Updated March 2020
This update was completed prior to the Covid-19 restrictions in Wales. This gives you an idea of new product at that time. For further information on any of this content please contact us.
The Wales Way continues to be a focus as part of a ten year development programme to increase visitors to Wales. This one epic route includes three distinct journeys that cross the country, showcasing Wales’ fascinating history, coastlines, landscape and attractions. The Wales Way is named among the 25 best trips in the world in 2020 by National Geographic. Travel Trade friendly itineraries highlighting these routes are available.
St Fagans National Museum of History is one of seven across Wales and the museum has recently seen the biggest redevelopment in its history. It was awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2019, the most prestigious museum prize in the world. Visitors can explore life in Wales from the earliest humans to the present day at St Fagans through the national collections of history and archaeology. Currently the Vulcan Hotel, one of Cardiff’s best preserved Victorian pubs, is being re-erected on the site and will take three years to complete, serving alcohol again.
Inigo Jones Slate Works, near Caernarfon – audio tours are now available in German, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese telling the story of the origins of slate in North Wales and how its uses have evolved over the years. As a working factory, visitors you may also see the workmen crafting new and bespoke products before anyone else! There is a Craft Showroom which offers a wide collection of products, a café and a farm shop on-site.
The Royal Mint Experience offer twice-weekly VIP tours (available at other times for groups on request) taking in over 1,100 years of history with the chance to meet the experts, see a world-famous collection, discover how coins are made on the factory floor and experience the magic of the tool room. Their Mint, Mine & Vine bespoke experience includes a visit to The Royal Mint Experience, the Welsh Mining Experience and Llanerch Vineyard.
Loving Welsh Food is offering new green food tours visiting Cardiff’s eco-friendy venues and a walk through Bute Park. The tour is available for groups of up to 15 people and can be run in English, Welsh, French, Spanish, Italian and German. See website for other Cardiff food tours and workshops.
Penderyn Distillery plans to open two new sites - the Llandudno distillery is hoped to be open by 2021 and the new Swansea distillery in 2022 which will be housed in the historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks site, opposite the Liberty Stadium and home to Swansea City football club. There will be an exhibition area, shop, a tasting bar and a conference suite.
Aber Falls Distillery offers a range of award-winning, premium gins and liqueurs. Their single-malt whisky will be available from 2021. Distillery tours are offered and include master classes, lab experiences, and an opportunity to sample and purchase from the range of premium quality spirits. A new visitor centre and restaurant is due to open in 2021.
A craft spirit distillery, gin school, visitor experience, bonded warehouse and bottling plant is now open at Hensol Castle at the Vale Resort.
Greener trains (hybrid diesel) will be joining the fleet at Snowdon Mountain Railway from May 2020. They will be driven by maintenance free electric motors which will be powered by traction battery and a diesel generator. These will run alongside the traditional steam and diesel trains.
The Centre of Alternative Technology is offering new eco experiences for group travel. Expert tutors guide visitors through experiences ranging from traditional crafts and sustainable building to ecology and organic gardening. On-site accommodation, a vegetarian café and free parking for cars or coaches is provided. Bespoke workshops and tours range from one hour sessions to multi-day packages.
Historic churches and chapels are to become a key part of Wales’ tourism offer, thanks to ‘Exploring Sacred Wales’, a new project from the National Churches Trust. The website showcases the fascinating history and stunning art and architecture of 500 historic churches and chapels along and around The Wales Way.
Wanderlust Camper Co have created new campervan self-guided fully flexible 5 and 7 day tours along The Wales Way. The tours include options for airport / train station greeting or return drop-off, themed itinerary and booking advice plus campsite accommodation assistance.
Surf Snowdonia has rebranded as Adventure Parc Snowdonia and has launched a new weather-proof facility Adrenaline Indoors. In autumn / winter 2020, it will launch the first Hilton Garden Inn in Wales. With unparalleled views across the parc’s world-first inland surf lagoon and adventure hub towards the mountains-and-forests beyond, this 106-bedroom hotel is going to be a little bit special. Includes a wellbeing spa, private event and meeting spaces, and a destination-dining restaurant.
Thrill-seekers can now experience UK’s only mountain cart experience at Zip World’s ‘Quarry Karts’, at Zip World Velocity. This is the latest attraction from Zip World which has 13 adventures across three locations in North Wales and has plans to expand into the South Wales valleys with three new zip lines.
Ribride is now offering eFoil adventures on an electric surfboard that flies above a hydrofoil wing. It is silent and is charged with power from renewable sources – a great way to interact with our environment without imposing on it.
Royal Victoria Hotel has been awarded an AA rosette following a recent refurbishment of all 104 bedrooms. Eryri Bar and Lounge, and Padarn Brasserie led by head chef Aron Davies, were praised for producing unique dishes using ingredients from farms and producers in North West Wales.
Twr y Felin in St Davids is a restored and extended windmill and Wales’ first contemporary art hotel with 21 bedrooms and a two Rosette Blas Restaurant. It is passionate about its environmental impact and has recently been awarded a Green Key Award. 20 additional bedrooms are due to open in 2020. It has been shortlisted for Best Small and Exclusive Property at the 2020 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence. Being part of the Retreats Group they also offer unique breaks including, foraging, wildlife and adventure breaks. Exclusive stays are possible at Penrhiw Priory and Roch Castle and helicopter landing is an option too. (Main picture)
The family owned 4-star Dunoon Hotel, a boutique hotel in Llandudno, has expanded by refurbishing a derelict building adjacent to the original hotel and creating an extra 18 luxury bedrooms, offering 66 in total. They are pleased to work with operators dealing with groups and FITs.
The 4 star, family owned, Llechwen Hall Hotel has opened a new wing, now offering 44 bedrooms. A spa, treatment rooms and gym will open in 2020. The original building and 20 bedrooms will also undergo a refurbishment.
Llanerch Hotel, UK’s first vineyard hotel, has opened with 26 rooms and suites. It also has an award-winning restaurant, cookery school and offers wine tasting and vineyard tours. The vineyard’s existing courtyard rooms have also been refurbished.
Plas Weunydd Hotel, a new 24 bedroom hotel at Llechwedd Slate Mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog will be opening soon. It has spectacular views over the historic Llechwedd site and the Moelwyn mountain range.
The International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor Resort is now open. It includes a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 square meters, providing the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner. In addition, The Celtic Collection offers 5 hotels and lodges nearby.