Top 6 Parks in Mid and West Wales

Heading off to Wales for a short break this Summer?

Take advantage of The Falcondale hotel & restaurant Summer Dining offer and escape to many of the National parks, valleys, National trust and forests within driving distance of this central Welsh location.

Mid and West Wales takes in the counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys.

National Parks

The big National parks are well known and can easily take a whole week to explore. Here we have a few places and smaller less-known areas that you can explore within a day. Whether you are staying on a short break or a whole week there’s something for everybody to walk / cycle / hike or even a leisurely drive.

These Top 6 parks are located near the towns of Llandovery and Llandeilo in the North of Carmarthenshire, the middle (Tregaron) and North (Aberystwyth) of Ceredigion, and to Rhayader in the county of Powys. No more than 1 hour driving from The Falcondale hotel & restaurant in Lampeter.

Top 6 parks to visit in Mid Wales

All 6 destinations are within driving distance of The Falcondale hotel & restaurant – a 4-star country house hotel within a central location.

1.      Dinefwr park and Newton House (National Trust)

The estate of Dinefwr is on the outskirts of Llandeilo in the Tywi valley just half an hour from Lampeter. A destination consisting of a parkland with rare breed white cattle, an historic 1912 mansion called Newton House and a medieval castle associated with the princes of Deheubarth.

2.      Llanerchaeron (National Trust)

Located on the Lampeter to Aberaeron road, Llanerchaeron is a National Trust property which was self-sufficient in its heyday. It has its own farm, walled garden and lake that sustained 10 generations of the Lewis/Lewes family from 1634 to 1989.

The early John Nash Palladian style Georgian villa is particularly interesting, with its simple looking exterior hiding complex design features including a hidden courtyard towards the rear of the property.

Get involved on the working farm with rare Welsh breeds, or maybe take a stroll through the pleasure grounds and gardens. Either way you could spend all your day exploring this estate.

 

3.      Dolaucothi Goldmines and surrounding forest walks (National Trust)

Only 15 minutes from Lampeter the forest walk at Dolaucothi estate takes you past the river, showing off the old gardens where you can imagine ladies of the house taking a turn round the garden filled with exotic plants which can still be seen today. The walk is a round 1-mile starting from the main entrance of the gold mines, taking you past the visitors centre where you can find out more about the history of the house and goldmines, and enjoy a cup of tea and homemade cake in the tearooms.

Throughout the walk you might be able to spot kingfishers and otters along the river Cothi. Step over the bridge that was once used as the entrance to the Dolaucothi mansion and see the remains of grotto’s showing the grandeur of the gardens that once surrounded the mansion.

 

4.      Cors Caron (National Nature Reserve)

Head for the B4343 from Tregaron where you will stumble across the main car park to the side of the road. Cors Caron covers 800 hectares of wetland, raised bogs, reedbeds, woodland, streams, rivers and ponds.

Route 82 of the National Cycle Network runs alongside the reserve and with the help of some local cycling routes a circular bike ride can take you around a large section. For those on 2 legs the reserve offers signposted paths through the marshland.

It’s wild birds and animals are an attraction for twitchers amongst us with Goshawks, Red Kites, Sparrowhawks and Merlins alongside water voles, otters and aquatic plants. Remember to take your binoculars with you!

5.      Elan Valley Reservoirs (Welsh Water)

There is a total of 6 dams to visit when at the Elan Estate just 5 minutes from the town of Rhayader. Five of these are viewable from your car, therefore no matter what the weather you’re in for a treat!

Part of the rugged Cambrian Mountains an idyllic location for driving, walking or cycling. Book a ‘Ranger tour’ for and inside peak at Pen Y Garreg Dam and a guided tour of the valley and its secrets.

6.      Hafod Estate (National Resources Wales)

From Lampeter head north to Tregaron through Pontrhydfendigaid on the B4343, which is not far from Strata Florida (with its Cistercian monastery). Take your time heading northwards on this winding road with spectacular view points, through Pont-rhyd-y-groes and turn right onto the B4574, signposted to the Hafod Estate. It will take approx. 50 minutes to drive to the estate from The Falcondale and takes you through the Cambrian Mountains.

The estate covers around 200 hectares of the Ystwyth valley, including rushing streams, a chain suspension bridge, rocky gorges, gentle open parkland and narrow wooden valleys. We would recommend that you make full use of the maps found in the car park (2 x £1 coins required). They will direct you through 5 different way-marked walks of varying length and difficulty.

The predicament is knowing which to do…

Escapes and Offers at The Falcondale

 

The little things that can make a big difference when you are looking for a dog-friendly hotel.

5 Tips for a Fantastic Dog Friendly Hotel Stay in Mid-Wales

At The Falcondale, we’ve got history when it comes to hounds in our country house hotel in Lampeter. In fact, we were listed as one of the Daily Mail’s top 6 dog friendly hotels in 2016.

And more recently, we were very proud to be the Editor’s choice in the Top 10 dog friendly hotels in the Good Hotel Guide 2018. We’ve also been featured in The Evening Standard and The Independent.

So we thought we’d share some of our thoughts on the little things that can make a big difference when you are looking for a dog friendly hotel to properly pamper your pooch.

Plenty of treats

A good dog friendly hotel should offer pampered pooches some tasty treats when they arrive.

You’ll want your four-legged travelling companion to be looked after as well as you.

Find out what doggy treats are on offer to canine guests and make sure the hotel can help you with the basics.

At The Falcondale, we present every dog with a cosy blanket, water bowl and tasty treat – everything you’d expect at a truly dog friendly hotel. If you should forget something, there’s everything from poo bags and spare leads, to towels and dog food on offer.

Walkies!

Find a dog friendly hotel with plenty of opportunities for walking, preferably with a dog friendly beach nearby.

Find a hotel with expansive grounds and surrounding countryside and do a bit of research beforehand to find nearby walks for adventurous pups.

With 14 acres of land right on our doorstep, as well as circular walks, the coastal footpath, wooded and forestry walks, hilltop walks and dog friendly beaches, there’s plenty to keep you and your dog busy!

We’ll even give you a torch for late-night or early-morning strolls.

Doggy delicacies

A dog friendly hotel will have designated areas where dogs and their owners can sit together and eat.

While the majority of hotels won’t allow dogs into their restaurants (ourselves included), many will have designated areas where dogs are welcome and owners can sit down for food.

Find out where these are so that you can plan your mealtimes in advance.

At The Falcondale, we have our own canine menu and they can eat beside you in the conservatory before napping in front of the fire in the lounge.

Most hotels should be able to store fresh meat or titbits in their freezer or refrigerator. We can offer this, so long as the food is suitably packaged.

Furry friends

The Falcondale's resident dog, Snoopy, loves to greet our four-legged guests.

You’d expect any dog friendly hotel to at least have their own resident pooch.

Our Cocker Spaniel, Snoopy, loves to welcome any four-legged guests!

The local residents of the surrounding area also like to walk their dogs on the hotel drive, so there should be plenty of friendly furry faces to “sniff out”.

Your pooch stays free at our dog friendly hotel!*

Your furry friends will always be welcome when they check in at our dog friendly hotel.

The best news of all is that, during National Pet Month, pets can stay for free!

All other times it’s just £10 per night for your dog to stay with you.

Come and experience our dog friendly hotel today. Find out more about our selection of rooms or book a room now.

*Free stay for dogs only during National Pet Month

PET FRIENDLY

A guide to organising a dog-friendly wedding

A Bride’s Best Friend: Our Guide to Organising a Dog Friendly Wedding

On your wedding day, you should be surrounded by your friends and family. And sometimes, that includes your furry friends too.

24% of people in the UK have a dog, and as a nation that goes weak at the knees for a furry face, it’s becoming increasingly common for our dogs to play a role in our wedding days.

At The Falcondale, we’re big dog lovers, so we’re always pleased to welcome canine visitors to our Ceredigion wedding venue.

As such, we’re exploring the roles that your four-legged friend can play in your special day and how you can organise a dog friendly wedding.

Man’s best friend

No dog friendly wedding is complete without a canine ring bearer-simply attach the ring to your pooch's collar and away you go.

Let your pooch play a key role in the groom’s party as ring bearer. You can have your wedding rings attached to the collar, ensuring that your dog is a big part of your ceremony.

Of course, brides need to be prepared to be upstaged; there’s simply no competing with your four-legged friend if they’re wearing jewellery!

Pooch paparazzi

Let your pooch take centre stage in some of the photos at your dog friendly wedding

It goes without saying that your dog should take centre stage in some of your wedding photos!

Remember to let your photographer know that you’ll be including pets in your photos and they’ll be able to plan some amazing and unique photo opportunities that you can treasure forever.

Bonus points for any pooch that can rock a bow-tie at the event too.

Canine on the cake

A canine cake topper on your wedding cake can add a simple finishing touch to your dog friendly wedding

Sometimes, the smallest touches can be the sweetest.

If you’re having a traditional bride-and-groom cake topper, you could add a dog cake topper into the mix too.

It’s a simple touch which is guaranteed to raise a few smiles, and it’s something you can keep too. Maybe try to keep the real-life Fido away from the cake though!

Four-legged flower girl

A well-trained dog can act as a flower girl for your wedding

If you’re lucky enough to have a well-trained dog, you can have them act as your flower girl.

Providing your dog is comfortable, most florists are able to create small wreaths for them to wear down the aisle which creates major “aww” moments.

If your dog is a little bit excitable or easily distracted, it’s probably better to have somebody walk them down the aisle on a lead.

A dog friendly wedding can be stressful…

Even dog friendly weddings can be stressful. Make sure your pet is comfortable and relaxed

The most important thing about involving your dog in your wedding is that they are comfortable and relaxed.

Weddings can be busy and stressful, which can cause difficulties for even the most patient of pets.

It’s worth assigning a designated person to look after your dog to ensure that they’re calm and relaxed when you’re mingling with other guests.

If you want to book a tour of our dog friendly wedding venue, get in touch today.

 

WEDDINGS

Horse & carriage arrival at The Falcondale

Is the Falcondale your dream wedding venue?

After finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, it makes sense that you both want to find the perfect wedding venue to fall in love with too. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and location plays a crucial role in making sure it’s extra special and memorable. We believe that our wedding venue in Mid-Wales is the ideal spot for you to embark on the next chapter of your lives together. As such, here are our top reasons why you’ll fall in love with our Mid-Wales wedding venue.

Mid Wales = location, location, location

The Welsh countryside is fast becoming one of the UK’s most sought after wedding destinations.  With its dramatic landscapes of rugged mountains contrasted with rolling green fields and serene lakes, Mid-Wales is a truly picturesque setting that lends itself perfectly to creating the fairytale wedding of your dreams.

We’re proud to be situated at the heart of the Tefi valley with impressive views of Cardigan Bay. Our Italianate mansion is Grade II listed and contrasts old world charm with contemporary luxury.

Breathtaking views of Cardiganshires countryside

Set within 14 acres of glorious grounds, our Grade II listed house and landscaped gardens are yours to explore on your wedding day. You and your wedding photographer will be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting the perfect backdrop to your wedding photos. Plus, as we’re just a stone’s throw away from some of Cardiganshire’s finest countryside, you and your partner can spend the first few days of married bliss exploring this unique part of Wales.

Luxurious accommodation

If you book a wedding with us, your guests can make a night of it and stay the night. With 17 individually designed bedrooms, there’s plenty of room for everyone, and we even welcome pets! The Victorian architecture of our rooms is tastefully offset by modern décor. Plus, most of our rooms offer breathtaking views of our private gardens for your guests to kick back and relax in this unique part of Wales after celebrating your wedding day.

The best of both worlds

Your wedding day is over in a flash, so why not make the most of it and extend your stay? Mid-Wales is private and tranquil enough for you to escape into your own little world of wedding bliss, yet there’s also plenty on our doorstep to keep you busy and active. We even have an award-winning restaurant on-site, so you needn’t go too far if you’re just looking to relax after months of wedding planning.

If you’re interested in getting married at our wedding venue, come along to our next wedding showcase or get in touch with our wedding team.

WEDDINGS

All laughs at Falcondale wedding

Creating your own winter wonderland wedding in Ceredigion

As the temperatures continue to plummet and the nights get darker, there’s no avoiding the fact that we’re now deep into the winter season. Yet, with the cold temperatures, a lot of people seem to forget that this is one of the most magical seasons to tie the knot.

With Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations just around the corner, there’s a buzz in the air and the potential for new beginnings, lending itself perfectly to wedding season. December is actually one of the most popular months for people to get married, and whilst it might be a little late to secure your 2017 wedding, there’s still plenty of time to plan for a 2018 winter wedding. We explore some of the best ways that you can transform your wedding day into a festive celebration in its own right.

Feeling the Christmas ‘spirits’

Winter is the season to eat, drink and be merry. As such, your wedding day gives you the perfect opportunity to create your own festive cocktails to celebrate your big day. Plus, if you were to get married at the Falcondale, your guests could indulge to their heart’s content without needing to worry about getting home at the end of the night. You and your guests would have access to our many luxurious rooms to sleep off the holiday hangover!

If you’re opting for a Christmas wedding, there’s no reason to go cold turkey on a Christmas-themed menu. You could keep it relatively subtle by serving guests mulled wine and mince pies upon arrival, or you could go all out and serve up a decadent Christmas themed roast for your wedding breakfast.

The devil’s in the detail

With weddings, it’s often the smallest of details that set the tone for the day. Having a wedding at Christmas time gives you the perfect opportunity to inject little elements of magic into your day without seeming too over the top. From glittered pinecones to fabulous winter blooms; this is the season of the centerpiece. You could even offer personalised Christmas baubles or crackers as place names. Your options are endless.

The colours of winter

The winter season arguably has one of the most vibrant colour palettes. With rich reds and mesmerising metallics, you won’t be stuck for inspiration. Aside from the more traditional colours, you can also consider deep berry hues as a modern way to complement winter whites. From your décor to your floral arrangements, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the perfect hues.

Wrap it up

Your Christmas presents aren’t the only thing that needs wrapping. Whilst winter weddings are undeniably beautiful, it’s important to address the elephant in the room; those winter temperatures! At our venue, we’ll do our best to keep your guests warm and toasty with our hearty log fires. When it comes to dressing, bridesmaids wearing faux fur wraps always look very chic in photographs. You could even go above and beyond and provide your guests with a blanket bucket for their use when they want to explore our grounds. It’s these little details which make a wedding truly memorable.

If a winter wonderland wedding is at the top of your Christmas list, get in touch to find out more about our venue.

WEDDINGS