My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

13 gift ideas offering unique experiences in Wales

This is the struggle that many of us face when trying to choose a Christmas gift for that special someone.

It is said that experiences last an entire lifetime, and personally I couldn’t agree more. With the help of MWT Cymru, a social enterprise company that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses,  we’ve picked out some of the more unusual experience days that you can book in Wales.

Here are a dozen suggestions for the perfect Christmas and birthday gift ideas:

1. Take control of a Welsh narrow-gauge railway

The biggest train set that anyone could hope for in their Christmas stocking is a ‘Your Railway for the Day” offer from Corris Railway, near Machynlleth in Mid Wales. The offer can be taken up, subject to volunteer availability, on days without timetabled operations in April, May, June and September. Contact [email protected]

2. Learn how to drive a rally car

Follow in the tyre tracks of some of the world’s top rally drivers by learning how to drive a high-speed rally car. Ideal for adrenalin junkies, the Forest Experience at Carno is a genuine full rally test stage set in 900 acres of Welsh forest with seven miles of twisting, turning, hilly forest roads. www.forestrally.co.uk

3. Land Rover safari

Cambrian Safaris provides excursions into some of the remotest parts of the Cambrian Mountains in a Land Rover Discovery. Enjoy the fantastic views and scenery, local history and wildlife in places off the beaten track. www.cambriansafaris.co.uk

4. Charter a train

Charter your own private excursion on a steam train along the scenic Rheidol Valley from Aberystwyth to Devils Bridge on board the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Details from www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

5. Mine explorer adventure

Get kitted up with helmet, lamp and safety clips to delve into the secret underground world of a Welsh slate mine guided by an experienced mine explorer. Hear stories about the last miners and the abandoned relics. www.corrismineexplorers.co.uk

6. Encaustic painting breaks

Learning how to paint using hot wax with an introduction to encaustic artwork at Cysgod y Coed, Llanfor, Bala. www.melaniewilliams.net

7. Vineyard tours and tastings

Tasting wines and understanding how they are made is all part of the experience at Kerry Vale Vineyard, Churchstoke, near Montgomery. The tours are perfect for wine lovers. www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk/tours-tasting

8. Drive a steam train

Learn to drive a historic steam locomotive hauling your own private train at Talyllyn Railway, the world’s first preserved railway Blow the whistle, release the brakes and open the regulator – the start of an experience of a lifetime. talyllyn.co.uk/driver-experience

9. Singing experience holidays

Fancy learning how to sing properly or need to brush up your vocals, then booking a stay at Cwm-Moel, Aberedw, Builth Wells is a must. A free introductory lesson is included, but further lessons may be booked during your stay. www.cwmmoelcountryholidays.co.uk

10. Art holidays

Enjoy an art workshop or painting holiday with Anita Woods at Pengwernydd Cottages, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion. The cottages are set in the tranquil and inspiring landscape of the Cambrian Mountains. www.pengwernydd.com/art-at-pengwernydd.html

11. Sheep Trekking

Jacob sheep trekking and farm experience days are based on a family-run, 220-acre organic hill farm based at Aberhyddnant Organic Farm, Crai, near Brecon in the Brecon Beacons. www.sheeptrekking.co.uk

12. Country and farm crafts courses

Fancy trying your hand at something different? Discover the history of the local landscape, learn how to build a dry-stone wall or straw bale house or train your gundog in a relaxed atmosphere at Ty Gwyn Farm, Llandrindod Wells. www.tygwynfarm.co.uk

13. Good Day Out experiences

Dinky donkey, piggy walking with a pig-nic, sheep trekking and sheep shearing are just some of the experiences provided by Good Day Out in the Brecon Beacons. The company specialises in interesting, educational and fun ways for people to easily engage with animals, wildlife, the countryside and rural skills. www.gooddayout.co.uk