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

 

Yellow springtime flowers

Top 7 things to do when it’s raining

7 things to do (or places to visit) when it’s raining

…within driving distance of The Falcondale

Spring is on it’s way! The daffodils are starting to pop-up with their golden sunshine heads, newly born lambs can be heard bleating and the dawn chorus wakes you up in the mornings.

However, we admit, the rain clouds are still around and the temperature isn’t exactly hot. So what can you do whilst staying at The Falcondale. We’ve put together some ideas of places to visit and things you can do within easy driving distance from Lampeter. Located within Ceredigion and only 2 miles from the border to Carmarthenshire and just 25 miles to the border of Pembrokeshire.

 

  1. NATIONAL WOOL MUSEUM

Dre-fach Velindre was once the heart of the Welsh wool industry and is now the place to go for everything woolly. They take you from the fleece off the sheep through to the finished product and show you how methods and industry has changed over many years.

A free entry museum with a sympathetically restored listed mill and historic machinery. Look out for workshops and specialist talks throughout the year. All you need is under cover, with a café, shop and viewing platform for the mill itself.

National Wool Museum of Wales

 

  1. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES IN ABERYSTWYTH

Guided tours of the library are available Wednesdays at 2.15pm, we would recommend booking your place as they can be sold out. You will be escorted around the library and introduced to its history and most noteworthy assets. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions on display for you to wander around including the infamous Nanteos cup – thought to be the “holy grail”.

Located in Penglais overlooking the university town of Aberystwyth spend time in the café overlooking Cardigan Bay in the distance.

National Library of Wales

 

  1. CARDIGAN CASTLE

Cardigan Castle includes a Georgian Mansion and grade II listed garden. 900 years of history is at hand to explore and discover at your leisure or with a guided tour available at 2pm each day of the week. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are located at the castle with interpretation panels and multimedia technology.

Being that the castle is located in the town of Cardigan you could combine your visit with a stroll around some of the unique traditional shops.

Cardigan Castle

 

  1. DA MHILE DISTILLERY

An organic distiller of gin and liqueurs located near the town of Llandysul. Tours only happen on Wednesdays and Fridays at 3pm, and they suggest you phone and book. It is well worth planning and taking advantage of a tour, as you are taken into the distilling room itself and get to taste the varied range available.

Located in its present location from 2012 Da Mhile have produced an orange liqueur, botanical gin and seaweed gin to great acclaim. We would also recommend visiting Teifi Farmhouse Cheese as they are located at the same farm!

Da Mhile Distillery

 

  1. LLANERCHAERON NATIONAL TRUST

Found 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. Look out for events such as their Christmas fayre, held on the 1st and 2nd December 2018.

Llanerchaeron national trust property

 

  1. NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS OF WALES

On the A48 (an extension to the M4) it’s not exactly on our doorstep but has been included as a way of extending your break by visiting on your way here or on your way home.

Home of the largest single span great glasshouse in the world and houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern hemisphere. You’ll stay dry in here as you explore the winding paths around six distinct areas of rare and some endangered species.

Within the double walled-garden you’ll find the tropical glass house which plays host to a kaleidoscope of colourful butterflies – don’t miss this gem during your visit.

National Botanical Gardens of Wales

 

  1. CAWS CENARTH CHEESE

Don’t just order your speciality cheese on-line, visit the producing process in person at Caws Cenarth’s visitor centre near the village of Cenarth. It’s best to go between 11am and 3pm from Monday to Friday to see the actual production, however the tasting of the cheese takes place during their normal opening hours.

Their delicious cheeses are showcased on The Falcondale’s own cheese boards and have won Supreme Champion in the British cheese awards. Rest assured that you will see the very highest of quality from this brand.

Caws Cenarth Cheese

3 nights for the price of 2

Stay an extra night free of charge with our Early Spring offer.

A break for couples to enjoy the beauty of Cardigan Bay and the ruggedness of the Cambrian Mountains. Whether staying mid-week or weekend the areas of Mid Wales and West Wales are full of opportunities (and some surprises).

Available for booking in February, March and April (excluding Easter weekend), full details here…

Free Night

Yellow springtime flowers

Falcondale hotel and restaurant

7 things to do in Winter

7 things to do (or places to visit) when it’s raining

…within driving distance of Lampeter

It may be colder, with a little of the wet stuff falling – however, there are things you can do when staying at The Falcondale. Located within Ceredigion and only 2 miles from the border to Carmarthenshire and just 25 miles to the border of Pembrokeshire.

We’ve put together some ideas of places to visit and things you can do within easy driving distance from Lampeter.

 

1. NATIONAL WOOL MUSEUM

Dre-fach Velindre was once the heart of the Welsh wool industry and is now the place to go for everything woolly. They take you from the fleece off the sheep through to the finished product and show you how methods and industry has changed over many years.

A free entry museum with a sympathetically restored listed mill and historic machinery. Look out for workshops and specialist talks throughout the year. All you need is under cover, with a café, shop and viewing platform for the mill itself.

National Wool Museum of Wales

 

2. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES IN ABERYSTWYTH

Guided tours of the library are available Wednesdays at 2.15pm, we would recommend booking your place as they can be sold out. You will be escorted around the library and introduced to its history and most noteworthy assets. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions on display for you to wander around including the infamous Nanteos cup – thought to be the “holy grail”.

Located in Penglais overlooking the university town of Aberystwyth spend time in the café overlooking Cardigan Bay in the distance.

National Library of Wales

 

3. CARDIGAN CASTLE

Cardigan Castle includes a Georgian Mansion and grade II listed garden. 900 years of history is at hand to explore and discover at your leisure or with a guided tour available at 2pm each day of the week. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are located at the castle with interpretation panels and multimedia technology.

Being that the castle is located in the town of Cardigan you could combine your visit with a stroll around some of the unique traditional shops.

Cardigan Castle

 

4. DA MHILE DISTILLERY

An organic distiller of gin and liqueurs located near the town of Llandysul. Tours only happen on Wednesdays and Fridays at 3pm, and they suggest you phone and book. It is well worth planning and taking advantage of a tour, as you are taken into the distilling room itself and get to taste the varied range available.

Located in its present location from 2012 Da Mhile have produced an orange liqueur, botanical gin and seaweed gin to great acclaim. We would also recommend visiting Teifi Farmhouse Cheese as they are located at the same farm!

Da Mhile Distillery

 

5. LLANERCHAERON NATIONAL TRUST

Found 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. Look out for events such as their Christmas fayre, held on the 1st and 2nd December 2018.

Llanerchaeron National Trust property

 

6. NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS OF WALES

On the A48 (an extension to the M4) it’s not exactly on our doorstep but has been included as a way of extending your break by visiting on your way here or on your way home.

Home of the largest single span great glasshouse in the world and houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern hemisphere. You’ll stay dry in here as you explore the winding paths around six distinct areas of rare and some endangered species.

Within the double walled-garden you’ll find the tropical glass house which plays host to a kaleidoscope of colourful butterflies – don’t miss this gem during your visit.

National Botanical Gardens of Wales

 

7. CAWS CENARTH CHEESE

Don’t just order your speciality cheese on-line, visit the producing process in person at Caws Cenarth’s visitor centre near the village of Cenarth. It’s best to go between 11am and 3pm from Monday to Friday to see the actual production, however the tasting of the cheese takes place during their normal opening hours.

Their delicious cheeses are showcased on The Falcondale’s own cheese boards and have won Supreme Champion in the British cheese awards. Rest assured that you will see the very highest of quality from this brand.

Caws Cenarth Cheese

 

Escapes and Offers

Take advantage of these fabulous places and book a stay with us here at The Falcondale.

Escapes & Offers

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

 

Elan Valley pen-y-garreg

August Bank Holiday in Mid Wales

Things to do on the August Bank Holiday

Have you wondered what there is to do in Mid Wales for a whole weekend?

There is plenty to do in the area that’ll take weeks to get through and so here’s our top tips of things to see and do for the August Bank Holiday.

 

WALKING Cardigan Bay Coastline

Have you tried walking the Cardigan Bay coastline yet? A good option would be to park in either Aberaeron or New Quay, catch a bus to the opposite location and walk back along the coast. Look out for dolphins as you do so.

Cardigan Bay coastline

SIGHT-SEEING Elan Valley and Abergwesyn Pass

Drive up through Tregaron to Cwmystwyth and take the single-track road towards Rhayader passing 6 of the most fabulous reservoirs and dams within Wales – part of Elan Valley. Make your way to Newbridge-on-Wye and Beulah before heading towards Abergwesyn and cross over the breath-taking Cambrian Mountains – passing the sources of the river Tywi and Teifi – and back to Tregaron. This journey is not for the faint hearted as parts of the road is single track, with many hills and valleys to pass over and through.

Elan Valley pen-y-garreg

BIRD-SPOTTING Red Kites

Take a trip to Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian in the afternoon where the red kites will be fed. A perfect opportunity to see dozens and dozens of this species that nearly died out. You could combine your visit with Cors Caron for the opportunity to see wild birds within this special nature reserve of bog and moors.

Red Kite

CAE HIR GARDENS

No matter whether you are a beginner or have the greenest of fingers Cae Hir Gardens offers a few hours of quiet solace to spend your time browsing their superb array of plants and shrubs.

Cae Hir Gardens

SHORT BREAKS AT THE FALCONDALE

Here at The Falcondale there is a 3-night August Bank Holiday package suited to explore this fabulous part of Wales.

FULL DETAILS