Central west of Great Britain
Best Time to Visit:
May to September
Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast, Portmeirion, Brecon Beacons, St.David, Hay on Wye, Harlech Castle, Welsh Male Choir
Wales, a country that is a part of the United Kingdom, is bordered by England on its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea on its west. Although the entire history of Wales has been trampled by invaders, the
Welsh spirit is the country’s defining feature. This vibrant nation, with its rich tradition and culture and the New World sophistication is extremely tourist friendly. For those who are ardent fans of art, films and rock music, Wales will give you a new expression to it. Besides this, it is considered to be a much sought-after outdoor location as well. Grab a pair of hiking boots or a mountain bike and get lost in the surreal locales and coastal trail. Trot around the sweeping beaches and limestone cliffs and when you tire out, get cozy in a country pub. Wales can become an obsession and year after year, you might return to the same familiar surroundings to experience its amiable locals, fine food, scenic landscapes, challenging adventures and admirably green credentials. This article entails a bunch of ideas about what you can do while you are on a Wales getaway.
Image: By SNappa2006 (Llyn y Fan Fach) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Wales Tourist Attractions
Stroll in Snowdonia
Mount Snow Don is Wales’ tallest mountain and taking a walk all the way to the top is an adventure on its own. You will get to experience one of the most scenic views from the national park surrounding the mountain. If you have an adventurous streak, get off the beaten track and explore the spectacular countryside around. A two-hour circular walk will take you from the little village of Capel Garmon, through the lush green rolling countryside, past a Neolithic burial chamber, along the river Conway with its rocky and bubbly waterfalls. All through the walk, you would stand witness to some amazing views of Snow Don’s majestic snowy peaks.
Visit Village Portmeirion
Once you pay the entry fee and enter this fantasy village, you would know that this is anything, but the average Welsh village you have come across so far. The idea of creating an Italianate village in the Mediterranean was conceived by a Welsh architect named Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1920s. The village, with its pastel-colored buildings, shuttered windows, majestic piazza and woods and gardens full of exotic plants was used as a set for the sixties TV serial “The Prisoner”. The one-time hotel in the village also housed iconic writers like George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell.
The Gower Peninsula, located in the west of Swansea, is noted for its high rising cliffs and United Kingdom’s most picturesque beaches. The Atlantic tides that come rolling make it the nation’s most preferred choice to go surfing. The Caswell Bay is known for its surfing strides on all tides. Adventure lovers can pick Oxwich Bay, famous for high tides. However, Langland is strictly meant for those who want a mid-tide surfing experience.
If coasteering is a new term in your diction, you are standing in the place where the word originated. Invented in Wales, this is for those who seek spine-tingling adventure and are hopelessly in love with the wild and rugged shores of the country. All that one needs is a basic level of fitness, wetsuit, buoyancy aids and helmet and he is ready to hit the rocky shorelines of the Llyn peninsula in northwest Wales. Coasteering involves clambering over the coastal ledges and boulders and leaping into the sea to swim across the next bit of the chosen route.
Wales is known for its surreal castles and if one is fond of getting lost in the mysterious middle ages of fortresses and turrets, you are at the right place. Be it the imposing Cardiff Castle or the eerie Bodelwyddan Castle or Castell Coch for those love-struck souls, Wales offers something for everyone. Among all these, the Beaumaris Castle is a military masterpiece. The unfinished look of it adds to its aura. Initiated by Edward I, the castle took almost 35 years and 3500 men to build it. Towering magnificently over the Menai Strait, it could never reach the intended height due to lack of funds.
Book Hunting In Hay-on-Wye
Today, the postcard perfect town of Hay located on the genteel river Wye is world renowned because of the literary festival held here. However, this quaint town has been a prized destination and has successfully charmed the tourists in many ways, including its second-hand bookshops. Come Thursday and a market is set up in the Memorial Square where along with relishing food and exquisite antiques, an alluring array of bookshops draw the crowd. Stocking books of every genre you look for, it is an experience of a lifetime to trot along the dusty lanes searching for your favorite book with the cool river breeze brushing your cheeks. Once you are done hunting for your low priced hard bounds, drench your throat at the cozy pubs. The Hay town lies on the northern town of a national park called the Brecon Beacon Park. So, you can even enjoy a fine walk out there later in the day or else fix up the stirrups and go horse riding.
Feast In St David’s
St. David’s is the smallest city in the entire United Kingdom and is located on the western tip of the picturesque Pembroke shire peninsula in Southwest Wales. Although this place is famous for playing host to a cathedral named after the country’s patron saint, it is soon gaining popularity for the fine dining experience it offers. If one is looking for lunch comprising of cottage pie with Welsh ale or dinner consisting of fresh and succulent seafood coupled with world-class bread and butter pudding, this is the place to be. If one wants to pick up fresh produce to take back home, he can hit the twice-monthly farmers market in nearby Haverford west.