On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. The Brecon Beacons National Park will be full of love, so why not pay us a visit with your loved one, for unforgettable experiences and special days out in the heart of South Wales.
Who was St Dwynwen?
Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, which makes her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill but, unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Dwynwen was so upset she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
She founded a convent on Llanddwyn, off the west coast of Anglesey, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465AD. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today.
Traditionally a Welsh Love spoon is given as a Saint Dwynwen’s day gift but there’s plenty more to give! Read on for inspiration on romantic places to stay, eat and visit, as well as some Brecon Beacons gifts!
Romantic Places to Stay
Upper House Farm and Spa
Take your pick from one of two luxury self-catering mountain barns, located on the hills of the Black Mountains, right at the entrance of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Marvel at the stunning views or why not treat your loved one to a full spa treatment?
The accommodation in the Victorian stone built property has been refurbished to a very high standard and each room offers luxury en suite facilities, Egyptian cotton linen and a flat screen TV with DVD player.
Chic and distinctive in its style, Peterstone remains loyal to its Georgian heritage, but compliments the old, with a relaxed style, funky details and modern touches. One of the great benefits of a retreat at Peterstone Court is the lovely spa and leisure suite – converted from the underground cellars. It will be a great place for a romantic and relaxing weekend away!
Enjoy a romantic getaway in the Old Coach House in Llangasty near Brecon. A charming little place for 2 people with a huge bedroom with a super king bed! ) Cosy up by the wood burner in this beautifully quiet area of the Brecon Beacons-perfectly positioned for walking, biking, excursions or just relaxing!
The Plough Inn
The Plough is a charming four star boutique hotel and AA rosette award winning restaurant. Set in breathtaking Welsh countryside near the historic market town of Llandeilo in the West of the park overlooking the beautiful Towy Valley. Their location is ideal for touring magical castles, country houses, gardens and attractions of the Brecon Beacons and Carmarthenshire. Within a short distance you will find Fforest Fawr Geopark, which accounts for two thirds of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Red Kite Feeding Centre, Dinefwr Park and the awe-inspiring Carreg Cennen Castle. Llandeilo is also renowned for numerous boutique shops, whether you seek gifts, clothes or jewellery, it’s a shoppers haven.
Find plenty more perfect places for your romantic stay in the Brecon Beacons here.
Romantic Places to Eat
The Felin Fach Griffin
This elegant country gastropub near Brecon has been showered with awards, including six time winner of Dining Pub of the Year for Wales! Downstairs you will find squashy leather sofas around a roaring fire, and you can return to a slower pace of life. The food is recognised as amongst the best in the area, focusing on strong flavours, elegant presentation and thoughtful sourcing. They will be hosting a celebration of all things Welsh to celebrate the Saint’s day of Dwynwen (Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers) and the Scottish bard Robbie Burns.
Using the best of a traditional Burn’s Night menu but giving it a bit of a Griffin twist.
Priced at £29.50 per head to include a welcoming drink. More details to follow here.
The Angel Hotel
Enjoy a refined dining experience in the Angel’Oak Room, adorned with contemporary artwork, offering rich, warm surroundings for a romantic meal. Afternoon tea at The Angel is something very special indeed, having held an Award of Excellence from The Tea Guild since 2008 and receiving their Top City and Country Hotel Award in 2011. Each morning thier specialist bakers prepare the savouries, sandwiches, cakes and scones that are presented on tiered stands. An extensive selection of over twenty loose leaf teas and infusions is offered.
Llangoed Hall overlooks meadows leading down to the River Wye, with the Black Mountains visible in the distance. The hotel also has lovely gardens, which include roses, wild flowers and a maze. The restaurant offers an intimate fine dining experience. The food is sourced from the freshest and finest local ingredients with fruit and vegetables from the hotel’s very own kitchen garden Swper Santes Dwnwyn at the River Cafe, Glasbury
Join us on Wednesday evening to celebrate Santes Dwynwen. Tickets £25 – prosecco on arrival, a two course supper and music from spectacular harpist, Harriet Earis. Call into the cafe to buy a ticket
Romantic Places to Visit
1. Craig Y Nos Country Park
Possibly one of the most romantic locations in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig y Nos Country Park is situated in a dramatic and romantic location in the secluded upper Swansea Valley. A 40-acre Victorian garden with shady woodlands, meadows, ponds, lazy lawns and rushing rivers, provides you with a great place to talk a romantic stroll this St Dwynwen’s Day!
2. Spend an afternoon in one of our Towns and Villages
Browse the poetry shelves of Hay-on-Wye’s many bookshops for a special way to say I love you, visit Crickhowell to find perfect local gifts and then gaze lovingly at each other over homemade cake in Abergavenny.
3. Head out on romantic horse ride
Looking for a special valentine gift idea for someone you love? Why not create a special memory you will cherish forever? Or if you have something special to ask there’s no better place than the Brecon Beacons as your back drop! Cantref are the only riding centre allowed to go up on the Brecon Beacons, so this is truly a special experience for you and your loved one! Check out their treks here.
4. Take a Walk in Waterfall CountryWhat could be more magical than walking through a Welsh woodland with the sound of rushing water growing louder with every step? The geology of the Brecon Beacons National Park makes the southwestern corner a superb area for waterfalls, some of them wreathed in romantic myths of Celtic princes and princesses.
5. Go Stargazing
In 2013, the National Park became the first place in Wales – and only the fifth in the world – to be granted special protection as a Dark Sky Reserve. The views of the stars are superb. Don’t forget to make a wish.
Romantic Gifts to Give
Buy the food lover in your life a gift from Black Mountains Smokery, a family-run gourmet food business based in the Park. Why not purchase a Valentine’s Food Lovers Hamper for £49.00, or choose any of their hampers to send to your loved one enclosing your special message from £40 – £400. Perhaps simply choose their award winning Smoked Salmon to enjoy with a champagne breakfast.
Take a pick from the many selections of hampers Authentically Welsh have put together containing all Welsh produce! Their Crickhowell Cracking Hamper will introduce you to some of Crickhowell’ delicious local artisan foods, or why not let your loved one indulge in a Luxury Welsh Food Hamper bursting with appetising and inviting foods.
With a selection of Welsh Gifts you are bound to find a present or two from Authentically Welsh.
Have a day you wont forget in a hurry with Hawk Adventures who can offer you a variety of activities such as power kiting, canyoning and gorge walking.! Or why not try something different whilst supporting a good cause with Good Day Out?
If you’re stuck for ideas of a special gift to give this St Dwynwens and Valentines day, then head to The Old Railway Line Garden Centre, and visit the florist who can make you a bespoke bouquet from their extensive range of cut flowers for a romantic gift to a loved one.
We hope you enjoy celebrating St Dwynwen’s Day in the Brecon Beacons!