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;
In September Sue one of the Best of Wales staff ventured to the Abergavenny Food Festival for a foodie adventure. The Festival which is one of the biggest food festivals in Europe has an amazing atmosphere to experience and explore.
Sue had a great day trying out diverse food cultures with numerous different aspects to the food festival from the gin palace, world food market, meat market to the night market. Let see how she got on.
If you missed out on this foodie event why not head to the Abergavenny Christmas food and drink fair on the 11th of December 2016 to indulge in the festivity…
As we are nearly at the end of our Year of Adventure we will be surprising you with the rest of our staffs epic adventures – stay tuned for what we have next in store…
For more information visit their website
Heading to Abergavenny? How about staying in one of our cottages in the area
Wales has over 800 miles of coastline to explore and along that coast some wonderful beaches. We are proud of our beaches in Wales and we should be with 47 sites proudly flying the Blue Flag Award in Wales this year (more than any other previous year).
The Blue Flag Award is a highly respected international award and runs in 49 countries across the world. In Wales, environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy run the award.
The prestigious award is only awarded to beaches and marinas that have the highest quality of water, environmental education and management, safety and services. It acts as a guarantee to the public that a beach is among the finest not only in the country, but around the world.
So where are these Blue flag beaches in Wales? Well here’s a handy list of them all for you to take a look at and plan to visit during your next trip to Wales.
- Aberdaron Beach
- Church Bay
- Colwyn Bay
- Llanddwyn Beach
- Llandudno – West Shore
- Morfa Bychan – Black Rock Sands
- Porth Dafarch
- Prestatyn Central
- Trearddur Bay
- Castle Beach Tenby
- Coppet Hall
- New Quay – Harbour Beach
- Newgale Sands
- North Aberystwyth
- North Tenby
- Pembrey Beach – Llanelli (Cefn Sidan)
- South Aberystwyth
- South Tenby
- Bracelet Bay
- Caswell Bay
- Langland Bay
- Port Eynon
- Rest Bay Porthcawl
- Trecco Bay Porthcawl
Looking for a cottage close to the beach? Head to our advanced search or contact our team on 01650 511101
In our last edition of the Best of Wales Best Kept Secrets we explored Knighton and this time round we head to Corwen in North Wales. Here at Best of Wales we like to make sure that you know of all the best places to visit in Wales. And by all the best places we not only mean those well known attractions but also those local gems. In our series of Best of Wales Best Kept Secrets, this time we speak to Meryl from Bwthyn Pendre about her favourite places to visit.
- What’s your favourite local walk?
My favourite walk is Moel Famau which is situated on the boundary between Denbighshire and Flintshire where you can see the Vale of Clwyd in it’s glory. It’s the best place to go for a walk and see Wales at it’s best.
- It’s a sunny day, where would you head to?
If it is a sunny day, we go to Lake Brenig and take a picnic with us and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Lake Brenig is a lovely reservoir and Visitor Centre that includes water activities, cycling, walking and fishing, there’s something for everyone to do.
- Best Day out?
There are many activities to do in this area but the best day out would be to head to Coed Llandegla Forest. Coed Llandegla has many activities to keep you amused, from walking to mountain biking. The best part about it for me is the mountain biking with different trails to suit all abilities, from green trails (easy) for novices to black trails for the experts. And of course after a day on the trails you can treat yourself to cake at the visitor centre.
- Best Place to sit and relax watching life pass you by?
Gerddi Bodnant is the best place to relax, sit and enjoy life. It’s a great place to visit all year round, I especially like the Autumn time there as you can see the trees and the leaves changing colours. If you’re lucky enough you will be able to see wildlife and the wonderful colours of different flowers and plants, there is a view at these gardens for every season.
- Best place for cake?
I would recommend for anyone to go and have a delicious cake from Siwgwr Plwm Cafe near Ruthin. I enjoy going here and having the delicious cakes that are on offer.
- Best place to visit on a rainy day?
We don’t get many rainy days here in Wales – promise! However on those occasions I would recommend going to the Old Prison in Ruthin. It is the only purpose built prison of its kind that is open for the public to go and visit it as a heritage attraction, an interesting place to visit and to get some local history whilst on holiday.
- Somewhere off the beaten track
If you have some time to spare I would recommend going to the Aber Falls. These are located a small walk away but is worth it as you get close and personal to these beautiful waterfalls. It is an excellent way of finishing your trip with lovely views and a great insight to one of our local gems.
- Best place for a great meal?
The best place for food is at the Berwyn Arms, Llandrillo, Corwen. It’s where you can get first class home cooked food. It is a must when visiting us to dine here, but make sure you book a table to have food as it is a very popular place.
- Best place for a Welsh welcome?
The best place for a welsh welcome is Siop Elfair in Ruthin where you can be greeted in Welsh and the owner will also teach you some useful Welsh phrases, a truly welsh experience. The shop is full of different gifts and crafts from all over Wales and its the the perfect place to find gifts to take home.
- Lastly any other tips?
I would recommend taking a train from Corwen to Llangollen and then going on a horse drawn boat trip on the canal – you wouldn’t see this everywhere and is a great experience for the family.
We are only 4 weekends away from Christmas, can you believe it? And in the lead up to Christmas, Wales has some fantastic events for you all to enjoy. Whether it’s a day out to see Father Christmas or a quick weekend away to help you relax in the middle of all the chaos we have some great tips on events for you to enjoy as a family:
Cardiff Christmas Market
12th November – 23rd December 2015
With over 75 stalls Cardiff is alive with so many shopping delights, crafts, food, gifts, head to Cardiff for that unique Christmas present you’ve been looking for.
Carew Castle Christmas Fayre
6th December – 11am – 4pm
Come and enjoy with the family and visit Santa’s grotto, sample some mince pies and do some of your Christmas shopping with local arts, ceramics, glassware and sculpture all on show.
Abergavenny Christmas Food Festival
Taking place at Abergavenny’s Market Hall and Brewery Yard you’ll find a wide range of wonderful food and drink to treat yourself in time for the Christmas holidays
Traditional Christmas Fayre – National Park Visitor Centre Libanus, Brecon Beacons
Join in this traditional day of wreath making demonstrations and the opportunity to make your own Christmas decorations and of course more opportunity to shop, shop, shop.
Ffestiniog Railway Santa Special
12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd of December
Join the Santa Specials and receive a gift from Santa while travelling through the Welsh Countryside. There’s even mince pies and sherry for the grown ups.
Santa at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre
Every Saturday & Sunday throughout December – 11 – 4pm
Come and see Santa at Bodnant and also take the opportunity to shop in their wonderful farm shop.
Making a weekend of it? Take a look at our accommodation availability
On Monday evening we had the pleasure of attending the Welsh launch of this years Small Business Saturday. We were very much involved in the campaign last year and were lucky enough to be selected as one of their #Smallbiz100, which was a great experience. Read all about last year here.
Small Business Saturday is an UK wide campaign encouraging us all to support our local small businesses, this year it will take place on the 5th of December.
The launch was held at the spectacular Cardiff Castle with a number of small businesses and organisations in attendance, watch the video below for an overview of the evening, and remember to get involved and support small businesses on the 5th of December.
So we’ve explored Devil’s Bridge and Tywyn in our Best of Wales’ Best Kept Secrets blog and this time we head to the Llandysul area in West Wales to hear from Frances from Y Llaethdy and Yr Hufenfa. Here she tells you about all her favourite places to visit and why you should head to this part of Wales on your next holiday. She’s persuaded us so read on have the decision made for you……
1. Your favourite local walk?
We are lucky enough to be surrounded by walks here on the farm; there is a landmark glacial feature called Cerrig Hyllod (‘The Ugly Stones’) which you head to by following the woodland path along the riverbank and up a fairly steep hill (worth the climb) to the stony outcrop. Local history relates how these giant stones served in earlier times as a pulpit for a popular Welsh preacher who lived in the valley. You can see the giant stones and bluebell wood along our woodland path featured in this short film by Walkers are Welcome.
2. It’s a sunny day where would you head to?
A visit to the seaside is a must. The beautiful coastline of Cardigan Bay, with its clean, unspoilt beaches at Poppit Sands, Llangranog, Penbryn, Mwnt, and charming harbour towns at New Quay, Tresaith and Newport Sands are all within a reasonable driving distance from us, so you get the best of both worlds, countryside and coast.
Dolphin watching Boat Trips at New Quay run regularly along the coast and often dolphins and seals can be seen. Even if you don’t spot a dolphin, the coastal rockery is a geologist’s delight showing clearly the layers of dramatic upheavals in this coastline’s development. New Quay is still a fishing village and locally caught fish is available daily in the shop near the quay. There is also one of the best fish and seafood takeaways down at the harbour, take our word for it.
3. Best family friendly attraction?
One of my favourite places to visit with friends and family is Dolaucothi Gold Mines which dates from Roman times. There are guided tours so you can experience the conditions of the Roman, Victorian and 1930s underground workings. It’s near Pumsaint in Carmarthenshire, about 35 minutes’ drive from Capel Dewi, and you can pan for gold in the sluice in the courtyard. The shop also sells beautiful little flasks of pure gold flakes to take away if you didn’t manage to find any!
4. Feeling active where would you head to?
Our cycling visitors can start at Route 82 of the National Cycle Network nearby, to join some awesome trails through wonderful scenery and visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran, an attractive nature reserve with water buffalos, otter, badger & squirrel trails. Or why not set off inland to the wild beauty of the nature reserves around Cors Caron.
We have secure lockup bike storage at our cottages and an outdoor hosepipe facility for washing off muddy bikes and cyclists. Each cottage has 2 bathrooms including a deep bath, perfect for soothing aching muscles after a long day in the saddle.
5. Best place to sit and relax, watching life pass you by?
Again, I like to head to the coast where there are some wonderful places to sit overlooking Cardigan Bay. The picnic tables on the deck at the Ship Inn at Tresaith offer a great view of the cliffside to the beach below and dolphins at play in the bay. And a visit to the delightful seaside town of Aberaeron with its Georgian Terrace overlooking the bay is a must for local fish and chips and their honey ice cream specialty.
6. Best place to visit on a rainy day?
The National Woollen Museum in Dre-fach, Felindre. Historically and into the 19th century, the production and processing of wool surpassed even coal as the most important of Wales’ industries and the Teifi Valley earned itself the nickname “The Huddersfield of Wales”. The museum is well worth a visit. Follow the process from Fleece to Fabric and take a tour of the Textile Gallery; the Wall of Blankets is not to be missed! There is also a raised walkway which gives a unique view of textiles in production by one of the last makers of flannel in Wales.
7. Somewhere that’s a bit off the beaten track? (not your usual tourism attractions)
Within walking distance from our cottages in Capel Dewi is the Honorwood Flock farm and shop specialising in Shetland and Icelandic fleeces and Angora mohair. Set on a small working farm they have been specialising in the breeding of Shetland, Icelandic, Soay, and Jacob sheep (all of which are coloured breeds) together with white Angora Goats since 1993. Well worth a visit.
8. Best place for a great meal?
One of our favourite places to go for a fine meal is the Belle Vue restaurant near Llanybydder. The restaurant is run by two master chefs who cook all the meals from fresh local produce, and often come into the bar at the end of the night to chat with diners and other locals having a pint.
9. Best places for a Welsh welcome?
One of the best places for a real Welsh welcome is our local pub. Located in the nearby village of Gwarcefel the pub is more of a community hub than a drinking establishment. Everyone receives a very warm welcome, visitors and locals alike. It’s a good place to find out about local news and events, and there is a saying around here: ‘You had best tell people your business, otherwise they will make it up!’
10. Best local attraction?
The Teifi River is in my opinion one of the great features of the area. The Teifi River is one of the longest river flowing entirely in Wales and travels 75 miles from its source at Teifi Pools all the way to Poppit Sands at Cardigan Bay. Historically it was a traffic and trade route to and from the coast and encouraged the establishment of a number of important medieval monasteries along its length, such as Strata Florida. Today the river is enjoyed by many water sports enthusiasts at the Llandysul Paddlers Canoe Club which offers white water rafting, canoes and kayaks for some spectacular scenery along the Teifi. And for fishermen, our farm borders the Clettwr River and the Llandysul Angling Association is located nearby.
Who saw Côr Glanaethwy make it through to the final of Britain’s Got Talent this week? If you missed out on their spectacular performance here it is:
Wales has always been known as the ‘Land of Song’ and Côr Glanaethwy is the finest example of this with their wonderful bilingual rendition of The Prayer. When you think of Wales and choral singing you may think instantly of our traditional Male Voice Choirs however female and mixed choirs are equally popular.
When on your holiday in Wales why not plan something different and attend a Concert, Eisteddfod or even a Choir Rehearsal (yes you can go along to watch), a wonderful opportunity to sample our unforgettable Welsh Choirs for yourselves.
Here’s a selection of some of the places you could relax, enjoy and sit and listen to a Welsh Choir:
- Only Men Aloud and Special Guests including Jay James, Sophie Evans, Tenby Male Choir and Collaboration
Date: 5th of July 2015
Location: Pembroke Castle
- Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
Date: 6th – 12th of July 2015
- Côr y Cwm in Concert (part of the Llandeilo Fawr Music Festival
Date: 18th July 2015
Location: St. Teilo’s Church, Llandeilo
- North Wales Choral Festival
Date – 6th – 8th November
Choir Rehearsals (we would advise that you contact the relevant choir before heading to the Rehearsals)
- Aberystwyth Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: Every Thursday night 7:00-8:30pm, RAFA Club, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth
- Builth Wells Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: Monday evenings between 8 pm and 10 pm upstairs at the Greyhound Hotel, Builth Wells
- Caernarfon Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: Tuesdays at 7.45 at Galeri, Caernarfon
- Cantorian Colin Jones – North Wales Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: 2pm every other Sunday at St.Mary Church Room, Betws y Coed.
- Côr Meibion Bro Glyndwr
Location and Time: Wednesday evenings 8pm-10pm at Neyadd Ederynion, Corwen, Denbighshire, North Wales LL21 ODR.
- Porthcawl Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: Practices are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Arlington Road Presbyterian Church at 7.30 – 9.30pm.
- Royal Welsh Male Choir – Treorchy Male Voice Choir
Location and Time: 7pm-9pm every Tuesday and Thursday at Treorchy Primary School on Glyncoli Road, Treorchy
- Tenby Male Choir
Location and Time: 7:45 for 8:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays (concerts permitting) in the County Club