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How to feel more Christmassy: 3 fun Christmas activities you’re going to love doing in Wales

We have to say it’s feeling very Christmassy at Wales Tourists Online HQ. The Christmas tree is up, the obligatory string of silver bells have been hung across our window. All we need to complete the Christmas picture is an open fire, a plate of mince pies and maybe a glass (or two) of whiskey.

Although we’re feeling Christmassy, we know not everyone is, which is why we’ve put together a list of fun Christmas activities you can do in Wales this December, 2014. So, pop on the Michael Buble Christmas album and get reading – you’ll be feeling more festive in no time:

Follow some Welsh Christmas traditions

Sometimes it can be all too easy to get disillusioned by Christmas. Surely it’s just a time of year that’s manipulated by big corporations to make us spend more? Well, although some people may feel that way, one remedy that might make Christmas taste sweet again is to hark back to some old Christmas traditions. And thankfully Wales has quite a few you can enjoy this December!

In many Welsh farmhouses families would make a treacle toffee known as cyflaith. Fancy making some of this tasty Welsh treat? You’ll find a cyfliath recipe here – let us know if you try it out. We always like to hear from you!

Carol singing was also popular back in the day. In fact, it still is in many parts of Wales. According to tradition, carols would be sung for several hours at what is known as the plygain service. Wondering what plygain means? It translates as cock crow, which refers to the fact that plygain services were normally held in the early morning, between three and six in the morning. If you’re not a morning person you’ll be glad to hear that plygain parties are normally held in the evenings now.

At plygain services, carols are typically sung in Welsh, are not accompanied by music and the songs sung have not been pre-planned. It’s a spontaneous affair. Want to hear a traditional Welsh carol? We love this one:

Catch the Santa Special train to visit Father Christmas

We know Saint Nick normally prefers to travel by reindeer, but in Wales he can’t resist travelling by stream train on the odd occasion.

If you fancy catching a train to visit Santa – or at least if your kids do – then take a trip to Brecon Beacons Railway. Here you can catch a train from to see Father Christmas and his grotto. Every child and adult receives a present. There’s mince pies and sherry too.

The trains can get fully booked, so it’s best to book your tickets for the Santa Specials in advance. Trains also run up until the 23rd of December.

Family Trains on:
November 29th 30th
December 6th 7th 13th 14th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd
Trains leave at 11.00 12.30 2.00 3.30 5.00
Babies    -  (under 3 years)  FREE      
Children -  (3-15years)        £11.50
Adults     -                               £13.50

Telephone: 01685 722988
enquiries@breconmountainrailway.co.uk

Go and see a Christmas ballet in Cardiff

Did you know that the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia are performing in Cardiff this Christmas? They’re one of the world’s greatest ballet companies and this Christmas (2014) you can see them perform three ballets – The Nutcracker, Coppélia or Swan Lake.

Tip: Not sure what the ballets are about? You can find out the storyline for each ballet here.

Dressing up and going to see a Christmas ballet will definitely help to make you feel more festive this December. Or, if you’re stuck for a gift, why not surprise someone with a Christmas outing and treat them to tickets to one of the ballet shows? You could go out for a meal beforehand and then on to the show.

Here’s a video of the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia performing – impressive:

All of the performances can be seen at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

Dates

The Nutcracker: 20 -24 December

  Coppélia: 27 -29 December

 Swan Lake: 30 December -3 January 

 

Christmas days out and activities in Wales, 2014

With just five weeks left until Christmas we thought it time to share some of the best things you and your family can do in Wales this Christmas. From festive days out to wintry food fairs, there’s something everyone will enjoy going on in Wales this Christmas. So put on your Christmas playlist, sit back and start to plan your festive days out:

Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Day Out

At Christmas, we all want to indulge a little, right? Well, we don’t think there’s any better place you can indulge your sweet than Wickedly Welsh – a chocolate factory in Pembrokeshire. At the factory you can watch as the chocolates get made, you can also create your own bars and your own wrappers. One thing you have to do is try their delicious liquid hot chocolate and their choclate bomb truffles (there as good as they sound!).

Wickedly Welsh

Cardiff Winter Wonderland, 13th November to the 5th January

Cardiff is set to be a hub of yuletide celebrations this year with its very own Winter Wonderland. There’s going to be hair-raising rides – as well as a few gentler additions for the younger members of the family. The big attraction will be the ice skating rink. The ice rink will be open seven days a week from now until the 5th January, although the rink will be closed on Christmas. Remember, you need to book tickets for the skating.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite you can visit the Alpine Village, where you’ll be able to find plenty of warming winter treats, including German sausages, crepes and you can grab a Gluhwein (a mulled wine) from one of the Winter Wonderland chalets.

Cardiff Winter Wonderland

The 25th Royal Welsh Winter Fair, 1st and 2nd of December

The  Royal Welsh Winter Fair has become a highlight of the winter season in Wales. Although there are stockmen competing over the two day long fair for prizes, there are also Christmas gifts for sale, delicious foods to try at the Farmers Market, a Santa’s Grotto and lots of crafts people have made that will have been entered into the fair for judging.

If you have a big family, with lots of different to please you might find the Royal Welsh Winter Fair is the right day out for you.

Here’s a video of the Welsh Winter Fair:

 

Admission Prices – Royal Welsh Winter Fair 2014

You can buy single day tickets for the fair. Single day adult tickets are £12 if you book in advance, or £14 on the gate. Children aged between five and sixteen are £5, whilst children under four are free. For a two-day ticket, adults are £22 in advance and £26 on the gate.

Here’s where you can book your tickets for the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend, 28th – 30th November

We can’t wait for the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, which is run over a weekend and has a series of different events you can attend. If you’ve got little ones, visit Father Christmas on Saturday 29th between 12pm and 3pm. If you’re a book lover, or want to get a book signed by one of the authors appearing at Hays Festival Winter Wonderland, then you’ll definitely find something of interest in the Hay’s Festival Winter Weekend brochure. There’s swing jive lessons, Christmas crafts sessions for children, the big Christmas light switch on and writing workshops to enjoy too.

Take a look at the Hay’s Festival Winter Weekend brochure for more information.

Visit Father Christmas at Chirk Castle, Wrexham, 13th to the 21st December

This year Father Christmas can be found in Chirk Castle, Wrexham, from the 13th of December until the 21st December. The Castle will be transformed to celebrate the festive season in a traditional medieval style. There will also be mediaeval feast in the courtyard, crafts to make and the Christmas-trimmed castle to explore.

For more information about seeing Father Christmas and the medieval activates going on at Chirk Castle you’re best to ring 01691 777701, or email: chirkcastle@nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Five of our favourite sporting events, Wales

We wanted to say a massive congratulations to Wales who beat Fiji this weekend in the Autumn Internationals. We’re looking forward the New Zealand game next weekend. Whilst we were watching the race we got to talking about all of the amazing sporting events that take place in Wales. Here’s a list of a few of our favourites, some of which you can take part in and some which you might be best to leave it to the pros:

The Man Vs Horse Marathon, Llanwrtyd Wells

The Man vs Horse marathon sounds like a made up event, but trust us, it’s real. In fact, the Man Vs Horse event, which is held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells has been up and running (no pun intended) since 1980.

Image courtesy of Green Events: http://www.green-events.co.uk/events.html?id=54

Image courtesy of Green Events: http://www.green-events.co.uk/events.html?id=54

 

Although fun, the race is definitely more favoured for its equine competitors. Throughout the events long history the race has only been won twice by humans, the first of which was Huw Lobb in 2004 with an impressive time of two horse, five minutes. Well done, Huw!

When he won, Huw took home a cash prize of £25,000. Fancy winning that sum of money? To follow Huw’s footsteps, you can enter here. If you’re not up to taking on the slightly longer than usual marathon distance (the course is currently 26.3 miles long) you can enter as a three-person relay team instead.

The Sandy Bay Swim, South Wales, Porthcawl

Whilst most of us are opening presentsand maybe toasting the day with a glass of Bucks Fizz and orange juice, there are a thousand hardy folk in South Wales who are plunging into the icy December sea waters.

The event organiser of the Sandy Bay Swim, Ian Stroud, said of the event that, “The swim is a truly family event with many different generations of the same family taking to the sea and many in fancy dress.”

If you don’t feel brave enough to go swimming this Christmas, you could always join the 2,000 spectators instead, who help fundraise for great causes every year. Plus, there will be carol singing too!
If you can’t make it into Porthcawl, don’t worry. There are festive swims in Llandudno, Tenby and Conwy too.

Conwy Ascent Canoe Race/Tour, Conwy

The Conwy Ascent Canoe Race/Tour has got to be one of the most scenic sporting events in Wales. Those taking part in either the race or the tour event can either kayak or canoe up the Afon Conwy for 15km. The event participants will not only see Conwy Valley during the race, but also Snowdonia National Park.

2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

The 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships is one for your 2016 diaries. The prestigious event is going to be held in Cardiff for 2016, which means you’ll be able to see some of the world’s best athletes perform. Nigel Roberts, the chairman of Run 4 Wales, who is organising the event has said of the upcoming event that: “The challenge we now face is to use the 2014 and 2015 events to prepare the ground for the World Championships, when the streets of the Welsh capital will be pounded by some of the greatest athletes in the world.

“Wouldn’t it be great to see Britain’s own Mo Farrah possibly become the first British athlete to win the title as a stepping stone to another Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro later in 2016. This is great news for our event, but also a ringing endorsement for Cardiff as a city that can stage the most spectacular international sporting events.

“There will be a major economic impact for the city from the race and both Cardiff and Wales will be broadcast around the world.”

Rugby World Cup, Cardiff

Well, we couldn’t miss the Rugby World Cup off of our list, could we? In 2015 Cardiff will host two quarter-finals at The Millennium Stadium. If you’re hoping to get your hands on some tickets you’ll have to be quick. The remaining tickets go on sale at 12:00 GMT on Friday the 28th November. Here is the official ticket site.

Good luck!

If you don’t manage to get hold of a pair, we’re sure watching one of the games within Cardiff will still be an electrifying experience and well worth the trip.

October half-term 2014: days out, holidays and deals in Wales

When you were little the half term holidays were filled with beach trips and bike rides. Now you’re an adult and the half-term holidays seem like an endless juggling act; a challenge where you need to find endlessly fun and cheap activities to keep your kids entertained.

We’re here to help you make your half-term holiday challenge easier though. Here are some fantastic deals, days out and holiday inspiration that will help you to make your child’s half term memories as good as yours:

Half term days out in Wales

Robotics Workshop, Brecon Beacons

As a special treat for your kids you could book them onto the Robotics Workshop in the Brecon Beacons. Your child will get to plan, construct and programme a robot for a special Lunar Challenge. The Lunar Challenge is not a cheap day out at £25 per child, but they’ll have an out-of-this-world experience and learn a little STEM skills along the way. Who knows, it might inspire a lifelong passion for engineering and outer space.

Cycling

Wales is a cyclist’s paradise. For families the largely flat and traffic-free Welsh Coast Path offers a fantastic cycling route for you to enjoy.  If your children are older, they might like to try mountain biking. There’s plenty of mountain biking opportunities in Wales, but particularly child-friendly spots include MinorTaur in Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park or the new rookie trail at Afan Forest Park.

Bounce Below

Another great day out this summer is Bounce Below – an underground network of bouncy nets that have been installed in a disused slate mine. Bounce Below isn’t cheap, it’s £20 per person, but it is a good day out, and out of the 70 reviews the attraction has had on Trip Advisor, over 50 people rated it as Excellent and 16 as Very Good.

Here’s a video of Bounce Below:

Anglesey Sea Zoo

Looking for something all the family will love? Visit Anglesey Sea Zoo? Use this voucher to get a free game of crazy golf at Anglesey Sea Zoo.

Picnic at Llanddwyn Island

As far as bargain days out go, you don’t get much cheaper than free. There’s plenty of free activities in Wales, including packing up a picnic and exploring Llanddwyn Island.

National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff

Go on a voyage of discovery at the National Museum Cardiff and learn all about the Big Bang, volcanoes, dinosaurs and Bronze Age weapons. There’s even an art gallery and some special events…

28–31 October 2014 I Spy…Nature Hibernating Mammals Families / Free / Places limited, book at the Information Desk
28 October 2014 Archaeology Discovery Day Families / Free
29 October 2014 Natural History Family Talk Families / Free / Book at the Information Desk
31 October 2014 Special Hallowe’en Natural History Open Day Families / Free

Entry to the museum is free and it is open 10.00am – 5.00pm

Where to stay in Wales for Christmas?

Okay, we know it’s only October. We really do. But if you’re thinking about booking a weekend break in December, or a longer Christmas holiday, then you need to book early. We’ve selected a few of our favourite festive holiday homes so that you can find the perfect cottage, hotel or B&B for you this Christmas. If you have any questions just let us know!

Gwaenynog Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast – Welshpool

If you’d like a peaceful Christmas staying in a beautifully restored stone farmhouse then Gwaenynog Farmhouse is for you. Situated just one mile from River Vyrnwy and being nestled between both the Berwyn and Cambrian Mountains, you’ll have plenty of scenic spots to explore on your Christmas break if you stay with Fiona and Norman.

Dolang, Welshpool

Then, once you get back to the B&B after exploring you can warm your hands on the open fire and tuck into one of the farmhouse’s home-cooked meal, which are available on request. The B&B is also licensed to offer wine, spirits and beer, so you can celebrate Christmas with the tipple of your choice. Then when it’s time for bed you’ll a delicious night’s sleep in your very own four poster bed.Dolang

Sounds perfect doesn’t it? Well, if you fancy a stay at Gwaenynog Farmhouse, prices at this B&B over Christmas vary depending on the kind of room you’d like to stay in, but generally rooms are between £75 and £85 per night.

Top tip: Not sure how to pronounce Gwaenynog? Try saying ‘Gwen-uh-nog’.

St. Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot

If you want to indulge a little this Christmas the luxurious St brides Spa Hotel in Pembrokeshire would be a great break to book.

Every room is fresh, stylish and beautifully furnished. And the spa is the perfect place to unwind from your year. There’s an aroma steam room, a salt infusion room, hydro pool and ice fountain You can also enjoy  a huge variety of massages, holistic and beauty treatments.

Here’s a video tour of the spa – check out those beach views!

Having watched that video it’s no surprise that St Brides Spa Hotel was voted AA Hotel of the Year, Wales 2011 -2012.

The Monmouth Holiday Cottages, Monmouthshire

Wye Valley Cottage

The Monmouth Holiday Cottages at Steppes Farm should be synonymous with Christmas. The oak beams, the open fires and the countryside views conjure up those feelings everyone wants to feel over the holiday season and if you go away with family or friends you’re bound to have a Christmas to remember staying here.

Steppes Farm

There are six cottages in total and each has their own individual charms. If you choose to stay at the Monmouth Holiday Cottages for your winter break you’ll also have access to the award winning restaurant.

 

 

Still not certain about spending this Christmas in Wales? Perhaps Dylan Thomas’ words might persuade. If you haven’t read Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, take a look. It’s fantastic. If you don’t have time to read the piece now, here’s one of our favourite passages:

Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards.

Camping tips – how to make your summer camping trip great

Amazing camping tricks

Camping trips make fantastic holidays. Here we show you how to make your next camping trip more memorable and comfortable.

Use foam floor tiles to make the floor comfier

Love camping, but wish it was more comfortable? If that sounds familiar, you’ll love this camping tip – add foam floor tiles to the bottom of your tent. It will make sleeping warmer and it will be kinder on your back. You can either buy specialist camping mats or children’s foam tiles. It’s up to you.

camping

Alittlecampy.com

Laminate a stargazing map

Lying back on a blanket and looking up at the stars is something you’ll remember for months after your camping trip. To make stargazing even better, the next time you go camping be sure to print off a few stargazing maps. You and your family can then try to spot the constellations. If you laminate your maps they’ll also stay dry and safe.

stargaze

Impress your kids with colour changing flames

We all love a good campfire, but you can make yours the best fire on the campsite using these magical colour changing flames. They’re only £1.99, so they won’t break the bank, and kids will absolutely love them. Make the night even more special by telling a magically themed campfire story around the colour changing fire.

Here’s a video that will show you the flames in action:

Pack the right kinds of foods

Packing the right kinds of foods for camping is essential if you’re going to have a budget-friendly, fun holiday. The BBC have some excellent tips that will help you to pack the right foods for your trip, such as a large pie, some quesadillas and something to eat once you’ve just arrived.

Packing quick-cooking foods like cous cous or making bean and cheese nachos will also save you plenty of time.

Buy a hammock

Although we love a camping holiday at Wales Tourists Online, there can be an awful lot to pack. To reduce the amount you have to take away, leave one of your camping chairs at home and pack a space-friendly hammock instead.

Kicking back and rocking in your hammock has to be one of the most relaxing things you can do and we guarantee it will make your holiday.

Hammocks vary in price and quality, but for a weekend or week away a simple rope and canvas hammock will probably be comfortable enough. These come in at around £10. Or if you don’t want to hammock solo, you could always get a hammock that’s built for two – it’s a fantastic place to experience a stunning Welsh sunset together.

Your guide to walking and staying in Wales this summer

Taking a walking holiday in Wales

Wales is a walker’s paradise. There are long walks, short walks, hill walks and flat walks. There are forest trails, coastal paths and rugged hikes. Wales has got it all! Here we show you some walker friendly B&Bs, farmhouses, hotels and campsites in Wales, and suggest some possible walks you might like to try whilst on your walking holiday.

If you’ve got any suggestions or you want to share your favourite spot for walking in Wales with us, Tweet us @WalesTouristsOnline or like our Facebook page.

Cardigan Farmhouse B&B, Ceredigion

Stay with Gordon and Mary at Cardigan Farmhouse B&B and you’ll have a fantastic time! Gordon and Mary are very welcoming and flexible hosts. They’ll cook you a traditional Welsh breakfast at a time that suits you, so need to rise early if that’s not what you fancy.Mwnt beach from coastal path

Nant y Croi Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast

Nant y Croi Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast

As well as being great hosts, this B&B makes for a memorable holiday because of the B&Bs location. The farmhouse has panoramic views of the sea and it’s own private cove! When exploring the cove you might even see a seal or dolphin. Incredible. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset after a busy day walking in the Welsh countryside.

Here’s what one happy guest wrote after their stay at Cardigan Farmous B&B: Guest Book comments:” Unbelievable! Immense hospitality & food. Only stayed one night but will definitely be back for a proper holiday. Views to die for. Thank you so much.

Walking in Ceredigion: If you fancy a short walk you could spend 20-minutes wandering up the Ceredigion Coastal Path to see the stunning beach of Mwnt. There’s also a white washed church to visit here. The Ceredigion Coastal Path stretches 60 miles along the coast, so if you fancy more of a challenging walk you have plenty of options.

Other great areas for walking including the river valleys, including the Aeron. Rheidol, Ystwyth and Teifi valleys. Or you could take on the challenging summits of Ceredigions highest point – Pumlonon. You might need your hiking boots for that trip though!

Address: Fferwig, Cardigan, Ceredigion, SA43 1PU

Rates: Special Offer High Season - Farmhouse Bed & breakfast for 2 persons from £70 per room (not per person!).

Salem Chapel Bed and Breakfast, Gwynedd

You won’t want to slum it on your walking holiday, so stay at Salem Chapel Bed and Breakfast, which offers 4 star luxury!

Salem Bed and BreakfastYour day at Salem B&B will start with a hearty, breakfast. You can choose from fresh farm eggs, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt and cereals, Nature reservefruit and toast with homemade preserves and local produce. Delicious. Whilst you’re eating your breakfast you’ll also be able to look out at Elephant Mountain and the Welsh Highland Railway. After breakfast head over to the private riverside SSSI nature reserve. Here you might be able to spot an otter from the willow hide! Then grab your pack lunch, which will have been prepared for you, and head out into the stunning North Wales countryside. Do holidays get much better than that?

Walking in Gwynedd: Walking Britain has a huge amount of walks you might like to try on your walking holiday. The routes vary from easy to severe. You should also visit the Gwynedd Recreational Routes on your break. The routes have been created on disused railway lines and provide 31.5 miles of paths to walk along. You’ll see some stunning spots along the way and a day out here is hugely relaxing.

Address: Betws Garmon, Gwynedd, North Wales, LL547YR

Rates: Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms from £25 to £50 per person per night.

Ty Anne Guest House, Beaumaris

Ty Anne Bed and Breakfast Beaumaris Anglesey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every room is beautifully decorated at the Ty Anne Guest House,  rooms have incredible views of the Menai Strait and the Snowdonia Mountain Range. If you choose to stay in this 18th century townhouse you’ll be staying in your very own sumptuous suite! And after a fantastically restful nights sleep you’ll be treated to a four course breakfast!

Walking in Anglesey: The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path is well worth a visit and there are 125 miles of it to explore. You could also try the Marine Heritage Trail near Benllech or this fantastic circular walk.

Address: Beaumaris, Anglesey, North Wales LL58 8BG

Rates: See the Ty Anne Guest House website for more details.

Your guide to the best music festivals in Wales, 2014

 

Our three favourite Welsh summer music festivals

Croseo!

We hope you’re well. If you’re anything like us, you will have also been watching the Glastonbury highlights last weekend. As always it looked amazing, especially Dolly. For everyone who missed out on tickets this year, or for all those who didn’t really fancy it, we’ve created a guide to the best festivals you can experience in Wales this summer (2014). From budget-friendly festivals, to eco-friendly wonderlands, we take a look at the greatest music festivals in Wales that you should definitely try to get tickets to:

Croissant Neuf Summer Party Music Festival, Monmouthshire, Wales

Flowers, fairy lights and fancy dress are three words that sum up the laid-back vibe of Croissant Neuf, which is held annually in Monmouthshire, Wales.

Winning a Greener Festival award in 2012, the Croissant Neuf Summer Party music festival prides itself on its eco-friendly, green ethics. The festival is run entirely on solar power and wind energy. Plus, all the food and drink is organic, and a lot of the materials used are recycled – impressive. No wonder the Croissant Neuf Summer Party Music Festival is dubbed as the UK’s greenest festival.

Although the festival is great for adults, it’s completely family-friendly too. There’s a kid’s area and plenty of activities and workshops that will keep them entertained.

Takes place: August 8th to the 11th

Cost of tickets: £105 or £40 for an adult day ticket. Kids under 5 go free.

Music: Nizlopi, The Zen Hussies, Laid Back Natty, Raven, Gabby Young and Other Animals, Kitten and the Hip and Ten Pound Suit Band. Here’s the full Croissant Neuf Summer Party line-up for 2014.

What else is on? There’s a ton of activities that will keep you entertained. From therapies and The Circus, to workshops and The Greenman Pub.

Find out more: Visit the Croissant Neuf Summer Party music festival site

Wakestock Gŵyl y Môr Festival, Lyn Peninsula, North Wales

Spread across three great venues (Abersoch beach, Pwllheli marina and festival site itself) Wakestock attracts some of the biggest names in the music business, from Calvin Harris to Ed Sheeran.

As the name suggests, as well as great music, wakeboarding is also a big part of Wakestock and on It’s worth mentioning that Wakestock music festival is also situated in an awesome location, being sandwiched between the Irish Sea on one side and the stunning Cardigan Bay on the other. As a festival, we think Wakestock has some of the best views in the world.

Takes place: 11th, 12th, 13th July 2014

Cost of tickets: A weekend ticket with camping costs £140, it’s £115 without camping. A single day ticket is £40.

Music: Tom Odell, John Newman, Frank Turner, Razorlight, Shy FX, DJ NCK, Maddie Jones, Trojan Soundsytema and Craig Charles are all playing in July 2014.Here’s the full Wakestock Gŵyl y Môr Festival line-up for 2014.

What else is on? Wander around the site and you’ll find poetry and comedy acts. Plus some exciting art installations, some fantastic workshops and sports like paddle boarding.

Find out more: Visit the Wakestock music festival site to find out more and book your tickets.

Greenman Festival, Black Mountains near Brecon Beacons, North Wales

Go to the Greenman Festival in North Wales this year and you’ll be welcomed into the Greenman Family with open arms. The festival is family-run and led by the wonderful Fiona.

This year the Greenman Festival boasts 10 entertainment areas, a 24-hour festival license (the only one on the UK) and 1500 acts. 1500! There’s also some incredible real ales to try and, much like Wakestock, there are some amazing views – watching a band with the Brecon Beacons as a backdrop is a truly amazing experience. You need to try it out for yourself.

Takes place: 14th to the 17th August 2014

Cost of tickets: A weekend ticket with camping costs £166.50. Under 4s go for free and under 12s go for £5.75. There are also some resident’s tickets available.

Music: Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, Mercury Rev and The Waterboys, Boy and Bear and Carabou are all playing in August 2014. Here’s the full Greenman Festival line-up for 2014.

What else is on? With a Cinema Tent, all-night bonfires, spas and therapies there’s a lot going on at the Greenman Festival 2014.

Find out more: Visit the Greenman Festival site to find out more and book your tickets.

Booking your summer holiday in Wales: Cheap and unique beach breaks

Wales has some of the best beaches in the world (we may be a tad biased here, but Rhossilli beach is the ninth best beach in the world!). So it would be a shame if this summer you didn’t drop by and pay some of Wales’ beautiful coastline a visit. Below we show you some of the great holiday destinations you can enjoy in Wales this summer (2014). The great news is, they’re all near the coast.

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast – Llandysul

Llandysul is a small, Welsh market town based in the county of Ceredigion. Llandysul has a rich history and plenty of pubs, cafes and attractions – from visiting the castles nearby in Cilgerran and Newcastle Emlyn, to horse riding and playing a round or two of golf. Llandysul is also just 20 minutes from the fabulous Ceredigion coast, which is not only home to award winning beaches, but you can also find about 300 bottlenose dolphins in the area. Some of the best beaches to visit are Penbryn, New Quay, Popit Sands and Tresaith.

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast - Llandysul

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast – Llandysul

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast is a peaceful haven. It is a destination you can retreat to, forgetting the world and your worries. When describing the B&B, the owner, Huw Davies, says: ‘Try to imagine a place where the only sounds you can hear are the red kites calling to each other across the valley; the wind sighing softly as it skitters through the pine trees; the splash and play of spring water, tumbling down the hillside into the mysterious silence of the pond.’ Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast - Llandysul 3

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast – Llandysul 3

So, here’s what you need to know – the B&B dates from 1775, it sits within eight acres of grounds and is just two miles from that all-important coast. Prices vary, it’s always best to check their current tariffs, but generally a room for two costs £75 and a room for one is £45.

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast - Llandysul

Ffynnon Fendigaid Bed and Breakfast – Llandysul

If you fancy staying, but aren’t sure about the B&B there are plenty of other options. You could stay in the self-catering barn conversion, ‘Beudy Bendigaid’, or opt for the Circus Waggon, ‘Dolly’. Here’s also a 1960s Swedish Chalet. Talk about having options!

Lligwy Holiday Cottages Moelfre, Anglesey

Surfing, pony trekking and pottering around the shops, cafes and restaurants found in the towns and villages – that’s what awaits you in Anglesey. There’s plenty to do. And with much of Anglesey’s coastline being declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it’s a great destination to visit if you are looking for a beach holiday this summer.

Bear's Cottage, Moelfre, Isle of Anglesey

Bear’s Cottage, Moelfre, Isle of Anglesey

Lligwy Holiday Cottages Moelfre is a working farm that has four wonderful holiday cottages to pick from – Bears House, Famcy Cottage, Ty Coed and Plas Lligway.  All of the cottages have recently been refurbished and they look great. Be sure to check their website for current rates.

The cottages are near to the small fishing town of Moelfre and they are just a short walk away from Lligwy Bay. Plus, Snowdonia National Par is just an hour’s drive.

Aberafon Campsite, Gwynedd

Is there anything better than sleeping under the stars? A camping holiday is always memorable and it can be a great way to unwind if you’re craving a little more open space and freedom. Aberafon Campsite is based along the North Wales coast and has direct access to a private beach. Swanky! It’s safe to swim at the beach and it also has access for boat launching.

View from top field, Caernarfon, Gwynedd,

View from top field, Caernarfon, Gwynedd,

Spectacularly, the campsite is also at the foot of the Gyrn Goch Mountain, which is 1,500ft high. As well as the incredible views and relaxed atmosphere, there are laundry facilities, plus electric hook-ups, water points and a small on-site shop during the main holiday season.

Driveway

Nearby, there are castles, coastal walks and the Welsh Highland Railway to explore.

View towards Yr Eifl mountain (The Rivals)

Tarriff:

Adult £7.50

Child 3-15 £3.50

Children Under 3 No Charge

Electricity £3.50

Dog £1.75

Boat £4.00

 

Sunset, Caernarfon, Gwynedd,

Sunset, Caernarfon, Gwynedd,

Quirky, arty and alternative festivals in Wales 2014

Your 2014 summer guide to the best festivals in Wales

Croseo! Festival season is nearly upon us – we hope you’re as excited about this as we are.

Although the big, well-established festivals are great fun, there is definitely an undeniable charm about the smaller, quirkier festivals too.  If you fancy getting off the beaten-festival path and venturing into the adventurous arena of alternative festivals, step this way. We’ve tracked down the best lesser known festivals in Wales.

Add these dates to your summer 2014 calendar and you won’t be disappointed.

WOW Film Festival, various locations across Wales

Celebrating world cinema since 2001, the WOW Film Festival has been described by The Guardian as, ‘The excellent Wales wide travelling film festival.’

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