Green Holidays in Wales
From the rugged mountains of Snowdonia to the verdant Brecon Beacons, lakes, forest, hills, rolling farmland, pretty villages and bustling towns, Wales has so much to offer. With miles of open country, it is the perfect place to escape for a bit of isolation amidst stunning scenery, or a break by some of Britain's most beautiful beaches, such as the sandy coves of Pembrokeshire.
Quaint cottages, eco-hotels, yurts and secluded tipi camps vie for your attention and the exciting activities on offer in this wonderfully green country are endless, from simple road biking in North Wales, terrific rambling options on scenic trails across rugged landscapes to coasteering on an adventure holiday and family wildlife discovery opportunities in Snowdonia.
For tips on how to be as eco-friendly as possible, see our guide to going green in the UK and for tips on green accommodation, have a look at our guide on how to tell if a hotel is green. Here are some of the best green places to stay and holidays in Wales, all reachable by train:
Featured places to stay in Wales
Tipi- weekend from £279 - £349, mid week from £195-325, Yurts - weekend...
Bryniau Pell wknd £210 extra night £102 wk £420 Nyth y Wennol wknd £230...
Weeks: £420 to £550. Short breaks: £250 to £320 (discounts possible)
from £349 for 7 nights, or £235 Mon-Fri (based on 2 people sharing)
From £249 for a week
The eco barns each sleep a maximum of 4-7 people, and cost between £365...
From £75 per night, based on 2 people sharing
Double room £75.00 Kingsize Room £80.00
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Featured Holidays in Wales
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Featured Articles on Wales
The judges of The Times 'Green Spaces' travel awards each month select their favourite nominations. GreenTraveller's Richard Hammond is one of the...
Richard Hammond pays a vist to the Centre for Alternative Technology
Holly visits the legendary mountain biking centre in the heart of Snowdonia, North Wales.
How to travel by train and ferry to Wales
The major cities of South Wales can all be reached by train from London Paddington with First Great Western - to Newport it takes about 1hr 50 mins, Cardiff is about 2hrs and you can reach Swansea in just under 3hrs. To reach North Wales, travel from London Euston to Chester then take the Arriva Train to Bangor. For mid Wales (including the Brecon Beacons), take the Arriva train up from Newport to Abervagenny. If you wish to travel to South Wales, travel to Newport, then take the train to Milford Haven.
There are regular ferry services from Ireland to Holyhead (North Wales) and Fishguard and Pembroke (both Southwest Wales) plus there is a new ferry service between Cork and Swansea (South Wales). Our detailed journey planner shows where to change, prices, timetables, journey times and how to book tickets. Click on the links below for the following journeys:
More places to stay in Wales
3 nights in peak season £312, low season 4 nights £252
3 night weekend or Monday-Friday £250 or £300 July/Aug/Christmas, 7 nights Fri -Fri £450 or £520 July/Aug/Christmas
£217 - £377 - 2 night stay, £492 - £972 - 7 stay
Owners, Bethan and Pryderi sensibly discourage cars from parking in the field where these 3 innovative geodesic domes are situated, looking like a high-tech space station on a Welsh sheep farm. You carry your luggage and provisions in a wheelbarrow to your dome-away-from-home. Inside the white canvas and see-thru structure there’s a sturdy wooden bed, small wood-burning stove, two single futons, wind-up radio and bedside lamp. Outside, there’s a picnic table and barbecue. You share kitchen and bathroom facilities, including a composting loo (and a flush one), with others and the farm with clucking chickens and bleating sheep.
The Hilary 4 Star Guest House
A quiet and peaceful family owned and run guest house in a peaceful tree lined avenue. With a beautiful garden, amazingly comfy beds and delicious breakfasts- including the world famous fried bread. Near to the town centre, beaches and the theatre. Rooms: 8 ensuite: 6 double/ king size, 2 twins. Single occupancy Price: £65 - £85 per room per night. Breakfast included. Reduction for single occupancy
Bag yourself a pitch at the highest point and you’re guaranteed sea views, but no matter where you set up tent on this gently hilly site, the views over surrounding countryside are superb. The Cors Dyfi reserve is just a few minutes’ walk, although the campsite has it’s own community of feathered friends and a hide for ultra keen twitchers. There’s also a well-stocked fishing pool and children’s playground. Tents from £7.50 per night.
Llwyndyrus Farm Spa Holidays
Five old stone cottages ranging from a cute as a button 16th century ‘maternity’ barn (yes, really) to a stable block have been luxuriously updated for human occupants, sleeping from two to seven. Log-burning stoves, underfloor heating, old A-frame beams, exposed stone walls and pure cosiness are the order of the day on this 200-acre working farm, a short and easy distance from an A road and a few miles from the south coast of the Llŷn peninsula. If the beauty and distant views of Snowdon aren’t enough to help you unwind, there’s a spa – a wooden building under beech trees - where you can be pampered with expert massage treatments.
The Old Rectory
This fine Georgian house in three acres, was home to the rectors of Boduan in the early 18th century. Today it is the home of Gary and Lindsay Ashcroft, who will bless you with a friendly welcome. There are three comfortable bedrooms as well as a separate self-catering two-bedroom cottage with its own south-facing garden, inglenook fireplace, fitted kitchen and laundry. While there are no longer any dog-collars to be seen, dogs are welcome, but, understandably, not inside the property: there’s a kennel and area set aside for them in the grounds. A regular bus from Pwllheli stops just 50 metres from the property.
This smallholding is set in a beautiful piece of countryside overlooking the Preseli mountains. Not only does the site offer up a truly green organic B&B (run entirely from alternative energy sources), but also a traditional 'green' camping site, complete with on site recycling and composting facilities, and a fantastic log cabin that offers great views out over the Preseli Hills. Another of the long list of the camp's impressive aims is to offset the carbon used in getting here, plus you'll find that both the B&B and lodge are heated using locally-sourced wood. And if you were thinking that things couldn't possibly get any greener, you can even sign up for a beginner's gardening course with emphasis placed on ethical and responsible practices.
The closest railway station is Clunderwen. From there, take the 430 bus too Blaenffos. Route 82 on the National Cycle Network is nearby.
Rubbing shoulders with the RBPB Ynyshir reserve is the Georgian Plas Mawr B&B, with a cheerful cherry-red front door and window boxes spilling flowers in summer. The three rooms are individually furnished; one double has views overlooking the reserve. The B&B is geared up for walkers and cyclists, with drying facilities for wet gear; even canoeists are catered for with a lockable storage available for canoes and paddles. The full Welsh breakfast includes local sausages and bacon and home-grown veggies, and they have an environmental policy on their website which gives details of their green endeavours. From £80 per night for two.
Kiln Park Holiday Park
Just a pebble's throw from Tenby's Blue Flag South beach, Kiln Park is a fantastic place to bring children, with outdoor and indoor pools, archery and fencing coaching and fantastic National Park Ranger Walks. With a selection of self-catering and adapted holiday homes, this is also an ideal base for family trips into the historic seaside town of Tenby, with its winding streets and bustling harbour. Along with Lydstep Beach Holiday Park, Kiln Park is part of Haven Holidays, which as been awarded Silver by the GTBS.
Take the train to Manorbier Railway Station. From there, take the 349 bus to Knowling Mead. Nearby is Route 4 on the National Cycle Network.
Yr Helfa Bunkhouse
At the foot of Snowdon and with soaring mountain views in all directions is this traditional stone bunkhouse, recently renovated to provide accommodation for 18 people. Inside, it’s simple and spacious, with underfloor heating, whitewashed walls, exposed stone, and wooden bunks. The setting is stunning and there’s a half-mile walk from the car park to the bunkhouse, which only adds to the feeling of blissful isolation. Walking, climbing, biking, canoeing are all practically on your doorstep. Whole bunkhouse £150 per night; individual bookings £12 per person per night.
Centre for Alternative Technology
CAT is an internationally renowned visitor centre, research and residential centre, entirely powered solely by wind, solar and hydro technology. Covering all aspects of green living - from woodland management to renewal energy and environmental building - the centre runs courses on sustainable living, as well as educational programmes for schools and graduate training programmes. There are seven acres of interactive displays, and a shop and vegetarian restaurant on site. There are also two eco cabins on site – hot water is heated by the woodstove or solar panels, and wind and water turbines provide electricity.
Living Room Treehouse
You are carried – from the woodland floor to the tree canopy – via a sweeping spiral staircase: an architectural wonder in wood. Stripped branches are knotted together to create wonderfully wonky fences, their knobbly imperfections contrasting beautifully against the sleek, modern pods. Inside, the Hobbit-esque tree houses are neatly divided into living and sleeping quarters with portholes and glass doors, wood-burners for cosy evenings, and Scandinavian-inspired beds and chairs. From £339 for two nights.
Hafod Elwy Hall
This centuries-old house – the name goes back to at least 1334 – is crammed with original features (slate floors, fireplaces, archways) and is set in beautiful open countryside against the backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains. Bedrooms have four-posters, cast-iron baths, Edwardian bathrooms. At breakfast you’ll feast on eggs, sausages and bacon from their home-reared animals. They are committed to reducing their impact – their turbine provides much of their electricity, they have high-spec insulation, and rooms are heated by carbon-neutral wood stoves – and have won many awards for their efforts. You’re surrounded by spectacular scenery for walking, cycling, bird watching and horse-riding. Doubles from £75.
Trellyn Woodland Camping
The ultimate Pembrokeshire camping experience, Trellyn is home to not only five separate camping pitches but also two yurts, an innovative dome and, new to 2012, a 'Dragon tipi'. This means you're sure to find something to tempt you whatever type of camping holiday you're looking for. Those searching for a decidedly luxury experience should head down to the 'Starlight Sailor' yurt, which boasts a solid oak floor, internal kitchen and cosy wood burner. The dome is equally impressive and was constructed out of rejected timber from an Oak kitchen manufacturer. If you're looking to set up your own tent the 'Lower Meadow' pitch overlooks the beach and has private access down into the local village. Also, don't miss the chance to join in with one of the owners' bushcraft courses, which cost £12 per person for a three-hour course.
The nearest railway station is Fishguard & Goodwick. From the station, take the 404 bus to Abercastle. Abercastle also lies on Route 4 of the National Cycle Network.
Explore Wales with Welsh Road Trips
Explore Wales with Welsh Road Trips: Travel through wild and beautiful countryside by foot, rail, bike, car or electric car. Enjoy a 6 night break of dinner, bed and breakfast (2 nights at each premises: Lasswade Country House. The Old Vicarage in Dolfor and Westview Guest House) Sample local food and wine whilst staying in quality eco-friendly comfort.
Price: £625 per person full board Depart: 2 April – 30 October 2015
The Dunoon Hotel
A lovely hotel with a touch of old Victorian charm, with oak-panelled rooms, an unpretentious restaurant serving good, honest food, and fifty individual rooms. The staff pride themselves on unfussy yet attentive service and you won’t find any gyms, saunas or pools here: relaxation is the key word at The Dunoon, their 'leisure facilities' are their armchairs, so kick back in one with the papers and let the afternoon saunter by. Mountains, beaches, forests, rivers, as well as National Trust properties, steam railways and pretty Welsh villages are all close by. Doubles from £106.
A secluded and family-friendly campsite tucked away in the quiet hamlet of Llanreithan, near St Davids and just a stone's throw from the rugged northern coast. The campsite offers a sheltered three acre field that has eight designated pitches - each with its own campfire place and picnic table, and an additional six secluded pitches dotted around the 52 acre sheep farm. All are a good distance from the nearest road, offering plenty of peace and quiet. As well as these pitches, guests also have the chance to stay in one of four luxury camping yurts, Each yurt has a separate, covered outside kitchen tent, with cooker, all utensils and picnic table available between May and September, providing a luxurious alternative in the same stunning location. There’s a wood-fired pizza oven and ‘pizza night’ is a weekly ritual.
A cosy terraced cottage only a stone's throw from the sandy shores of Broad Haven. Comfortably sleeping 5 people in two bedrooms, the property boasts a fully-equipped kitchen and an enclosed courtyard. You'll also spy solar panels on the roof, which tell something of the property's green credentials. The village is in an ideal location for those looking to explore the National Park's coastal footpaths, or to simply take short sunset strolls along the beach. Head a little further afield and you'll find the beaches of Little Haven, Nolton Haven and Newgale.
This Georgian manor house, with wisteria and roses climbing the wrought iron columns of its dainty, slate-roofed verandah, is a picture of elegance. Over its 25 years, this romantic ‘restaurant with rooms’ has won many prestigious awards for fine dining – featuring local and sustainable produce. There are even Welsh wines in its 400-strong wine list. So, after your meal of, say, roast loin of Welsh mountain lamb with devilled kidneys followed by bara brith and butter pudding with Welsh whisky ice cream, you’ll be ready to climb the stairs to bed in one of the eleven rooms, all with pretty garden views.
Mill Haven Place
Any real lover of the great outdoors will feel immediately at home at Mill Haven Place, a site just one mile from the Pembrokeshire Coast path. Whether you're looking for a cosy traditional cottage, a fully-furnished yurt or a patch of land for your own tent or motorhome, the owners can pretty much guarantee a comfortable stay. As well as the region's famous path, you'll also be just a short distance from the likes of Little Haven, Broad Haven, Marloes and Newgale. You should also make plenty of time for walking, cycling, horeriding on the beach, surfing and even coasteering on the nearby coast.
It's hard to believe that Hen Glyn was once considered derelict. Having been restored using largely sustainable materials, this Grade II listed cottage now effortlessly combines the modern and the traditional, with original 18th century wooden beams and panelling decorating the otherwise contemporary interiors. Sleeping up to 4, this is also easily one of the best accommodations in the region for walkers; the farm has some 230 acres to explore, while countless way-marked routes start right on the doorstep. In the evenings, rest your weary legs in Hen Glyn's heated outdoor hot tub and gaze out over the surrounding hillside.
Two pretty stone holiday cottages – Helygen and Eithinog – sit side by side with fabulous views over the Cambrian Mountains; perfectly placed for walkers and those wishing to visit Dyfi's nature reserves and coast. Inside, you'll find gleaming wooden floors and spacious open-plan living areas with cosy wood-burning stoves; generous bedrooms have chunky wooden beds and rolling green views. You're spoilt for choice for things to do in the area: explore the surrounding countryside on foot, head to the coast or, if you can't tear yourself away, sit back and soak up those views from the comfort of your cottage.
Priory Mill Farm and Campsite
Dating back to the 16th Century, Priory Mill Farm is only a five minute walk from Brecon and is perched alongside the beautiful River Honddu. While still in the process of renovating a collection of traditional stone buildings, owners Noel and Susie have opened a small, low-impact campsite in a nearby meadow. Locally produced charcoal and firewood is provided so that guests can sit around the fire at night and listen to the river drift pass. Showers and washrooms come in the form of bow-roofed, cedar-boarded cabins that are insulated with sheepswool. The owners are keen to maintain the unspoilt beauty of the site so there's a big emphasis on recycling, as well as a limit on light pollution at night.
Carrog Farm Cottages
Three old stone buildings, once the milking parlour and stables of this working family farm, have been converted into comfortable, airy accommodation for four, six or eight people. Original stone walls, large beams, 19th century graffiti, rooms big enough for a horse and cart and crogloffts – where barley was stored - remind us of the past, while underfloor heating, spacious bathrooms and sleek kitchens bring us, luxuriously, into the present. Sit outside on your patio, with a slice of bara brith from the welcome hamper and count yourself lucky. On clear days you can see across the fields and sea to Ireland.
The Ship Hotel
Just a few metres from the beach, this small hotel and village inn run by the Harrison family, has nine rooms. Some have sea views across to the Gwylan islands and Aberdaron Bay. The rooms are tastefully decorated in warm and neutral colours, with coffee and tea-making facilities and wi-fi. After a day hiking the coast path or a boat trip across to Bardsey Island, you can relax and unwind with good food. There’s a restaurant with an open-fire where you can dine on award-winning locally farmed crab or lobster caught by the multi-tasking Harrison family.
A boat-washing area, hard standing for caravans, neat borders of geraniums… The Willows is a squeaky clean caravan and camping site with extensive views over fields to sea and mountains. Priding themselves on peacefulness, owners Anna and Miles ban groups. This is not a site for those who want to sing campfire songs. If, however, you value tranquillity, considerate fellow-campers and everything just-so, this is your kind of (wi-fi enabled) park. For a change from caravan or tent, you could try the Hobbit, a tubular wooden cabin, with beds for four. It’s fully insulated and even comes with a kettle and ice-box. Bilbo Baggins eat your heart out.
Y Goeden Eirin
Current owners, Eluned and John, have breathed new life into this old cowshed; their B&B is a real home from home. The three bedrooms (2 doubles, 1 twin) are spacious and light, with underfloor heating and smart bathrooms decked out in local slate. They are dedicated to serving good, homemade food: Eluned won the Sunday Times Cook of the Year a few years ago and has appeared on cooking programmes, so expect to be well fed. They are very conscious of the environment and have solar panels and good insulation, too.
Bryncoch Farm Campsite
Up until ten years ago, Bryncoch only existed as a fully-working farm. In the years since, owner Trevor Richardson has managed to cultivate a 3-acre section of land and produced a fantastic little campsite. Complete with a central lake (developed from a natural stream), Bryncoch Farm offers space for tents and caravans, as well as a handful of innovative 'log pods'. These double insulated timber camping huts can sleep a family of 4, with a futon bed for parents, and additional space for up to 6 if needed. The latest 'Gothic Pod' has just been opened to the public and is wheelchair friendly. Guests can fish on the central lake for £5 a day.
Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park
Just a walk from a train station (Penychain), this Haven holiday park is perfectly situated for green travellers. It also happens to have direct access to the beach of Tremadog Bay and be surrounded by distant mountains. If the weather’s unkind though, there are countless activities to keep everyone happy: an indoor heated pool complex with water slides, mini golf, climbing wall, show bar and more. As for the accommodation, as well as standard caravans, there are rather luxurious wooden chalets as well as new large ‘retreat’ caravans, 12 ft wide, with their own verandahs. If you’re travelling with your own caravan or tent, there are grass pitches. Recycling points are situated around the park.
Middle Ninfa offers comfortable self-catering accommodation for up to six people in the beautiful surroundings of Monmouthshire. The renovated stone building has lost none of its rustic charm, while also offering modern conveniences - there's a even a sauna in the adjoining building. The farm produces its own fresh veg, salad, fruit and duck eggs, which guests can enjoy during their stay. There's also the chance to spend three days building your own coracle or curach, or even design your own skin boat as part of a workshop. Campers also have the chance to stay at Middle Ninfa's secluded site, which has been voted one of the best small campsites in the UK.
Lydstep Beach Holiday Park
The site commands a lofty position along the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, overlooking dramatic Caldey Island. This is an ideal location for anyone looking to spend most of their time on the beach, just a short distance from a Blue Flag beach and just minutes from the centre of Tenby. The accommodation consists of self-catering and adapted holiday homes, as well as luxury lodges with open plan interiors and private verandas. This park is part of Haven Holidays, a company that has been awarded GTBS Silver for its commitment to cutting its impact on the environment.
The nearest railway station in Manorbier. From there, take the 349 bus to Lydstep, and then walk down to the coast. Pembrokeshire Tourist Route on the National Cycle Network passes near to the beach.
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£785 per person based on two people sharing
£925 pp (based on 2 people sharing)