Wales packs quite a punch for a small country, a green and ancient land of rugged mountains, crumbling castles and wild, windswept beaches. Cross over the border from England and you’ll immediately notice the difference: the clustered consonants of the Welsh language are given pride of place on road signs, and the red dragon flutters atop flagpoles. Amongst sleepy valleys dotted with sheep you’ll find cosy pubs, pretty market towns and scenic walking trails, while the cities buzz with an energy and vigour that reflects a renewed sense of national pride.
The revitalised Welsh capital, Cardiff, lures visitors with its famous castle, and second city Swansea is the gateway to the seaside retreat of The Mumbles. The mountains reach their most spectacular heights in Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, and Wales is also home to some of Britain’s most spectacular coastline. Resort towns such as Portmeirion and Llandudno swell with crowds during summer, while just offshore lie islands rich in wildlife and spiritual significance. But perhaps Wales’s greatest asset is the Welsh people themselves: gregarious, welcoming, musical, rugby-mad and fiercely proud of their distinctive culture and traditions.
From neo-Norman Penrhyn Castle to the lovely lawns and woodlands of Bodnant Garden, the fantastic sights of north Wales offer a far richer experience than you’d expect from a short break
From neo-Norman Penrhyn Castle to the lovely lawns and woodlands of Bodnant Garden, the fantastic sights of north Wales offer a far richer experience than you’d expect from short breaks in north Wales