Holidays to Wales
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Wales packs an impressively diverse landscape of majestic mountains, tranquil beaches, river valleys and pastoral fields into a country of just 3 million people. This is one of the UK's great hiking destinations, offering unparalleled walking trails along coasts and national parks. Wales is also richly steeped in history and heritage; it offers unrivalled castles and ancient relics to explore. That’s not to mention the well-regarded hospitality of the locals as you finish your day in a wholesome pub.
Wales’ largest mountain is part of the enrapturing Snowdonia National Park. Those short on time can take the historic mountain railway up to the summit of the mountain. Clear weather will afford you dazzling mountain views across one of the UK’s most impressive areas of natural beauty. The surrounding peaks are just as pretty, where you’ll find mountain sheep flanked by rugged terrain and sparkling rivers.
Wales isn’t short on castles. Of the hundreds of fortifications which mark the Welsh landscape, Conwy Castle is one of the most impressive. Constructed in the 13th century, Conwy offers spectacular views over to Snowdonia. It's a true delight for families looking to trace Wales’ history.
The Welsh coast runs the gamut of wild and rugged cliff edges to picture-postcard tourist beaches. The entire 850-mile coastline from the Ll?n Peninsula to Anglesey can be explored via a well paved coastal path. Whatever route you plot, you’re in for a fine day out. Choose from historic sites like the Arthurian-linked St Govans Chapel, or stick to natural beauty with the famed fossil-strewn Col-huw Point.
Less wild than Snowdonia to the north, the Brecon Beacons is a national park of valleys, hills, moors and waterfalls. The highest point is Pen-y-Fan, a pretty rolling peak which is a hiker’s favourite. If the weather turns sour, there are a number of fine towns and attractions to explore here too, including the renowned Penderyn whisky distillery.
Hay is a book lover's dream. This charming little town houses a large number of fine second-hand bookshops and hosts a world-renowned literary festival. You can lose yourself in the well-stocked bookshelves between relaxed strolls around town with visits to the literary local pubs.
This pretty Edwardian manor hotel sits on 17 acres of impeccably landscaped grounds. Situated in the picture-postcard Wye Valley, it's ideally located to explore the Brecon Beacons and the book haven of Hay-on-Wye. The rooms themselves are luxuriously finished in a tasteful Edwardian-Victorian style.
Close to Lampeter, Falcondale is a well-situated country manor and idyllic rural retreat. Complete with a well-stocked bar and French-inspired restaurant, the hotel itself has well-kept gardens that are perfect for evening strolls. It is recommended that you visit the impressive Llanerchaeron Georgian estate just 12 miles from the property during your stay.
Once a favourite of Queen Victoria herself, this palatial resort is the definition of decadence. Beautifully designed with delightful rooms, the hotel is situated in the heart of northern Wales. You for some evening opulence. The dining experience features menus from noted Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.
Wales has much to offer year-round, but the high season during summer is both the warmest and most picturesque time to visit. You can expect an increase in prices with a peak in August during summer school holidays. August also sees the national cultural celebration of Eisteddfod, where you’ll find trade stalls, performances and events throughout the country. The shoulder seasons in spring and autumn are excellent opportunities to view the blooming flowers and changing leaves. April to June tend to be the driest months during shoulder-season, with October seeing considerable rain. Winter can be a delightful time to visit as well, but be warned that snow can close roads and mountain paths, with damp, cold weather to be expected throughout the season. As for festivities, the Hay Festival is hosted in May and the Laugharne Weekend, a celebration of the poet Richard Thomas, is also held in spring.
Wales is generally easy to travel to, with connecting flights to Cardiff Airport from London's Heathrow. One of the best ways to travel into the country is by train or coach, with easy connections from most major cities throughout the United Kingdom. Once you're in Wales, car transport tends to be the most convenient way to travel, especially if you're looking to explore the country's pretty remote corners like Snowdonia. You can hire a car in the main cities and airports of the country, from Cardiff to Anglesey. Trains are a great option for city visits but networks are not extensive. Trains tend to be fastest arriving into either north or south Wales from England than throughout Wales itself.
Wales has plenty to offer long and short stay itineraries. In general, a week is a great period of time to explore some of the country’s most beloved cultural and historic sites. Cities like Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor and St Davids are perfect for weekend stays, but you’ll want to stay longer to explore the country’s vast countryside and pretty coastal villages.
Wales is a place where nature, culture and history collide. Everywhere you go, you'll find remnants of the country's ancestry, from craggy castles and chapels to ancient standing stones and dolmens. Most of all, Wales is the quintessential rural escape. The country has been enticing British tourists since the 18th century, with pretty places like Tintern Abbey and Betws-y-Coed, as well as the famed Welsh beaches. In short, Wales holidays enrich the senses – both visual and aural.