• Win a trip to Wales or a "Welsh" iPod® in our "Great Things Come in Small Packages" sweepstakes!
  • Hop aboard a train for a front-row view of Wales' spectacular natural treasures
  • Celebrate a Welsh Christmas at a 700-year-old manor house
  • Add a traditional Welsh dish to your holiday table

Read on and enjoy. Croeso - Welcome to Wales.

In This Issue:
Spotlight On:
Travel to Wales
Contests & Promotions
Taste of Wales
Greetings from Claire
First Person
Your Wales Story
Desktop Images
Order a Brochure
Newsletter Signup

GREETINGS:  Whatever your travel interests, why wait until Summer? Many off-season discounts are available to travelers in the Fall and Winter and you'll find considerably fewer tourists as well. Take advantage of some great deals on transatlantic fares and enjoy the wonders of the changing colors of the Fall in Wales.

Wales has historic towns, seaside resorts, castles, narrow gauge railways, museums, leisure facilities - a whole host of places to visit and things to do, many available all year round. And while it's true that some attractions are closed or have restricted hours, this can be easily overcome with some careful planning, or a little more flexibility and go-with-the-flow spirit.

Of course, the one attraction that is never closed is the warmth of the welcome or "Croeso" you will receive from the Welsh people whatever time of year you choose to visit.

Claire Goold
Wales Marketing USA,
Wales Tourist Board


FIRST PERSON:  Bore da, I first visted Wales in October of 2000 with my sister-in-law. We're from Maine and like many "colonists" have roots in the "Old Country". We traveled through the Snowdonia region mostly on foot on a tour called "Castle to Castle". This is the best way to see Wales and to experience the people and the country.

Our guides, Amanda and Ian Whitehead, were experienced trekkers and well versed in the history, legend and lore of the country. They were also very patient with an inexperienced hiker(me).

I was very taken with the sense of history and pride that pervades Wales. People you meet are willing to share the stories of themselves and their ancesters. There definitely is the feeling of King Arthur and Merlin in the land. Wales is a land of sagas and tales with yesterday seeming like today.

I will never forget our last full day in Wales. We were hiking from Tal-y-Bont to Conwy and sat on a hilltop overlooking the ocean for our "elevenses". Mandy told us we were sitting on Roman ruins (this was just about the time we had seen a small stone circle). I still get chills thinking about it. I was eating a sandwich and drinking tea where Romans had lived many years ago. Imagine. I did and I do.

I have returned to Wales once since then and hope to return again someday. It is truly a magical place.
Mardie W.


YOUR WALES STORY:
Do you have a story to share about your visit to Wales? We'd love to hear it. And if it shows up in a future issue of Croeso we'll send you a $25 gift certificate as a token of our appreciation.

Tell us your story.

DESKTOP DOWNLOADS:

If you can't travel to Wales right now, maybe a bit of Wales can come to you. We've selected a few of our favorite autumn and winter images from our photo library and posted them on our website so that you can download them for free as desktop images on your computer (for Mac or PC). Enjoy! Click here to view and download pictures of Wales.





Spotlight On: Wales by Rail

SEASIDE RESORT VILLAGES, BUSY MARKET TOWNS, lively cosmopolitan centers, and remote mountain hideaways are all easily reached by train in Wales, no matter the time of year. And with some of the most scenic rail routes in all of Britain, getting there is half the fun.

The Conwy Valley Line traverses some of North Wales' most varied and dramatic terrain. Starting from the seaside resort of Llandudno, you'll travel through rich coastal estuaries, passing splendid Conwy Castle and the historic market town of Llanwrst before wending your way up into the mountains to Blaenau Ffestiniog, deep in the Snowdonia region.

Another favorite, the Heart of Wales Line, is a moveable feast for the eyes as it follows the meandering river Tywi, scales Sugar Loaf mountain, crosses the graceful Cynghordy viaduct and skirts the remote English Marches, stopping off in a dozen inviting spa and market towns along the way.

For the savvy traveler, vintage,  narrow-gauge steam railways, offer a one-of-a-kind experience. Once used to haul slate from the quarries to the sea, they now transport visitors back in time – and through some of our most spectacular mountain and countryside landscapes. Schedules are reduced in the off-season, but a little extra planning will add a unique treat to any Wales-by-rail vacation.

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Travel to Wales: Everyday Deals/Holiday Specials

FOR A TRADITIONAL WELSH CHRISTMAS with all the trimmings try the Christmas House Party package at Maes-y-Neuadd. The celebrations begin Christmas Eve with a sumptuous 4-course dinner and feature three days of feasting, frolicking, and merriment, including caroling around the tree with the Ardudwy Male Voice Choir and, of course, a visit from Father Christmas. What a great way to enjoy the holidays.

Maes-y-Neuadd is a restored 14th-century manor house known for its excellent food and accommodations, as well as for its magnificent views of Snowdonia National Park. Family owned and operated by the Jacksons and Paynes, they’ll be happy to pick you up at the Blaenau Ffestiniog or Harlech train stations if you come in by rail.

Many terrific specials and discounts are available to off-season and mid-week visitors to Wales. Consider the ‘3rd Night Free’ offer at the Penhelig Arms, overlooking the water in Aberdyfi at the foot of the Snowdon mountains. Or perhaps you’d rather go for one of the special, discounted spa packages at the Tre-Ysgawen Hall, a Victorian country house hotel and spa in Anglesey.

TRAVEL TIP: Welsh Rarebits lists many of the finer hotels and B&Bs in Wales, and many excellent, off-season special offers.

TRAVEL TIP: BritRail is offering 25% off any BritRail Consecutive or FlexiPass for travel between November 1, 2005, and February 28, 2006.

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Contests and Promotions: GO TO WALES/WALES TO GO

GREAT THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES - so we're giving one lucky grand prize winner a choice: A free trip for two to Wales - or an iPod® nano loaded with Welsh music, photos and a Dylan Thomas recording!

Just answer the following question and you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win:

When was the last time you vacationed outside the United States? Click here to answer.

View the official rules.

There's no wrong answer but you must be a Croeso subscriber to enter.

Not a subscriber? No problem. Just sign up here and you'll also be automatically entered for a chance to win.

The trip includes r/t air, 4 nights in a Welsh B&B and a rental car. The iPod nano comes loaded with a selection of Welsh music, photos and Dylan Thomas reading 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' plus a $100 gift certificate at the iTunes® music store.

Three 1st prize winners will each receive a copy of the book "Landscape Wales," featuring stunning photographs that capture the moods and seasons of the Welsh countryside.

CONGRATULATIONS: Wally S. from Santa Clara, CA, Paul C. from Matthews, NC, and Mark C. from Hector, AR. As winners of our "Gift of Song" sweepstakes, they each received a set of Welsh music CDs. We hope they put a song in your heart.

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Taste of Wales: Savory and Sweet

". . . I would be slap-dashing home, the gravy smell of the dinners of others, the bird smell, the brandy, the pudding and mince, coiling up to my nostrils, when out of a snow-clogged side lane would come a boy the spit of myself. . . "
- Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales

IT'S THE SMELLS AND TASTES OF THE SEASON that we often remember most vividly - the turkey or goose roasting in the oven, apple and pumpkin pies cooling on the table, and the sweet scent of cookies permeating the air. The holidays are a time for feasting; for a culinary extravaganza the likes of which are rarely seen throughout the rest of the year.

In young Dylan Thomas' Wales, roast goose was the traditional holiday fare, usually accompanied by stuffing, gravy, applesauce, and a pudding or pie to top off the meal. Within the last century, however, turkey has become quite popular as well. Whether you're serving turkey, goose, or something else this year, it's easy to bring a taste of Wales to your holiday table.

Here are just a few mouth-watering recipes to get you started, including festive roast goose with fruit and nuts, savory roast chicken with garlic and mushroom stuffing, organic roast vegetables, and lemon-studded Snowdon pudding. Iechyd da - good health!

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