Love in Wales is twice as nice

Dwynwen-dayBrrr, baby, it’s cold outside but what better way to heat things up than to start planning a Valentines break to remember? It’s that time of year again when lovers everywhere begin thinking of ways to woo.

But did you know, Welsh romantics have two opportunities to get loved-up every year? As well as the ubiquitous St Valentine, Wales has its very own patron saint of love – St Dwynwen. Relatively unknown outside her Celtic homeland, this love-lorn medieval princess gained popularity in the 1960s, making January the 25th a firm fixture on the calendars of lovers the world over.

With St Dwynwen, we’ve just doubled your reasons for choosing the Royal Victoria as the perfect romantic getaway. Not only that, but this year Valentine’s and Dwynwen’s Day fall on or close to a weekend, making them the ideal excuse for a long weekend too!

What’s more, if you’re planning to surprise your other half during your romantic break at the Royal Victoria you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to see and do. We’ve chosen our five favourite treats for lovers in North Wales – we know St Valentine and St Dwynwen would approve!

1. The island of loveLlandwyn

Llanddwyn Island, off the coast of Anglesey, is where Dwynwen reputedly lived out her days and the church dedicated to her memory can still be seen today.

Forbidden by her father to marry her true love, Dwynwen was granted three wishes by an angel. She used a wish to help her forget her lover, another pledging never to marry and, lastly, wished for God to protect all true lovers.

The little island, easily reached at low tide from Newborough Beach, is the perfect place to propose or perhaps to exchange love spoons, a traditional Welsh love token.

2. Nature’s bouquet snowdrops

If strolling arm in arm through a beautiful garden is your idea of romance, Bodnant Garden in the Conwy Valley is worth a visit any time of year but is particularly charming in the spring.

Early season blooms, including daffodils, snowdrops, tulips and primroses, pepper the grounds while snow-capped peaks make a dramatic backdrop for your close encounter.

3. The food of lovemussels

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so, ladies, treat the man in your life to an intimate meal for two at one of North Wales’s many excellent restaurants.

With regional specialities, including freshly caught seafood and locally-reared meat, as well as crowd-pleasers, like burgers and pizza, North Wales has a thriving foodie scene.

The big question is, one spoon or two?

4. Endless lovecaernarfoncastle

Treat her like a princess for a day at one of North Wales’s many castles or historic houses. Uncover the tragic love story of the Wynnes at Plas Mawr, Conwy, or embrace atop the rose-tinted walls of Caernarfon Castle.

Closer to home, Llanberis has its very own fortress too. The ruins of Dolbadarn Castle stand sentinel over Lyn Padarn. Boasting epic views, it’s the perfect place for a knight to win his lady and pop the question.

5. Love is in the airZipWorld

For adrenaline lovers, what better way to demonstrate your love than to take a leap of faith together? Daredevil couples can ride a ‘his n’ hers’ zip line at Zip World in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Reaching speeds of up to 100mph, it’s certainly a unique way to show your commitment to each other, while experiencing one of Snowdonia’s most popular tourist attractions!

The Royal Victoria Hotel looks forward to welcoming lovers on both St Dwynwen’s and Valentines weekends but we advise you to book early to avoid disappointment. We really want to say ‘I do’ to you!

Escape to North Wales for Winter Adventure

Winter light on Llyn Llydaw on Snowdon, by Kris Williams

Winter light on Llyn Llydaw on Snowdon, by Kris Williams

Winter in North Wales is a spectacular sight. Dramatic scenery and mountain tops dusted with ice and snow create truly unforgettable views, offering a welcome distraction from stresses of everyday life. If you are in need of some inspiration, or want a festive day out to get you in the holiday mood, why not try one of these activities during your stay?

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway Santa Trains

Visiting with children? If you fancy an alternative to queuing up to visit Santa’s grotto, why not treat the family to the magical experience of the Ffestiniog Railway Victorian Santa Train? There is nothing else quite like travelling by steam train through the snow-capped mountains and striking winter landscapes of Snowdonia. Santa and his elves pass through the carriages during the journey, handing gifts out to all the children and bringing plenty of festive cheer.

Trains run between Porthmadog and Tan y Bwlch as well as Caernarfon and Waunfawr.

Dates: 12th/13th, 19/20th and 22nd/23rd Dec. Click here for more information

Kick off your New Year with an Adventure in North Wales

2016 is The Year of Adventure in Wales so if you are visiting the area in January, why not try out one of many fantastic adrenaline adventure attractions that the region boasts to give your New Year a real boost. The year of adventure is all about trying something completely different and creating a personal sense of challenge. Why not plan your very own year of adventure for 2016 and start it off right here in Wales? We have mile long zip lines, exhilarating rib rides, cave adventures and castles to explore, coastal walks and mountain bike trails, so there is something for all ages and interests!

Zip World caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, is a great attraction unlike anything you’ll ever have experienced before. A series of zip lines that pass through 140 year old slate caverns with an obstacle course to tackle as well. Navigate your way through tunnels and along underground rock faces. This subterranean adventure is an ideal winter activity for the whole family.

If none of those take your fancy, keep it simple by taking a brisk beach walk (with no-one else around!) or a peaceful lakeside ramble whilst on your win

ter escape here in North Wales. Try Llanddwyn beach on Anglesey’s western coast, with a mixture of forest trails, sand dunes and miles of beautiful beach, it’s a great place to blow away the cobwebs! After a day braving the crisp winter air and exploring the region, you’ll find no shortage of pubs and eateries offering a warm welcome and a cosy open fire. Grab yourself a pint of Welsh ale, sit back, relax and warm your toes.

What are your favourite things to do here in North Wales during the winter season?