Spring Holiday Cottages – 4 of the best
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Wales. The days are lighter, the mood is brighter and there are magical experiences to be found in everything from nature to culture.
Best for Spring Walks
Conwy’s Machno Valley is the perfect place for long, bracing spring walks. Situated in one of quieter parts of Snowdonia National Park, the valley has woodland, lakes, waterfalls and castles. The four-mile-round-trip that starts at the village of Penmachno and follows the river to Conwy Falls offers an easy introduction.
A more challenging route takes you through the Gwydyr forest and across the hills to the village of Dolwyddelan, where you can see fantastic views to the 13th-century Dolwyddelan Castle. Alternatively, strike out through the Machno Valley itself and climb the hill to Llyn Conwy. From here, head toward Llan Ffestiniog and explore the landscape around Llyn Morwynion and the waterfalls at Rhaeadr y Cwm.
|Bwthyn y Plas||This charming self-catering cottage in north Wales, situated on a beautiful estate on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, is a superb location for walkers. The cottage, which has two bedrooms, one with mountain views, is just three miles from Caernarfon, famous for its majestic castle, and within easy reach of Snowdonia National Park. And, after a long day’s walking, you can warm your toes on a real log fire.|
Traveller's tip: Plan your walking routes in advance with the help of the Snowdonia National Park website.
Best for Spring Culture
Europe's youngest capital has more green, open space than any other city in Europe and plenty to see and do. The Wales Millennium Centre - a strikingly designed building where you can catch opera, ballet, dance and music performances - overlooks the waterfront in Cardiff Bay, and contributes to the cosmopolitan feel of Wales’ capital city.
The Centre is home to the Welsh National Opera, a world-class touring opera company with a permanent company of 250 people. In March, they’ll be performing Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, widely regarded as the greatest comic opera ever written, and Verdi's enduring favourite, La Traviata.
|Llety Canna||Maintain the theme by staying at this luxury townhouse, decorated with theatrical flair. Inside this four-bedroomed property, antique French furniture and fabrics mix effortlessly with bold modern art; outside, there’s a pretty decked area with seating. The house is situated in the sophisticated Pontcanna district of Cardiff, a 10-minute stroll from the city centre. The area is home to some of the city’s smartest boutiques, restaurants and cafes, as well as a number of pubs serving fab seasonal food. |
Traveller’s tip: A visit to Cardiff Castle is a must, especially as it’s within walking distance! During 2000 years of history, the Castle has been a Roman Garrison, a Norman stronghold and in Victorian times was transformed into a gothic fairytale fantasy.
Best for Spring Flowers
For the best spring garden in Wales, Colby Woodland in Pembrokeshire, is hard to beat. Enjoy tranquil woodland walks with carpets of spring flowers and relax in the walled garden. The 8-acre National Trust Garden is alive with colour in spring, with masses of dramatic rhododendrons, magnolias, sweetly scented azaleas and camellias, underplanted with bluebells. Open and wooded pathways through the valley offer lovely walks. There are some fine trees, including the Japanese cedar cryptomeria japonica, also a walled garden with a rill and pool.
Traveller’s tip: Climb to the Summer House, and on a clear day enjoy views across Carmarthen Bay to Worms Head in the distance.
|Glanafon Coach House||This fabulous country retreat was once an 18th century coach house. Set in extensive private grounds within Glanafon Manor, the coach-house has beamed ceilings, traditional windows and period furniture. There are four quirky and luxurious bedrooms, including two en-suite double rooms with freestanding Edwardian baths, and two single beds located in the original horse stalls. Within walking distance is the village of Prendergast. The nearby town of Haverfordwest has a great farmers markets and selection of good pubs, and the coastline is within easy reach.|
Best for Spring Wildlife
Spring is one of the best times to spot wildlife in Wales. From March onwards, you can see birds nesting and breeding, lambs being born and bottle nosed dolphins returning to Welsh waters. The best time to spot red kites is from March, when most return to their breeding sites to begin the task of selecting a nest site in suitable woodlands and begin their courtship and nesting. Grey seals and dolphins can be seen regularly from the waters around Cardigan Bay from the middle of March onwards.
|Llys Bach||Llys Bach is a spacious and luxury self-catering apartment in Aberaeron, a beautiful harbour town on the West Wales coast known for its Regency-style architecture and pastel-coloured houses. With its bright rooms, glorious gardens and hydrotherapy hot tub, this is a place that will make you relax and smile. The property is perfectly placed to enjoy Wales’s wildlife in all its glorious forms! Cardigan Bay, just 20 miles south of Aberaeron, has important colonies of Bottlenose Dolphins, Atlantic Grey Seals and Harbour Porpoises, as well as a variety of sea-birds and rare choughs nesting on the cliff-tops. The RSPB’s Ynys-Hir site is a 45-minute drive north. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. Expect to see red kites and peregrines as well as woodland breeding birds, breeding waders and wildfowl.|
Traveller’s tip: One of the best places to view wildlife is Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, located in the seaside resort of Gwbert, near Cardigan.