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

Pets welcome at The Falcondale

Frolicking in the Cambrian Mountains with your pet

Having written a piece on places to take your dog on the coast, we thought that you should also be aware of the fabulous Cambrian Mountains that is on our doorstep

Cambrian Mountains

Taking your dog for a walk in the countryside at this time of year can be a little risky when there’s lambs and calves around. The mothers can be quite scary when defending their young. It’s important to be respectful and head to somewhere that you can relax and enjoy with your best friend scurrying around beside you.

We would recommend the Hafod Estate!

Hafod Estate Hafod Estate

Hafod Estate

From the Falcondale head north to Tregaron and 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.

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…

Hafod estate guide book

Coed Hafod walk

We would recommend the Coed Hafod walk as it’s a circular route, taking approx. 1 hour to complete. Spring is the absolute best time as the wildlife will be particularly colourful. We are certain that both you and your pooch will be thrilled with its wooded areas and views to the distant hills.

We suggest that you take a packed lunch with you should you wish to stay all day, and after a bite to eat try out the Lady’s walk.

Lady’s walk

On hot days, if you (or fido) would like a little dip to cool off the Lady’s walk will take you alongside the stream that runs through the estate. A perfect opportunity to also see the spectacular Peiran’s falls.

Pets welcome at The Falcondale

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 and the Cambrian Mountains today. Find out more about our selection of rooms or book a room now.

*Free stay for dogs only during National Pet Month

PETS WELCOME

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