With so much beautiful countryside and a delightful sense of seclusion, mid Wales makes a wonderfully romantic escape at any time of year. In late winter and early spring however, there are other advantages: not only do the changing seasons add a beauty all of their own to the mountains and national parks, but with the holiday crowds absent you’ll feel like you have the place all to yourself. Or even better, all to yourself and just one other person. There are many romantic locations in mid Wales, but here are a few highlights, along with a tempting Lake Country House special offer for couples who could use a special break:
For flowers, poetry (and the occasional otter): Aberglasney Gardens (Carmarthen, Dyfed SA32 8QH): A harmonious blend of natural beauty and careful TLC are the secret behind this beautiful destination, the inspiration for poets and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in Wales. Surely a location for a balmy day in July though, rather than a Valentine’s Day or early spring jaunt you might think? Not necessarily: Well before the onset of “spring proper”, you’ll find flowers coming into bloom and a wonderfully rich diversity of wildlife here. The true crowd pleasers are playful otters in the pretty Pool Garden. There are also a shop and café to treat your other half to a pot of tea for two and perhaps a bouquet of flowers. More info here: www.aberglasney.org
Lights, camera, romance: The Wyeside Arts Centre (Powys, LD2 3BN): Delivering an eclectic and ever changing line up of film, music, drama and comedy performances, this hub of all things creative is an essential venue for fans of the arts in mid Wales. Highlights in February and March include Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman (Feb 4th), previous winners of the BBC folk award for Best Duo. The centre itself is always a quirky stop off, which also features varied art exhibitions and a café. Full info here: ww.wyeside.co.uk
A dammed fine day out for two: Elan Valley (Powys LD6): Rugged, beautiful countryside, a spectacular Victorian aqueduct and the backdrop of the Cambrian Mountains are among the highlights of this attractive part of mid Wales. Full of accessible history and points of interest it is also excellent for bird watching and wildlife. This is a great place to roam at any time of year, but winter has a wild charm all of its own. That said, if the weather turns nasty, you could always treat your beloved to lunch at the visitors centre. More info here: www.elanvalley.org.uk
Fit for your Queen, or King: Powis Castle and Garden (Powys, SY21 8RF): You might be some way short of affording a castle, but you could still give someone special royal treatment with a day out at this magnificent heritage site. The gardens and restaurant are open most week days, but it’s better to pick a weekend in the winter months so that you can also see inside the property. An absolute treasure trove of paintings, sculpture and period furniture, this is a great place to take anyone who would love to live in a costume drama! Full details here: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle/
Make Valentine’s Day special: Why not treat someone you love to a totally relaxing, truly romantic escape for two this year with our special Valentine’s Day package for two? A gourmet tasting menu, four course meal and selection of spa goodies are all included as part of an indulgent stay, while you could also add roses, fine chocolates or champagne to really sweep someone off their feet. Click here for further details.