Wales is a country of resonant green valleys, rolling moorlands, spectacular coastlines and epic glacial mountains. It is also rich in history as seen in the multitude of castles and other ancient sites stretching back beyond the Roman occupation to Celtic and Neolithic times. If you long for a fantastic walking holiday in a land of myth and legend, as well as plentiful opportunities for adventure and water sports, this is the place to come to. Welsh coastal walks are especially recommended along the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast. Wales also has a fabulous musical, cultural and sporting heritage to explore as well as a reputation for lively nightlife, especially in the capital, Cardiff.
Much of Wales is mountain country, particularly in the north and central regions where the Snowdonia mountain range towers majestically over the coast. Snowdonia stretches over 2200 square kilometres and is the second largest national park in Britain. It's also home to the highest mountain in Britain, Snowdon, south of Scotland's Highlands. As well as mountains, forests and lush valleys to savour this national park also boasts epic waterfalls and a beautiful and varied coastline. You will also find stone age, bronze age and Roman forts.
Wales did not become so green without a spot of rain. In fact, Wales benefits from some of the highest rainfall in Britain. Mountains and sea winds ensure temperatures and climate fluctuate dramatically in terms of both geography and altitude even over short distances. Snow on Snowdon is fairly constant but in the lowlands the temperature rarely drops below freezing in winter.
The international airport at Cardiff fields plenty of connections from Europe. Just across the border in England are Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester international airports offering more choice. London to Cardiff is only two hours by train. Once there public transport is good in Wales especially in tourist areas such as Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast. There are no internal flights. Welsh railways are very good, offering scenic tours. The country's two main motorways are excellent but you may find hill roads are a little narrow and winding.
One of the smallest National Parks in England and Wales and one of the most beautiful, boasting high cliffs, long open beaches, coves and dunes. Several offshore islands are major wildlife havens. Attractions include the St David's Visitor Centre and Castell Henllys ancient monument, a prehistoric fort dating back to 600BC.
The other Welsh national park covering 519 square miles high above sea level. In the far west are the Black Mountains, a wilderness location containing one of the finest ridge walks in Britain.
The Devil's Bridge over the Rheidol Valley on the western slopes of Plynlimon, source of the Rivers Wye and Severn. The Rivers Mynach and Rheidol fall together in a narrow gorge while the Rheidol drops 90m in a series of waterfalls.
13th Century castle which is the stuff of fairy tales. One of the most mythical looking strongholds in Europe with a complex military design featuring polygonal towers.
Small 5th Century chapel in Southern Pembrokeshire on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park which is wedged into cliffs by the sea. The chapel is overlooked by spectacular rock formations rising from the sea.
Smallest city in Britain with a population of only 1500. The birthplace of St David the Welsh patron saint. St David's Cathedral is built on the site of the saint's 6th Century monastery, an international site of pilgrimage.
Famous literary festival town reputedly having more book shops per head of population than anywhere in the world. The pleasant town of Hay-on-Wye sits on three borders - England and the county boundaries of Brecknockshire and Radnorshire. Its castle has seen plenty of action over the years.
World Heritage Site of stunning medieval architecture in a breathtaking location towering above Tremadog Bay. It is one of the best protected castles in Wales surrounded on three sides by cliffs and with a complex series of gates and defences. This superb castle is remarkably intact.
Medieval walled town including Conwy Castle, a stunner with eight massive towers. Much of the town's walls also remain intact including 22 towers and three original gateways. The 14th century smallest house in Britain is another attraction.
Impressive city centre castle built over three eras of Cardiff's history - Roman, Medieval and Victorian. A latter architectural addition was in the 1880s - the ornate clock tower.
The history of Cardiff's Docklands as well as further plans to regenerate the area are covered here at this impressive waterfront development.
The 'Red Castle' is another middle ages castle straight out of myth and legend. Round towers and turrets are pure Victorian gothic fantasy.
Open air museum showcasing Welsh history and tradition covering 100 acres of parkland. The Museum in Cardiff stands in the grounds of 16th century manor house St Fagan's Castle.
In Cardiff's civic centre this impressive museum includes displays of Bronze Age gold, early Christian monuments, Celtic treasures, dinosaur skeletons as well as a fine art collection including impressionist and post-impressionist works.
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