Category Archives: Accommodation

Experience your very own Lambing Live in Wales

This time of year is important in our farming calendar in Wales as it’s lambing time. Home to 11 million sheep this is when farms across the country turn into maternity wards to welcome 100,000’s of new lambs into the world.

Many of our holiday cottages are located on farms and this is where you’ll get an opportunity to experience the lambing season for yourself. How would you like to experience your very own lambing live? How about seeing a new born lamb taking its first steps, experience the hustle and bustle of the lambing shed, or the opportunity to bottle feed milk to a pet lamb?

This is what you can experience with some of our Welsh farm holidays. Your opportunity to be shown around the farm by an experienced farmer and see what lambing is all about.

Gwarcwm uchaf located near Aberystwyth and Machynlleth is set on a working farm, lambing is nearing the end however you can still watch the new born lambs play in the surrounding fields.

At Ffermdy’r Waun and Ysgubor y Waun you can be as hands on as you wish. How about a visit to their lambing shed to give a helping hand?

Hafan Hiraethog is another great option for you and again will be lambing from mid March until the end of April.

So why not experience something a little different on your holiday this spring and stay on a genuine Welsh farm. What are you waiting for……

Locations announced for Wales’ first pop-up boutique hotel

A while back we told you all about the exciting project we’re involved in, Epic Retreats (to recap head here). Epic Retreats will see Wales’ first pop-up boutique hotel appear over the Summer and it’s time for some more great news, with the announcement of the locations and also that bookings are now open (get in fast).

The Llŷn Peninsula, Southern Snowdonia and lush West Wales have been confirmed as the locations for this luxury one-of-a-kind experience inspired by Welsh legends.

Fewer than 200 bookings are available and will allow guests to choose from eight unique cabins inspired by Wales’ past. There will also be the option of including legendary experiences tailored to each location or having a more relaxed stay where you explore at your own pace.

Inspiration for the units includes the legend of King Arthur, the iconic Welsh dragon and the country’s famous industrial heritage.

sky-hut

Launched in celebration of Wales’s Year of Legends, Epic Retreats promises to immerse visitors in the most impressive landscapes and adventures the country has to offer.

During their stay, guests will get the opportunity to meet local characters, legendary figures and entertainers that will help bring the story of Wales to life.

Carmarthenshire, West Wales – 5th of June to the 3rd of July 

The eight bespoke cabins will venture to the abundant green backdrop of Carmarthenshire, West Wales.

Visitors can delve into a history dating back thousands of years, hunt down gold and tread in the footsteps of the heroes of Camelot, pursuing the elusive Lady of the Lake and the heroic wizard Merlin.

There will also be an opportunity to discover the area’s wildlife on bespoke wildlife walks where guests will get the chance to meet some rare species.

Surrounded by plentiful local food and drink, guests can tantalise their taste buds with award-winning, local gin and cheeses.

Llŷn Peninsula – 10th of July to the 7th of August 

The unique units will then journey north where they will reside along the spectacular coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.

After spending the night overlooking a secluded beach, visitors can spend their days strolling along the famous Wales Coast path, enjoying a boat trip to Bardsey Island, rumoured to be the burial site of King Arthur, and exploring Snowdonia National Park – home to the highest mountain in England and Wales.

Snowdonia – 14th of August to the 11th of September

Finally, the boutique hotel will pop-up in the foothills of the mythical Cadair Idris mountain in Snowdonia. The remote valley location and magical surrounding, including the romantic Castell y Bere, Snowdonia mountains and stunning steam train journeys, will offer a limited number of people the most unique of summer holidays.

black-hat

Co-founder of Epic Retreats, Llion Pughe said, “The locations we have chosen provide a choice of seascape, mountain and valley, a true reflection of Wales’ legendary landscape.

“We have carefully selected sites that will show Wales at its best, alongside an itinerary packed to the brim with trips and activities crafted by Wales experts Cambria Tours, featuring only the finest local produce and unique accommodation inspired myth and legend – guests will be immersed in a truly Welsh experience.”

For more information on the project or to book one of the limited spaces, visit www.epicretreats.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 

bwthyn-tawel

Cae Cefn – Aberystwyth

cae-cefn

Crud y Deryn – Bala

crud-y-deryn

Cysgod y Ffynnon – Solva

cysgod-y-ffynnon

Hen Bost Nefyn – Llyn Peninsula 

hen-bost-nefyn

Penlon – Pwllheli 

penlon

Y Daflod – Machynlleth

y-daflod-view

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.

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

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

arthurs-cave

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.

black-hat

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.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-15-52-34

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

little-dragon-2

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.

161031_GlampingCabin_Droga02

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.

sky-hut

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..

Events in Wales this November…

This is the time of year where you wrap up warm with scarves and hats and enjoy the wonderful events Wales has to offer. Take a look at what’s taking place this month…

4th – 5th November 2016

Fancy some sparkle in your lives? This weekend is bonfire night with fantastic fireworks to give you that magical feeling. Take a look at the local events near you where there will be a bonfire night with fireworks in each county over Wales. You are sure to find somewhere to play with your sparklers…

fireworks

Always remember to be safe and if you’re away in any of our cottages make sure to keep yourself, family and ensure that the pets are happy too:)

10th November 2016 – 3rd January 2017

It’s officially Christmas in Cardiff as it opens up to the Christmas Winter Wonderland which includes an ice rink and many more attractions for the family. If you’re in Cardiff over this month and enjoy a bit of Rugby the Under Armour Series will be in full swing with Wales playing Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa.

The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Cardiff Principality Stadium, Cardiff

15th – 20th 2016 November Abertoir Horror Festival

Didn’t get scared enough on Halloween? Why not head to the horror festival in Aberystwyth for a night of ghastly films which also includes concerts, theater shows and masterclasses.

20th November 2016 – Conwy Half Marathon

Why not join in the Conwy Half Marathon to keep yourself fit and healthy? With all the mince pies you’ll be indulging in the next month you won’t feel so guilty. This is one of the top scenic runs in the UK and if you just fancy going to simply support the runners and enjoy the surroundings this is also for you.

View with road bridge Conwy Castle Cadw Sites World Heritage Sites SAMN: CN004 NGR: SH783774 Conwy North Castles Medieval Defence Historic Sites

View with road bridge Conwy Castle

28th November Hay on Wye Winter Food Festival

As we all know this is the time for food and drink and the Hay on Wye winter food festival is the place for this. With a weekend of stories, music and great company, join in and indulge in the best quality Welsh food you can find.

28th – 29th November Royal Welsh Winter Fair

For some Christmas shopping with a bit of livestock in the mix this is the perfect place for you. With award winning products in the food hall you are able to explore numerous different trade stands, exhibitions and judging, all whilst being in the festive atmosphere.

These are just snippets of events we have going on in Wales. If any of these take your fancy and you’re looking for accommodation in these areas then head to our search page for our availability or contact us on 01650 511 101.

Monday  23 November 2015

Pictured:
Re: Llandeilo Festival of the Senses 2015

A weekend of Senses in West Wales – Llandeilo Festival of Senses

The weekend of the 18th – 20th of November is a great time of the year to visit West Wales and join in the celebrations throughout the town of Llandeilo with their annual Llandeilo Festival of the Senses.

Monday 23 November 2015 Pictured: Re: Llandeilo Festival of the Senses 2015

With a weekend full of shopping, food, entertainment, Christmas lights, fire works and Father Christmas this is the place to be.

The annual festival starts on the Friday with craft, food and fashion stalls taking over the town. Leading into Friday night where there’s late night shopping, switching on of the Christmas lights, entertainment and fireworks.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend with the shopping, entertainment and food taking place throughout Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the festival head to www.fos.wales

and why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our cottages in the area

Y Dderwen Ty Coch – Sleeps 10 – 10% during the Festival of the Senses weekend + free bottle of prosecco

y-dderwen-ty-coch

Yr Efail – Sleeps 4

yr-efail

Cwmtywi – sleeps 4

cwm-tywo

Hafan Myrddin – Sleeps 8

hafan-myrddin