A weekend in Wales makes the heart sing. Undiscovered corners lurk behind mountains, within river valleys and inside castle walls. Put them together and you’ve landed yourself in a hiking paradise. From the Snowdonia National Park to the buzzing capital of Cardiff, destinations for a dreamy Wales weekend break are endless. So where do you start?
Whether you’re looking for cosy country lodges or boutique hotels in Wales by the sea, there are stylish boltholes for all tastes across the country. Every town, village or lakeside gem needs its shining-light hideaways – and you won’t ever want to leave these gorgeous historic hotels in Wales:
Often overlooked for neighbouring Cardiff, Penarth is a charm-crammed Victorian seaside town in the Vale of Glamorgan. Strollers will love its Art Deco pier, dotted with an art gallery, cafe, cinema and the handsome Balmoral Pleasure Cruiser.
Close-by Cardiff seems a world away when you check into boutique hotel and spa Holm House. It sits on Penarth’s “Millionaires’ Row” alongside a string of grand houses shining out with old-world character. Holm House blends country living with townhouse class: traditional afternoon teas, sea-view suites, and locally sourced dishes. Try and nab the room with the freestanding copper bath – a blissful spot for a Wales weekend away.
Walk to Vale of Glamorgan trail during your stay, which goes from Sully to Penarth via coastal paths, green inland walks, historic landmarks and cute market towns. If you’re out and about, your perfect spot for lunch is the 100-hectare Cosmeston Lakes and Country Park – pack a picnic and lazily munch your way through it by the woodlands. Families flock for a day out at the unique Medieval Village here, a fascinating open-air heritage attraction.
Some of the loveliest bays in Europe are a Wales weekend away. And in an ancient western town, one in particular is thriving. Cardigan Bay is speckled with traditional family seaside resorts such as New Quay and Aberporth and teeny coastal villages such as Llangrannog. It’s home to the UK’s biggest pod of dolphins, which you can spot on a bay-based boat trip. If you’d prefer to stay on land, there’s no end to wild landscapes to walk, cycle, or photograph on your weekend in Wales.
Image: Caemorgan Mansion
Cardigan is a great base to explore Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. Stay at Caemorgan Mansion – a small luxury bolthole with all the features of a top hotel. Your Caemorgan hosts Beverley and David have nailed the boutique aesthetic with faultless rooms that run on green energy and bathrooms stocked with luxury toiletries and bathrobes. But if you want a reminder you’re staying one of our member properties – stunning historic hotels in Wales – the arched windows, exposed wooden beams and warm welcomes transport you back to a simpler time.
The unspoilt, green-slathered Lake Vyrnwy is known for its heartstopping waterfalls, wonderful array of walking trails, and cream teas. And now hopefully for its historic hotels in Wales, too.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa illuminates the soul with Neo-Baronial architecture, exotic world-inspired spa treatments and country house comfort food. Oh, and the views come for free. Your home-away-from-home looks out onto the famed lake and its neighbours – forested hillsides and the rugged Berwyn Mountains. Don’t leave without sampling the local produce and game from the seasonally changing menu: field-to-fork dishes make their way straight from the hotel’s very own 24,000-acre estate.
Image: Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa
Spend your weekend in Wales hiking through the sprawling RSPB Reserve, which is dotted with hideaway viewpoints for birdwatching. Below the Dam, there’s a gorgeous Sculpture Park – but if you’re hankering for something a little more active, fill your boots with boating, cycling, horse trails, fly fishing, rough shooting and other adventure activities.