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Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 2

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 2

Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 2

Gorgeous Gardens

Thanks to the weather of Wales which brings plenty of water as well as some scorching coastal sun rays, the plant life here has a chance to thrive. On top of this the National Garden Scheme is a caretaking initiative which oversees the restoration and upkeep of gardens here, supported by the donations given by visitors the idea here is to make sure that all of the wonderful locations remain preserved and are expanded without overreaching. What this means for visitors is that there are a bunch of natural getaway spots where you can escape into greenery for next to nothing.

The Plas Cadnant Gardens are one of these places, with its restoration beginning back in 1996 the flora of this 200 acre estate continue to flourish. What’s most exciting about this is that the gardens are hidden from sight and require you to wander down a pathway that eventually guides you into a bright and colourful world of plants and trees that you would never have though could be kept hidden away. It is gardens like this that have inspired so many tales about the unexplainable things in nature. Fairies, nymphs, fawns and other creatures can all be imagined as part of the vivid fantasy environment that these hundreds of flowers help create.

Another destination is Plas Newydd, where an 18th century manor house and its gardens are all open to the public. In spring you can walk through the five acres of pink and purple blooming Rhododendrons, while Autumn visitors can enjoy the typical oranges of the season and the beautiful blues of the hydrangeas. As you wander through the grounds here you can take time out at the tearoom while children can play endlessly in the adventure garden, and eventually take something away from the gift shop.

Wondrous Walks

If you enjoy taking some time out in the gardens here it is likely you are partial to a good walk. Anglesey’s climate, size and terrain make it a fantastic place for walkers, whether you choose to visit in the heat or in the cold, the views don’t stop being breathtaking. Depending on how much you want to be on your feet, or how many sites you want to cram in there are many public footpaths you can use to freestyle your day out. If you want to maximise your stay however the local company Anglesey Walking Holidays are ready to share their award winning insight and cater to your needs for the best walks around. Take the coasts or the hills, head through towns and see the castles all at your own pace here, their packages are totally customisable so that you get to do everything you want and nothing you don’t. They will provide you with maps, guides and transport you to and from where ever you feel you don’t want to walk. They can also take care of your accommodation and show you where is best to eat, which covers all your planning, meaning you can relax, enjoy the beautiful views, plants, animals and open air all without a care.

Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 1

Posted by on Jan 3, 2019 in Blog | Comments Off on Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 1

Anglesey – Wales’ Most Exciting Island – Part 1

On the far opposite side of Cardiff, westward from Wrexham, off the north coast of Wales is Anglesey, an island only connected by a pair of bridges. Although it remains separate from the mainland, this disconnected entity remains both Welsh and incredibly popular despite its detachment from the soil. Home to Hollyhead which is an incredibly bust destination for ferries, carting millions each year from its shores to Ireland and further, this stretch of land reaching out into the Irish Sea has a great deal to offer.

Bountiful Beaches

Thanks to it being an island Anglesey has an infinite coastline which means no matter where you go, you won’t be too far from a beach, so if hitting the sun lounger or playing dead on a towel is your type of getaway, you are in luck. Both the Welsh and the British love a good day at the seaside so expect to see plenty of folk lapping up whatever sun comes their way, as well as the tokens of a UK beach such as ice creams on cones, fish and chips and possibly a donkey ride or two. Depending on which beach you pick, you can expect a different atmosphere, so make sure you select one that aligns with your preferences. Places like Benllech are popular thanks to their broad sandy beaches, but there are quieter destinations such as more secluded semi-pebble beaches like Church Bay or quiet coves such as Porth Dafarch.

However, if you aren’t one for simply getting a tan, there are plenty of engaging activities available to keep you entertained by the sea. Sailing, surfing, kayaking and more water sports can all be found here so make sure you pack a wetsuit. Diving classes are also available at Hollyhead, which introduce a fantastic opportunity to really see the sea in a more relaxed manner. The classes here provide training for absolute beginners so there is no previous experience needed.

Sea Inside

If the weather isn’t great outside but you want to get close to the waters – there is always the Anglesey Sea Zoo, which is Wales’ largest marine aquarium. Here young ones and adults can marvel at a vast selection of creatures that live in the water, including featured favourites like their lobster hatchery and the adorable and tiny sea horse nursery. Visit their wave tank where two tonnes of water splashes in every minute, then watch as the sea anemones and other sea life reacts to the changes. In the rock pools you can see urchins and crabs just like you will encounter out on the beaches, without having to spend all day searching. There are over forty tanks here that stretch around the huge semi-dark indoor areas, where you can marvel at rays, sharks, jellyfish octopi and more. If you plan to stay longer there is also a restaurant and some play areas for kids who need to let off some steam. With select talks from expert biologists, interactive exhibits and plenty more this is a fun, mesmerising and educational place to stop by.

Activities for The Holidays

Posted by on Dec 28, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Activities for The Holidays

Activities for The Holidays

The holidays are coming, and though Christmas day itself is no doubt going to be amazing all on its own, all the other days of advent don’t quite have the same impact. If you have kids you may already be wracking your brain over how you are going to keep them entertained as soon as the schools break up all the way into the new year. Board games, flashing lights, singing plushies and new socks aren’t going to sustain their eager minds and diminishing attention spans for long, so you may have to look elsewhere for family activities. Here are some great ideas to keep everyone happy in Wales.

Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Center

Embrace the cold that comes with the shorter days and often the snow. Here you don’t have to keep your fingers crossed for the latter as they don’t need it here, but still make sure you wrap up warm. You can take to the slopes and learn the ropes whether that includes putting on a pair of skis or trying the giant skateboard of the alps – or as everybody else calls it snowboarding. Tubing is also available here, which has you sit in a giant rubber donut as you descend down the steep hills. You wont need any instruction or previous experience on this as gravity will do all the work for you. However, if you are more into the more refined winter sports you can practice freely on the declines here. Group lessons are available to book which is ideal for families trying it out for the first time, whereas intermediate riders can join in on the freestyle events for more advanced work and tricks.

Inflatable Arena

If the idea of anything outside is an already sending a chill down your spine, then this may be a more suitable option. Through the legs of a red dragon the inflatable arena a warehouse full of giant inflatables awaits excitable guests. Filled wall to wall with huge red and black soft play apparatus this place has an inflatable everything. Work your way around a pitch-black maze, battle one another in the gladiator style inflatable combat areas or simply run jump and slide your way around from one side of this place to the other. Energetic adults may want to try and compete in their assault course, which will test your speed, balance, and even stamina as this place is sure to wear you out quick.

Red dragon Center

If you and your kids are looking for something more conventional then this multiplex in Cardiff will save you. Here you have all your bases covered, bowling will keep you pleasantly active and competitive, while they also have a gym and a casino for older visitors. Their Odeon cinema features an IMAX 3D screen which means eye popping visuals unlike any other, here you can enjoy films like Aquaman, Mary Poppins and Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse which will all be showing over the Christmas period. Finally, all of this will make you hungry but no need to fret, restaurants and cafes are all here to keep you festively plump including Bella Italia and Five Guys burgers.

Celtic Manor – A Christmas Getaway

Posted by on Dec 23, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Celtic Manor – A Christmas Getaway

Celtic Manor – A Christmas Getaway

Currently offering a free day for those booking three nights here, this plentiful complex is set amongst the picturesque landscape of the Usk valley in South Wales and offers an unrivaled selection of packages for those planning on escaping more than just the duties of Christmas dinner. With their own palette of varied resort rooms, you can pick the type of place you want to stay in whether that be an adult orientated spa type getaway for two, a family friendly hotel room or a fun and exclusive hunter lodge which facilitates both smaller and larger parties. This ability to customize your stay all while benefiting from everything the main hotel has to offer is fantastic, meaning you can enjoy your Christmas just as you envisioned it without compromising on space, facilities or the amount of freedom you have. Once you have managed to pick your room you will be delighted to find that the Celtic Manor doesn’t just leave you to your own devices, there are plenty of engaging and social activities that commence inside its many venue halls.

During December the team here will be engaging in a series of fun festive feats that include exciting activities and parties for all types of guests. Kids will be able to take part in the Santa’s workshop of treasures where they will be guided by the elves themselves who will help them craft and create personalized gifts for themselves and their families. Dylan’s Den team will take care of your little ones while you enjoy the resort, meanwhile they will be singing, dancing, and making everything from Christmas crackers to chocolate, as they get deep into the Christmas spirit.

Adults on the other hand will have much to keep themselves busy, not just because of the on-site Spa and beauty treatments of the selection of golf courses here. Those big kids or those youngsters in not so youthful bodies can get into a harness and take part in the forest jump, this treetop adventure puts you high above the ferns and conifers as you work your way over a series of obstacles way above ground. If heights aren’t your thing but excitement is there is laser tag here too, with a variety of different game modes you and your party can team up to shoot at friends or zombies. And if this wasn’t enough why not keep it wintry with the great skate. On their rooftop garden you can ice skate against in the crystal blue lights to your hearts content. Warm yourself up with a hot chocolate or something boozier and return to the rink for more fun.

All of this occurs before Christmas Day even arrives, and the resort will keep you full until the New Year with its packed festive menus. Expect your traditional Christmas day treats with turkey and trimmings, but there is much more, devour ribs, steak and a selection of lunches and snacks in between meal times. There are tiny treats to snack on like éclairs and pastries or heartier sandwiches and gourmet spreads, your only task is to choose. At Celtic Manor Resort, choosing is the only effort you will have to put in at this incredible getaway perfect for Christmas.

Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 2

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 2

Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 2

Cawdor

For a modern menu of captivating Christmas culinary creations why not visit this hotel in the town of Llandeilo. Cawdor is a fairly petite establishment compared to chain hotels you may be more familiar with, here their ample 25 rooms allow them to focus less on the cleaning and more on the guest services which include their exemplary dining. Proud of their heritage they strive to make sure as many of their ingredients are from Wales as possible meanwhile their menu is filled with indulgent savoury and sweet presents for your palate. Their Christmas Day selection features starters that include a trio of salmon including the soft silky smoked variety and a gin and tonic cured special. Following a refreshing cleanser of mulled wine sorbet you can then choose from the British favourite turkey accompanied by bacon wrapped sausages, Welsh roasted sirloin with red wine gravy, a nut and cranberry roast for vegetarians or even sea bass on saffron risotto. All of this is finalized with a Christmas pudding or instead a plate of desserts.

Grey Restaurant at Hilton Cardiff

If you love a good hotel and are fond of the bigger brands then you already know the reputation of the Hilton, and Cardiff’s offering is no different. Get all the contemporary features of an up to date hotel and know that all your creature comforts will be catered to. Dining here for Christmas means you get to munch on their hearty menu which opens with delights such as ham hock & foie gras terrine, then proceeds to the selection of finely cooked meats hand cut by their chefs, a highlight being their honey & rosemary roasted lamb. Finish it all of with a dark chocolate and salted caramel tart and tea or coffee, which can be followed up by one from their Costa just down the corridor. Staying and eating at the Hilton may not be the most groundbreaking option, but its safe, easy, and you know you will be in good hands.

The Hardwick

With their kitchen led by chef Stephen Terry who has traveled the world and cooked alongside greats such as Marco Pierre White to acquire his Michellin stars, this restaurant in South Wales is a hidden Gem of quality that wont break your bank account. With an expansive regular daily menu, their Christmas one is luckily a little more concise which means you won’t spend all day choosing which great dish you want to enjoy. Its easy to see at just a quick glance that the dishes here are a little more experimental than those elsewhere, which makes for a much more exciting and surprising taste experience. Start your Christmas dinner of with a warming Squash soup that comes with savoury granola, creamy yogurt and is dressed with roast pumpkin seed oil. And if that doesn’t sound up your street why not try their pear salad with Boksberg blue cheese for a mix of smooth and fruity flavours interlaced with the twang of winter chicory and topped with walnuts. Mains obviously include turkey breast, the choice of salmon or beetroot and goats cheese risotto cake. Dessert comes in the form of a date loaf with toffee sauce or an intriguing bread & butter pudding brûlée.

Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 1

Posted by on Dec 16, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 1

Superior Christmas Dinner – Part 1

Christmas dinner is renowned for being a laborious task, and often a thankless one at that since now the tradition has overwritten the practicality of serving food for extended families. The whole thing is time consuming, stress inducing and after you have finally consumed all your efforts, then you have to clean up the messiest kitchen you have seen since last year. It makes sense that you might not be excited about doing all that again so why not treat yourself to something different this year? Wales offers a great selection of fine dining options where you can eat the tastiest dishes without breaking a sweat, here are some desirable locations you may want to consider.

Bodysgallen Hall

Sat atop of Pydew Mountain this grand Manor house is a high-class getaway. With accommodation over Christmas this could well be the retreat you have earned after all the Christmases gone by. The stunning grounds here include a beautiful and elaborate set of gardens, both open lawns and uniquely trimmed hedges that make for a visual treat. With their property ranging over a total of 200 acres, there is plenty of space to walk but you may wish to stay cozy indoors thanks to their spa and treatment areas. Christmas here is threefold; it starts on Christmas Eve with drinks in the reception followed by dinner and treats later on for anyone who exited to attend midnight mass. On the big day you will be served with plates full of traditional Christmas dinner while you enjoy the company and atmosphere of the house, followed by a buffet supper later on in the evening. Boxing Day allows more time for swimming, massages, steaming and more as you find your favourite way to work off yesterday’s dinner. Finally, to bid you farewell there is champagne, live harp music and even more food to keep you content on the road.

Coast

This purpose-built restaurant sits on the shoreline with the sands right outside its door and the views from its glass dining areas made infinite by the horizon. What’s different about coast is that although everything about its look and its quality is as expected from a top-class eatery, their service is fairly informal. Though professional they aren’t one for over the top formality, as can be seen by their jovial tattooed head chef. This means that this could be the perfect for a Christmas Day location for anyone who isn’t versed or excited by the upper-class pleasantries of a manor home, here you can relax, unwind and not have to worry about your appearance or enjoying yourself too loudly. The menu here is just as inviting as its laid-back approach with locally sourced ingredients where possible your Christmas dinner is set to be fresh and filling. Start with Goose Liver or maybe haddock with Bacon foam, get stuck into a turkey or maybe a halibut with truffled potatoes and finish up with a luscious chocolate ganache or a classic Christmas pudding. These options and more will make you wonder why you haven’t spent Christmas dinner here before.

Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 2

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 2

Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 2

Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Annual Winter Craft & Gift Fair

If you like crafts you will be in heaven here, if you like food (and who doesn’t) then you will also be filling your basket with treats all day at this creative mix of mini stores. Artisans from around the country flock here to sell their wares in all shapes and sizes, whether you want carefully made ceramics, fine woodwork and much more. But the crafts aren’t only for dedicated collectors and specialists; you can also find some great specialty pieces for your home or for your family. Photographers and artists will also be here providing large and small prints that will brighten up any room just as the multiple jewelers here will be showcasing a platter of wearables that anyone will find inviting. Food wise, get ready to whet your appetite, as the selection of edible items here is mouth watering. From jams and conserves to fancy cheeses and prime cuts of meat all the way to family made wines, you will be regret ordering your Christmas hamper in minutes at this fair. The 80+ stalls here are open for eight weeks over the Christmas period so don’t feel you need to rush if you are in the area.

Conwy’s Winterfest

For something quite drastically different from your standard Christmas celebration, the town of Conwy ion the North coast of Wales has its annual Winterfest which instead of parading a string of colourful elves down the streets instead has its patrons donned in suits of armour!

That’s right the walled town, and home of the largely intact Conwy Castle is fond of its medieval heritage and chooses the season of Advent to showcase a town wide treat for all of its inhabitants and the hundreds of visitors. The parade begins with a court jester (the closest thing you will see to an elf) dancing merrily through the narrow streets in his colourful garments before he is followed by a precession of knights on horseback carrying flaming torches that really help create the atmosphere of yesteryear. Here you can watch all their shiny armour plates and heavy chainmail glisten in the soft light of the fires as they work their way through town to where the real action happens. Follow the ye old merry songs sung by the bards and played on lutes as they direst you to Lancaster Square for sword fighting. Here skilled men with much mettle will square off against one another as crowds gather to hear the clashing of steel and to see the one true victor and master swordsman. And if all of this excitement has you amending your Christmas list then you will be delighted to find that the nearby Knight Shop sells armour, weaponry and all kinds of licensed fantasy memorabilia. There will also be stalls selling toys of the past, a fantastic butcher for your own family feast, galleries with medieval style art and much more. If you are planning on doing something different this Christmas – look no further than the high stonewalls of Conwy town.

Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 1

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 1

Best Welsh Christmas Markets – Part 1

Wales is not known for its warm winters. Instead the beaches become deserted and the crowds start to fill out the cities and towns instead, with warm yellow lights and trees covered in colour, Christmas time is still a wonderful time to visit. To get the best out of your shopping spree and to see the most unique things each individual town has to offer, you may want to find a Christmas market. With pop up stalls just here for December, you can enjoy food, cloths gifts and more from in and outside of the Welsh borders as sellers come from all over to join in the festive fun.

Swansea Christmas Market

Starting in November and lasting up until the 20th of December, Swansea’s Oxford Street gets converted into a delightful marketplace perfect for some winter shopping. From the stream of quaint wooden stalls all lined with tinsel, bells and all manner of Christmas regalia visitors will be able to peruse the hard work of many small businesses as they enjoy a fantastic selection of consumables and collectibles. From hand crafted and personalized gifts that will appeal to both adults and children, to temporary food stalls that will be serving bento boxes, burritos, burgers (and of course other foods that don’t begin with the letter B) to keep you warm inside and out. The real treat comes from the custom treats that vendors will have available such as indulgent handmade chocolates, smooth and sugary custom-made fudges and toffees and for those who intend to start early this Christmas several festively flavoured alcoholic beverages will be available. The little ones will also be pleased to see that there is also a Santa’s grotto, so they can get in their requests early and sit on the jolly fat man’s lap for a photo.

Cardiff Christmas Market

Running all the way up to Christmas Eve Eve (or the 23rd of December for those of you who don’t count backwards), this expansive Market conversion of Cardiff City Centre turns the regular streets into an inviting Festive festival. With a huge array of vendors that make up over 200 exhibitors, the market itself can’t even handle the number of different items here, so many will switch out as the days roll on. This means that for those spending their Christmas in Cardiff, this massive market begs a return visit or two. Expect your senses to overload as you work your way round the labyrinth of desirables on display here, with scented candles and bath bombs filling the air, flashing lights and colourful knitwear overloading your eyes, and roasted chestnuts and lovingly baked goods tantalising your tongue. There is unquestionably something for everyone here whether you want something new for your kitchen; your bedroom or even the garden there will be a stall with your name on it. All of this happens while Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is happening too, which adds ice skating, a French Alps themed bar and an entire funfair to the list of activities in the city.

A Hub of Diversity Part 2

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on A Hub of Diversity Part 2

A Hub of Diversity Part 2

The Last Five Years

From Tony Award winning composer and playwright comes a show that has recently been adapted into a film starring musically associated Anna Kendrick, well known for her work in the Pitch Perfect accapella series. The stage show however comes to the Wales Millennium Center bringing with it the pop-rock stylings and unconventional relationship matter that has won the play several Drama Desk Awards. In this emotional tale about a pair of twenty something trying to make it in the arts as they tackle big city life in New York. (more…)

A Hub of Diversity Part 1

Posted by on Nov 27, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on A Hub of Diversity Part 1

A Hub of Diversity Part 1

The Wales Millenium Centre is a great place commence your day when visiting the country. Night after night it is host to huge stage shows that cover a diverse range of topics, themes and cultures that is hard to find at any other show venue around. With everything from live music to ballet, opera and everything in between the WMC does not dissapoint those who are wise enough to attend. (more…)