Wales has a rich history that is intertwined with that of the rest of Great Britain, yet the wild beauty of its landscapes and the friendliness of its people make it a tourist destination that is unmatched in its individuality. The difficult-to-pronounce Welsh language is likely to be the feature that stands out most to travelers coming to Wales for the first time in comparison to other parts of the United Kingdom.
Even though everyone in Wales speaks English, a great activity to do while there is to pick up a few phrases in Welsh, which is one of the oldest languages in Europe. In addition to its rich Celtic heritage, the nation is well known for the abundance of impressive castles that dot its landscape.
The Best Places to Visit in Wales
Mountains, valleys, and beaches all across Wales are incredibly beautiful, and no trip to the country would be complete without at least one long hike through one of its many breathtaking national parks. An outline of some of Wales’ most popular tourist destinations:
1. The National Park of Snowdonia
Llyn y Dywarchen, a lake in Snowdonia National Park that is popular for fishing. When you think about Wales, the gorgeous mountain range known as Snowdonia (Eryri) that is found in the county of Gwynedd is probably the first thing that comes to mind.
Snowdonia is seen from as far away as Porthmadog on the west coast of Wales. It is comprised of fourteen majestic peaks that are higher than 3,000 feet, the most well-known of which is the 3,546-foot Snowdon, which can be reached by train at its peak. Around four million tourists travel to this part of the United Kingdom every year, making it one of the most popular places to spend a vacation in the country.
Snowdonia National Park, also known as Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, is one of the most popular places to go trekking in all of Britain. It has more than 1,479 miles of paths that are clearly designated. Climbing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are among the very popular activities in this area.
2. The National Park of the Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons National Park, also known as Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog, protects an area that is widely considered to be among the most picturesque in all of Wales. The Black Mountains on either side of this hiker’s paradise are quite distinct from one another.
The first range is located to the west and contains the watershed that eventually becomes the River Usk. The range located to the east is well-known for the wild ponies that live there.
3. The National Museum of Wales and Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is a must-see and is regarded as one of the best attractions in the city of Cardiff. It is possibly the most photogenic of the many castles that can be seen in Wales. This magnificently maintained castle, which still has sections that were built over a thousand years ago and are still intact, may be explored in a couple of hours time.
When planning your itinerary for touring Cardiff, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to do so.
4. Beaches on the Gower Peninsula
When you go to Wales, you really must schedule some beach time into your itinerary at some point. The Gower Peninsula is home to many of the nation’s best-known beaches, including many that consistently rank among the nation’s best.
Rhossili Bay should be at the top of your list of locations to visit since it boasts a long shoreline that is perfect for swimming and kitesurfing, as well as a variety of activities and possibilities for scenic hikes, particularly during the golden hour of the day. In close proximity to the beach are locations where one can rent various types of water sports equipment, as well as restrooms, a parking lot, and a restaurant.
5. Devil’s Bridge and the Hafod Estate
Devil’s Bridge is actually three bridges that have been spectacularly placed on top of each other. It may be found approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the coastal resort of Aberystwyth.
The one from the 11th century is the oldest (and also the one that is the lowest), while the one from 1901 is the newest. They extend across the Rheidol Gorge, which is characterized by a precipitous drop of around 300 feet into the valley below.
Be sure to continue down the Falls Nature Trail until you reach its terminus. The ascent back up is a bit of a challenge, particularly those steep and slick stairs of Jacob’s Ladder, which is the section that leads to the oldest bridge, but the rewards in terms of scenery are well worth it.
6. By Train Across Wales
Once upon a time, Wales was well-known for its mining operations, especially the mining of slate used for roofing, which is still quite widespread here.
Even though the bulk of these mines and quarries have shut down, several of the narrow-gauge railways that were used to transport commodities (and later, tourists) around the country during the Victorian era have been rebuilt and now offer scenic excursions.
7. The Castle in Caernarfon
Caernarfon Castle, also known as Castell Caernarfon, is one of the largest fortifications of its kind in the country. It was constructed in the 13th century by King Edward I as a residence for the first Prince of Wales.
This gigantic castle is known as one of the most impressive medieval strongholds in Europe due to its 13 towers and two gates. It also has the distinction of being one of the best-preserved castles.
8. Principality Stadium in Cardiff
The passion that the Welsh have for the sport of rugby is a source of national pride for the country; hence, attending a match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to watch one of the country’s teams play will be the most memorable experience you have throughout your time there.
Attending a game in which 74,000 rugby supporters are singing the national song in harmony while wearing their team jerseys and getting pumped up for a spirited competition will give you a sense of the Welsh people’s devotion to their nation.
9. The Castle at Conwy
The beautiful castle of Conwy, which can be found on the north coast of Wales and is only a short distance from Manchester, is just one of the many attractions that can be found in the little Welsh town of Conwy. Other attractions include medieval architecture and an abundance of wonderful shopping opportunities.
In addition to viewing the castle, one of the activities that stand out as one of the one-of-a-kind opportunities available in this location is strolling the walls of the castle that encircle the city. It does not cost anything to participate, and you are free to begin and end your participation at various points along the route. The city and harbor can be seen particularly well from this particular vantage point.
10. The National Park on the Pembrokeshire Coast
Wales has more than its fair share of stunning coastline thanks to its location near the center of the British Isles and its proximity to three different bodies of water. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro) encompasses a large portion of the coastline of the Pembrokeshire Peninsula, which protrudes into the Irish Sea. Some of the most impressive can be seen along the coast of the Pembrokeshire Peninsula.
The most effective way to take in this breathtaking panorama is on foot along the spectacular Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail. Along this path, you’ll come across places like the picture-perfect, tiny resort of Tenby, which is still partially surrounded by its medieval walls.
The relationship between Great Britain and this location goes back a long way. Because of the breathtaking natural scenery, it is a one-of-a-kind destination for tourists. It also contains folks who speak incredibly ancient languages, and conversing with those people is always a lot of fun.
People have the ability to teach each other new phrases. A plethora of towering castles is another one of its distinguishing features. The following places are absolute musts on any trip to Wales because they are among the country’s most popular tourist destinations.