Welsh Countryside and National Parks
Wales’s three National Parks and five ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ cover 23% of the country. There are over 500 lakes, 732 miles of coastline and 15,000 miles (24,140 km) of rivers to explore.
Our holiday cottages in the Swansea Valley of South Wales are in an ideal location for touring the Welsh countryside. In addition to the attractions featured on this page, visitors are free to roam 120 acres of beautiful countryside that surround our cottages.
The Gower Peninsula
(25 mins south of cottages)
The Gower Peninsula was the first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, with stunning scenery and unspoilt Blue Flag beaches. Enjoy dramatic cliff scenery as well as the beautiful countryside inland -wooded glens with brooks and streams, woods and copses of oak, sycamore and ash, whose ground offers a display of wild summer flowers.
Brecon Beacons National Park
(15 mins north of cottages)
Visitors to our holiday cottages will delight in having the Brecon Beacons on their doorstep – 520 square miles of stunning national park – remotes mountains, rolling moorlands, hidden waterfalls, cosy hamlets and sheltered valleys served by a handful of market towns where you will find some delightful country pubs.
The Vale of Neath
(15 mins east of cottages)
The Vale of Neath is well known for its range of fabulous waterfalls, nine in total, set in a stunning vista of mountains and vales. ‘Waterfall Country’, as this area is known, has long been an inspiration to many artists including Turner, who traveled her to paint, Aberdulais Falls, a site now in the ownership of the National Trust.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
(45 mins west of cottages)
Britain’s only coastal national park boasts some of the finest coastline scenery in Europe. Much of this can be enjoyed by walking along Wales’s longest footpath – the 186 mile (299 km) Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The islands off the coast are teeming with bird life. Grassholm Island has 30,000 pairs of gannets – the fourth largest population in the world.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales
(30 mins west of cottages)
The new National Botanic Garden of Wales in the Tywi Valley is the first major botanical gardens to be created in the UK for over a century. It accommodates the world’s largest single span glasshouse, 312 feet (95m) long by 180 feet (55m) wide, glazed over with 48,000 square feet (4,500 sq m ) of glass. It is sited on a 568 acre parkland area near Carmarthen.
The steep limestone cliffs north of Merthyr Tydfil are the only place in the world where you’ll see the tree known as Ley’s Whitebeam. Only 16 trees are known to exist and the species is critically endangered.
‘A Garden Lost In Time’
Featured on the BBC series ‘Aberglasney – a garden lost in time’, Aberglasney is an exceptional survival of a 16th/17th century garden of which most other examples survive only in historical documents. With its mysterious structures splendidly restored, a visit to this historic garden in the beautiful Towy Valley is an experience not to be missed.
The Gnoll Estate, Neath
The Gnoll Estate is within easy striking distance of Neath town centre. It is an early 18th century transitional landscaped garden and offers great fun and relaxation for the family. Take a stroll around the cascades, lakes, vistas and buildings or amuse the children in the grotto, children’s play area or adventure playground.
Afan Argoed Country Park in the Afan Valley, where the green slopes of the second largest forest south of the Scottish border rise steeply for more than a thousand feet is known locally as “Little Switzerland” . Among the trees are marked footpaths, nature trails and some of Britain’s best mountain biking.
“Nearly every hill, field and river in the Valleys has a story or legend attached to it”
Wales’s Finest Rhododendrons
Clyne Gardens in Swansea, 19th century landscaped gardens, laid out by the Vivian family, contain one of the UK’s finest collections of rhododendron and internationally recognised collections of Enkianthus, Pieris, together with an extremely varied bog garden, home to giant elephant rhubarb and American skunk cabbage!
Europe’s Largest Sand Dunes
The sand dune system at Merthyr Mawr on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is the largest in Europe. The sand dunes rise to over 200 feet (61metre).
The National Trust was born in Wales. In 1895 it was given its first piece of land, the 4.5 acre (1.8ha) Dinas Loeu headland (‘The Fortress of Light’) overlooking Barmouth on Cardigan Bay.
Dan Yr Ogof Caves
Our holiday cottages are a twenty minute drive from the largest collection of subterranean caverns in western europe – Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves in the upper Swansea Valley . Ogof Ffynnon Ddu is Britian’s deepest cave which decends 1,010 feet (308 m). It goes on for 26 miles, making it the second longest in Britain.