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Bring ‘hiraeth’ to your holiday home: tips for giving visitors a sense of place

When people book a holiday to North Wales, it’s for a reason. Maybe it’s because they enjoy learning about our rich heritage, or exploring our world-class scenery. Or, perhaps they love exploring our charming Welsh towns, and how friendly and familiar they feel.

Whatever the reason, they’re here because they love North Wales, which is why it’s absolutely essential to consider this when preparing your holiday home for guests.

In Wales we have a special word – some would call it a feeling – the word is hiraeth. It’s really hard to define what it means because it’s slightly different for all Welsh people. A rough translation would be ‘a longing, nostalgia, or desire for the Wales of our youth – our sense of place and belonging.’

It’s something Welsh people away from home experience, a bit like homesickness. Okay, so the feeling’s not uniquely Welsh but we’re probably the only nation with a word for it!

We think it’s important to incorporate this feeling – this sense of place – into your holiday home too. Guests love to be immersed in the cultures they visit and what better place to start than with their accommodation?

It’s very easy to add some Welsh touches to your holiday property and it needn’t be expensive either. Here’s a few ideas for introducing a Welsh flavour to your holiday home. It will really enhance the guest experience – and keep them coming back!

Simple ways to add a sense of place for holiday home guests

There are many simple ways to add a sense of place for guests.

1. An information booklet for the local area

This is such a simple idea which will make a huge difference to your guests’ stay.

Create a booklet or pack containing information about the local area, that you can place in your holiday home. It’s up to you what goes in but we recommend anything that makes your guests’ stay more pleasant: maps; menus for local restaurants; suggestions for pubs, cafes, walks and things to do; discount vouchers for local attractions; a Welsh phrase book might even come in handy.

Why not personalise it and include a note wishing them a good stay, and some facts about Wales itself? You could even create a weekend or week-long itinerary for visitors new to the area so they can make the most of their stay.

Make sure to keep it updated with current event or festival leaflets!

2. Use local produce

Whether you provide breakfast for your guests or they cater for themselves, introducing them to locally-sourced food is a fantastic way to create a sense of place.

For example, if you provide a welcome hamper, give some thought to what goes in it. A few simple changes could have a massive impact on the visitor experience. Farm fresh eggs, Welsh milk, locally-produced jam and honey, freshly-baked bread and cakes will go down a treat .

Make sure you let them know where the items come from so they can visit the producers and purchase extra during their stay! Your guests will be delighted to sample a real taste of Wales.

3. Welsh slate products

Welsh slate is inherently beautiful and extremely versatile. It’s been used by generations of Welsh people since ancient times and the legacy is seen everywhere – from the ruins of Welsh castles like Dolbadarn to the slate-roofed houses of the Conwy Valley.

Even invaders saw the potential of slate: the Roman fort at Segontium (Caernarfon) was constructed in slate and Edward I built it into his dazzling and imposing castle designs. 

As slate is such an important part of our cultural identity, why not incorporate some slate products into your holiday home? Inigo Jones are based near Caernarfon and sell a range of handmade slate homewares, including coasters, cake stands, cheeseboards, tea-light holders and clocks. These authentic yet discreet items can add a stylish Welsh accent to every room in your home. 

4. Welsh textiles

Let’s be honest, no one who comes to Wales comes for the weather! Winter or summer, guests can be in for some chilly nights but snuggling up in a cosy holiday home is all part of the Welsh charm, isn’t it?

Whether it’s a thick woollen blanket to wrap up in after a day in the mountains or sumptuous soft furnishings around the house, Wales has a proud history of textile production too – after all, we need to use all that sheep wool for something useful!

Think about ways you can introduce locally-made textiles and materials into your decor. It could be as subtle as a cushion here and there, or a cosy throw over the arm of a chair. Neither the gesture nor the provenance will go unnoticed.

Trefriw Woollen Mills in the Conwy Valley have been making a range of Welsh textiles since 1859, producing beautiful and traditional tapestries, throws, cushion-covers and bedspreads. Furnishing your holiday home with any of these will bring some real Welsh comfort.

Great Welsh products, great Welsh service

CleanerCare is an established Welsh business that has been cleaning the holiday homes of North Wales for more than ten years. If we’ve inspired you to introduce a sense of place into your holiday property, why not keep your cleaning local too and give us a try? Contact us for a full range of cleaning services and a no-obligation quotation.

Cleaner Care Limited registered in England and Wales No. 5471880. VAT Reg No. 879 6958 27

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