Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

Most people, in our experience, don’t know what a bothy is. Of those that do, most think these life-saving wilderness shelters are only located in Scotland. Of those that know there are actually eight or so in Wales, only a handful harbour a desire to stay at one and of those, not many ever do. Suffice it to say, then, that Claerddu Bothy, becalmed on … Continue reading Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

Distance: 27km (one-way). The highest summit in southern Snowdonia, Cadair Idris (also known as Penygadair) is no secret. We wish it was, but it isn’t. Looming large above the twin lakes nestled breathtakingly beneath its crags, with staggering views of the Llŷn Peninsula and with two well-trodden trails snaking up to the top from the trailheads of Ty-nant (north side) and Minffordd (south), this is … Continue reading How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

Distance: Routes vary in length between 3 and 10 miles. On a hike in a totally different part of Wales at a totally different time last year, Undiscovered Wales met, on the trail, what you could only describe as a true veteran of the hills. A hardened, rain-lashed, wind-grizzled walker who imparted a knowing look whichever part of Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons or Mid Wales … Continue reading Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

The Red Kite Estate: futuristic, first-of-their-kind getaways in the wilderness

Wilderness is one of those words bandied about too lightly these days: in Europe we do not in truth have very much of it. On a continent-wide scale, aside from Scandinavia’s northern fringes and parts of northern Scotland, one of the areas most deserving of the term is the tract of Mid Wales where the Red Kite Estate lies. The largest expanse of continuous moorland … Continue reading The Red Kite Estate: futuristic, first-of-their-kind getaways in the wilderness

Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

No one could term the beach destinations of Llangrannog, bustling one-time hangout of Dylan Thomas, and Penbryn, home to one of Wales’ best beach cafes, off-the-beaten-track. Both are pretty popular when the sun comes out. But there is a sandy bay in-between attracting about three visitors to every 300 Llangrannog and Penbryn pull in, and is so Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-picturesque it makes even its beautiful neighbours seem … Continue reading Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

Bodysgallen Hall: National Trust-owned manor in the far north ensconced in exquisite gardens

Turning off the busy Conwy-Llandudno road and bumping over the cattle grid past this palatial property’s gatehouse, itself more lavish than many hotels, it becomes apparent that a stay at Bodysgallen Hall is a firm, fine waltz back in time to a picturesque, peaceful pocket of Wales where the clock stopped some time in the 19th century – or possibly even earlier. Thought to have … Continue reading Bodysgallen Hall: National Trust-owned manor in the far north ensconced in exquisite gardens

Gentle wilderness along Abergwesyn Common

It can be a wild, stark place, Mid Wales: sometimes too much so for day-trippers who prefer Snowdonia’s more Instagram-able blockbuster beauty. At Undiscovered Wales we love the wildness and the starkness. But sometimes, we crave a lazy, languid day out too: the pootling drive out to a jaw-dropping beauty spot to picnic, cool off in a river and dreamily look at the view. Abergwesyn … Continue reading Gentle wilderness along Abergwesyn Common

Paxton’s Tower: the fabulous folly far above the Tywi commemorating prospects lost

Protruding out of the wood-carpeted line of hills south of the River Tywi in bizarre neo-Gothic splendour, Paxton’s Tower is no retiring violet from the public eye – indeed it is among Carmarthenshire’s most distinctive landmarks – but its sheer comic oddness renders it the sort of spot we at Undiscovered Wales absolutely love. The surrounding parish of Llanarthne has, since 2000, become one of … Continue reading Paxton’s Tower: the fabulous folly far above the Tywi commemorating prospects lost

The great Welsh cheese-off: seven of the nation’s finest undiscovered cheeses face off in a taste-off, but which will be a cut above?

Despite all those cows and sheep scattered across the green hillsides, when it comes to naming famous Welsh cheeses most will get stumped right after Caerphilly. This National Cheese Day, we have hand-picked three of the many multi-award winning cheese producers across the country, each of which have hand-picked between one and three of their most iconic cheeses – we have (extensively!) tasted each, compared … Continue reading The great Welsh cheese-off: seven of the nation’s finest undiscovered cheeses face off in a taste-off, but which will be a cut above?

Up high, close and personal with Mark Bond, treehouse eco-stay entrepreneur

Eco-retreat creator Mark Bond built (with his business partner) the UK’s first rentable treehouses, the living-room treehouse experience, out in a wild, woodsy Mid Wales valley. We catch up with him up in the canopy to chat about what makes his arboreal accommodation special, about the Dyfi Valley’s long-standing reputation as a centre of eco-activity and about his plans to revolutionise the Wales hospitality scene … Continue reading Up high, close and personal with Mark Bond, treehouse eco-stay entrepreneur