European Summer is upon us and staycations or easy weekends away are high on the agenda. Wales comes alive during the summer months and is well prepared to excite and entertain with a number of unique festivals, sporting events and interesting new activities.
One can head to the brand new water sports and visitor centre at Llandegfedd Reservoir, explore the amazing underwater world at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre with a new virtual reality experience, view the first Jurassic meat-eating dinosaur ever discovered in Wales at the National Museum in Cardiff and stay at brand new accommodation including Cardigan Castle and the St Brides Spa Hotel apartments. The Welsh summer culminates with the kick-off of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Cardiff in September.
New attractions, breaks and experience
A brand new £2.5 million watersports and visitor centre opens at Llandegfedd Reservoir ahead of the summer season
A brand new multi-million pound visitor and watersports centre has opened in the heart of South East Wales ahead of the summer season. Based at Llandegfedd Reservoir, Torfaen, the lake offers water based activities including team building, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, raft building, angling and sailing for all ages, as well as six miles of scenic footpaths. The protection of the rich local wildlife has also taken centre stage, with the entire site being designated a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Following an afternoon on the lake, visitors can retire to the stylish restaurant offering a variety of home-cooked meals and snacks. Better still, all equipment is available to hire.
Virtual reality at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre launched this July
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is leading the way in innovative visitor experiences with their latest virtual reality attraction. This summer, visitors are being invited to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in New Quay to explore the amazing underwater world without even getting wet. Cardigan Bay Sea Quest is a 360 degree virtual reality experience using the very latest Oculus Rift technology, an exciting activity which launched on Saturday 11 July. The aim of the game is to explore, locate and photograph 20 marine mission items before the tank runs out of air, allowing users to get up close to a basking shark, friendly bottlenose dolphins and other rare wildlife.
Discover how salt is made on a tour of Tŷ Halen – Halen Môn’s brand new visitor centre
Tŷ Halen is a unique £1.25 million bespoke building and the new home of Halen Môn Sea Salt. Halen Môn Sea Salt is enjoyed around the world by chefs, food lovers and even the odd US president. It has been served at the London 2012 Olympics, political summits and royal weddings and is a vital ingredient in Green & Blacks chocolate and Piper’s crisps. Furthermore, Halen Môn supplies Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols as well as some of the world’s top restaurants, including The Fat Duck. Guests can enjoy tours around TŶ Halen, which offers hugely interesting perspective on salt’s place in Welsh history, culture and food, and in what makes Halen Môn Sea Salt so special. All tours include a tutored salt tasting and last approximately 50 minutes.
View the first Jurassic meat-eating dinosaur ever discovered in Wales at the National Museum in Cardiff
A fantastic new discovery has been made near Cardiff – the first Jurassic meat-eating dinosaur ever found in Wales. This new Welsh dinosaur is now on display at National Museum in Cardiff until 6 September 2015. This fascinating fossil of a theropod dinosaur was uncovered by two brothers on a beach near Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is thought that this new Welsh dinosaur was a distant cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex and lived at the very earliest part of the Jurassic period, 201 million years ago, possibly making it the oldest Jurassic dinosaur in the world.
Stay at a brand new luxury village apartment at the St Brides Spa Hotel
A luxurious new collection of modern self-catering apartments have opened in the heart of Saundersfoot village in Pembrokeshire, just minutes from the beach and around the corner from the St Brides Spa Hotel. The St Brides Village Apartments offer the same high standard as the hotel, but have been designed for those who may require a longer stay and therefore prefer extra living space and self-catering facilities – the perfect option for families. Each apartment includes a dishwasher, washer/dryer, hob, microwave and fridge/freezer for guests’ convenience, with high speed wi-fi and Netflix provided as standard. The two bedroom apartments are available from £200 per night and one bedroom apartments from £100 per night.
The newly reopened Cardigan Castle launches luxury accommodation this Summer
The newly reopened Cardigan Castle this month launches luxury accommodation. High-end meets heritage in the new B&B and self-catering apartments, located in the Georgian east wing of the Castle Green House, set in two acres of grounds. The two self-catering apartments boast a shared private courtyard, perfect for sitting out on a balmy summer night. Guests will be treated to state of the art kitchens and spacious walk-in showers or stylish tubs, along with antique furniture and exclusively designed Welsh woollen throws. The three B&B rooms are located in Ty Castell and include tea and coffee making facilities and organic luxury bath products. Guests will also receive a locally-sourced, traditional Welsh breakfast in the onsite restaurant. B&B prices start from £90 per room per night and the self-catering cottages are available from £380 per week.