Best towns in Wales for a winter hol

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  • Best towns in Wales for a winter hol
  • exsee
    Member

    Any recommendations for nice towns in Wales?
    Touristy places with an outdoorsy holiday vibe would suit

    We don’t really need nightlife but a bit of a buzz around a small or medium town would be good.
    What ya got?

    Premier Icon Alpha1653
    Subscriber

    I’d recommend Pembrokeshire, either Tenby for a bigger town, or St David’s for a smaller, quainter feel. Both are coastal so there’s a ton of stuff to do. For me though, I’d go St David’s as it gives easier options to get away from people! Downside is that there’a not much MTB in the area. If there was, it would be my favourite place in the world 😋

    rascal
    Member

    Merthyr is the only answer 👌😉

    chevychase
    Member

    Betws Y Coed.

    North Wales > South for rugged beauty. Betws is small, pretty, has pubs and restaurants, is surrounded by the biggest mountains this side of skirtland and great biking.

    25 minutes from Conwy, the castle and beaches, 20 mins from Snowdon. Penmachno, Marin, Antur Stiniog and bags of natural riding…

    …could go on. But you get my drift.

    Premier Icon lister
    Subscriber

    Yep, Tenby or St David’s. Much better than in the summer when both are rammed. You can always find a beach out of the wind in Pembrokeshire and we’ve got lots of pubs.
    Find an activity provider who will take you on a winter coasteer…it’ll be cold but it’s great fun.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Subscriber

    +1 for Betwsy. I’m there quite a lot as a base for biking (road and mtb). Loads to do, decent pubs and places to eat. Easy access to good walks, Snowdon and also the reservoir walk behind the church in the village, good hangover shaker that one.

    Premier Icon Twodogs
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    Premier Icon Esme
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    Machynlleth? The Sunday Times just had an article recommending “Mach” for a winter break. Apparently, it’s celebrated for being an arty, community-spirited town. And it’s reputation as Wales’s hippie heartland derives from the Centre for Alternative Technology, three miles north. Sounds like a Welsh version of Hebden Bridge!

    P-Jay
    Member

    I’ll stick my neck out and say Bluestone, it’s not a Town of course, it’s a resort, but it’s sort of a town within fence. It’s also pretty cheap in Winter.

    Tenby is a short drive away, accommodation is nice and there’s a couple of bars on-site.

    fossy
    Member

    Betws y Coed again. Lovely place

    nbt
    Member

    Betws is nice but I’d take Machynlleth for preference. Aberystwyth is worth a look, as is Cardigan

    nickjb
    Member

    Machynlleth for preference. Aberystwyth is worth a look,

    Mach is very nice. Has a really good community feel. Can be pretty quiet but there is enough close by to keep you busy. There is often an event as well. The comedy festival is brilliant (but that is in may)

    Aber is great. Proper town with plenty going on and quite lively at the weekend. Right now and for a little while longer the starlings are murmurating at the pier. An amazing sight. Lots more to do as well.

    Both are surrounded by good biking plus some great places to ride on the way

    ferrals
    Member

    Aberaeron also a good option on the west coast. Nice habour and shops, some nice pubs and good walks etc.

    erictwinge
    Member

    grown up holidaying on the Llyn peninsular. stayed in Aberdyfi this year for the first time.

    well impressed. wont be returning to the peninsular for a while!

    also tops for bikes!

    Pembroke +another. The way it sticks out a bit can mean better weather while the rest of Wales is mired in shite. Always used to be amazed driving up the M4 in drizzle to find perfect conditions on the coast.

    Nice bit of coast path rambling, or beach activities, then pub. Tenby is nice.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Hay on Wye?

    Premier Icon si77
    Subscriber

    Plenty of worthy suggestions above (with possibly one exception). I’ll add Monmouth or Chepstow for easy access to Forest of Dean (not in Wales I know), and the lower Wye Valley.

    Also Abergavenny or Crickhowell for proximity to Brecon beacons.

    Croeso.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I would not recommend Pembrokeshire or St David’s. The beaches are nice but the inland rest of the place is unpleasantly bleak and there’s naff all of interest. It’s just going to be wet and miserable in the winter.

    I’d suggest Snowdonia – try Beddgelert. Surrounded by mountains so even in wet weather it looks awesomely atmospheric. There are walks for all abilities and you’re more likely to get some snow. Plus it’s a beautiful village.

    Premier Icon csb
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    Hay on Wye is a good call imho. Cosy pubs and hotels, nice shops to pootle round, ace road riding, natural mtb. If there’s a cold spell a bit of relatively easy snowy hill walking nearby. And depending on where you are, its not a massive drive across Wales.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I would not recommend Pembrokeshire or St David’s. The beaches are nice but the inland rest of the place is unpleasantly bleak and there’s naff all of interest. It’s just going to be wet and miserable in the winter.

    I’d have to agree… I’m there in winter every year, including next week lol.

    Premier Icon timbog160
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    Premier Icon lister
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    I have to disagree…I live here 🙂

    Llandudno. Two beaches, busy town so restaurants and pubs, mountains…. Great little railway, the Ormes…

    ferrals
    Member

    Actually, Abergavenny area might be a good option? Only been there for races but have stayed the weekend (we actually stayed in Crickhowel, itself nice but small) and the town seems nice.. enough to occupy my wife wile I’m sliding round a muddy field anyway. Plus los of hills nearby.

    Guess it depends if you want inland or seaside.

    Marin
    Member

    Betws is awful so not there. Too many people gorming about in gear shops.

    The beaches are nice but the inland rest of the place is unpleasantly bleak

    The whole point is the coastline and related activities. It’s a bit like knocking London because the suburbs are a bit boring.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
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    If you fancy Mach, then stay in Aberdyfi by the beach and PM me and I’ll rent you my cottage (STW rates) 🙂

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview-g191275-d12091653-KYNASTON_COTTAGE_character_cottage_pet_friendly_close_to_beach_walks_and-Aberdyfi_Abe.html

    15mins from Mach

    2mins stroll from Beach for those amazing Winter empty beach walks

    Walking in the hills from the door

    Great breakfasts at the Deli

    3 Pubs to go at
    Salt Marsh is superb and 10mins drive away

    Mountain biking from the door or C-y-B, Mach and Nant all within 25-50mins

    And always Cader Idris to climb

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Again Betws is an awful place.

    Crappy outdoor shops, or gift shops, naff hotel pubs. Nothing to recommend it at all.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    +1 for Cardigan.

    It’s just going to be wet and miserable in the winter

    As opposed to wet in the summer too. Many a happy holiday at Porthcawl in the rain!

    loughor
    Member

    Swansea ? City is a dump but Mumbles is awesome, take the MTB and explore

    mikey3
    Member

    Super Hans winters in port Talbot.

    Premier Icon Twodogs
    Subscriber

    Swansea ? City is a dump but Mumbles is awesome, take the MTB and explore

    Gower is lovely too….but I’m a bit biased

    Premier Icon Spud
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    Betws or Barmouth/ Dolgellau would be my recommendation. In fact we’ve just had to cancel our NY week in Betws some clot (me) broke his leg. Has everything for a chilled week, walks from the town centre enough small shops and pubs to keep you fed and easy links to other places like Conwy etc.
    Similar can be said for Barmouth/ Dolgellau area, plenty of walking, chilling out. Some nice pubs. Also have the beach and estuary.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The whole point is the coastline and related activities. It’s a bit like knocking London because the suburbs are a bit boring.

    There’s only so much you can do on a beach. North Wales has great beaches too, but more interesting geography, better towns, mountains, forests and good biking (which Pembrokeshire does not have).

    Dolgellau is in a decent spot but is a bit of a rubbish town for visiting. Very functional but not much for the tourist.

    rascal
    Member

    Me and Mrs R stayed here about 8 years ago:

    http://www.secretgardencottages.co.uk/

    Stunning little cottage in Tremadog, 10 mins walk from Porthmadog.
    Virtually on the coast, mountains on your doorstep.
    Welsh Highland Railway goes from PM to Caernarfon – do a day trip there and have lasagne and ale at the Black Boy by the castle. From what I remember PM is quite a nice town, Tremadog has a pub that used to do an awesome pub beef curry!

    Premier Icon dove1
    Subscriber

    @exsee – I think you need to be a bit more specific with your requirements. Do you want coast, countryside or mountains? Biking, walking or relaxing?

    I love Pembrokeshire (slightly biased as my family are all there) for the beaches, small towns such as Tenby and St David’s, and the ‘boring’ inland areas that are great for walking. However, it has very little to offer in the way of MTBing.
    On the other hand I also love Snowdonia for the mountains, lakes, mountain biking and hiking.

    If you want a mix of urban and countryside, somewhere along the North Wales coast, as I found visiting Prestatyn last month you don’t need to go very far south to get a very rural feel. But it’s heck of a lot colder due to elevation and exposure up the likes of Brenig/Alwen Reservoirs at ~1450 feet right now compared to sub 200 feet near the coast!

    I’m very out of touch with how it is now given I lived there for a few years in the early 1980s, but Dolgellau/Fairbourne/Barmouth area were popular tourist towns back then, not so much in winter though.

    Machenllyth is on my list of places to visit in summer, some great hill riding from close to the train station IIRC.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Glad to hear Porthmadog mentioned. I’m staying there over new year. 👍

    exsee
    Member

    Thank you so much, Mach and Betws look interesting. We have a chunk of time so might road trip 2 or 3 of those suggestions. Thanks again all.

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