Category Archives: Articles

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

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.

North Wales Named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions for 2017

Great news, North Wales has been named as one of the best regions to visit in 2017, in the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2017. Named alongside some great destination in countries including Peru, New Zealand, Malaysia and Australia it’s great to see Wales being recognised.

Mentioned by Lonely Planet are some of the well known great adventures to do in North Wales including Surf Snowdonia, Zip World and Bounce Below.

Another great attraction in North Wales is Zip Safari in Betws y Coed by Sip World and we visited the attraction earlier on in 2016.

If you’re looking to explore North Wales next year, head to our North Wales Snowdonia, North Wales Coast, Anglesey, or North Wales Borderlands pages and search through our self catering accommodation on offer. Or contact us on 01650 511101 and we’ll help you find the perfect base for your holiday.

Llangwm, Pembrokeshire launches its first literary festival

Llangwm, Pembrokeshire launches its first literary festival with a line-up of talks on Rival Royals, Rajahs, Russia, Refugees and Roots, and workshops inspired by Roald Dahl

Venues in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire – Friday 12 August – Sunday 14 August 2016

Llangwm launches its first ever literary festival this year with a fascinating selection of literary highlights from writers, famous and emerging. From the Kremlin to Calcutta, Refugees to Roald Dahl, Richard III to Henry Tudor, Children’s Writing to East Germany’s Stasi, Caldey Island to Caerphilly, Damascus to Delphi, there’s something here to capture everyone’s imagination.

 

Llangwm literary festival 2016

A new literary festival in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire

Griff Rhys Jones explores his sense of Welsh identity and the land of his aunties while Ferdinand Mount discovers mutiny, money and marriage in India from a very personal viewpoint. Bobo Lo examines the resurgence of the Kremlin under Putin, the emasculation of the West and the new multipolar world order while Anne Lauppe-Dunbar takes us back to East Germany for a chilling murder mystery and tales of a regime that systematically doped its best athletes to superhero status. Jerwood-winning Jo Mazelis navigates the twilight between reality and the supernatural within an icy wrap of ebony Gothic and Harry Mount walks us through Ancient Greece in the footsteps of Odysseus. Nick Taylor asks whether today’s problems are the result of the historic male domination of religion, politics, the economy, and culture and Rachel Mann intrigues us with Elsie Shufflebottom’s attempts to reclaim The Book of Providence and decipher the mysteries of its blank pages. Historian David Horspool delves into the Byzantine intrigues of Royal Rivals, Richard III and Henry Tudor and Diana Darke, an Arabic-speaking woman born in the Gower, talks of her restoration of a Damascus town-house and the genesis of today’s crisis in Syria.

Local author, Pamela Hunt will be regaling us with the hilarious adventures of Miss Daisy, her vintage Austin and Caerphilly-born author Tom Morris will be reading from his vivid collection of short stories “We Don’t Know What We’re Doing”. Ben Rawlence brings us nine lives from Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp.

In addition, there will be a bilingual writing competition for children (Welsh and English), workshops on creative writing for children and adults, and discussions about strategies for getting published. Paintings by local artists will be on sale at the festival site. Local musicians and composers will be performing a variety of music, including songs in Medieval Flemish to remember the Flemish communities of South Pembrokeshire.

For more information on the festival (tickets, attendance, participation and sponsorship opportunities), please contact llangwmlitfest@gmail.com or call 07970 812050. For local accommodation in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire and all across Wales visit www.bestofwales.co.uk

Celebrate #NationalPetMonth

This month (up until the 2nd of May) it’s National Pet Month, an opportunity to celebrate such an important part your pets play in your family.

And of course when you choose a holiday destination then you want to make sure your pets are as welcome as you. And at Best of Wales they are, with half of our cottages being pet friendly. And even though we’ve welcomed a range of pets to our cottages over the years, we’re going to concentrate on dogs today and share tips on how to make sure they have the best holiday in Wales too.

pet-friendly

1. Our pet friendly beaches

Wales has a great choice of dog friendly beaches for you to head to as a family. Try Rhossili Bay beach in Gower (dog friendly all year round), and the first beach to be awarded Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisors Travellers’ Choice twice. Or head to Newgale in Pembrokeshire (dogs on lead in summer but are still welcome). Or in North Wales head to Aberdaron or Abersoch beaches (dedicated areas for dogs).

2. Head out on the Wales coast path

The Wales coast path is 870 miles of trail to explore. Head out for a long days walk or just sample a short family friendly section. Remember you may be passing through sections of farm land on the path so make sure you keep your dog by your side on a lead and away from farm animals.30835477_m

3. Enjoy a meal at a pet friendly cafe or restaurant

Many cafes and pubs welcome your four legged friends these days, and some even have doggy treats on the menu. A good place to look is on the Dog Friendly Britain website.

4. Choose one of our pet friendly holiday cottages

Search our website for our cottages that are more than happy to welcome your beloved pet. Many with enclosed gardens for a space to run around. Browse our pet friendly cottages here.

So why not celebrate the rest of #NationalPetMonth and book yourself and the family a holiday in Wales. If you want to speak to one of our team about any specific requirements please feel free to contact us on 01650 511101

Mountain Biking at Coed y Brenin – Wales the Year of Adventure

Mountain biking is one of the most popular activities here in Wales, and the home of the sport is Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia. Last month our customer service coordinator Nia was lucky enough to head to Coed y Brenin to try out mountain biking for the first time as part of our Best of Wales year of adventure.

2016 is a big year for Coed y Brenin, which is managed by Natural Resources Wales. This year is the 20th anniversary of the first purpose built mountain bike trail in the UK at Coed y Brenin and since then the centre has become known across the globe for the quality of the trails on offer.

Nia started off by hiring her bike from on site bike shop Bikes Brenin before heading out on the MinorTaur trail, which is a blue graded trail suitable for families and beginners.

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The team had a great time at Coed y Brenin and finished the day with a well deserved tea and cake at the Visitor Centre and Cafe. Watch how Nia got on here.

Best of Wales supporting Julies3peaks challenge

On the weekend of the 15th and 16th of August 2016, a group of friends from across the UK will come together to raise money for Headway Cardiff  by taking part in the ‘Julies3peaks Challenge’. This will involve climbing Wales’ 3 famous mountains, Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan.

Julie is a personal friend of several Best of Wales  staff members and we are happy to be able to support this challenge. When Julie first suffered a brain haemorrhage some 7 years ago doctors told her she was unlikely to survive 24 hours.  Since then she has been living with an acquired brain injury (ABI) and has been able to call on the valuable help and support offered by the Headway Charity.

Julie Davies - Headway Cardiff

Julie Davies – Julies3peaks challenge

This challenge was a personal goal for Julie but unfortunately in February 2015 she suffered a second haemorrhage that left her unable to complete the challenge. This is when a group of her friends and family stepped in to do it on her behalf.

All donations can be made on the just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/julies3peaks/

Best of Wales is a holiday accommodation agency with over 250 self catering properties including apartments, lodges, cabins and holiday cottages in Wales. For more information visit www.bestofwales.co.uk

Cardiff’s latest attraction – 150mph Zip line

Just over a week since business leaders in Cardiff announced a feasibility study was being carried out on a cable car system linking Penarth and Cardiff Bay and that sea planes could be landing there in the near future it has been announced a new Zip wire is currently being built from Penarth, across Cardiff Bay.

The new zip wire would ensure commuters can bypass the usual forms of transport and knock half an hour off the usual peak time commute.

new 150mph Zip Wire in Wales

new 150mph Zip Wire in Wales © 2015 Best of Wales © Crown copyright Visit Wales

Zip wires have long been a popular tourist attraction in other parts of Wales but this is the first time they will have been designed to carry commuters during the morning and evening rush hours. It will also be open at other times as a general tourist attraction.

Lisa Jenkins from Best of Wales was keen on the idea….” From a tourism perspective Best of Wales has hundreds of guests coming to South Wales each week and any such attraction would be another attractive option. Cardiff is a popular destination all year round and any initiative that can aid tourism and also reduce traffic with less commuters on the roads at peak times can only be a good thing.”

Local resident Ebrill Jones  also welcomed the new scheme. ” Its quite exciting and I’m looking forward to trying it out. I’m sure it will be another great tourist attraction for Wales.”

Best of Wales is an award winning self catering accommodation provider with hundreds of properties all over Wales including apartments, lodges, cabins, farmhouses, country houses and holiday cottages in Wales. For more information visit www.bestofwales.co.uk

Best of Wales Award Winner / Enillydd Gwobr Y Gorau o Gymru

Originally from Bangor, Gwenno graduated with a Business and Management degree from Aberystwyth University in June this year. After recently moving down to Cardiff, she now looks forward to familiarizing with her role as project manager. This opportunity surfaced after she received the Best of Wales award for being the Welsh medium business student of the year at Aberystwyth University.

Gwenno receives the Best of Wales Award at Aberystwyth University / Gwenno yn derbyn gwobr Y Gorau o Gymru ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth

Gwenno receives the Best of Wales Award at Aberystwyth University / Gwenno yn derbyn gwobr Y Gorau o Gymru ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth

A vast amount of her experiences, which resulted from her interest in sports, music and socializing, has sealed her appreciation and gratitude towards the country and its treasures. With family members located all over Wales, she has fond childhood memories of spending summers along the coasts of the Llyn Peninsula and amongst Carmarthenshire’s delightful countryside. Therefore, promoting holiday cottages in Wales, amongst its glorious landscapes, is a very exciting prospect for Gwenno as she embarks on her professional career.

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Yn wreiddiol o Fangor, graddiodd Gwenno o Brifysgol Aberystwyth mewn Busnes a Rheolaeth fis Mehefin eleni. Wedi symud i Gaerdydd yn ddiweddarach, mae hi’n edrych ymlaen at ddod yn gyfarwydd â’i rôl fel rheolwr prosiect. Daeth y cyfle hwn wedi iddi dderbyn gwobr Y Gorau o Gymru fel myfyriwr / myfyrwraig busnes gorau’r flwyddyn trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth.

Mae’r rhan helaeth o’i phrofiadau, sydd wedi deillio o’i diddordeb mewn chwaraeon, cerddoriaeth a chymdeithasu, wedi cryfhau ei gwerthfawrogiad o’r wlad a’i thrysorau. Gyda theulu yn hannu o bob cwr o’r wlad, mae ganddi atgofion melys o dreulio hafau ei phlentyndod ar hyd arfordiroedd Pen Llyn ac yng nghanol gwyrddni Sir Gaerfyrddin. Felly mae gweithio i hybu gwyliau godidog yng nghanol tirweddau a thirluniau Cymru yn brosiect cyffrous iddi wrth iddi gamu i’w swydd broffesiynol gyntaf.

Holiday Hinterland

 

Did you get a chance to see Y Gwyll/Hinterland, a gripping, bilingual detective drama series set in Mid Wales, when it was first broadcast earlier this year on BBC 1 Wales? If you missed it, the good news is that the series is soon to be broadcast on BBC Four. This ground breaking drama is a first for the BBC as the dialogue is in both Welsh and English, with subtitles of course, for non-Welsh speakers. (Y Gwyll means ‘the dusk’ or ‘the darkness’ in Welsh.) Amazingly, it was shot in Welsh and English simultaneously – quite a challenge for the actors who are all Welsh speaking.  It has a strong, and fast paced, story line based around DCI Tom Mathias and his team solving crimes in Mid Wales, and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, in suspense. The whole series is located in and around the lovely sea front town of Aberystwyth, and in the stunning, mountainous landscape along beautiful, wind-swept Cardigan Bay.

Aberystwyth, and the surrounding area of Ceridgion, is a great place for a luxury self catering holiday, so settle down to watch this series when it begins on Monday 28th April, and let it give you an appetite to spend your next holiday in the area. The first episode takes place in the picturesque village of Devil’s Bridge – and no, it’s not a fictional name, it really does exist! Fronhaul, Ty Coets Uchaf and Llety Gwedd are some of holiday cottages which are located in the village itself.

Find them all, and lots more gorgeous Aberystwyth holiday cottages at www.bestofwales.co.uk or give us a call on 01650 511101 Another bit of good news for Wales is that the production of a second five part series will begin in September this year. And that’s not all…Netflix have just purchased Hinterland for broadcast in USA and Canada! Y Gwyll/ Hinterland could potentially go global! Look out Hollywood!

Holiday Cottages in Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth