Where to Treat Mum this Mother’s Day

Planning a special gift for Mother’s Day? We’ve put together a list of properties in Wales offering Mother’s Day deals – get booking today and you’ll have the perfect gift for mum come Sunday 31st March!

Mother’s Day Spa Packages at St Brides Spa Hotel

St Brides is a spa hotel in Pembrokeshire overlooking the sea. For Mother’s Day they’re offering two packages:

– “Mother’s Day Pampering” for £120pp: massage, facial, 90-minute session in the spa, and a Caudalie beauty kit

– “Mum and Me-Time” for £99pp: pedicure, facial, and a 90-minute session in the spa

This offer is only available until the end of March so get booking soon! Find out more here.

Visit the Gardens of Wales with Ty Mawr Country Hotel

Ty Mawr Country Hotel is an award-winning hotel in Brechfa, Carmarthenshire just a stone’s throw from many of Wales’ most beautiful green spaces.

Book a one-night stay for two people and you’ll receive 2-for-1 entry at the National Botanic Garden, as well as 10% off in the shops at Aberglasney Gardens.

Find out more about this fantastic offer by clicking here.

Enjoy Three Nights for Two at Bodysgallen Hall

The exquisite Bodysgallen Hall is housed in a restored 17th-century house just outside Llandudno that overlooks Snowdonia and Conwy Castle.

This March and April Bodysgallen is offering a fantastic deal – book two nights and you’ll get the third night’s accommodation free! This offer includes use of the hotel spa, although you’ll be required to pay for breakfast and dinner.

Find out more by visiting the Bodysgallen website here.

Prosecco Afternoon Tea at Twr y Felin Hotel

Twr y Felin is a luxury hotel and restaurant in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, famed for its contemporary design. Book in for Afternoon Tea to celebrate Mother’s Day and you’ll each be treated to a complimentary glass of prosecco.

Afternon Tea at Twr y Felin is served 3-5pm and is priced at £23 – find out more here.

Enjoy a Half-Day of Pampering at Tre-Ysgawen’s Spa

Tre-Ysgawen is a 4-star spa hotel in Anglesey offering a fantastic Mother’s Day package. For just £130 two people can enjoy a half-day of pampering, complete with arrival drink, full use of the spa facilities, a 45-minute body scrub, and lunch with prosecco.

Find out more here.

Sunday Lunch at St George’s Hotel

The culinary wizards at the 4-star St George’s Hotel in Llandudno have concocted a special Sunday lunch menu to celebrate Mother’s Day. Book in from 12pm on the 31st March to enjoy an exquisite three-course lunch – as you dine you’ll be entertained by the resident pianist.

Alternatively, visit St George’s Hotel for Afternoon Tea, 2.30-4.30pm.

Find out more here.

A Stay in Portmeirion with Complimentary Chocolates

Portmeirion is a unique tourist village in Gwynedd, built into the cliffs just outside Minffordd. Inspired by the architecture of Italy, Portmeirion is a little slice of the Mediterranean in North Wales – and this Mother’s Day it’s the perfect place to explore with mum.

For just £119 two people can stay over in Portmeirion the night of March 31st, sharing a standard double in one of the village B&Bs. In addition you’ll enjoy a free box of chocolates.

Find out more here.

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.

Get Ready for Christmas – Festive Markets across Wales

The festive season will soon be beginning in earnest, so if you’d like to spend the second half of December lazing by the fire with mulled wine and a good book, rather than battling through crowds of high street shoppers in search of gifts, then the Rare Hideaways team can help. We’ve compiled a list of the best Christmas markets around Wales, the perfect places to pick up gifts, decorations and tasty festive treats. Pop these dates and locations in your diary and you can get your Christmas shopping sorted in no time.

Llandudno Christmas Fayre, Conwy

(15-18 November)

One of the major markets coming to North Wales this November is the Llandudno Christmas Fayre. Kicking off on Thursday 15th November and running until the Sunday of that week, this market is a celebration of festive food, drink and crafts that will be hosting 130 different stalls. Highlights from the local area include Edwards of Conwy, a local butcher famous for its excellent sausages and pies; Jaspel’s Craft Cider, which is made in Anglesey, and the Snowdonia Cheese Company. Tickets only cost £4.50 (or £3.75 if you book before the end of October) and under-16s go free! Find out more here.

Colby’s Winter Fair, Pembrokeshire

(17-18 November)

Colby Woodland Garden in Amroth is a beautiful place to visit, no matter what the time of year. During the spring and summer months it comes alive with flowers and foliage; come autumn its walled garden, ponds and bridges make it an excellent place for an atmospheric adventure with your little ones. In November the garden also plays host to a winter fair, where you’ll be able to browse a variety of stalls selling homemade goods and local arts and crafts. Find out more here.

Tredegar House, Newport

(24 November-22 December)

Tredegar House is a stunning 17th-century house situated just outside Newport in South Wales. Visit this historic place during the festive season and you can enjoy the fantastic Christmas celebrations. Kicking off on Saturday 24th November, the Christmas season at Tredegar House incorporates a fantastic market, which will run every weekend. Browse jewellery, soap, homeware, decorations, and plenty of tasty food & drink, before enjoying a guided tour of the traditionally decorated house and grounds. Find out more here.

Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion

(1-2 December)

This gorgeous Georgian villa situated in the Aeron Valley is the ideal place to kick-start December. Head to Llanerchaeron for the first weekend of December and you can enjoy the annual Christmas Fair. Adult tickets are only £5 and give you access to the house, food and craft stalls, and even Father Christmas himself! Visit on a different weekend in December, and enjoy a traditional workshop which will teach you how to make a wreath or table centrepiece. Find out more here.

Don’t forget that Rare Hideaways can help turn a fun Christmas day trip into a festive weekend away. Our carefully selected self-catering properties are located all around Wales in some of the most beautiful settings imaginable. Click here and get browsing!

Iconic Views: Wales’ Most Instagrammable Places

Who needs the Amalfi Coast or the mountains of Austria when you’ve got unbelievable views right on your doorstep? Wales may be a small country, but it packs a serious punch when it comes to astonishing scenery. If you’re a keen photographer looking for the ultimate Instagram-worthy location, pay a visit to these spectacular Welsh destinations.

Fairy Glen, Betws-y-Coed

Travel to the scenic village of Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia National Park and you can visit this atmospheric gorge on the River Conwy – for the reasonable entry free of just 50p.

The Fairy Glen – or Ffos Noddun as it is known to the locals – is thickly wooded on either side and bursting with beautiful wildflowers. Due to the structure and depth of the gorge, the river rushes through in a series of impressive, and extremely photogenic, cascades. Make sure you wander as far as Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd to snap photos of the beautiful falls.

St Govan’s Chapel, Buckspool

This astonishing place is located at the southernmost point of Pembrokeshire, a 15-minute drive from Pembroke. The 13th century chapel is a tiny hermit’s cell, built into the limestone cliff-face. Legend tells that St Govan was approaching Wales when he was attacked by Irish pirates – he escaped to the cliffs, where a cave magically appeared, allowing him to hide safely. To show his gratitude he built the chapel and lived there the rest of his life.

To visit you have to descend a flight of precarious worn stone steps – but it’s worth it for a glimpse of this special place and the surrounding views.

Castell Coch, Cardiff

Just a 20-minute drive from the centre of Cardiff you’ll find this 19th century Gothic revival castle, built on the site of an original 13th century structure. With its narrow windows, rounded turrets, and lush green surroundings, it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Snap photos inside and out and take a scenic stroll through the nearby woodland.

Mwnt Beach, Cardigan

Wales is home to a number of beautiful sandy beaches, but there’s something particularly special about Mwnt. Situated on the west coast, a 15-minute drive from Aberteifi, this secluded little beach lies within a square-shaped cove and is notable for its immaculate golden sand and calm green waters.

Wander along the southern edge of the cove and you can get some fantastic photos of the pretty beach and the green headland beyond.

Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons

Not only is this beautiful lake the perfect spot to take some magical photos, it’s also steeped in Welsh legend, supposedly the home of the Lady of the Lake.

The lake is surrounded by steep mountain ridges on its southern and western sides, which make for some incredible views. To get the best photos you’ll want to hike up the ridge and take your photographs from up high.

Castell y Gwynt, Snowdonia

There’s something very special about this summit in the heart of Snowdonia. If you’re into your mountaineering and you can make it to the top, which stands at 972 metres, you’ll be astonished by the views. The limestone rock has formed into craggy, pointed shards, which resemble piles of broken wood. As for the views from the top? Simply out of this world.

 

Images: © Crown copyright (2018) Visit Wales

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.