Sculpture heaven

Best romantic places in Ceredigion

We’ve looked at the top 9 romantic places to visit in Ceredigion, a chance to explore the area with your loved one.

There’s nothing like a romantic mini break for spending quality time with your other half. To give you a dose of inspiration, we’ve rounded up our top romantic places within easy driving distance of The Falcondale.

 

1.      Vale of Rheidol

Book a ticket for two on the narrow-gauge steam railway that wanders through the Rheidol valley. Hop aboard in the seaside resort of Aberystwyth and the engine will pull you up 700 feet along the hillside heading towards Devil’s bridge. At the final stop learn about the legend of Devil’s bridge, or should you be brave (and physically fit) take a walk down Jacob’s ladder and into the gorge.

An episode of tv’s Hinterland was also filmed at this location. Following your return journey take a romantic stroll along Aberystwyth’s seafront.

Vale of Rheidol railway

2.      Mwnt beach

There are numerous beaches and coves along the Cambrian bay coastline, but we believe that Mwnt is the most romantic. It’s remote location on the headland has only one building – a small white washed church. The golden sands of the beach is it’s own private cove with crashing waves and rock pools nearby. Watch-out for porpoises and dolphins that can often be seen from the shoreline.

Mwnt on the Cardigan bay coastal path

3.      Bwlch nant yr arian

The visitor centre is located at the head of a dramatic valley with walking trails and mountain biking trails leading you to the hilltops – where you can see the Cambrian Mountains up close and Cardigan Bay in the distance. Should you not be too adventurous stay in the coffee shop and view the red kite feeding spectacle (2pm GMT; 3pm BST), follow the easy barcud trail to get closer to the feeding centre. Expect to see over 150 red kites with their forked tails and swooping action.

Red Kite

4.      Sculpture heaven

A hidden gem near Rhydlewis with themed and sculpture gardens within a two and half acre plot. Wander amongst flora and fauna and discover sculpture made of wood, stone and resin from the resident artist as well as contemporary British sculptors. Smaller and larger pieces available for sale within the gallery and take advantage of their tea room with homemade cakes and a sneak peek at the workshop.

Sculpture heaven

5.      Rhiannon Gold Centre

A centre for genuine Welsh gold with unique hand-crafted designs. Their workshop creates fabulous Celtic designs using the well-regarded Welsh gold mined from the area. The centre features local Welsh artists within the gallery and has a collection of historical Celtic artefacts demonstrating the progression of visual Celtic designs. A perfect stop should you be looking for a unique gift for your partner.

Rhiannon gold centre

6.      New quay honey farm

A fun few hours can be had exploring all things “bees” at the Newquay honey farm. From watching the bees at work, exploring the hives and cold-pressing for the finished product. Before grapes were pressed for wine honey was fermented to produce mead, sample various types during your visit.

New quay honey centre

7.      Cambrian safaris

A highly recommended tour of the Cambrian Mountains via your very own guide and his trusty Land Rover Discovery.  Get collected at The Falcondale, or a pre-arranged spot and discover the wild tranquillity of Mid Wales in comfort. The area is beautifully diverse, has Instagram worthy landscapes, local history and wildlife. Whatever your particular interest your guide will take you to the very best spots!

Elan valley

8.      Adventure Beyond

How adventurous are you both? How about a leisurely canoe trip for the two of you down the river Teifi, where your professional and knowledgeable guide will not only give guidance on the activity but tell stories of sea pirates and smugglers. Picking-up the pace you could try out sea-kayaking, gorge walking or even coasteering! A most memorable and magical adventure could be arranged for the both of you to share.

Stand-up paddle boarding

9.      Twm’s Treks guided walks

What better way to explore the ruggedness of the Cambrian Mountains than with a guided walk from someone who has spent many years on it’s hills, valleys and marshes. Options include iron age hill forts, summits, coastland, nature, heritage, waterfalls and dark skies. We would suggest contacting Dafydd directly and he can make suggestions based on your interest and walking level ability – which will very possibly include welcome stops for lunch.

Bedroom 23 with bottle of Champagne

These 9 places are just our recommendations based on feedback from other guests and our own experiences. Maybe you can surprise your loved one by arranging a trip without their knowledge and bask in the envious cries of “I wish my partner was more romantic” from friends and family.

Get loved up on your next romantic trip and treat yourself and your special someone to an unforgettable couples’ getaway at The Falcondale.

ROMANTIC GETAWAY

 

Ceredigion coastal path with your dog

The Dog Blog – Mwnt

Ceredigion Beaches in October

We are now into October and I’m allowed back on the beaches in Ceredigion. With the sun shining mum decided that it was beach day and wanted to go to Mwnt.

Mwnt on the Cardigan bay coastal path

 

Dogs on the beach

Mwnt beach is around 40 mins away from the Falcondale located between Cardigan and Aberporth. After driving through the country lanes, you come to the top of the hill looking down on the beautiful sandy cove with an iconic white church on the right.

Dogs welcome on the beach

 

Ceredigion Coastline walk

I walked up Foel y Mwnt and along the coastal path where there were steps to go down to the sand. When the weathers clear you can see the mountains of Snowdonia over Cardigan bay and Mwnt is one of the best beaches to spot dolphins. I didn’t give mum a chance to look for these though as I wanted to get to the top of that hill as quick as possible, stand at the top sniffing the air and run back down dragging her along behind me.

With a café, toilets and a car park there’s all the amenities to keep everyone happy (usually involving a trip to a coffee shop) and I got to splash around in the stream by the kiosk!

A good doggie day out!

Freya signature

Pets Welcome

Dogs on the beach in Pendine

The Dog Blog – Pendine sands

Dogs on the beach

It is worth noting that from October to April the whole of the beach is accessible to dogs. Even out of this time, the only dog free zone is between the two slipways allowing the remaining six and a half miles of beach for me to play on! There is plenty of space to run around and have a proper workout with lots of other dogs to play with.

Dogs on the beach in Pendine

Pendine Sands Beach

Pendine sands beach is about 1 hour away from the Falcondale but well worth the car journey as it has a 7 mile sandy beach overlooking the Gower peninsula. During low tide the sea can be seen in the far distance allowing room for extra miles of sandy beach; this was perfect for digging holes. The weather was so lovely I even went for a little swim in the sea to cool down following my exuberant run around.  I had so much fun I decided to have a siesta next to some rocks I’d found.

Dog friendly beaches

Facilities

There are cafes, toilets, shops and plenty of parking close to the beach. Lifeguards are on duty between May and September and designated areas of the beach is popular with jet ski and windsurfers.

 

Most of the cafes and shops have water bowls outside so that I could have a drink. Bins were located in several places so any bags could be disposed of.

Dogs on the beach in Pendine

Overall a fantastic doggy day out!

Freya signature

Pets Welcome

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