Wednesday, 31 October 2018

A welsh winter wonderland

As the nights begin to draw in and the temperature continues to cool, thoughts of winter and cosy
nights around the fire are not far from one’s mind. All too often the winter months are seen as a wet
and bitterly cold time of the year, but with treats like tasty hot chocolate shared with the family,
snow days spent sledding and building snow men and the approach of the festivities of Christmas,
winter is a time of year filled with whimsy and wonder.

Christmas time is a magical time of year when families come together to celebrate and share in one
another’s company and a fantastic opportunity to take a break away from the day-to-day and visit
somewhere new. Wales for example, is a land famed for its stunning, contrasting natural scenery,
metropolitan cities and inviting local culture, which makes it the perfect destination for celebrating a
traditional Christmas Wonderland. It is an inspiring place to visit that will help you to discover
something new and magical that your entire family will remember for years to come. For those of
you looking for a little extra holiday inspiration, here are a few seasonal suggestions to really get you
into the festive news.

Getting into the Spirit

In the run up to the festive season, Christmas markets begin popping up across the UK and Wales is
no exception. It is a charming tradition and an excellent opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit,
while partaking in delicious mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and other tempting seasonal treats.
Between Thursday 15 th November and Sunday 23 rd December, Cardiff transforms itself into a
remarkable Christmas Wonderland with as many as 80 traditional stalls an impressive programme of
around 200 exhibitors that form the focal point of the Cardiff Christmas Market. The market is a
truly unique experience with a strong artisan vibe, with strong support from artists, craftspeople and
local food and drink producers. It’s a great place to find special gifts for friends and family, or to
simply enjoy a winter treat after a hard day’s winter shopping!

Visiting Santa in Style

In the run-up to Christmas, you don’t get much more festive itself than meeting Santa himself. Most
of us probably have memories of visiting Santa’s grotto at some time or another, but have you ever
thought of meeting Santa at a castle tower, on a board a steam train or even in a toy mine?
Cardiff Castle for example, is a popular destination throughout the year, but it’s iconic Black Tower is
transformed during the run up to Christmas into the city’s most inspiring Santa’s Grotto, where boys
and girls can tell Father Christmas how good they have been and what they are looking forward to
on Christmas Day. The castle’s impressive Victorian d├ęcor only adds to the charm of this unique
experience, which is a ticketed event so be sure to secure your place quickly.

Rail enthusiast might also enjoy visiting one of the 11 narrow-gauge railways that run across Wales
and are known collectively as the Great Little Trains of Wales and all operate Santa Specials during
the Christmas period. Some of these special events even feature Santa in person handing out
presents along the way, so be sure to check online at the Great Little Trains of Wales website and
hop aboard.

If you are looking for something truly unique, you could also pay a visit to Rhondda Heritage Park, a
former coal mine and current home to the Welsh Mining Experience. During the Christmas season
the mine plays host to Santa’s Toy Mine, a magical tour that begins underground taking you through
Santa’s Toy Mine, past the sweet mine, through the ice cave and eventually right to Santa’s front
door. Tours can be booked for evenings up until 8pm on selected nights and also offer a make-your-
own teddy beat workshop, photos with Santa, craft stalls and a Christmas shop, although some of
these include extra costs.

Festive Swims

One of the more eccentric traditions to have appeared during the Christmas season is the festive
swim, which sees participants braving the chilly seas around the UK on Christmas Day and Boxing or
later in celebration of New Year’s Day. With its miles on varied coastline, it is no surprise to learn
that Wales is home to its own traditional festive swims.
These include the Porthcawl Christmas Day Swim and the Tenby Boxing Day Swim. Each of these
events have a long history and attract many visitors every year – even if some of those attending are
strictly observing and not brave enough to take to the waves themselves!

Cosy Evenings Waiting for Santa

However you choose to spend your festive break, whether that be out and about in the city or
making a mad dash into the sea, you’ll appreciate a comfortable home-away from home where you
can relax with a soothing hot chocolate, warm fire and cosy bed to wait for Santa and prepare for all
of the fun and games of the festive season. Wales Cottage Holidays are a truly local holiday lettings
company that is born and bred in Wales with a team that is passionate about the area in which they

Their elves are keen to celebrate everything this amazing region has to offer, so why not drop
them a line and prepare for a unique Christmas getaway or even book your place for a summer
holiday during the warmer months?

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