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'Tis The Season to Get into the Festive Spirit in Southern Wales

After a year like no other it’s time to get the tree up, bust open the mince pies and discover what’s unique and festive in Southern Wales.

Relax and Unwind

If the last couple of weeks and months have left you feeling more frazzled than festive, then it’s probably right you make time for yourself.

Plan a visit to Fusion spa at Bryn Meadows Hotel in Caerphilly and treat you and your loved one. The resort currently has a range of options available from spa weekends that include your evening meal so book ahead and give yourself or that special someone something to look forward to in 2021.

If your idea of unwinding is retail therapy then feel the magic of Christmas and bag yourself a bargain at McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Bridgend. Whether you’re armed with your family’s Christmas wish list or on the hunt for the perfect stocking filler, there are plenty of opportunities to refuel with mince pies and hot chocolates.

Not to miss out, Cardiff city centre’s Alpine Food and Drink area on Castle Street is delivering German Christmas market vibes where you can indulge in Bavarian themed food or grab some marshmallows and head outside to the firepit.

Festive afternoon tea take your fancy? The Parkway Hotel and Spa have you covered. Situated in over seven and a half acres of gardens, the privately owned & operated hotel in Cwmbran is an ideal setting for holiday festivities. So, relax in the beautiful surroundings and indulge in their homemade Welsh Afternoon Tea.

In Blaenau Gwent, The Henrison Inn’s festive benches an afternoon tea with a twist! With sweet treats like candy canes and chocolate coins, too Christmas favourites such as pigs in blankets and mince pies indulge yourself in this festive delight. You can also see all other options available across South Wales here.

Shop Local and Support Wales

Now more than ever, it’s important to shop local and support Welsh producers — and you’ll be spoilt for choice in Treorchy who were named Champion of The Great British High Street Awards 2019. With over 80% of their businesses being independent boutique stores, Treorchy offers a unique experience. Visit the award-winning family butchers CJ Morris who provide top quality produce from local farmers or pop into Emily Kate, an elegant & classy boutique where you can purchase a little luxury in your life.

For the beer lover in the family you can’t go wrong with a gift hamper from Tiny Rebel. Choose from a selection of Newport’s best beers or purchase your very own bar starter kit for the experience at home.

If it’s a true taste of Christmas you’re after, The Marches Delicatessen has you covered with luxury hampers that feature artisan produce from across Monmouthshire and the surrounding area. Or, how about a tipple from Monmouthshire’s first ever distillery? Silver Circle Distillery has a range of craft spirits on offer and their small batch miniature series is the perfect tasting set.

How about a gift from the multi-award-winning Tudor Brewery? The Champion Beer of Wales winners have a selection of seasonal specials, and with the option to create your own variety pack you can tailor make this gift to suit even the fussiest of drinkers.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without cheese and you can find the perfect gift for cheese lovers at Blaenavon Cheddar Company. Their four options of a ‘cheesy tipple’ would make anyone’s day (our favourite would have to be the Dragon’s Breath cheddar with a bottle of Brains SA ale!)

Forgot your secret Santa? Make sure you’re not on the naughty list and shop from Cardiff’s 200 Degrees to secure the best gift for coffee connoisseurs. Let them choose their own roast with a subscription voucher or if you’re feeling extra friendly, buy them the espresso cup gift set which includes a 250g bag of their Brazillian Love Affair espresso beans.

Caerphilly can fulfil all your Christmas shopping needs this festive season thanks to the fantastic selection of unique independent retailers and big names that adorn the local high street and surrounding areas. From Saturday 28th November to Thursday 24th December expect a range of exclusive special offers from local businesses. Find out more here.

Meanwhile, Bridgend Country is also bursting with independents, including Ewenny Pottery, the oldest pottery in all of Wales where you can commission your very own bespoke gift for your nearest and dearest, from vases and jugs to plates to candle sticks and crockery. These truly one-of-a-kind ornaments will be treasured for a lifetime, and in doing so you’ll be supporting a family run which has spanned over eight generations.

Give A Gift Like No Other

What do you buy for the person that has everything? This Christmas give them a present that goes way beyond ordinary. Forget the socks and smellies and treat them to an experience they’ll never forget.

If it’s adrenaline-fuelled excitement you’re looking for then see what’s on offer at BikePark Wales, the UK's first full scale mountain bike park in the heart of the South Wales valleys. You can load up a gift-card with however much you’d like, and the lucky recipient can choose a range of courses from beginner to experienced riders or even personal coaching.

To give them a gift that will leave them with lasting memories pick an adventure voucher and an incredible experience at Zip World. Set to open in 2021, the Phoenix Zip Line in the Cynon Valley will make the best present and give them something to look forward to.

Rock Summit UK in Merthyr Tydfil is the perfect place for the whole family. Did you know their climbing centre has some of the highest indoor climbing walls in South Wales? Reaching 18m with an impressive 8m overhang, this is a present that will earn you some brownie points on Christmas Day.

If giving the gift of adventure sounds about right, find something unique to look forward to in 2021 thanks to Bushcraft Adventures where you can choose from axe throwing events, archery or bushcraft!

For the Tiger Woods of the family, why not put a golf gift experience at the award-winning Celtic Manor in your basket? Follow in the footsteps of Ryder Cup legends or improve performance with the help of a PGA professional, they have a selection of experiences to choose from.

Is there someone in your family obsessed with Bake Off? Gift them a voucher to the Abergavenny Bakery where they can enjoy a day of having a go for themselves in a traditional farmhouse kitchen. Lunch with wine and refreshments (plus elevenses) is included and they’ll even take home a big bag of their freshly baked breads. Bliss!

Festive (Wine and) Spirits

You don’t need to travel to the South of France for a taste of fine wine, just visit one of the many sites here in South Wales. Glyndwr Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan is the oldest and largest established vineyard in Wales. Purchase a gift voucher for their lunch and tour, or even spoil someone with a weekend away to recharge their batteries.

Other vineyards in South Wales you can choose from include White Castle Vineyard, Sugar Loaf Vineyards, Ancre Hill Vineyard, Llanerch Vineyard and Parva Farm Vineyard.

However, if whisky is your tipple of choice sample Wales’ finest at Penderyn Distillery in Rhondda Cynon Taf. This fully interactive experience offers an in-depth look into the making of the award-winning Single Malt Welsh Whisky using the site’s own supply of fresh natural spring water. It’s now sold all over the world!

Gin-gle bells, gin-gle bells! In the heart of the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan countryside you’ll find Hensol Castle Distillery. The combination of Hensol Castle, which is steeped in history together with the modern vibes and fun nature of gin creates a truly distinctive experience.

After reading through the wealth of options available in Southern Wales, you might need a lie-down. The Hilton Cardiff offer an array of luxury gift vouchers; either load a gift voucher for your desired amount or, for a more personal experience, purchase their bottomless brunch for two in their award-winning Grey’s restaurant.

Looking for a more unique stay? Ditch the tent and book a night away in Cwmcarn forest. Choose between a glamping pod or forest lodge, giving you and your loved one something to look forward in 2021.

We hope this has given you a flavour of how you can shop local and support independents this festive season. Take a look around our website for more options and don’t forget to follow us on social media to get the latest on what Southern Wales has to offer.

Plan Your Visit

Please have a look at our Plan Your Visit page before you set off and check that the things you want to see and do are open. For many places, advance booking may also be required.

Find even more inspiration throughout our website and discover your adventure in Southern Wales, safely, this autumn by adhering to the Welsh Government’s guidance surrounding COVID-19.