Six quirky Welsh museums you’ve probably never heard of

When you come on holiday to Wales, you most likely want to get out and about in the fresh air, enjoying the epic coastline of Pembrokeshire, hiking up the awe-inspiring peaks of the Brecon Beacons, or even taking a gentle stroll along the promenade at Rhyl or Llandudno. Every once in a while though, especially during the autumn and winter, there comes a time when the weather makes spending the day outdoors less than appealing. When that happens, it’s time to hit a gallery or museum. Most of the larger museums in Wales are fairly well-known already, so we thought that in today’s blog post, we’d highlight one or two of the more quirky museums, to tempt you on your next visit.

National Wool Museum

National Wool Museum

Based in the former weaving heartlands of West Wales, the National Wool Museum offers a glimpse into a fascinating industry, which has now all but disappeared. Based in a former mill, many original machines have been lovingly coaxed back into life, and there are daily, rather noisy, demonstrations along with regular craft workshops and have-a-go sessions. There are also exhibitions of art and craft throughout the year.

https://museum.wales/wool/

Pendine Museum of Speed

Pendine, in Carmarthenshire is famous as the setting for numerous land-speed records. Its miles of flat, golden sands make it the perfect location for this, with Parry Thomas’ world record set there in 1926, in Babs, his iconic car. Since then, there have been numerous other land speed attempts, including, more recently, the land speed record for the fastest shed on wheels!

The museum here is small, but fascinating nonetheless. Of course, the star attraction is Babs herself – the amazing car was buried on Pendine Sands for more than 40 years, but has since been restored to her former glory.

https://www.medwynsmuseums.co.uk/carmarthen/museum-of-speed.php

 

Internal Fire – Museum of Power

Internal Fire - Museum of Power

Photo: Flickr

Eight miles north of Cardigan on the West Wales coast, this museum pays homage to the internal combustion engine, in all its forms. With masive engines running daily, and plenty of rare equipment to look at, such as a 4000hp jet engine, this might sound like it’s of interest only to a small number of people, but you’d be surprised! With craft activities in the summer, and plenty of stuff to interest the kids, it makes for a fantastic, if unusual, day out.

https://www.internalfire.com/

 

Baked Bean Museum of Excellence

Yes, you read that correctly…there is indeed a Baked Bean Museum!  The industrial setting of Port Talbot, with its bleak-looking steelworks and motorway dreariness, might not be the first place you’d think of when holidaying in South Wales, but if you delight in all things quirky and you fancy a giggle, then head for the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence. Run by the self-styled Captain Beany, from his third-floor council flat, the museum is a shrine to the orange bean of goodness. The entire flat is decked out in all things orange, or connected to Heinz beans, and there is a wonderully zany collection of baked bean ephemera to admire. With a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, you don’t have to take our word for it – it’s clearly a big hit! Make sure you book ahead with this one, though.

https://captainbeany.com

 

Kidwelly Industrial Museum

Another small museum that shines a light on Wales’ industrial heritage is the Kidwelly Industrial Museum, Britain’s oldest tinplate works still in existence. According to the museum, the area around Kidwelly and Llanelli once produced almost half the world’s output of tinplate, and this free museum features reconstructions from days gone by, when the works were a bustling environment – there’s even an on-site barbers shop display! With steam engines, a blacksmiths, a pit head and much more to explore, it’s guaranteed to pique the interest of visitors, young and old. The museum also features art exhibitions that change throughout the year.

http://kidwellyindustrialmuseum.org.uk/

 

West Wales Museum of Childhood

Some of the best small museums are those that have grown from the owners’ enthusiastic collections and personal passion for a subject, and the West Wales Museum of Childhood is one of these gems. Housed in an assortment of barns and outbuildings on the owners’ small farm, the museum is a treasure trove of toys and dolls from days gone by. There’s a reconstruction of an old-fashioned toy shop, costume displays, dolls and teddy bears galore, a period classroom, more dinky toys than you could know what to do with, and much more. Whether you’re a fan of Dr Who, Magic Roundabout or any other children’s TV programme, the chances are that there are toys here that will appeal to you! It’s the perfect way to while away an afternoon, whether you have kids or you’re just a kid at heart.

http://www.toymuseumwales.co.uk/

 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to track down the eccentric, go in search of the fascinating, and support a small Welsh museum. You’re guaranteed to have a fantastic day out!

WTO adds agency services to its portfolio

We’ve been busy over the summer with some fantastic new developments here at WalesTouristsOnline, and we’re delighted to announce that we now act in an agency capacity for holiday accommodation providers across Wales. Now you can choose an annual paid-for listing, or you can list your holiday properties with us on an agency basis instead. Whichever option you prefer, we guarantee to work as hard as possible to deliver bookings year-round.

Welsh landscape

Annual listing on WTO

This is our traditional route to delivering quality leads for your holiday accommodation business all year round. For an annual fee of just £99 (with no VAT to pay), we’ll produce a brochure page on our site for your property, complete with up to 20 photos, full description, contact details and availability calendar. Your website address can be added for an additional £20, and we offer enhanced listings for an extra £50.00. All in all, this is a fantastic value deal, that really delivers…

Visit our signup page to start your annual listing today.

Claim your free agency listing instead

If you’d prefer us to work with you on an agency basis, that’s no problem at all. You get the same brochure page to advertise your property on our website, but instead of the annual listing fee, we charge a 10% non-refundable deposit on all bookings made via our website. The remainder of the deposit, and the balance when due, is paid directly to you.

Our smart booking calendar can also be embedded in your website, to provide one centralised booking tool across your website and ours. You remain in complete control of rental rates, availability, minimum stays and all other details, and you are free to amend those details at any time.

Contact us today, to place your agency listing.

 

So now there are two simple and cost-effective ways to gain incredible exposure for your holiday accommodation in Wales. Whichever option you choose, you can look forward to excellent advertising and a chance to boost your bookings for the future.

 

Competition: Win a Fabulous Glamping Holiday in Wales

Meadow Sweet Glamping


UPDATE – AUGUST 15, 2018 – THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN DRAWN USING A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR.

PLEASE SEE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR DETAILS OF THE WINNER


That’s right – we’ve teamed up with the lovely Jackie and Clwyd at Meadow Sweet Glamping to bring you a fabulous, easy to enter competition, with the chance of winning a two-night glamping holiday for up to five guests.

Entering this competition couldn’t be simpler. You can enter via Facebook, or Twitter, or both if you like! Here’s what you need to do:

To enter via Facebook:

  1. Like our page at https://www.facebook.com/WalesTouristsOnline
  2. Like the competition post and comment on that post including the hashtag #holidayinwales

To enter via Twitter:

  1. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TouristsOnline
  2. Retweet the original competition post (pinned to the top of our Twitter account), including the hashtag #holidayinwales

The competition will run until Wednesday 15th August 2018 at 9.00am, and the draw will be made shortly afterwards, with the winner announced on Facebook, Twitter and here on the WTO blog.

 

About Meadow Sweet Glamping

Set on a gorgeous 40-acre farm in North Wales, Meadow Sweet offers a seriously cool glamping experience, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, yet with every little comfort and convenience taken care of. There are just two luxury bell tents on site, each with a full sized double bed and two single beds, plus a Z-Bed for an additional child. Up the hill, there is a toilet and shower block, as well as open-sided barn, where you can make use of the pizza oven, barbecue and fire pit. There’s even a communal kitchen for use by guests!

Pizza Oven at Meadow Sweet Glamping

The prize is a two-night stay in one of these gorgeous bell tents, and it can be taken at any time, subject to availability.

If this sounds like your idea of the perfect getaway, head over to Facebook or Twitter to find the competition post or tweet!

If you’d like to know more about Meadow Sweet, check out their listing on the WTO website: https://www.walestouristsonline.co.uk/nwcoast/glamping/Meadow-Sweet.html.

Holidays in Snowdonia – off the beaten track

Without a doubt, Snowdonia is one of the biggest attractions for people visiting Wales.  The epic scale of Snowdon itself, the raw, rugged beauty of the landscape, the challenge of scaling one or more of the incredible peaks, the clean, fresh air and the amazing sense of wildness all combine to make the Snowdonia National Park one of the most-visited, and most-loved, places in the entire United Kingdom. If you’ve never visited this part of Wales before, it’s time to plan your visit. And whilst there are plenty of must-see spots and bucket-list things to do, such as Zip World, Surf Snowdonia and climbing the mighty Snowdon itself, we’re on a mission to showcase a few of the lesser known gems of Snowdonia, for those that like to get off the beaten track.

Walking in Snowdonia

For walking enthusiasts of all abilities, the Snowdonia National Park is something of a heaven on earth. Snowdon will always be the biggest draw, of course, but if you head there hoping to climb it in blissful tranquillity, you could be in for a shock, as the main routes are hugely popular, and likely to be pretty busy throughout the peak holiday season. By all means, take the time to tick Snowdon off your hiking wishlist, but then look elsewhere for some awesome hiking experiences that are likely to be far more peaceful. Check out the Nantlle Ridge, or the twin peaks of Moelwyn Bach and Moelwyn Mawr for some epic hiking that takes you off the tourist trails and into the heart of wild Snowdonia. These are reasonable trails for moderately fit individuals, but of course, as with any outdoor activity, always follow some sensible guidelines, telling someone where you’re going, wearing appropriate gear and footwear, and paying close attention to the weather.

Nantlle Ridge

Photo: Flickr

Dinorwig Slate Quarry

Long abandoned, Dinorwig was once one of the largest slate quarries in the world, and it sits starkly above Llanberis, as a reminder of the former dominance of the slate industry in this area. Nowadays, you can walk around the quarries, taking in the stark landscape, before heading to the National Slate Museum to learn about the area’s slate quarrying heritage. The museum is staged to look like the workers have simply finished their shift and gone home, offering a real insight into the working conditions and lives of those working at the quarry in the 19th century. Also well worth a visit is the fascinating, if slightly gruesome, Quarry Hospital Museum, with its fully-restored ward and operating theatre, as well as a display of rather unsettling medical instruments and equipment.

 

Dinorwig Quarry Hospital

Photo: Flickr

Dolbadarn Castle

Dolbadarn Castle

Photo: Flickr

No less imposing for being ruins, Dolbadarn Castle keeps watch on the Llanberis Pass, and it’s easy to imagine yourself back in the 13th century, when soldiers would have been actively engaged in defending the area from here. Hugely atmospheric, and surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes, Dolbadarn is nonetheless very much a hidden gem, and well worth a visit. The castle is open daily, except for Christmas and New Years Day, and admission is free, as it is at many historic sites managed by Cadw across Wales. For an extra special treat, why not book yourself on the upcoming Stargazing Evening at Dolbadarn Castle? For just £10, you will be able to immerse yourself in a full-on dark sky experience, with friendly help and advice on how to spot lesser known constellations and how to use a telescope or binoculars.

Where to stay in Snowdonia

Just as it’s a great idea to get off the beaten track in terms of Snowdonia’s attractions, it also makes sense to find a place to stay that’s also a little bit more unusual. Yr Efail Swynol, in Bethesda, is a charming converted blacksmiths, sleeping 6. Its rural location means that you have plenty of space to relax, and yet, the whole of Snowdonia is easily accessible. Preswylfa, in Llan Ffestiniog, is another super cottage that is brilliantly located for exploring Snowdonia – close to Blaenau Ffestiniog, but tucked away on the edge of a nearby village, for peace and tranquillity.  For more ideas on where to stay in Snowdonia, check out our holiday cottage listings.

Self-catering holidays in Anglesey – our pick

The island of Anglesey has long been a firm favourite with holidaymakers from across the UK and beyond – and rightly so. Its sheltered, sandy beaches and warm, welcoming waters tempt families with young children and water sports enthusiasts in equal numbers, and the island’s growing reputation as a foodie hub is helping it to appeal to a new crowd. Whilst the recent influx of fabulous places to eat makes dining out a real treat whilst on holiday on Anglesey, taking a self-catering break there is still the preferred choice for many. With so many superb self-catering accommodation options available throughout Anglesey, you’re spoiled for choice. We’ve hand-picked a few of our favourites, to give you an idea of just what is on offer when you holiday on this amazing island.

Best for…quirky accommodation

Union Windmill, Anglesey

When it comes to wow factor, it doesn’t get bigger, or better, than this. Union Windmill, near the little village of Gaerwen, has been stunningly decorated throughout in a contemporary style, and it has even featured in the magazine, Grand Designs. The rooms might get smaller with every flight of stairs you climb, but the views get more and more stunning, as you climb higher, with the 360° watchtower at the top guaranteed to take your breath away. For a truly unique holiday experience on Anglesey, this has to be a top contender.

Best for…big groups

It can be great fun, and very good value, to go on holiday with a group of friends or members of your extended family, and there are plenty of self-catering accommodation options on Anglesey that cater for bigger groups. One of our favourites is Bodfan, a self-catering farmhouse that sleeps up to 8, with two additional travel cots for babies. Located between Valley and Llangefni, the farmhouse has no near neighbours, so you can enjoy your group holiday without worrying about disturbing the neighbours.

With a mix of double bed, twin bed and single rooms, the accommodation is really flexible, and there’s plenty of communal space, both indoors and outside.

Bodfan, self-catering farmhouse on Anglesey

 

And if you fancy a holiday with an even bigger group of people, we have options that sleep up to 16 people!

 

Best for…a romantic getaway

The Old Dairy, Rhoscolyn

 

Guests are in for a treat with this superbly-appointed holiday cottage in Rhoscolyn, which has many luxurious touches, like underfloor heating, and a gorgeous wood-burning stove, for the perfect romantic break. Tucked away down a long drive, and with views out across glorious open countryside, The Old Dairy is the perfect place to kick back and relax. The stylish, modern kitchen has everything you need, but undoubtedly, most guests also find themselves tempted by The White Eagle, a fabulous gastropub just down the road.

With all this stylish luxury and romantic seclusion, it’s the perfect place to take that someone special.

Best for…contemporary chic

Seashells

Seashells is a brilliant example of a superbly-decorated, contemporary self-catering cottage – and its location couldn’t be better, just a stone’s throw from the huge, sandy beach at Lligwy. The house has been designed upside-down, in order to take advantage of the incredible sea views. That means that the living room, kitchen and dining area are all upstairs, whilst the luxurious bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms are all downstairs. If you usually prefer to stay in hotels, because you like a little luxury whilst on holiday, Seashells will definitely convert you to the joys of self-catering holidays.

Best for…sea views

The Pilot House, Anglesey

With stunning coastline on all sides, there are plenty of accommodation choices on Anglesey offering stunning sea views. We’d have liked to list all of them, of course, but we had to pick one special place that was particularly worthy of a mention. The Pilot House, at Beaumaris, is quite simply beautiful, both inside and out. Sleeping up to 8 guests, there’s ample room for everyone to spread out and enjoy the place, with super modern fittings combining effortlessly with vintage style, to create a chic holiday home that is sure to be a winner. Sit back and admire the views across the Menai Strait, or stroll down into town for a bite to eat…The Pilot House is the perfect base for a great Anglesey holiday.

With so much to see and do on Anglesey, from walking the Coastal Path to relaxing on the island’s fabulous beaches or exploring the rich history of the area, we hope we’ve whetted your appetite for a self-catering holiday here in 2018!

 

A foodie tour of Wales

When asked what Wales means to them, many people talk about the stunning landscapes and the unspoilt beauty of the great outdoors, or perhaps of the warm Welsh welcome and friendly nature of the people who live here. Others, however, will wax lyrical about the amazing food that is produced and sold in Wales, and that’s the topic of today’s blog post, as we showcase some of the best places to visit in Wales if you’re a real foodie.

Abergavenny Food Festival

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vitaminj/

Where better to start a foodie tour of Wales than in Abergavenny? Just a short trip over the Severn Bridge, Abergavenny plays host to an incredibly popular food festival each year in September. The festival spreads throughout the town and involves guest speakers, cookery demonstrations and tasting sessions, with plenty of opportunities to buy some superb produce to take home with you. Abergavenny is also well worth a visit at any other time of the year, and the town’s boutique stores, delis, butchers and grocers will please foodie tourists year-round.

It may come as a surprise to some, but Wales is actually something of a hotspot for artisan cheese-making, and any foodie visitors should make sure that they sample some of the best Welsh cheeses during their stay. Caerphilly is perhaps the most well-known of the Welsh cheeses, and was originally produced for the miners of the South Wales valleys. Today, only a few artisan producers of Caerphilly cheese remain, including the award-winning Caws Cenarth, based in Boncath. Whilst many of the great cheesemakers of Wales aren’t able to receive visitors to their premises, it’s easy to find their cheeses for sale across Wales. If you’re visiting Cardiff, be sure to track down Madame Fromage or The Welsh Cheese Company, two incredible cheese shops where you will be assured of tastebud-tickling delights.`

If you’re holidaying in North Wales, make a point of visiting the farm shop at the Rhug Estate. The 12,000 acre estate produces organic beef, lamb and pork, which are all available to buy in the stunning farm shop. As well as home-grown produce, the farm shop stocks a carefully selected range of premium and organic produce from across Wales. There’s also a fabulous restaurant, so you can enjoy the delights of the Rhug Estate right there and then, with a hearty breakfast, a delicious lunch or afternoon tea.

Our next suggestion for your foodie tour of Wales may come as a bit of a shock. Close to the stunningly beautiful, pocket-sized city of St. Davids in Pembrokeshire, Grub Kitchen hints in its name at what might be on the menu. Yes, that’s right – this is an entomophagic restaurant – which, for the uninitiated, means that insects are used throughout the menu. From cricket blinis served with crispy seaweed, to a signature ‘bug burger’ that includes crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers, dining at Grub Kitchen is guaranteed to be a little out of the ordinary. For the faint-hearted, there are dishes that don’t contain any insects, but we think it’s definitely worth trying, even if you just stick to the bug ‘taster board’. A recent tweet shown below gives an idea of what’s on offer:

We’ve barely scratched the surface on what Wales has to offer for food-lovers and fans of artisan produce, and we’ll be sure to share more great foodie ideas over on Twitter and Facebook in the coming weeks. If we’ve inspired you to come and hunt out some amazing food experiences, why not check our accommodation finder, to select the perfect getaway location?

Exploring Cardigan Bay

Cardigan bayFrom Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire right up to Bardsey Island in the north, the huge bite-shaped Cardigan Bay is the largest bay in the UK. The bay itself is rich with marine life and seabirds, and onshore, there are pretty towns and villages along the entire length of the bay, and the Wales Coast Path links them all up in one scenic route. In today’s blog post, we take a look at just a few of Cardigan Bay’s highlights, from wildlife hotspots to foodie destinations.

First up on our list of top Cardigan Bay destinations is Cardigan itself. The county town of Ceredigion sits on the River Teifi, and is a charming market town filled with independent shops and foodie hotspots. Don’t miss the old-fashioned sweet shop on the high street or the Guildhall market, and if you have time for a detour just out of town, be sure to visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre, where Asian Water Buffalo graze during the summer months.

Just 20 miles up the coast is our next stop, New Quay. This steeply winding town was once home to Dylan Thomas, and is said to be the inspiration for Thomas’s Under Milk Wood. There is an interesting Dylan Thomas trail through the town, featuring several locations that were part of the poet’s life, and this makes for an enjoyable stroll, taking in the town, and the beach below, from several angles. New Quay is also a firm favourite for another reason – the chance to spot dolphins and porpoises, as well as seals, as all of these are common visitors. You can, of course, take a boat trip into the bay to spot these beautiful beasts, but if you’re patient, and lucky, you stand a good chance of spotting some from the harbour wall.

Continuing north, Aberaeron is our next port of call. The town is rather unusual in that it didn’t really exist before the start of the 19th century. The harbour, and the pretty houses that surround it, were all built from around 1805. Today, the houses are all painted in distinctive colours, making for a picture postcard photo opportunity. Aberaeron is home to possibly one of Wales’s best fish and chip shops, and also to the famous honey ice-cream. Try both – they’re highly recommended!

Moving on up the coast, we come to Aberystwyth. Take a trip up Constitution Hill on the cliff railway, for stunning panoramic views out to sea or stroll along the pier for some good old-fashioned seaside fun. Be sure to stay until dusk, to witness the incredible spectacle of an enormous starling murmuration around the pier.

Barmouth

North of Aberaeron, Cardigan Bay continues to deliver stunning beach after stunning beach. Borth is well worth a visit, to see the ancient submerged forest which is visible at low tide, and Barmouth, on the Mawddach Estuary, has stunning views out to sea and mountains behind. Moving onto the Llyn Peninsula, Criccieth and Pwllheli are much loved holiday destinations for people from across the UK.

Whether you are a wildlife lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone who simply likes to sit on the beach and admire the view, Cardigan Bay has plenty to tempt you. Why not take a tour along this amazing coastline on your next Welsh holiday?

Christmas in Cardiff

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping. This can only mean one thing – Christmas will soon be upon us, once again. For some, that means big family get-togethers and traditional celebrations with friends, but in recent years, more and more people have started to see Christmas as an opportunity to take a much-needed break instead, taking a staycation holiday rather than having the usual Christmas meal at home. In today’s post, we look at why Cardiff is an excellent choice for a Christmas break, and highlight a few things going on there over the Christmas period that are guaranteed to fill you with festive cheer.

Christmas in Cardiff

 

Where to stay in Cardiff over Christmas

 

As Wales’ capital city, Cardiff is well-served with holiday accommodation, offering a huge range of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses, as well as more quirky choices. For us, Christmas is about spoiling yourself, so we recommend choosing a luxury hotel, where your every whim can be catered for. St. David’s Hotel & Spa sits right on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay, and is perfectly located for exploring the city centre as well as enjoying the many bars and restaurants at Mermaid Quay.

If the modern chic of St. David’s Hotel isn’t quite what you’re looking for, a stay at Miskin Manor Country Hotel might be more appealing. This glorious manor house is set in 22 acres, and looks every inch the grand country house, with period features at every turn.

Miskin Manor Country Hotel

We have lots more holiday accommodation options in Cardiff, so be sure to check these out.

 

What’s on in Cardiff over Christmas

 

Cardiff will once again play host to its Christmas Market, this year. The market opens on November 9th, and runs until December 23rd, with more than 200 craftspeople, producers and makers showcasing their wares throughout one of Cardiff’s principal pedestrianised areas. If you’re taking a break before the Christmas holidays start, the market is the perfect way to get all of your Christmas shopping done in one go, whilst enjoying some fabulous local food and drinks at the same time.

Also launching on November 9th is Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, where you can skate on an undercover ice rink, sink a pint or two in the bierkeller and enjoy the thrills and fun of the fairground. It’s a magical atmosphere, and great fun for both children and adults alike.

If your winter break in Cardiff takes in New Year’s Day, head along the coast to Barry Island, where thousands of swimmers will take to the water for the annual New Year’s Day Swim. Whether you choose to join the swimmers in the sea, or you simply go along for the spectacle, it promises, as always, to be a fun day out. Whilst Barry Island has been unfairly immortalised as a less than exciting destination, thanks to TV’s Gavin and Stacey, the truth is that Barrybados, as it’s known locally, offers a glorious sandy beach, alongside some good old-fashioned seaside fun at the Pleasure Park.

We’ve only really scratched the surface of what’s on offer in Cardiff over Christmas, and there are plenty of other options, from visiting Cardiff Castle to taking in a first-class show at the theatre. If you don’t want another traditional Christmas at home, watching tired repeats on TV and listening to Aunty Doris snoring on the sofa, ditch that traditional approach and start planning your Christmas holiday in Cardiff! A warm Welsh welcome awaits.

 

 

Holidaying On Anglesey With Your Dog

For many dog-owners, putting their beloved pooch in kennels whilst they take their annual holiday is just not something they’d seriously consider. As many of us see our pets as part of the family, we just can’t bear the thought of them pining away for us, whilst we sit on the beach, enjoying the sunshine and admiring the view. Thankfully, there is an alternative, and that’s to take Fido along with us, for a holiday that everyone can enjoy. If you’re planning a holiday on the beautiful island of Anglesey, and you’re thinking of taking your dog along with you, read on to discover the best dog-friendly beaches there, along with some outstanding pubs where your furry friend will be just as welcome as you are.

Dog friendly beaches on Anglesey

Dog-friendly beaches on Anglesey

With 125 miles of stunning coastline, Anglesey is a beach-lover’s dream destination. Whilst many of the beaches on Anglesey are dog-friendly, it does pay to do some research in advance, to ensure that any beaches you plan to visit allow dog access all year round. Some beaches prohibit dogs from May until October, but allow dogs on the beach at other times, whilst others have no restrictions whatsoever. Also, some dogs find it hard to walk on pebble beaches, so it might be wise to look for sandy beaches, to ensure your dog can enjoy a run on soft, golden sands.

Some of the best dog-friendly beaches on Anglesey include Red Wharf Bay and Traeth Bychan on the east coast of the island, Rhoscolyn Beach in the south, and Cemlyn Bay on the north coast. All of these beaches have car parks, and Rhoscolyn, Traeth Bychan and Red Wharf Bay all have toilets too.

Dog-friendly pubs on Anglesey

Of course, after a day strolling on the beach, playing frisbee with the dog, or pottering through the rock pools, nothing beats a pint and something to eat at a local pub. Again, it pays to do some research before your trip, as not all pubs welcome dogs, especially those that serve food. Luckily, there are still plenty of great places to choose from, where Fido will be more than welcome.

In the Red Wharf Bay area, The Ship Inn is a dog-friendly pub serving traditional pub food. Dog-owners can sit outside to eat if they wish, or use the snug, which is specifically for people with dogs. Over at Rhoscolyn, The White Eagle is the best choice, offering seasonal dishes cooked with the best local produce in a smart, but very dog-friendly, setting. Up by Cemlyn Bay, The Stag will offer a warm welcome to all, including your four-legged friends, and there’s plenty of space to sit outside if your dog prefers this. Finally, if you fancy a trip to the pub after a day at Traeth Bychan, head north to Moelfre, where you’ll be welcome at the Kinmel Arms pub, or south to The Tavern on the Bay, which sits at the top of Red Wharf Bay.

Wherever you decide to explore on Anglesey, your furry friend is bound to have a great time with you, so long as you check beforehand that the beaches are dog-friendly, and that there are some pubs close by where you can enjoy a meal and a pint, with him, or her, by your side.

Things to do around Machynlleth

The busy market town of Machynlleth is a popular tourist destination, situated as it is just south of the Snowdonia National Park, and just a few minutes drive from the beaches of Aberdovey and Borth. Whilst many holiday-makers might head straight for the better-known Snowdonia attractions of Betws-y-Coed, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bala, Machynlleth has plenty to offer in its own right, and the surrounding area is packed with places to visit and things to do. In today’s post, we take a look at some of the best ideas for holidays in the Machynlleth area, whether you’re looking for thrills and spills adventure, a walk on the wild side, or some gentle relaxation in stunning scenery.

Snowdonia

 

For adventure-seekers, Machynlleth is a great holiday base. There are some superb mountain biking trails in the Dyfi valley, wittily named Mach 1, 2, 3 and 4, all of which are detailed on the Dyfi Mountain Biking website. We’ve mentioned Zip World and Surf Snowdonia in a previous blog post, and both of these are within a reasonable driving distance from Machynlleth, so would make a fabulous day out. There’s good surfing to be had around Borth and Ynyslas, and many of the beaches along this stretch of coast are wide and open, so they’re great for kitesurfing and other beach-based sports.

For those looking to get up close and personal with some wildlife, there are some amazing opportunities in this area. Go for a falconry experience as Maes Dulas, near Machynlleth, or visit the Dyfi Osprey Centre, just outside the town. The Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve, back along the Dyfi estuary a little, is perfect for keen birdwatchers and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Visitors, both young and old, can glimpse rare birds or hire a pond dipping kit, to see what wriggly creatures they can discover.

One of Machynlleth’s top attractions is the Centre for Alternative Technology. Founded about 40 years ago, on the site of a disused quarry, the CAT centre offers a fascinating insight into the world of sustainable living and renewable energy. It’s an informative and inspiring place, with plenty of hands-on demonstrations and games for kids of all ages, making it fun to learn about our planet and ways that we can all help to reduce our impact on it.

West Wales is blessed with countless stunning beaches, and Machynlleth is just a short drive from some of the most charming of these. Borth’s long, sandy beach draws holidaymakers in throughout the season, both for the beach itself, and for the ancient submerged forest, which becomes visible at low tide. A little further north from Borth is Aberdyfi, or Aberdovey, in English. This pretty seaside village has a charming working harbour, and is a delightful place to while away a sunny afternoon, looking out across Cardigan Bay, with the foothills of Snowdonia behind the village. Continue north along the coast to reach Barmouth, another charming resort that’s full of character.

Barmouth

Machynlleth itself is also well worth a visit, as it’s a lovely little town with a busy arts and antiques scene, and a lively market every Wednesday. Browse the independent boutiques, admire the town’s architecture and perhaps take in an art exhibition at MOMA Machynlleth. With plenty of options for eating out, Machynlleth really does offer a great base for a fabulous holiday in West Wales.