With Valentine’s Day looming I’ve teamed up again with Expedia Ireland to share some ideas for a wonderful Welsh getaway with your nearest and dearest.
Wales is so diverse that city-dwellers desiring an escape to the open country will be just as impressed as a countryman exploring the cultural capital of Cardiff. Read on for two weekend breaks themed around the country and city.
Around 26 miles north of Cardiff city centre (45 minutes away from the airport) is the Brecon Beacons National Park, accessible by bus and rail. It’s one of three parks in Wales of outstanding natural beauty. Here you’ll find ‘Waterfall Country‘, an area laced with rivers, jaw dropping views, caves and waterfalls in close proximity.
Tip: The spectacular ‘Sgwd yr Eira‘ waterfall you can even walk behind – a perfect backdrop for those planning to pop the question!
Being February, the weather up in hills can be unpredictable, but in Ystradfellte there’s a charming 16th century pub called The New Inn where you can snuggle up beside a burning log fire.
On my visit the hospitable staff served us tea by the fire, set the table and delighted us with their traditional British menu such as faggots, mash and peas.
Those visiting by ferry to Fishguard may wish to explore the coastal Pembrokeshire National Park where you can take in the breathtaking sea views along the Wales Coast Path (and perhaps spot some dolphins).
You’ll fall head over heels for the many chocolate box communities around here, including the much-adored Tenby town or Britain’s smallest city St. Davids (twin city of Naas in Ireland’s County Kildare).
Tip: Don’t forget to treat your sweetheart to locally produced chocolate from Caldey Island.
If you’re craving the buzz of the city, Cardiff is an ideal destination to spend the weekend. The centre is a shopping fanatics dream, so for those planning to spoil your other half’s with new clothes or jewellery I’d recommend starting in the many historical arcades.
Here you’ll find some unique gems such as ‘Watches of Wales‘ and ‘The Brogue Trader‘ for gents, and ‘Renate‘ fashion and ‘home byKirsty‘ for ladies.
Tip: Remember to pick up a wooden hand-crafted Welsh love spoon for a unique and romantic memento of your trip.
You’re also not short of places to enjoy a romantic meal or afternoon tea in Cardiff with many places offering Valentine’s themed menus like Chapel 1877 and Giovannis.
Tip: The award winning Laguna Kitchen & Bar in Park Plaza Cardiff would be a perfect place to pop the question with intimate lighting, stylish furnishings and wine selection.
Nearby is also Cardiff Castle, a wonderful place to explore before setting off down the river Taff on a romantic river cruise to the Bay area.
In Cardiff Bay you’re able to enjoy an evening comedy show in the Glee Club or be wowed by the theatre inside the Wales Millennium Centre.
Productions here have included ‘Henry VI’, ‘Faulty Towers’ and ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (find out more here), with a hub of bars and restaurants conveniently close by.
Tip: Try some welshcakes from the Fabulous Welshcakes gift shop in Cardiff Bay.
If you both have different tastes but want to enjoy time together, The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport would be an ideal option offering golf breaks on its famous course, spa packages and fine dining in six spectacular restaurants.
Right: Ronan Keating on the famous golf course for the annual Celebrity Cup.
The Resort is also near Newport city centre’s brand new Friars Walk shopping centre and the vibrant city of Bristol.
I hope you’ve found these suggestions useful, let me know in the comment section below or on social media if you prefer the city or the country.
For more enchanting ideas of places to explore in Cardiff, click here.
This post has been created in collaboration with Expedia.ie (Ireland’s go-to travel site for hotels, flights and city breaks) including relevant links to their site (and others) of which I’m not responsible for. All opinions are my own.