Stays With a Story

A memorable holiday is about so much more than comfortable accommodation and good food – to be really fantastic, a getaway destination should have a story to tell. If you’re seeking a Welsh adventure with a difference, read on for some inspiration…

Laugharne and Dylan Thomas

If you’re a fan of the Welsh poets there’s a good chance you know about the significance of Laugharne – and in particular the gorgeous boathouse where Dylan Thomas spent the last four years of his life. Situated on the Taf estuary, this iconic literary setting is open to visitors year-round, allowing fans of Thomas to wander through the very rooms where his great works were created. For the ultimate getaway, check into The Corran Resort & Spa, a luxury hotel with an award-winning restaurant that’s just a ten-minute drive south of the Boathouse.

St Davids and the Patron Saint of Wales

The picturesque city of St Davids can be found on Wales’ southwest coast, and is most famous for its 12th century cathedral. What makes this seaside setting significant is the fact that it was the birthplace of Wales’ patron saint, David. As with many saints, David’s life was composed of a long list of miracles, including the restoration of a blind monk’s sight. He also founded the Menevia monastery on the very ground where St Davids Cathedral now sits. Another upside to visiting St Davids is the availability of fantastic luxury accommodation, including Warpool Court and Twr y Felin Hotel.

Portmeirion and The Prisoner

There are many things that make the village of Portmeirion an unusual holiday destination. Built between 1925 and 1975 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, this waterside toy town was constructed in the style of an Italian village, and is notable for its lush gardens and colourful houses. TV fans primarily associate Portmeirion with being the setting for The Prisoner, a series which saw Patrick McGoohan seeking to escape an eerily idyllic coastal resort known only as The Village. Today Portmeirion still hosts annual Prisoner fan conventions – although it’s also a gorgeous getaway for architecture enthusiasts and beach lovers.

The Hand at Llanarmon

Passing by The Hand, you might not suspect that this cosy rural pub and spa hotel has a story to tell – but with a little knowledge of the surrounding region’s history, all becomes clear. This award-winning hotel is named for the Myddleton family, who once occupied nearby Chirk Castle. Legend tells that the bright red hand on their coat of arms was inspired by grisly act of self-mutilation, carried out by one of the Myddleton sons in a bid to win a challenge set by his father. Today the legacy of the family lives on, not only at Chirk Castle but at The Hand, which boasts an impressive wooden sculpture of an open palm outside the front. If that’s not reason enough to visit The Hand, poetry enthusiasts may also be pleased to learn that Llanarmon was once the home of John Ceiriog Hughes.

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Rarebits Legends – Elm Grove, Tenby

This beautiful family-run grand house has a strong sense of tradition and continuity – with its panelled doorways, chandeliers, marble fireplaces, picture windows and high ceilings with exquisite mouldings blending seamlessly with it’s more modern features. Design and construction of Elm Grove started in the 1840’s and was completed in 1856.

Over the last 150 years the house has been home to a range of owners including Sirs, Captains and Majors. During World War II the main house also became home, and school, to a number of child evacuees from London.

The Rees family bought Elm Grove in 1958 and since this time it has been run as a guest house by 3 successive generations of the family. Currently approaching 60 years of welcoming guests to this beautiful location, Elm Grove has played host to a wide range of guests from walking and painting parties, couples and business travellers to families.

Jane and Alan Rees-Baynes (3rd generation) are currently at the helm of this characterful country house having taken over from Jane’s mum in 2008.

As well as running Elm Grove and it’s kitchen, Jane is also chairman of Pembrokeshire Tourism (the local trade association). Alan meanwhile spends any spare time in his studio, which is located at the back of the property. Many of his paintings can be seen in the bedrooms around the house and he’s more than happy to show guests around his studio. Some of his work can also be seen in Tenby Museum and gallery.

Welsh Literary Focus: Kate Roberts

Year of Adventure – Welsh Literary Focus: Kate Roberts, a Welsh Language Author from North Wales

Immerse yourself in the birthplace of Kate Roberts this March, one of the most significant Welsh language authors of the 20th century. Born in the quaint village of Rhosgadfan, the scenic country surroundings will take your breath away. Experience the culture and visit the traditional cottage Cae’r Gors where Kate spent her childhood years. Learn what it was like for the daughter of a quarryman to grow up in this humble home and become one of the most famous Welsh authors in history.

After a day of learning about the author dubbed ‘the Queen of Welsh Literature’, why not pop over the Menai Strait to the nearby Isle of Anglesey? This beautiful island has much to be discovered and it’s easy to make the most of the great outdoors here. There are many activities to keep you entertained including a visit to Llynnon Mill, the only working windmill in Wales. Alternatively there are many castles on the island celebrated for their heritage and rich history, such as Beaumaris Castle, which was the last of Edward I’s ‘iron ring’ of castles along the North Wales coast.

Hotel image, Ty'n Rhos, Caernarfon, Kate Roberts

Ty’n Rhos Country House, Snowdonia National Park

Where to stay

Between Cae’r Ghos and the Isle of Anglesey is Tŷ’n Rhos, a five star country house hotel with a reputation for quality and comfort. This welcoming hotel prides itself on providing cosy yet spacious bedrooms and delicious, hearty food. After a day of exploring, Tŷ’n Rhos offers quality hospitality in a warm and peaceful environment.


Ty'n Rhos Country House, Caernarfon, Kate Roberts

Dining Room overlooking the garden and Mount Snowdon at Ty’n Rhos Country House

What to eat

Enjoy a fine dining experience at Tŷ’n Rhos with an appetising à la carte menu.

Relax in one of its many attractive lounge areas before enjoying the fresh produce sourced locally by the chefs that day.

Their service is attentive too, creating the perfect dining ambience.