Friday, 19 February 2016

Head to Wales for St David’s Day

A dog-friendly former hunting lodge in Powys is the ideal spot for a relaxing – or energetic – early-spring minibreak

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Wales is home to some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside, and even when the weather’s less than perfect, it’s a lovely place for a re-energising break – offering the chance to relax, go on a scenic walk and enjoy delicious food. And with the feast day of Wales’s patron saint celebrated on 1 March, there’s no better time to visit.

travel-590-2The Brecon Beacons

As the name suggests, the Lake Country House Hotel & Spa, in Llangammarch Wells, Powys, Wales, is situated in a gorgeous, private location next to picturesque lakes and the River Irfon, where swans swim and fish jump. A member of Pride of Britain Hotels, a collection of 48 privately owned independent British hotels, it was originally built as a hunting and fishing lodge, and boasts 50 acres of grounds which you can spend hours walking around.

travel-590-3The Elan Valley, aka the Welsh Lake District

Royal treatment
In 1912, Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the Lake Country House to take the legendary barium spa waters, and to sample the fabled Welsh hospitality. Today, the hotel has an award-winning spa in a separate building near the water, with a big indoor pool, a fitness studio, treatment rooms and an outdoor hot tub. Treatments on offer include My Kinda Mood (£120), 120 minutes of blissful massage with a wonderful skin-softening facial. There are also a number of dining options and places to unwind, including the airy Orangery, where breakfast is served, and an excellent restaurant. The Grand Lounge offers a selection of Welsh teas, with sandwiches, Welsh cakes, chocolate cake and scones with clotted cream and home-made jam. Rooms are large, luxurious and individually styled, both in the main house and the purpose-built lodge with 12 suites. The hotel is dogfriendly, too (resident Labrador Molly loves to be petted!), with eight suites that open directly onto the grounds – look for herons, kingfishers and badgers.

travel-590-4The Lake Country House Hotel, dating back to 1840

Lots to see and do
On a short break, you could easily spend all your time just relaxing in the hotel, or enjoying activities such as golf (on a nine-hole par-three course), croquet, tennis, horse riding and fishing. But if you want to venture further afield, Hay-on-Wye is a 45-minute drive away, Brecon Beacons National Park is similarly near, and it’s just 35 minutes to the picturesque Elan Valley. Or there’s Powis Castle, the stately home and gardens just outside Welshpool.

An overnight stay at the Lake Country House Hotel & Spa costs from £195 per room (based on two sharing), including full Welsh breakfast and use of the leisure facilities: 0800-089 3929,

Contact Wendy at 
Prices are correct at time of going to press.

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