From antique yurts to Hobbit tents to cavalry domes, Wales is a country full of quirky places to stay
Or let there be lighthouses, to be more precise. The strikingly rotund West Usk Lighthouse, near Newport, was built in 1821 and once protected travellers along the treacherous stretch where the Usk and the Severn flow into the sea. Not only has it been lovingly restored, it has an added surprise for guests in the form of a dalek guarding the bottom of the stairs.
The fortress-like Llandudno lighthouse is within the Great Orme Country Park and is perched on the edge of a 100-metre drop into the sea below. The splendid Canadian pine panelling gives an air of gentleman’s club to this grand bed & breakfast.
We haven’t done the maths on this, but there seem to be as many Medieval castles, ancient forts and Neolithic settlements in Wales as there are hotels. As a matter of fact, some of those ancient buildings are hotels. The 13th century Gate House near Chepstow and the Tudor courtyard house of Gwydir Castle are just a couple of examples. Fortunately the food and the bedding are among the facilities that have been significantly upgraded in the intervening centuries.Visit Wales
There are 50 islands in Wales and you can stay on quite a few of them. Bardsey Island, off the coast of the Llŷn Peninsula, is a place of religious pilgrimage as well as a National Nature Reserve and a site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s only 1.5 miles long and half a mile across and there’s a fair chance you’ll spot dolphins and seals.
Skomer Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire is a fraction bigger and is also teeming with wildlife, including the Atlantic Puffin and the Manx Shearwater, as well as being the location of prehistoric houses and a stone circle.
Farming has been an important part of Welsh culture and community for centuries and it remains a vital part of the economy. You can stay at dozens of working farms throughout the country in a mixture of bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation. Not only does it offer you a special insight into the nature of Wales, you’ll never taste fresher milk and eggs anywhere in the world.Farm Stay
A luxury holiday cottage with a difference, Llancayo Windmill is a contemporary restoration of a 19th century windmill in the Monmouthshire countryside, with room for 12 guests on five floors. The mill is no longer in use, but nobody seems to have informed Mother Nature and the wind still blows as fresh as ever.
Looking for somewhere a little bit special to stay? See the Visit Wales website for lots of ideas for romantic breaks
All photos © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales