Into the grape unknown: the great Welsh wine tasting

The words ‘Welsh wine’ might once have raised a quizzical eyebrow, but no longer. As climate change has seen the terroir shift steadily north, even these wet, chilly hills can now produce a thoroughly decent drop. A growing crop of wineries have invested passion and effort to seriously raise the bar, embracing hardy, early ripening grape varieties suited to cool climates like Seyval, Phoenix and … Continue reading Into the grape unknown: the great Welsh wine tasting

The Great Welsh Chocolate-off: three of the nation’s loveliest chocolatiers go choc-to-choc in a taste-off, but which will set the bar the highest?

In the bleak midwinter, and especially in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, nothing beats a chocolate binge. But doing it classily will make you feel much better about indulging. Wales resembles a vast selection box when it comes to innovative chocolatiers: the sort of box where you keep discovering unexpected surprises. Besides being extremely scrumptious, the pick of these also showcase Wales’ impressive repertoire of … Continue reading The Great Welsh Chocolate-off: three of the nation’s loveliest chocolatiers go choc-to-choc in a taste-off, but which will set the bar the highest?

Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Distance: 4.25km (loop) or 7.25km (with 3km out-and-back extension). The road north from Dolgellau is among Snowdonia’s best: a surprisingly straight, wide A-road ushering traffic south to north across the National Park with little to see, ostensibly, but dense belts of forest until you hit the coast around Portmeirion. Which is perfect, because forests and lingering in ostensibly-little-to-see areas are what we are here to … Continue reading Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

To the windmill: Melin Y Bont on Anglesey presses all the right coastal buttons

In southwest Anglesey, a mere whisper away from beaches where almighty gusts whip off the Irish Sea and the dunes seem to roll to infinity, is the escape of your wildest childhood fantasies – but with a grown-up’s love of style and comfort. This chicly converted 19th-century windmill has immediate wow factor, with big views, round rooms, pretty pastel interiors and space and light to … Continue reading To the windmill: Melin Y Bont on Anglesey presses all the right coastal buttons

The Lligwy ancient monuments: three millennia of history in the fields of eastern Anglesey

I recall my father, on Scottish family holidays growing up, making us delay those seaside trips every child wants beyond all others whilst we detoured across pathless tracts of moor in inclement weather, searching for some ancient standing stone or burial site. Sites, I’ll have you know, invariably transpiring to be significantly far from their map mark and thus frequently protracting the wait to reach … Continue reading The Lligwy ancient monuments: three millennia of history in the fields of eastern Anglesey

What it’s like to walk right around Wales: tips and tales from the trail with seasoned hiker Michelle Gollins

Few people can say they have walked the entire way around a country. Wales might have become the world’s first nation to have a footpath all along its borders with the completion of the Wales Coast Path (WCP) in 2012, therefore making the challenge more possible. But actually doing the hike, 870 miles on the WCP, another 177 miles on the Offa’s Dyke Path (ODP) … Continue reading What it’s like to walk right around Wales: tips and tales from the trail with seasoned hiker Michelle Gollins

Why nature always provides a home – meet Grant Hyatt, landscape photographer and homelessness project manager in Denbighshire

If landscape photography and homelessness appear to have little in common on paper, speaking to Grant Hyatt proves otherwise. Based in the wilds of North Wales, he reveals why nature always provides a home and how – especially during these challenging Covid-19 times – we should turn our attention to what lies on our own doorstep, both in terms of wilderness and the vulnerable people … Continue reading Why nature always provides a home – meet Grant Hyatt, landscape photographer and homelessness project manager in Denbighshire

Getting rugged in Snowdonia with Kate and Ross Worthington of RAW Adventures

From essential training in hill, mountain and wilderness skills to guiding adventure-seekers on hardcore challenges like the Welsh 3000s (Northern Snowdonia’s 15 highest summits) and organising recce events to those preparing for the world’s toughest competitive mountain run (the Dragon’s Back Race from Conwy to Cardiff across the remote central spine of Wales), RAW Adventures have been leading people into North Wales’ mightiest and most … Continue reading Getting rugged in Snowdonia with Kate and Ross Worthington of RAW Adventures

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

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