Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower

The beach at Oxwich Bay routinely tops national rankings – so why walk right past it when you can hunker down and explore? Oxwich Bay Hotel sits right on the coast path and you can do superb walks west to Worms Head or east towards Three Cliffs Bay and Mumbles. You'll find this deceptively cosy hotel at the sheltered, western end of the beautiful bay, with views over the promenade towards the golden sands in front, and dunes and dense woodlands behind.

Water sports are big here, but so are mellow wildlife walks, with the Oxwich Bay national nature reserve providing ideal habitats for birds, bats and wildflowers, and plenty of grey seals and dolphins offshore.

Family walking down path beside the beach with hotel garden in background
Country road with wall and hotel garden on one side

Oxwich Bay, Gower, West Wales

Mansion House, Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

If the Llansteffan peninsula is one of South Wales’ most under-explored beauty spots, then this 19th century bolthole is something of a secret, too. Set in five acres of beautiful grounds, with sweeping views over the Tywi estuary and Carmarthen Bay, Mansion House in Llansteffan has elegant, expansive guest rooms. Do book for dinner too. Their Moryd Restaurant (awarded two AA Rosettes) serves contemporary cuisine with the accent on local provenance in a superb period dining room.

Along the coast path you'll find Llansteffan’s dramatically sited castle and National Trust-managed Wharley Point – where the Tâf, Tywi and Gwendraeth rivers meet.

Read more: 10 short walks on the Wales Coast Path

Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Ceredigion

Sometimes a small detour pays large dividends. Ynyshir, near Machynlleth, is a two Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms. The amazing tasting menu is a 20-stop flavour odyssey, making ample use of superb Welsh meats, including local Waygu beef and Fishguard duck. Be warned - they don't cater for any dietary requirements, allergies or dislikes.

Once you've eaten your fill, you can nod off in one of six stylish bedrooms in the 1750s house or one of the garden rooms which deftly combine modern and traditional touches. The 60-mile section of the Wales Coast Path in Ceredigion is one of the most varied; Aberystwyth to Ynyslas is a great day walk, encompassing clifftops, dunes and the wide mouth of the Dyfi.

Chef preparing food in an open kitchen.
A course of locally-sourced product at Ynyshir near Machynlleth.
Ynyshir, Eglwys Fach nestled between the trees - in the distance.

Michelin-starred cuisine at Ynyshir, Mid Wales

Hotel Portmeirion, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd

A fantasy world deserves a fantastic hotel. Clough Williams-Ellis, the visionary architect behind Portmeirion Village, converted this Victorian villa into a hotel in 1925. These days you'll experience a mix some of the original fixtures and fittings – including an ornate Italian fireplace – with a bar and dining room restyled by Terence Conran in 2005.

It's easy to be a bit dazzled by the built environment at the Portmeirion Hotel, but don't forget the enticing location; there’s a great seven mile walk from Min y Don, close to the Portmeirion village entrance, to Black Rock Sands. It takes in Porthmadog Cob - an 18th century seawall, rocky headlands, the pretty fishing village of Borth y Gest, and salt marshes renowned for their teeming birdlife.

Read more: 10 great reasons to walk the Wales Coast Path

An outdoor swimming pool with views over a river.

A pool with a view at Portmeirion Hotel, North Wales

The Bull Hotel, Beaumaris, Anglesey

At the heart of the Bull Hotel in Beaumaris is a cosy bar. It has barely changed since serving its first jugs of mead back in the 1400s, despite being repurposed as a military HQ during the Civil War, as a Quaker meeting room and as a place for local hunt meetings. The 13 guest rooms have original beams and indulgent baths and feature eye-catching fixtures such as the Suite’s red velvet bed.

You'll find Beaumaris Castle just two minutes’ walk away and Eryri (Snowdonia) is on the doorstep. Don't miss the fabulous coast walks to dramatic Penmon Point and into the Menai Strait. The entire Isle of Anglesey Coast Path falls within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB).

Read more: Friendly towns to visit on the Wales Coast Path

A tapestry of a black bull on a stone wall.
Interior of an old pub with comfy sofas and a bar.

Stylish interiors at the Bull in Beaumaris, Anglesey, North Wales

Bodysgallen Hotel and Spa, Llandudno, Conwy

Bodysgallen Hall in Llandudno is a historic house and gardens, just a mile from Llandudno Junction. A stately mansion, it's a wondrous one-off. You can choose from suites with four poster beds and parkland views, gorgeous rambling rose-clad cottages overlooking the 17th century parterre and romantic spa cottages in former farm buildings.

Make sure you sample the afternoon tea and fine dining served in opulent public rooms. The 5.5-mile hike around the Great Orme is a classic seaside walk, and, being paved all the way, is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.

An old mansion set in beautiful gardens from above.
An indoor swimming pool and spa area.
A three tiered stack of plates with a selection of cakes and sandwiches.

Rambling gardens surround Bodysgallen Hotel and Spa, Llandudno, North Wales

Kinmel Arms, St George, Abergele, Conwy

If you walk just two miles inland from the buzz and sea breezes of the North Wales coast, you'll find this exquisite inn and award-winning restaurant. Owners Lynn and Tim make every effort to make you feel right at home at the dog-friendly Kinmel Arms in Abergele. The interior melds cosy with arty touches, with solid oak beds, fine china tableware and vintage climbing gear hanging on the walls of the bar. Locally sourced ingredients are a big theme of the menu.

St George is a delightful proper Welsh village so do head out and explore. There’s also a great 10-mile walk along seawalls and proms from Abergele to Prestatyn.

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