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

The quirks and caves of Druidston Haven

On the jagged expanse of seaboard south of Newgale, the narrow coast-hugging road threads through the ‘Havens’, four seaside settlements known for their tawny sandy coves and beaches backed by craggy cliffs and a stupendous array of coastal geology. Because of how the maze of little lanes around here spread-eagles out, Druidston Haven is the one of the four you would bypass completely unless you … Continue reading The quirks and caves of Druidston Haven

Classic Nettle Frittata recipe courtesy of Argo Villa B&B, Pembrokeshire

Passionate about wild food and interesting flavours, Gill and Antosh Wislocki were the owners of Argo Villa B&B, one of the greatest places to stay in St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire, for many many years. Every morning they famously cooked up a storm for guests for breakfast, using whatever was in season. These days, they forage to their hearts content and do most of the consuming … Continue reading Classic Nettle Frittata recipe courtesy of Argo Villa B&B, Pembrokeshire

Sweet temptation at The Plwmp Tart in Penbryn

Housed in a prettily converted stone cart house, the Plwmp Tart is everything a coastal cafe ought to be – and a lot more. The location is dreamy, for starters, with the cafe abutting sunlit beech woods that spill down to the bay of Penbryn. And organic and garden-grown ingredients go into light lunches and cakes – all made with a pinch of love. Why … Continue reading Sweet temptation at The Plwmp Tart in Penbryn

Cardigan Castle: staying over in the stately home of the original Welsh party

Cardigan does not, in fairness, much seem today like it ever could have hosted Wales’ biggest and best party. But back in 1176, the influential Lord Rhys, prince of most of South Wales, was at the zenith of his power and desired to host a cultural event to cement his status as the greatest Welsh ruler. And he chose Cardigan Castle as the venue. What … Continue reading Cardigan Castle: staying over in the stately home of the original Welsh party

Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole

Making the journey north from Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, a distinct change takes place in the landscape. The county’s fertile lowlands, main towns and main roads are now behind you. The hills get bigger, the valleys deeper; communities more scattered. You are entering Mid Wales: the wildest tract of the country. Cwmdu village is about the most paradisal initiation to this region you could imagine, and … Continue reading Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole

A Ramble around Dinas Island

Walk length: 4.75km. Right from the off, Dinas Island dishes up surprises. Because of course, for one thing, it is not an island but a bulbous peninsula. For another, the access point from the A487 at Dinas Cross between Fishguard and Newport is unpromising: it scarcely suggests one of Pembrokeshire’s finest stretches of coast path could be so close. But weave down a couple of … Continue reading A Ramble around Dinas Island

Why we can’t resist the International Welsh Rarebit Centre

Finding a good Welsh rarebit is harder than it might sound – even in the heart of Wales. But this schoolhouse turned retro-cool cafe and cultural space has elevated the classic snack to something of an art form. Owner Roos Geraedts invests love and energy into bringing you the finest rarebit bar-none in the Brecons (perhaps the world…). This is cheese on toast with knobs … Continue reading Why we can’t resist the International Welsh Rarebit Centre

The Dulyn Reservoir hike

Walk length: 9.5km (round trip). Snowdonia is renowned for its llyns (lakes): certain parts of the national park are fairly spattered in them. But the Dulyn Reservoir remains very much in the category of lesser-known lakes, despite its setting in the shelter of one of Snowdonia’s more famous mountains, Carnedd Llewelyn. And who doesn’t want an unforgettable wild swim as part of their moorland hike? … Continue reading The Dulyn Reservoir hike