Wales is considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. This is a small country, but it has three national parks with beautiful landscapes, five nature reserves with a variety of landscapes – from rocky mountains to mirror lakes, and several well-preserved medieval castles. All cultural and social life is seething in the capital – Cardiff, but small towns like St. David’s and traditional villages, the way of which has practically not changed since the Middle Ages, are no less interesting.
How to get to Wales
Getting to Wales is very easy: it is a few hours drive by motorway from London. Traveling by train is even faster – just two hours from London to Cardiff. You can also quickly get to Wales from the main airports in the UK via freeways and railway lines – from London Heathrow and Gatwick, as well as Birmingham and Manchester airports. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of United Kingdom.
Plus, of course, you can fly there by flight to Cardiff International Airport. True, there are no direct flights there from Moscow, Kyiv, Minsk and Almaty: you will have to transfer in Europe. Cardiff Airport is located just 20 km from the city. The center can be reached using bus and train connections. A taxi ride costs approximately 45 GBP. Prices on the page are for July 2021.
The Flexi Pass and the Rover Ticket for Wales rail and bus travel allow unlimited travel on all major rail routes in Wales, as well as on most bus routes. Cardholders are also eligible for free rides or discounts on select Great Little Trains of Wales routes, as well as discounts on many tourist attractions.
The North and Mid Wales Flexi Rover ticket and the Freedom of South Wales Flexi Rover ticket provide almost the same unlimited benefits on train and bus travel as the Flexi Pass card, only in the regional scale.
An extensive network of National Express bus routes connects the main cities of Wales, as well as the largest airports in the UK.
For a different look at the life of more remote provinces, it is worth taking a ride with the locals on the mail bus. These buses are operated by the Royal Mail and in many remote areas of Wales carry not only mail, but also passengers.
The climate in Wales is generally mild and the weather is changeable. In the summer, to the delight of tourists, there is a very long daylight hours – it usually starts to get dark only after 10 pm. The warmest month is July, the hottest in areas located away from the Atlantic windswept coast.
Cuisine and restaurants in Wales
Wales is known for excellent cheeses, tender lamb and beef. Seafood is also popular: trout, Penclodd clams and laverbred (slow-cooked red algae), and in the north of the region – English oysters. The local “English eggs” is a delicious combination of potatoes, leeks and eggs.
Cardiff has nothing less than 18 different types of ethnic restaurants to choose from, ranging from traditional Welsh to Chinese and Thai.
Entertainment and attractions in Wales
Three areas of Wales have been officially designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is the coast of the island of England with rocky coves and limestone cliffs, which is popular with climbers and water sports enthusiasts; the coast of Llyn, a famous place for surfing and windsurfing; and the Gower Peninsula, famous for its fantastic beaches and attracting many surfers, kayakers and backpackers.
It is no exaggeration to say that every town and every village in Wales is worth visiting. For example, Tenby is one of the most popular towns in the region with beautiful Georgian architecture and a medieval fortress wall. Chepstow is a picturesque town famous for its horse races and famous Norman castle overlooking the banks of the River Wye. Here are a few more places that will certainly delight tourists: Abergavenny, the village of Crickowell, Bilt Wells and Llandrindod Wells, Montgomery with a well-preserved Georgian central square.
Pristin will surprise you with beautiful semi-timbered buildings and great pubs. Welshpool has served as the gateway to Wales for centuries. The best time to visit this noisy, bustling town is on Monday, market day, which has traditionally been held since 1263.
St. Davids is the smallest cathedral city in the country. Here in the cathedral of the 12th century. the relics of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, are kept. The border market town of Hay-on-Wye is tiny, but has managed to become the spiritual center of literary Britain thanks to the fact that an annual literary and art festival is held here. About 80,000 visitors come here every year – not bad business for the town’s 39 bookstores.
Castles of Wales
The most famous castles in Wales are the “ring of defense” castles built during the time of King Edward I, who conquered Wales in the 13th century: Harleck Castle on a cliff in central Wales, Conwy Castle at the mouth of the river, Beaumaris Castle on the island of Anglesey and, of course, the most impressive castle is Caernarvon. In 1969, it was in it that the ceremony of introducing the Queen’s son Charles to the title of Prince of Wales took place.
Those who like gardens will appreciate Chirk Castle, a castle under the tutelage of the National Trust. It is on the outskirts of Llangolen, close to the market town of Wrexham, where you can make a lot of good shopping.
National parks and gardens
Pembrokeshire Coast, the only seaside national park in the UK, is best explored on foot, traveling along a trail that leads through the entire coast of the county. Brecon Beacons National Park features the historic market town of Brecon, Abergavenny, and eccentric Hay-on-Wye.
The National Botanic Gardens of Wales, an ambitious £43 million project, spans 239 hectares and is a first-class collection of flora. In the center of the garden is a large greenhouse. Plant lovers should also visit the classic Boudnant Garden near Conwy and the equally classic Powys Castle Gardens near Welshpool.
The 270-kilometer trail along Vala Offa (Offa’s Dyke Path) is fun for the strong in mind and body. The entire route can be safely completed in 11 days. Traveling along it is like traveling through time: the trail follows the Anglo-Welsh border, which is more than 1000 years old.
Narrow gauge trains.
It is very interesting to travel around Wales by train. Real steam locomotives and narrow-gauge railways, passing through the most picturesque area, are undoubtedly the “highlight” of the region. To the south, the Teifi Valley Railway runs through the steep-sided Teifi River Valley. In the north, the Ffestiniog Railway is interesting, which winds a 13-mile snake to the mountain town of Blaenau-Ffstiniog, as well as a narrow gauge railway in the Brecon Beacons National Park. But for the most thrilling experience, take the Snowdon Mountain Railway train. The only manually operated railway in Wales rumbles all the way to the top of Wales’ highest mountain.
Three areas of Wales have been officially designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is the coast of Anglesey with rocky coves and limestone cliffs, which is popular with climbers and water sports enthusiasts.
Water sports are popular in the Llyn coast area and on the Gower Peninsula: surfing, windsurfing.
Golf in Wales is fast becoming one of the most popular sports. There are now over 200 golf courses, including the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, which will host the famous Ryder Cup in 2010.
Among the many cycling areas are Afan Forest near Port Talbot and Cod-y-Brenyn in Snowdonia. Also popular is Nant-ir-Erian near Aberystwyth, where there is a zigzag of the Mark of Zorro and a climb called the Foot Burner.
Events in Wales
On March 1, Welsh people and Welsh people around the world celebrate St. David’s Day, the patron saint of the region.
In Wales, so-called “eisteddfods” (eisteddfodau) are held – popular festivals of culture, song and dance. The impressive history of these primordially Welsh events dates back centuries – the first eisteddfod took place already in 1176 at Cardigan Castle. Every summer, Llangolen hosts the International Musical Eisteddfod, which attracts participants from all over the world. There is also the National Eisteddfod of Wales, which takes place every year in a new location.