Log Cabins – Rustic Homes for Your Weekends Away

The advantages of a log cabin in Wales

Nestling in stunning countryside, log cabins in Wales offer a host of benefits to those wanting a camping-style holiday without any of the associated headaches. Cabins are available for hire across Wales, with many available to rent year-round, and they all benefit from some of the most stunning scenery in the UK, and the opportunity to partake in a myriad of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and climbing.

Many log cabins in Wales have been built in an environmentally sensitive way (in line with BREEAM methods) and offer levels of privacy and security of which campers and caravanners can but dream. In addition, they often include luxury fixtures and fittings such as hot tubs, en-suite bathrooms, and even fitted kitchens.

Outstanding natural beauty

Log cabins are not the only draw to a country which boasts a rich and diverse history dating back to medieval times. Wales encompasses five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (including Gower peninsula – the first to be designated in 1956), three National Parks (the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, and the Pembrokeshire coast), and extensive stretches of Heritage Coastline (including nearly all of the aforementioned Pembrokeshire coast).

As you journey from the dramatic horizons of Snowdonia in the North, via the beaches, cliffs and coves of the Ceredigion coast in the West, to the valleys and hills of the Gower peninsula in the South; the Welsh countryside offers vistas that are both dramatic and soothing, with ample opportunity for exploration by cyclists, walkers, and nature lovers. The coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the UK, particularly in New Quay and Tenby, while the more adventurous can pony trek along the Brecon Beacons, or swim with dolphins in Cardigan bay.

Unique experiences

North Wales’ Victorian holiday resorts, such as Rhyl, Prestatyn, and Llandudno offer the trappings of a more traditional seaside holiday experience when compared to West Wales’ Pembrokeshire theme parks, cave expeditions or mining tours. In Conwy, you can tour the medieval castle and walls, while in Llangollen you can take a canal trip along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which carries Llangollen canal across the valley of the River Dee.

You might decide to take a Snowdon Mountain Railway train to the summit of Mount Snowdon or, if you’re of a more active disposition, hike up one of a number of paths that snake around the mountain to its peak. Snowdon’s spectacular cliffs, such as Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, also allow ardent rock climbers ample opportunity for practice.

For a weekend away, you would be hard-pressed to find a destination that offers so many activities along with the promise of the relaxing, rustic charm of a log cabin holiday home to which you return at the end of an exhausting, but very satisfying, day.

The Making of Blackpool

The years between the wars saw Blackpool develop as it had not done since the heady days of the 1890’s. Blackpool Corporation poured huge sums of money into a programme of expansion of the seafront, pushing the Promenade out into the sea from the boundaries with Cleveleys in the North to St Annes in the South.

Beginning at South Pier, the corporation opened the new open air baths in 1923 and then pressed southward laying a new promenade through the sand dunes to Squires Gate. The Old Star Inn which previously stood on the edge of the sea was replaced in 1923 by a new building on the reclaimed land along the new promenade. A similar northwards expansion followed the widening of the North Promenade in 1924, removing the tram tracks from the roadway. The steady erosion of the old cliff face seen at Norbreck when the Isle of Man telephone cable was being laid in 1929, was halted by the extension of the Promenade and seawall through Bispham, reaching Cleveleys in 1937. To make room for the sea front road improvements, the venerable Gynn Inn was demolished in 1921. There was a spirited campaign to save the building but this has little success.

Besides improving the Sea Front the Corporation tried to spread the load of visitors who now were arriving in their many thousands throughout the town by laying out a park on the Eastern edge of the Borough. A prominent feature of the new Stanley Park opened in 1925/26 was the William H Cocker memorial clock tower, a tribute to one of the founding fathers of the town. To entice visitors away from the Promenade the Corporation provided a special bus service. The vehicles used were a special combination of bus and tram making the journey West along Hornby Road quite an attraction in itself.

During the Twenties and Thirties visitors became accustomed to finding new attractions when they visited each Summer but the first trippers arriving at Easter 1929 were taken aback to find an unfamiliar gap in the Blackpool skyline. The 200 foot big wheel had gone. This big wheel had been losing money ever since it opened as a competitor to the iconic Blackpool Tower in 1896 and its fate was sealed in February 1928 when the Winter Gardens which owned it was taken over by the Blackpool Tower Company. The Wheel never re-opened but it did make one last revolution on October 28th 1928, carrying the demolition contractor Eli Ward, and his family. Dismantling began the following Month and turned out to be a long and delicate job. The carriages were sold for £13 each and scattered about the local countryside. In 1930 the Olympia amusement centre was opened on the same site.

It was between the first and second world war that saw the explosion in Blackpool of small accommodation providers. From Bispham down to Squires gate south of Blackpool pleasure beach the Promenade witnessed the opening of many small hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments. Of course the main mode of travel in this time was the railway as not many owned their own motor vehicles so the areas around the main railway stations at both Blackpool North and Blackpool South are particularly prevalent with cheap hotels. Blackpool South has in the latter part of the twentieth century become less used as it was demoted to a branch line under the Beeching railway reforms in the 1960’s. The establishment of so many accommodation providers led to a lot of competition amongst the lady owners who became known as the ‘Landladies’. These ladies would compete with each other by attempting to offer the best home cooking in town. Back in those days many of the visitors to Blackpool took what is known as a bed, breakfast evening meal option when booking their accommodation. The term was particular to Blackpool and is still referred to this day as BBEM. The rest of the world knows the term as half board.

Best Animal Experiences in the UK

Tea with Tigers

Remember the Tiger Who Came to Tea? He ate all the food in Sophie’s house, drank all the water in the taps and then left never to be seen again. Now the tigers are inviting you to join them for tea, and the good news is that there’s plenty of food to go around. At Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, visitors can take afternoon tea in the Treetops Café after enjoying a special guided tour with a member of the park’s Cat Team. The team will provide interesting information on tigers (like did you know that their skin is striped as well as their fur?), and they’ll also answer any tiger questions that you might have. Afterwards you can walk across the Big Cat Walk to get some close-up souvenir snaps of these majestic cats before exploring the rest of the park.

Walk with Wolves

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a wolf close up this is your chance. On the outskirts of Reading, volunteers at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust head into the surrounding countryside with two fully grown wolves on metal leashes in front of them. The Trust owns the surrounding countryside – it has to take precautions to make sure that the wolves don’t encounter any dogs. Larger canines often like to play-fight, a fight that could potentially be fatal to them when faced with a tooth-baring wolf. While on the walk, there are plenty of photo opportunities and visitors may even get the opportunity to stroke the wolves, not as you would a dog. Wolves must be stroked on the underside of their stomach so that you’re submitting to them.

Meet the Meerkats

Not everyone likes their wild animals, well, wild. If you’re interested in meeting some of Africa’s cutest critters, there are several experiences that allow you to get up close and personal to meerkats whether it’s in Hertfordshire, Chester or Preston. Although the experiences differ from location to location, most experiences will have you chatting to members of the meerkat team and preparing the meerkats’ lunch for them. When you walk into their pen sprinkling food, you’ll see the naturally inquisitive meerkats are more than happy to pop up and say hello. After you’ve met the meerkats, you can take a stroll around the rest of the safari park, and meet the rest of the animals.

Whatever type of animal you like, you’re bound to find an animal experience that suits your needs. So before you start planning exotic trips to experience your favourite animal first hand, why not look at the experiences available closer to home?