This Month We’re in Love With…

Forget Valentine’s Day, in Wales we’re all about St Dwynwen’s Day. Celebrated on the 25th January each year, this romantic holiday is all about spreading the love, and spending quality time with the people who matter most. In the spirit of St Dwynwen’s Day we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite romantic places, activities and eateries around Wales that we’ve fallen for this month.

Cocktails at Prohibition in Deganwy

This cocktail bar sits on the Conwy river estuary, a stone’s throw from the ancient ruins of Deganwy Castle. Inspired by the speakeasies of the prohibition era, the cosy and atmospheric bar is the perfect place to while away a few romantic hours with someone special. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even try your hand at a cocktail class!

Stargazing in Snowdonia

Snowdonia was awarded dark sky status in 2015, which means it’s one of the best places in the UK to get fantastic views of the stars – while huddled up to your nearest and dearest. Recommended spots include Llyn Geirionydd, Bwlch y Groes and Llynnau Cregennen. Just make sure you go on a night when the sky is clear – and don’t forget the flask of cocoa!

Sunset at Rhossili Bay

Not only does Rhossili Bay boast one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales, it’s also a fantastic spot to watch the sunset. January may not be a good month for sunbathing, swimming or surfing, but what could be more romantic than taking a stroll along this gorgeous stretch of sand as the sun goes down over the water?

Hay-on-Wye

This gorgeous market town may be most famous for its literary festival, which takes place in early summer, but we reckon it’s the perfect romantic destination year round. Pay a visit during the winter months and you can keep warm with a stroll around town, paying visits to the various bookshops, craft boutiques and independent clothing stores.

Llanddwyn Island

Where better to enjoy a romantic day than Llanddwyn Island, the final resting place of St Dwynwen herself? This gorgeous little island sits off the southern coast of Anglesey, connected by a narrow isthmus that can be crossed at low tide. Pack a picnic, pull on your walking boots, and prepare yourself for a refreshing stroll through this idyllic and historic setting.

Coastal walks in Aberystwyth

There’s something uniquely romantic about cosying up to a loved one as you take a wintry walk by the sea. Head to the gorgeous market town of Aberystwyth and you can enjoy a scenic stroll along the Wales Coast Path, finishing up with a well-deserved pint at one of Borth’s charming seaside pubs. Tip: taking the funicular railway to the top of Aberystwyth’s Constitution Hill is a brilliant way to kick-start this walk (and conserve some energy).

Pancakes at La Crêperie de Claudie in Cardiff

This traditional French pancake restaurant next to Victoria Park is the perfect place to enjoy a sweet treat with your sweetheart. The batter is made onsite by Claudie herself, using a recipe handed down from one generation to the next over many years. With an assortment of crêpes, waffles, milkshakes and hot chocolates to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Autumn Adventures in Wales

You don’t need to go Stateside to enjoy the autumn leaves, and what better way to enjoy the cooler days than to explore the colourful woodlands of Wales? With a wealth of opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking and watching the sky at night, treat yourself to a Welsh autumn break, or maybe surprise your loved ones with a holiday gift voucher!

Mountain Biking in Southern Snowdonia

Coed y Brenin is a world-class, purpose-built venue for mountain bikers, with eight specially designed trails as well as running, walking and orienteering routes. Set in the south of Snowdonia National Park, this picturesque spot makes an ideal location to visit on a weekend break or family half-term holiday. It has an excellent visitor centre, some comfortable walks where you can admire the falling leaves, and an all-access mobility trail. You can even admire the stunning landscape from the comfort of the cafe, and sample some of their home-made treats.

Hiking the Brecon Beacons

Autumn is perhaps the most dramatic season in the Brecon Beacons, with the falling leaves exposing the mountain flanks as they prepare for winter. If you’re up for a hike and some bird-watching, stop off at Craig Cerrig Gleisiaid & Fan Frynych. This extensive nature reserve covers 1200 acres of mid Wales, where you can also admire the autumn hues as you climb some of the routes up to the summit of Pen Y Fan.

Wales for Wildlife

Wales is a nature-lover’s paradise, featuring 11 RSPB sanctuaries and 216 Wildlife Trust reserves. Autumn wildlife to watch includes seasonal seals and porpoises in the islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, crested grebes near Bangor in North Wales, and wildfowl in the wetlands of the South. A highlight of the RSPB Newport Wetlands in October is the twilight flocking of 50,000 or more starlings, as they perform syncopated flight dances before dropping down to roost.

The Sky at Night

Wales has many designated Dark Sky Areas around its coasts and mountains, where you can get away from city lights and observe the heavens. At historic Penmon in north east Anglesey, for example, you can not only spot seals, dolphins and puffins off its shores, but find the astral animals of the zodiac. On the west coast, Penbryn Beach is a mile of golden sand that’s one of the best-kept secrets in Wales. Wonderful in the daytime, this is also a beautifully secluded spot from which to wonder at the beauty of the night sky.

Incredible Castles

What better adventure for inquisitive kids than a visit to a real life castle? Pembroke Castle is one of the most iconic of the Welsh castles, with a long history and stunning architecture, plus ongoing excavations and some great exhibits. With a fascinating reputation as the birthplace of Henry VII, the first of the great Tudor monarchs, Pembroke castle is also built over a natural cavern where you can find pipistrelle bats… and maybe a dragon! And if you’re arriving soon, castles all over Wales will open for free on 29/30 September.