If you’re hoping to go away over the Christmas period, now is the time to plan. Surprisingly, the perfect getaway may be right on your doorstep! Breaks in Wales can offer stunning winter scenery, surprising places to stay and great times with family and friends.
Where to stay
With so many pretty towns and villages in North Wales, there’s a huge range of unusual, surprising and luxurious places to stay in the Welsh countryside. Porthmadog is a quaint port town also known as the gateway to Snowdonia National Park, where you can take in over 850 square miles of snowy mountains and forests. There are plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts and hostels to choose from.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, further in to the National Park are several campsites, taking you right into the thick of Snowdonia’s incredible landscape. For the less intrepid, Snowdonia also has several ‘glamping’ sites, which include heated yurts, hot tubs and even televisions, for a cosy Christmas at one with nature
What to do
Breaks in Wales wouldn’t be the same without taking in the stunning scenery. There are a number of breathtaking hiking trails around Snowdonia National Park, filled with Christmassy magic and mystery. The Llyn Ogwen circular walk is perfect for kids or those after a relaxing stroll. With superb views of Tryfan and the Glyderau and no hills, this walk is a great way to experience the drama of Snowdonia without tackling the mountain summits. What’s more, according to legends the trail passes the lake where Excalibur, the mythical sword of King Arthur, lies to this day.
If you’re looking for a more intrepid Christmas break, Snowdonia National Park also boasts thrilling mountain climbing trails. Expert guides can take you around some of the most challenging routes in the UK, teaching you how to wield ice-axes and crampons amidst the astonishing views atop Britain’s second tallest mountain.
If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, a Christmas break in North Wales also offers some quirky festive activities and traditions. Although it’s probably a bit cold for surfing in the Irish Sea around Christmas time, Surf Snowdonia hold a cool, contemporary Christmas market every year with mulled wine, a hog roast, live music and a Santa’s grotto.
While you’re here, also keep an eye out for some of the ancient Welsh Christmas traditions, inspired by the country’s Druid past. Springing up across Wales are re-enactments of ‘Mari Lwyd’, or Grey Mare processions. Featuring a full cast of characters in traditional costumes playing drums and tambourines – alongside the mysterious Grey Mare – these Christmas customs will certainly be like nothing you’ve seen before!
Where to eat and drink
There’s a huge range of great restaurants, busy bars and cosy pubs across the region to keep you in the Christmas spirit. For those looking for something truly traditional with crisp linen and a fine dining feel, the Michelin-starred Plas Bodegroes Restaurant in Pwllheli has a stunning menu using only the best fresh Welsh produce.
For those looking for something low-key, cosy and family-friendly, nestled right in the heart of the National Park is Pen-Y-Gwryd. Serving a delicious menu of traditional pub food, this country pub and hotel is the perfect stop to warm up by the fire after a wintery walk.
With all the winter time magic the Welsh countryside has to offer, accommodation fills up fast. So you can start looking forward to your perfect festive break in Wales, book now.