Wales has more castles per head than anywhere else in the world - what's your favourite? Read on for my top 5 (ish)!
One of the things we enjoy doing most as a family is spending the day in Borth and Ynyslas, on the Mid Wales coast. My little one just loves running along the promenade and skimming stones (or at least trying to!) at Borth and then making the short drive to the dunes and huge sandy beach at Ynyslas.
Wales does draw many people in and I was delighted when my oldest friend also made a permanent move to this wonderful country. We met when we were seven years old and haven’t been able to get away from each other since!
With busy lives, and living about a 3 hour drive apart, we don’t always get the opportunity to meet up as often as we would like but a few weeks ago we spent a glorious day in Hay on Wye. I must say that book or antique enthusiasts could spends days (and a lot of money if so inclined!) in this picturesque town.
The Welsh language is beautiful, whether spoken in the rounded lilt of the south or the more staccato rhythm of the north, and I had every intention of learning to speak it as soon as I could after my move to Wales. I had visions of me speaking fluently to my new Welsh friends within months. I had the tapes (showing my age here!) and accompanying books but unfortunately things didn’t go quite as planned and I am still working on it!
Hi! My name’s Ginnie and welcome to my journal! This is my first foray into blog writing but am hoping that my love of Wales will shine through and infect you all with the urge to discover for yourselves all my adopted country has to offer!
A little bit about me first…. Born and raised in England, I have always had links to Wales with visits to family on the North Coast and listening to my Mum's many stories of idyllic summer holidays spent on Anglesey when she was a girl.
Off the north-west coast and Pembrokeshire and in the Bristol Channel, Wales has a fascinating selection of small islands; this is a selection of five of them that are accessible to Wales Holidays cottage visitors.
In recent years, Wales has built up a significant reputation as a destination for food lovers and this is illustrated at some superb Food Festivals that are held throughout the country.
Pride of place must go to the Abergavenny Food Festival which takes over the town for two days every year; the dates for 2014 are Saturday and Sunday 20 & 21 September. It won the 2013 Best Event in Wales at the National Tourism Awards and deservedly so; the phrase ‘something for everyone’ is rather overused but in this case it really is justified - the Festival guide last year had over eighty pages! In the region of 230 stalls fill half a dozen venues (some indoors like the Market Hall) and line the sides of several streets. Not to be missed!
A selection of Visitor Centres in Wales that provide information and interpretation of some of our major attractions we have to offer our visitors - the National Parks, wildlife and nature.
Hafod Eryri is the Visitor Centre on the summit of Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) which at 3,560 ft makes it the highest mountain in Wales. It has a unique structure built of granite with a wall of glass making up the front of the centre which acts as the terminus of the Snowdon Mountain Railway and provides an interpretation of the mountain, its history and ways to enjoy it. Depending on the weather on the mountain, Hafod Eryri opens as soon as access by train is possible in the spring and usually closes at the end of October. Snowdonia (Eryri) was designated a National Park in 1951and is the third most visited National Park in England and Wales with over 6 million visitors every year.
Race a Train, Red Arrows, GB Rally, Tour of Britain and a Bike Show - all events to enjoy in Wales later this year whilst staying a Wales Holidays cottage.
From Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th August, Brecon Jazz will be bringing super-cool jazz to one of Wales’s most historic country towns. Burt Bacharach kicks off this 30th Anniversary edition of this international Festival on the Thursday night and other headliners include Gregory Porter, soul singer/songwriter and Mercury Prize nominee Laura Mvula, the newly reformed Loose Tubes, The Big Chris Barber Band, Warren Vaché with his quintet, featuring multi-award winning reeds man Alan Barnes and the Mike Harries Root Doctors. And the Brecon Fringe Festival takes place at the same time offering a programme of music and arts including blues, rock, jazz, country, ska, poetry, dance and family entertainment.
Not very many Music Festivals can offer performances from artistes that range from opera star Bryn Terfel to rock legends Status Quo! Both will be performing at the six day 68th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which starts this year on Tuesday 8th July together with over 5,000 singers, dancers and instrumentalists from around fifty countries.