent the dragon’s foot, the overall design is inspired by Wales’s famous industrial past and the steel door displays the country’s iconic

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Little Dragon

Celtic knotwork. The layout features a sleeping area upstairs and panoramic glazing at both levels provides for magnificent views across the Welsh landscape.

Miner’s Hut

This cabin is a tribute to the Wales’s mining industry – a Welsh legend that spans generations and landscapes across the country. Visitors are invited to enter the cabin by crawling through a small tunnel, allowing them access into an angular corridor space only lit by borrowed light.

From here they can follow a glow of light from the main space which extends to the full available height with large windows that provide scenic views of the great outdoors beyond.

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Miner’s Hut

Visitors must return into the tunnels to discover the washroom and to climb a flight of steep steps to the sleeping area, from where they can enjoy panoramic views from their bed.

SKYHUT

As a country, Wales has the highest percentage of sky designated as an ‘International Dark Sky’ area making it one of the most outstanding places in the world to stargaze. The SKYHUT is designed to provide a unique place to experience the sky, taking its inspiration from Cadair Idris where legend states that travellers sleeping out under the night sky awaken as madmen or poets.

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SKYHUT

The tradition of sleeping out under the night sky is manifested in the roof with a simple geared cable system; borrowed from proven sailing technology, allowing it to open fully. With the doors open too, the SKYHUT can be configured as a glamping-observatory.

Slate Cabin

This cabin is based on the material Wales is built on, and of – slate. The cabin is a single room with a bathroom tucked behind. A kitchen and built-in table frame make up the sitting space, while the bed sits on a raised platform – at one end, this platform pulls back to provide space for a seat and desk.

Slate Cabin

Slate Cabin

The Epic Retreats project is a partnership between Best of Wales, Cambria Tours and George + Tomos Architects and is part funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund.

Best of Wales director, Llion Pughe, said: “We are thrilled to announce the designs for the Epic Retreats pop-up glamping units. “With three incredible locations, an exciting programme of activities and eight unique buildings, Epic Retreats will celebrate the best Wales has to offer during 2017 – the Year of Legends.

“Our passion for Wales and its history has provided a great source of inspiration for this project and we look forward to giving guests the opportunity to wake up to Wales in the country’s first ever boutique pop-up glamping hotel.”

For more information on the project or to register your interest in booking, please visit epicretreats.wales. You can sign up to ensure that you are the first to find out about important updates, including how and when exactly bookings can be placed, from early January 2017.

Welsh Rugby stars visit Best of Wales’ idyllic Christmas Cottage.

In the run up to Christmas Best of Wales were delighted to welcome members of the Welsh rugby squad to Bwthyn y Fro. BBC and S4C had hand-picked this Holiday Cottage in the Vale of Glamorgan to film their Christmas promo’s and the idyllic thatched cottage was the perfect location with its large log fire and cosy Christmas appeal. The players and film crew fell in love with the cottage right away.

Ashton Hewitt NNicky Smith and Josh Turnbull playing monopoly

Ashton Hewitt , Nicky Smith and Josh Turnbull playing monopoly

Nicky Smith and Gareth Davies cooking Christmas dinner

Nicky Smith and Gareth Davies cooking Christmas dinner

Bwthyn y Fro is a perfect traditional thatched cottage set in a small hamlet in the Vale of Glamorgan, yet only 30 minutes from the centre of Cardiff. This gorgeous cottage is the perfect blend of authentic features and stylish design. Within walking distance of a local pub, shop and the all Wales coastal path and beach. It is warm , and cosy cottage and a great location at which to spend your Christmas.

The filming was done by Y Clwb Rygb,  BBC ScrumV and TAG and we look forard to showing you a teaser soon. Bwthyn y Fro http://www.bestofwales.co.uk/self-catering-holiday-cottages-south-wales-llantwit-major-cottages-394590 can be booked online along with other perfect holiday properties all across Wales at www.bestofwales.co.uk

Wild Food #FindYourEpic

Out latest #findyourepic is here in May Mairi, our Customer Service Coordinator went exploring on a wild food foraging course in Cardiff. The foraging course took place in Cardiff City Centre which has the largest city centre park in Europe.  Mairi was able to explore the woods and taste a wide variety of edible plants and flowers growing in the wild – the instructors even had to point out the ones she should avoid as some are very poisonous! Let’s see what she got up to on her adventure…

Have a look at some of their upcoming events and if you fancy doing your own course and want to find out more about all the food growing in the wild in this country, this is the foodie adventure for you.  Visit the website for more information; http://www.wildfooduk.com/

If your looking for our availability around the dates of these courses please follow the link;

http://www.bestofwales.co.uk/

Why Choose a Cosy Cottage for Autumn?

We are well and truly into the Autumn months and thinking about plans for the next few weeks.  With Christmas around the corner, why not book yourself into a cosy cottage or as a present for a loved one to enjoy a few days in front of a log fire with a glass of mulled wine? Or even a few board games with a hot chocolate in hand?  We have numerous ideas on what to do, the first question is why choose a cottage?

We are all about showcasing the Best of Wales and here are some of the best features which we think will sway you into choosing a stay in our cottages this Autumn. Remember Holiday cottages are not just for Summer they are great all year round…hen-gapel

  1. Choose a cottage that has a log fire and have a night in with the family or friends enjoying the coziness whilst playing some board games, or reading a book in front of the fire.  This is your time – do what makes you happy.

  2. Linen and towels are provided in most cottages, one less thing to pack!

  3. Don’t fancy doing a shop before your arrival or not enough room in the car? Not to worry as supermarkets deliver, double check which ones deliver to the cottage and then get shopping online..

  4. Welcome packs are provided at most cottages on arrival which include local produce from the area you are visiting.  Most include tea, coffee, sugar,  milk, cake and if you’re celebrating a special occasion some will include a nice surprise for you.

  5. More of an adventurist? We let you know of popular things to do in the area and what attractions and activities there are such as Ziplining, walking Snowdon or even a rugby game in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.  Let us know what activities you’re into and we will find you the best area to visit.

  6. Get wet or muddy during your adventures? Don’t worry our cottages include washing machines and tumble driers in case you get caught up in the lovely Welsh Weather.

  7. Not sure what to do on a rainy day and not into doing anything adventurous? Our cottages include TV’s and some have DVD’s or log into the WIFI that’s provided and watch something on Netflix with your feet up on that comfy sofa and just relax.

  8. We know that Great British Bake off has finished but you could make your own bake off at these cottages…

  9. Worried about taking the children away as there’s too much to think about? At our Family friendly cottages they include high chairs and travel cots so you don’t have to worry about that. The only extras you would need to bring with you is the bedding for the cot.

  10. How about gazing at the stars in the hot tub with your partner? Hot tubs are perfect for that romantic breakllety-morben

    11. Fancy showing your friends how much of a chef you are? Our cottages are equipped with the main utensils that you need for that biiig dinner that you want to cook – some can even organise a chef in case your not that confident with your cooking skills…

    12. So how about a game of pool or foosball? You’ve already lost in monopoly but you’re a really good pool player? Show your skills in our cottages that includes a games room

    13. A pet is part of the family, we all know that, and we have specific pet friendly cottages to suit everyone’s needs because at the end of the day the pet deserves a break too.

    14. The weather has already been mentioned but we all know that the Welsh weather can be unpredictable, but what people don’t know is how beautiful it can be to go on walks on days like these…

Has this helped you make up your mind yet? We have cottages to suits everyone’s needs, from cottages with modern designs to traditional farmhouse, we let you choose what self catering cottage you want :)

Why not have a look at our availability, choose your favorite cottage and let Wales inspire you..

The Best Scenic Drives in Wales

One of the best ways to enjoy Wales and indulge in all of its beauty is by taking scenic drives. These drives can be extremely relaxing, and you will likely find yourself pulling off to the side of the road multiple times in order to take in the majestic scenery, capture it in photos, and breathe in the fresh air before heading on. What are the best scenic drives in Wales, though? Keep reading for a short list to start planning your journey.

The A470

If you only have time to take one scenic drive while you are in Wales, you should go on the A470. This is the main road that runs from Conwy to Cardiff, and it is a total of 186 miles long. After reserving your parking spot with yourparkingspace.co.uk and preparing for your journey, you can begin your ride in Cardiff before you drive up through South Wales Coalfield and reach the Brecon Beacons. You could then make your way to the top of Pen y Fan, which is southern Britain’s highest point. The road will then skirt Brecon and you will make your way through beautiful rolling farmlands and market towns. Finally, you will get to the midpoint of the country, which is Llanidloes.

The Abergwesyn Pass

Yet another one of the many popular scenic drives in Wales is Abergwesyn Pass, which runs from Tregaron to Llanwrtyd Wells. For those who are seeking a truly wild landscape to take in and photograph, this road should definitely be on your agenda, as you are not likely to find many other drivers, if any, along the way. You will, however, see moors, pine forest, streams, and escarpments. Beware that around the middle of the journey, you will experience some steep hairpin turns in the area known as the Devil’s Staircase. Don’t speed, as you will want to stay safe and in control. Make sure that you check our petrolprices.com before setting off, as along Abergwesyn Pass petrol stations can be few and far between.

The Black Mountain Pass is also referred to as Top Gear Road, and it is a favourite amongst car drivers and bikers. As you move along this curvy scenic road, you will be able to enjoy incredible views of Tywi Valley. Feel free to slow down and take in the scenery.

Aberystwyth to Rhayader

Finally, consider taking a drive from Aberystwyth to Rhayader. This route will take you across the Cambrian Mountains. Start at Aberystwyth by driving on the A4120 to the Devil’s Bridge. Then follow the B4574 all the way to Cwmystwyth. You will end up on a mountain road which will take you through the gorgeous mountains and past the Elan Valley reservoirs. Then you will make your way down to Rhayader.

These are just a few of the many unique roads that provide some of the best scenic drives in Wales, and in the entire UK. Be sure to schedule these drives in during a weekend or whenever you are planning on taking a holiday to Wales, as you will not want to miss them and all the beauty that they provide.