Ten Welsh Hotels with Walks
by Adrian Mourby (July 2012)
To me Wales is synonymous with walking. I was once told the principality would be bigger than England if it were flattened out. Certainly there are plenty of hills to clamber up and valleys to saunter down, something that made Welsh tourism take off big time in the early nineteenth century, when the Napoleonic Wars stopped English gentlemen travelling to Switzerland for mountain views. These days there are plenty of urban walks to enjoy as well. Wales has redeveloped its docklands and turned small towns into heritage trails. Many hotels will recommend local walks but here are a few to get you started. Just remember to take an umbrella.
Showing below are all 9 records in "Ten Welsh Hotels with Walks"
Somerset Place, Swansea
Turn left out of Morgans and head through Burrows Place to Swansea’s refurbished dockland. Gloucester Place has been restored to look like the “lovely, ugly town” of Dylan Thomas’ childhood. As you reach the docks – now known as the Maritime Quarter - there’s a statue of the man himself seated next to the National Waterfront Museum and the Old Pump House.
Coming out of the hotel, head uphill towards Flemish Heights. There’s a fine view across Carmarthen Bay to the Cistercian island of Caldey. The old army firing range ahead was built in the nineteenth century and trained troops for World War II. Below there are marked public footpaths through the golf course to the beach and the town of Tenby.
Walk downhill from the Crown and you’ll be heading towards the Wye and the border between England and Wales. It actually runs through this picturesque river. Turn left up the river towards Monmouth and after a boggy three-mile walk you’ll come to the Boat Inn with open fires and a good view of the massive old railway bridge— and a rewarding pint.
Havannah Street, Cardiff
There’s an unmissable walk from St David´s Hotel & Spa all the way round Cardiff Bay. This 1990s dockland redevelopment is Cardiff’s playground. Enroute take in Techniquest, the old port building that is now Harry Ramsden’s Chip Shop, the Pierhead Building, the Bosphorus restaurant, the Wales Millennium Centre, the Welsh Assembly and a reconstruction of the Norwegian Church where Roald Dahl was baptised.
When Sir Bernard Ashley bought Llangoed Hall, he set about recreating the experience of an Edwardian Country House weekend. Croquet, cream teas and a panelled billiard room add to the effect. So does the gentle walk through the grounds down to the River Wye and a picturesque barn that you can’t help feeling was put there for guests to photograph.
One of the most unusual walks from any Welsh hotel runs down from Castell Deudraeth and round the fantasy Italianate village built by architect Sir Clough Williams Ellis. Used in the TV series The Prisoner, Portmeirion is a stylish collection of buildings and architectural features brought together by Sir Clough. There’s even a concrete sailing ship moored in the harbour.
Follow the path out past the tennis courts of this peaceful hotel to a narrow hedged lane. Turn to your right and you’ll enjoy sea views down as far as St Non’s Retreat. A small chapel and a well here commemorate St David’s mother and there’s a gorgeous seaview south across St Non’s Bay. Come here for the sunset too.
Falcondale Drive, Lampeter
Falcondale House was remodelled in the “Italian Style” in 1859 after the owners had honeymooned in Italy. A lake was added nearby in the 1880s for boating and fishing. These days there’s a pleasant walk to be had turning north along the Lampeter Road and then right down the lane to Falcondale Lake, one of the most romantic spots in mid Wales.
This Victorian hall is an excellent base for walking in the stunning Snowdonia National Park and along the Mawddach Estuary, but with 21 acres of landscaped garden there’s plenty of scope to stroll around the grounds too. Azaleas and rhododendrons line a circular route round the hotel’s lake where 57 species of bird were spotted in one month alone during the summer of 2012.
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