If you are planning a winter holiday in the UK, Wales is probably not right at the top of your list. With a bit of a reputation for unpredictable weather, and somewhat out of the way for those travelling from the London area, one could be forgiven for not thinking of Wales as the perfect place for a winter getaway. If you are one of those who have been overlooking this tucked away little piece of the UK, you have been missing out! Wales is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of the country, and with so much to see and do, even in the winter months, you’ll finish your holiday wondering why you have waited so long to discover all that this country in a country has to offer.
Explore the rugged beauty of Wales
Wales is one of the least populated areas of the UK, leaving lots of untouched wilderness to explore. Take to the Wales Coast Path to explore the majestic Welsh coastline, breathing in the fresh sea air and thinking about nothing but the beauty that is all around you. Wales is actually the first country in the world to provide a dedicated footpath along its entire coastline, which travels through 11 National Nature Reserves, as well as several dedicated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are few better ways to clear your mind than taking a long watch in the brisk weather, and there’s nowhere better to do that than in Wales. Browse Sykes’ selection of holiday cottages in Wales to find the perfect accommodation from which to explore the Welsh countryside.
Learn a traditional Welsh craft
Wales is full of fascinating traditions, skills, and crafts and learning one for yourself is the perfect way to spend a chilly winter’s day.In Caernerfon, Gwynedd you can visit Inigo Jones Slate works, a local company that has been around since 1861. Slate has been quarried in Wales since Roman times, and by 1898 more than half a tonne of slate was produced in the country. The Inigo Jones Slate Works are keeping this tradition alive, offering visitors the opportunity to the secrets of Welsh slate. Here you can take a self-guided tour which includes a DVD presentation, MP3 audio commentary and exhibitions on geology, history, calligraphy and letter cutting. Have a go at calligraphy yourself, or try your own hand at engraving on a piece of slate to keep as a souvenir. If you’re travelling with children, there is a children’s quiz with a slate prize as well. If you turn out to not be a dab hand at engraving you can always visit the slate craft showroom at the find Welsh and Celtic gift items and a display of slate garden products. Inigo Jones Slate Works are open all year including weekends from 9am-5pm. Visit the website at www.inigojones.co.uk.
Take a bite out of Wales
If there is one thing that you don’t want to miss out on when visiting Wales, it’s the food! From cheese to cider, and lamb to seafood – the opportunities to fill your belly are all but endless. Traditional Welsh food is hearty fare, of the ‘stick to your ribs’ variety, and after a long day spent outside in the fresh Welsh weather this is exactly what you’ll want. If you’re staying in your own holiday cottage you can head to one of the great farm shops found throughout the country to collect the ingredients to whip up your own Welsh delicacy. The Visit Wales website is a great place to find some traditional recipes like Welsh rarebit and Welsh cakes (my personal favourite)!
Do you still need convincing? Well here’s a little bit more. Wales is home to three National parks, three World Heritage sites, Britain’s smallest city (St. Davids), the smallest house in Great Britain (in Conwy), over 100 castles, and more sheep than you can shake a stick at. Considering it’s diminutive size, that’s an awful lot of claims to fame.
Add Wales to your next holiday wishlist, I’m sure you won’t regret it.