Saturday, April 13, 2013

South Wales - beyond the cities

Americans who have seen the classic John Ford film, "How Green is my Valley" will find the history and landscape of Southern Wales familiar. The valleys of the largely English-speaking south were where the Welsh mining industry took hold over a hundred years ago and from the Victorian era to the 1980s, this industry defined the area. Today, the mining industry is largely gone with less naturally invasive businesses like technology taking its place. The valleys of South Wales are green again!

Venturing out from the metropolitan areas of Swansea, Newport and Cardiff, travelers will find some of the world's most intriguing landmarks. Tintern Abbey, a ruined Cisterian Monastery in the Wye River Valley, inspired William Wordsworth to write some of the most recognized lines in English poetry; and JMW Turner's waterfolors of the scenic ruin changed the course of modern painting. Wander these exquisite ruins yourself, and then journey to nearby Hay on Wye in Mid Wales, a town of books where 30 antiquarian bookshops keep the legacy of the printed page alive. Also in the Wye Valley are Chepstow Castle and Caerwent Castle, two landmarks where King Arthur's Welsh ancestry can be traced. Be sure to also visit Caerleon, another location long-associated with the legend of King Arthur.

Learn more about traveling to Wales with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mid Wales - Nestled Between Snowdonia and the valleys of Southern Wales

Nestled between the rugged Snowdonia landscape and the valleys of Southern Wales are the country roads, green pastures and charming villages and market towns of Mid Wales. Mid Wales includes the 519 miles of the Brecon Beacons National Park, home to Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacon range. The Brecon Beacons divide Southern Wales from Mid Wales. The landscape here includes snow-capped mountains, pristine mountain waterfalls and rolling hills dotted with sheep. And don't think that Mid Wales is landlocked. Charming seaside towns to the west like Aberaeron with its gaily painted Georgian buildings abound along the coastal crescent between the Southwest and the North.

To get even closer to the earth, spend a day caving at Porth yr Ogof, one of the world's longest caves. Spelunkers have been challenging themselves in its depths for years. Neophytes can go underground with experiences guides who will steer them through this fascinating world of stalagmites and stalactites, blind, incandescent fish, glittering walls of fool's gold and other amazing sites.

The Mid-Wales Town of Llanwrtyd Wells is known throughout the world as the quirky town of "Bog Snorkeling" "Ale Wobbling" and other unique sports competitions.

Learn more about traveling to Wales on our website:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where to Stay in Wales

Around every corner in Wales, experience the unexpected. You’ll stumble across restaurants, rustic fishing villages, mountain vistas and cliff-top trails. Discover little gems in the coziest of places, stay in cute little cottages, majestic manor homes or luxury hotels. Here are just a sampling of hotels you can stay in Wales.

Ty Mawr Mansion, Mid Wales
Crowning the Aeron Valley, that sweeps towards Wales' Heritage Coastline four miles away, Ty Mawr Mansion holds national awards for its outstanding restaurant and exquisite accommodation

The imposing exterior of the Grade II listed building reveals a beautifully restored interior, offering a unique fusion of Georgian splendour with contemporary facilities

Falcondale, Mid Wales
The Falcondale hotel and 2AA rosette restaurant (awarded for 6 consecutive years) located near the University town of Lampeter, now known as Univeristy of Wales Trinity Saint David. Only 30 minutes from the coastal villages of Cardigan Bay and hilly, marshy regions of the Cambrian Mountains. A wealth of walking, cycling, fishing in the Teifi River, and open gardens are within easy reach of this central location in Mid Wales.

Lake Country House, Mid Wales
This award winning Luxury Spa Hotel in the Heart of Mid Wales is the perfect destination for a luxury hotel break or romantic getaway. See our hotel vouchers for the perfect gift. The Kingfisher Spa offers a range of Health and Beauty treatments and is equipped with an indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi overlooking the lake. Fly Fishing on the river Irfon, golf and various walks are available on site and there is a good range of other golf courses and open gardens in the area. Horse riding, the Elan Valley and of course the Brecon Beacons are all nearby.

Caerwylan Hotel, North Wales
The Caerwylan is a landmark Victorian building which faces south with stunning views over the main beach, Tremadog Bay and towards the ruins of Criccieth Castle. From our vantage spot we probably enjoy some of the best seaside views in North Wales.

Since we bought The Caerwylan at the end of 2007 we have rebuilt the entire building to create 24 comfortable, individually designed en-suite bedrooms and a fine dining restaurant, Tonnau Restaurant.

St. George's Hotel, Llandudno, North Wales
Occupying a prime position on the Promenade, overlooking the beautiful Bay of Llandudno, St Georges Hotel offers some of the best views of any hotel in North Wales.

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, North Wales
Bodysgallen Hall & Spa lies at the end of a winding drive in 200 acres of wooded parkland and beautiful formal walled gardens. Magnificent views encompass the sweep of the Snowdonia range of mountains and the hotel looks down on the imposing medieval castle at Conwy.

Wolfscastle Country Hotel
 Popular with business and holiday travellers alike, we're within easy reach of the county's main towns, and in a great location for exploring the St. Davids Peninsula, Preseli Mountains and attractions of South Pembrokeshire. Hotel reception is always happy to offer travel and holiday advice.

These are a just a few of the beautiful hotels and accommodations we have in Wales. For more information on traveling to Wales, visit our website

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let There Be Light - Lighthouses in Wales

Or let there be lighthouses, to be more precise.

Wales  looks to the sea and with 750 miles of coastline, you are rarely that far from the water. Wales’ seaside resorts, like Mumbles, Tenby and Llandudno have character and style and are popular with holiday makers. Our big cities are on the coast too. Cardiff with its vibrant Bay area and Swansea with its Maritime Quarter, all have connections with the sea. And where there is sea, there are lighthouses. Here are just a few of the stunning lighthouses you can see in Wales.

South Stack Lighthouse
South Stack is set in a spectacular location to the north-west of Holyhead. The lighthouse acts as a waymark for coastal traffic and a landmark and orientation light for vessels crossing the Irish Sea to and from the ports of Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire.

Caldey Lighthouse
Caldey Lighthouse is located on the south end of Caldey Island, three miles off the south Pembrokeshire, Wales coastline, a small island inhabited by a Cistercian monastery

Mumbles Lighthouse
For over 200 years the Mumbles Lighthouse has guided vessels along the coast and into Swansea Bay, past the hazards of the Mixon Shoal ½ mile to the South. This unmanned lighthouse is built on the outer of two islands, known as Mumbles Head, lying about 500 yards to the E.S.E. of the mainland known as Mumbles, Swansea. The station is accessible by foot at certain states of the tide or by boat at high water.

Trwyn Du Lighthouse
Trwyn Du Lighthouse is a lighthouse between Dinmor Point near Penmon and Ynys Seriol, or Puffin Island, south east Anglesey, at the north entrance to the Menai Strait and marking the passage between the two islands.

Flatholm Lighthouse
The lighthouse on the windswept Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel.

These are just a few of the Lighthouses to see in Wales. Interested in traveling to Wales? Travel with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Networked Blogs