The best things to see in Wales
Wales is one of those places in England that you feel you should really visit but can’t quite put your finger on why. There are great places to see in Wales and it’s fairly easily accessible from most parts of the country. The region has a rich history dating back to the frequent wars between the Welsh and the English and so is a region steeped in history as well as coal mines. To correct my own ambiguous feelings towards Wales I decided to discover the best places to see in Wales and examine the rich culture of this province.
Of all the places to see in Wales Cardiff is perhaps the most vibrant. Cardiff has thrown off the history of coal exporting as the world’s largest exporter and become a rich vibrant city that oozes cool and charm in equal measure. The city has a variety of large scale venues and fantastic clubs playing the latest sounds from around the country. The nighlife in Cardiff is phenomenal and I personally could happily spend hours exploring the many trendy bars and quiet out of the way pubs the city has to offer. However, Cardiff also has a rich history and beautiful arts scene that is well worth visiting it for. The national museum hosts a grand collection of art (both local and non-local) and is also home to a myriad of sculptures and historical objects. The victorian arcades are also well worth visitng and contain a great variety of pokey little shops and more trendy clothing outlets. They’re still quaint and pretty and definitely let you step back in history. Cardiff castle is my last port of call and this has been standing since Roman times. It was rebuilt by the famous English architect William Burges in 18 something or other and is incredible with its decadence and stunning location.
Before we get to exploring the places to see in Wale’s expansive countryside I thought we should travel to Llandudno which is Wale’s largest seaside resort and one of the prettiest beach towns in the UK. The town was built in the Victorian era simply as a seaside resort meaning there are beautiful hotels and an elegant promenade. The situation of the town between the headlands of Orme creates a fantastic sun trap with beautiful views. The Llandudno cable car is also magnificent and the largest in Britain. The town is also famous for being the place where Lewis Carrol first met the daughter of Henry Liddell who became the infamous Alice in Wonderland.
The Wye Valley
The Wye Valley begins on the border with England and is one of the most spectacular areas of countryside in Wales. Cottages in Wales are beautiful but the area around the wye has the nicest of all with whole towns of steeped roofs set amid deep valleys and beautiful forests and hills. Wandering out from a quiet cottage into the beautiful hills is an absolute must for any traveller and for me the views along the Wye valley definitely top my list of places to see in Wales. Nearby you can also and should also explore the amazing town of Chepstow with its incredible Norman castle and fantastic abbey. The castle sits against the river Wye and is incredibly well preserved with towering fortifications and an impressive keep.
The Vale of Glamorgan
Glamorgan is another area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales and perfect for walking and hiking – or just enjoying beautiful pubs and views. However, it is the coastline here that is really my favourite thing. The coastline is beautiful in large parts with tiny little fishing villages and more sweeping tourist towns. The rugged cliffs and rocky shores make for brilliant walking and rock climbing opportunities and there’s plenty else to enjoy.
Anglesey and Snowdonia
Anglesey is an Isle situated just of the Northwest coast of Wales and is an absolute must see for any traveller to Wales. Its coastline has over 100 miles of rugged cliffs and beautiful sheltered beaches. On the coastline you can find migrating birds, beautiful cliffs, dunes and lagoons tat attracr a cornucopia of wildlife and sea life. Inland you can explore the stunning wetlands, lakes and moors and marvel at the exquisite beauty of this region. The main towns of Holyhead and Beaumaris in the region play home to numerous castles and mansions dating back to the time of the Norman Conquest and beyond.
The adjacent region of Snowdonia is perhaps even more impressive and beautiful. The mountainous landscape offers unbridled views over the welsh countryside and out to the sea. Mount Snowdon is of course the biggest draw but be warned the climb is steep and in certain weather make sure you are fully equipped for hiking. The top of the mountain often lies covered in snow but the views and surrounding landscape make it one of the best places to see in Wales. The area is a paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts with its rich range of activities from rock climbing and mountain biking to canoeing and skydiving Snowdonia has it all.
The Brecon Beacons and the Welsh valleys
I thought I’d finish up with a brief tour of these two areas of beauty. The Brecon beacons national park is incredible with its hills, deep valleys and absolutely beautiful places and villages to explore. Hiking and outdoor activities are the order of the day and I spent ages exploring the rivers and waterfalls whilst trying not to get too lost.
The Welsh valleys have a really rich history of mining but unfortunately large parts of the area are now severely poor thanks to the end of mining in the region. However, it is still an absolutely beautiful place to see and the Rhonda valley in particular is incredible. There are a bunch of mines that are open for tourism and crawling through the caves is an interesting (though slightly nerve wracking) experience.
Finale to the best places to see in Wales
Well I really think that Wales has great places to see and tons to do and I’m definitely going to head back here when I can. The region is warm welcoming and above all beautiful and I’d really recommend camping or driving around to really experience all the parts of this fantastic place.