Culture Call: Five Lesser-Known Destinations in Wales We Love

We've found that sometimes an early evening quarantini just doesn't hit the spot. One failsafe way to take the edge off quarantine cabin fever is to plan ahead. Specifically, plan an easy weekend getaway - one that won't test the bank, or your nerves.

Unsure where to begin? From watersports havens like Abersoch - just outside the shrubby foothills of Snowdonia - to rural artsy escapes like Crickhowell to small but mighty hotbeds of environmental activism like Machynlleth, we've picked five little-known villages that we think would make the perfect weekend mini-break.

Quash quarantine cabin fever by planning one of these Welsh weekenders

Newport

Why we can't wait to visit again: No, not the old industrial city in Monmouthshire, but the sleepy parish of the same name in Pembrokeshire. We'll frenetically pillage Newport's charming jumble stores while dangerously supercharged on artisanal caffeine from PWNC cafe, before stopping in at the oldest pottery kiln in Britain - a cruel reminder of that virtual pottery course you flunked back in The Quarantine Days.

Where we're staying: Llys Meddyg

Before you go: Follow ceramicist Adam Buick on Instagram. His work is inspired by the Pembrokeshire landscape. We're mesmerised.

Machynlleth

Why we can't wait to visit again: Since the town's Centre for Alternative Technology opened in the sixties, Machynlleth, or 'Mach', has become a magnet for like-minded eco-nuts and kooky, bohemian types. After we've popped into MOMA (Machynlleth Museum of Modern Art) and slurped the dregs of an oat milk cappuccino at one of the town's vegan-friendly cafés we'll take an e-bike out into the surrounding hills. It's part of the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, don't you know?

Where we're staying: The Royston

Before you go: If you haven't already, acquaint yourself with This is Not a Drill: The Extinction Rebellion Handbook. It's on the unofficial reading list for visitors to Mach.

Cardigan

Why we can't wait to visit again: Cardigan's lovely, but we're roosting just a little out of town in one of Fforest Farm's rustic bell tents. It's a weekend break so we're tight on time, but a canoe trip down the Teifi gorge, a Bushcraft class, sea kayaking and rugged coastal hikes are all on the cards. For dinner each night, we'll frisbee stone-baked goodness into our mouths at Pizzatipi and wash them down with Welsh craft ales at the crumbly old pub, Y Bwythn.

Where we're staying: A bell tent on Fforest Farm, naturally.

Before you go: Carve out half an hour to watch this documentary on Hiut, the disruptive Cardigan-based denim brand who've helped rejig the local economy since their founding in 2011.

Abersoch

Why we can't wait to visit again: Why can't we just live here, more like? This pocket-sized coastal village is often ranked one of the best places to live in the UK. After we're done lazing on the beach - alternately braving the Atlantic and drying off under the late-summer sun - we're tackling the gaping gorges of Snowdonia. Or perhaps we'll take things easy and book that evening waterside yoga class, instead.

Where we're staying: Abersoch isn't packing many hot hotels so we're hunkering down in this seaside bolthole.

Before you go: Read North Wales Scrambles, a dynamic round-up of 50 epic climbs in Snowdonia and beyond.

Crickhowell

Wales, United Kingdom

Why we can't wait to visit again: Where better to expunge those pent-up creative juices, than on a human-size canvas out on the fuzzy Black Mountains? We're booking ourselves onto a class at The Welsh Academy of Art - a retreat based in the nearby hamlet of Cwmydu where classes in oil painting, anatomy, portraiture and more are taught by professional artists both in the studio and out in the surrounding countryside.

Where we're staying: We're bedding down on-site.

Before you go: Get drafting some initial ideas in here. Once you've filled each page, send it back to whence it came and your scrawls will be catalogued as part of an ongoing community art project in Brooklyn, New York.

The Lowdown

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Culture Call: Five Lesser-Known UK Destinations We Love