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5 funny Youtube videos that will cheer you up

Let Wales put a smile back on your face

Every now and again we all need cheering up. And now that Easter is coming to an end, we thought you might be in need of a little boost. So here we show you five things from Wales (or things that are at least Wales themed!) that should put a smile back on your face.

If you’ve got something to share, let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

The cows know best

These cows are literally jumping for joy at the sight of their lush green, Welsh pasture! And who can blame them? Look at that cracking view:

Well, who doesn’t want to be Tom Jones?

This brave gent, AKA ‘Wales’ sexiest man’ gives it his all in this retro Tom Jones parody. We salute you Rod Jones for your dedication and your sideburns:

The happiest lamb in the world

It may only be a few seconds long, but this bouncing little lamb can surely put a smile on anyone’s face – even if you’re having the worst day ever.

Goldie Lookin’ Chain vs the Wales rugby team

Rugby always puts a smile on our face, which is why we had to include this video of Welsh lads Goldie Lookin’ Chain taking on these two players way back in 2011:

Pharrel Williams’ song ‘Happy’ gets the hapus treatment

Folks from all over Caerphilly created this video to promote the beautiful Welsh language. The video was produced by the Welsh language initiative, Menter Iaith Caerffili.

5 ideas for an active holiday in Wales

Welsh adventure and activity holidays

Here at Wales Tourists Online we get to meet a huge range of people. Whilst some love to lounge around, reading a good book and going for afternoon tea or a pub lunch, others want their holidays to be a little more active.

If you fancy swapping camps – turning from a lover of relaxed breaks into someone who is craving a little adrenaline –  you might find inspiration for your next action packed, adventure holiday here. And if you have any other ideas, give any of these activities a go, or would like to share your best active holiday with us, please do so on our Facebook page or by tweeting us @TouristsOnline. We’d love to hear from you!

Surfing, Tenby

With your wetsuit in hand, surfing is one of the best ways to enjoy Wales’ glorious coastline. For locations you could try Tenby, although this spot is probably best for the more experienced surfer. For Tenby surfing tips you might the BBC site useful. This mini guide has information about conditions and surfing in different seasons. You’ll find a surf report and live web cam of the water at Tneby here. Equally the Gower Peninsula, Porth Neigwl and Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire are supposed to be very good surfing spots.

Here’s a video of a few talented people surfing in Tenby:

 

Wales is also full of great surf schools, so even if you’re not a seasoned pro you can still give this kind of active holiday a go.

Climbing in the Brecon Beacons and Monmouthshire

Wales boasts plenty of stunning, challenging and exciting spots for climbing, from the most southerly spots in Wales to the most northerly, from cliff climbing to bouldering.  But if you’re not an experienced climber you might want to begin with Aber Rocks, where you can try indoor Bouldering. At this centre, which can be found in Monmouthshire, you won’t be able to climb beyond four and a half metres, so it’s an excellent choice for first timers or for those who aren’t confident, regular climbers.

Glasbury House Outdoor Education Centre

Not quite sure what you fancy doing? with Glasbury House Outdoor Education Centre might be for you. The centre organises a lot of activities, such as caving, hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. You’ll find the Georgian house in Hereford, situated close to the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons.

Wild swimming, Wales

Wild swimming can be a freeing, exhilarating and peaceful experience. If you’re curious, Wales has some stunning spots for wild swimming. The website Wild Swimming , which is a wild swimming community run site, has come up with this list of wild swimming sites in Wales.

According to The Guardian, Lower Ddwli Falls, Waterfall Woods, in the Brecon Beacons is one of the top 10 wild swimming destinations in the UK, having a fantastic waterfall to experrince. If you’ve got any suggestions that don’t feature on this site then please do let us know, either in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

If you want to go wild swimming with your kids you might find these tips useful.

Canoeing, Wales

Wales has the sea. We have canals. We have rivers. And we have lakes. That’s a lot of great canoeing opportunity. When trying to decide where to canoe in Wales you might like to begin by first finding a club or centre.

To give you a taste of canoeing in Wales here’s a video from the Canoe Slalom Races at Tryweryn and Llandysul. You might not be at this level, but we thought it might help inspire you:

Half term ideas: Activities you and your children can do this half term in Wales

Although half term is great, when it comes to the weekend we know how hard it can seem to keep your keeps entertained and happy. To help keep your stress-levels down and to make sure your children enjoy the last few days of their holidays, we’ve put together some half term activities you can do this weekend in Wales.

What to do this Saturday (20th February), Wales

According to the Met Office’s Laura Young the best day to go out this weekend is Saturday, which is, in the most part, dry and cloudy with a little sun in a few spots.

One event your children might enjoy is building their own nest box. This event is taking place at Elan Valley Visitor Centre for National Nest Box Week and is free. Or, if you’re looking for an indoor activity Aberystwyth Arts Centre are hosting a Family Archive Project tomorrow, which asks you to bring in your family photos.

At Wales Millennium Centre you and your family can attend Home Sweet Home – an event that invites you to help the centre build a cardboard modern town.

Here’s a video explaining what Home Sweet Home is all about:

On the final night of this installation, which is the 21st of February, the organisers will be holding a street party.

If you want to go for a walk this half term, a great family walking spot is Moel Famau, which has a car park (you need to pay to park) and well-marked routes up to Jubilee Tower. There are different grades of walk you can do when exploring this vast hill, which can be handy if you have small children.

Here’s a video of Moel Famau:

Although you might be satisfied with the amazing views (Moel Famau is located within an area of outstanding natural beauty), your kids may be less impressed. To make it more fun for them, you could create your own scavenger hunt list, including things they might spot on the walk. Or, if you want to get and about in the Welsh countryside, the National Trust have 10 great ideas for general things to do with your kids.

We particular like ‘the discover what’s in a pond’ idea and ‘go on a barefoot walk’, although they may not be great for the more dirt-adverse kids and parents!

If you’re kids are slightly older, they might enjoy something more adventurous such as mountain biking on the Green Trail in Coed Llandegla, which has been created for familes, or maybe Go Ape at Margem Park:

What to do this Sunday (21st February), Wales

Sadly, on Sunday rain is set to sweep the country so you and your family would be best to stick to indoor activities, unless you’re brave and you have good outdoor clothing anyway!

On rainy days we love going to the cinema. If you want to kickback in front of a film this Sunday, why not visit one of these independent cinemas in Wales?

Another great family activity for younger children is The Frist Time Machine run at The Welfare. This performance has dance, music, theater and a whole load of family fun. You’ll go on a time-travelling adventure with your tot. Tickets are from £5.50 to £6 and the show is suitable for children aged five and over.

To end your half-term, you could always go and see the Hansel and Gretel opera performance at Wales National Opera. The show lasts for two hours and ten minutes and starts at seven fifteen. The show runs from the 21st of February to the 11th of April, so if you don’t catch t this half-term there’s always other nights.

Beach and cottage holidays in Wales that will beat your January blues

Croseo! The winds outside are ferocious this weekend. In fact, some spots in the UK are experiencing 113mph winds.  With weather like that we thought you’re probably staying indoors and that you might need cheering up, which is why we thought you might like to turn your thoughts to your summer holiday.

Here we take a look at three fantastic summer beach and cottage holidays in Wales. Have a read. Imagine yourself there. We guarantee the thought of late night walks across the sand and pub meals eaten outside in the evening with a view of some of Wale’s most breath-taking sights will beat your January blues in an instant.

Stay at Ty Popty Holiday Cottage, Gwynedd, Snowdonia

This three bedroomed cottage based in a bustling village at the heart of the Snowdonia National Park would make the perfect summer getaway. The cottage can sleep six people. It overlooks the River Colwyn and has mountains, forests, beaches and a lake on its doorstep. As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, Ty Popty Holiday Cottage is situated within the quaint village of Beddgelert, which not only has pubs, a post office and restaurants, but you can also board the brilliant Welsh Railway steam train here.

Ty Popty Holiday Cottages

Ty Popty Holiday Cottages

 

Inside, you’ll find a roll top bath, an aga and a wood burner. The cottage is homely and cosy – the perfect space to unwind after a busy and active day. Dogs are also welcome at Ty Popty.

You can find out more information or book Ty Popty holiday cottage for your summer holiday here.

To see more pictures of Ty Popty, check out the Ty Popty gallery.

From £385.00 to £580.00 per week. The cottage can sleep up to six.

FACT: Did you know there are 750 miles of coastline in Wales? It makes it a perfect destination for a perfect summer holiday retreat

Cae Berrlan Holiday Cottages, Caernarfon

Ann and Mike run the three Cae Berrlan Holiday Cottages and they do a fantastic job as their holidays homes are perfect for a lot of different people.

Cae Berllan Cottages

Cae Berllan Cottages

Firstly, you have families, who enjoy the play area which comes with a secured, gated garden and play equipment. There are also horses, ponies and a 70 acre orchard (a fantastic spots for picnics) that slightly older children will enjoy.

Then, for the active holidaymakers, Cae Berrlan can offerstabling for horses, as well as parking for jet skies and boats. The cottages also skirt Snowdonia, so walks are a plenty and there is a great cycle path one mile from the holiday homes. Impressive, isn’t it?

You can find out more information or book Cae Berrlan Holiday Cottages for your summer holiday here.

To see more pictures ae Berrlan, check out the Cae Berrlan Holiday Cottage gallery.

From £190.00 to £575.00 per week. The cottage can sleep up to fourteen.

Rhos Country Cottages, Snowdonia, near Porthmadog

The beaches near Porthmadog are some of our most favourite spots in Wales. If you’ve never seen them, we really recommend a visit.

Rhos Cottages

And staying at one of the Rhos Country Cottages will only serve to enhance your trip. The holiday homes are nestled within 200 acres of land and come complete with four poster beds, saunas, Jacuzzis, oaks beams, log fires and a snooker room. There are also walks and cycle paths nearby, as well as a spot for watching blue tits, woodpeckers and all manner of other birds.

Once you’re done for the day, there are also restaurants and a takeaway nearby for you to refuel and relax.

You can find out more information or book Rhos Country Holiday Cottages for your summer holiday here.

To see more pictures of Ros Country Cottages, check out the Rhos Country Cottages Holiday gallery.

From £360.00 to £1200.00 per week. The cottage can sleep up to fourteen.

  • Smallest Cottage (sleep 2 – 4) from 360.00 low season to 850.00 high season
  • Largest cottage (sleep up to 8) from 460.00 low season to 1200 high season

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.

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