Rediscover the beauty of Wales again at one of these glorious destinations
More travellers are seeking out healthy holiday options than ever before, and where better to embrace nature and the outdoors than in Wales, where walking, hiking and coastal views are at their best. We’ve highlighted some of the best places and activities to visit in 2018.
Bodnant Gardens in Snowdonia is a National Trust site and haven for all ages with over 80 acres of grounds comprising gardens, lawns and champion trees. If you are craving a walk that is just as relaxing as it is beautiful then this is the place to visit. Unique and special botanical collections created over 150 years make Bodnant Gardens stand out from the rest, and all with a backdrop of the Carneddau mountains at Snowdonia.
Walk through history
Wales is a historical masterpiece, and with over 600 castles to choose from it is easy to lose yourself in the beauty of its culture. From Raglan Castle in the South, Kidwelly in the West, and Conwy in the North, the impressive castles across Wales are well worth exploring whatever the weather. Ideal for getting plenty of exercise whilst admiring all of the history Wales has to offer.
Why not try something different and embrace the great outdoors with surfing lessons at one of the most beautiful beaches in Swansea – Rhossili Beach. This spectacular beach is located on the Gower Peninsula, which became the UK’s very first ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ – learn to surf, enjoy a walk or simply take in the beautiful landscape that this beach has to offer. Swansea Surf School holds lessons at Caswell Beach and Llangennith. Price start from £25.
Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, offers a wide range of activities for those seeking something ‘friluftsliv’ this year, the latest Scandinavian trend encouraging us to embrace the great outdoors. From guided hill walking and rock climbing to canoeing and kayaking there is something for everyone to try. There are also a number of activity courses available including skiing, orienteering and mountain biking for those wanting to make the most of the Welsh countryside.
Sleep under the stars
The Brecon Beacons is the perfect location for a romantic getaway under the stars. Set up camp with a cosy picnic, bottle of wine and watch the world go by. The Brecon Beacons is one of the first five locations in the world to be granted International ‘Dark Sky’ reserve status. Protected from light pollution with an outstanding view of the night sky – the best star gazing spots within the reserve are: Usk Reservoir, Crai Reservoir, National Park Visitor Centre, Pontsticill Reservoir, Llangorse Lakes.
The Wales Way – Coastal drive
The Wales Way is a family of three national routes that lead along the Welsh coast, across castle country and through the mountains. The Coastal Way is a fantastic way to discover the Welsh coastline, running the entire length of Cardigan Bay – from Aberdaron and St Davids – a 180-mile (290km), four-and-a-half-hour odyssey that threads between beautiful blue seas on one side and epic mountains on the other. There is plenty to do and see on The Coastal Way from sandy beaches and towering cliffs to fishing villages and harbour towns filled with quaint shops and restaurants, serving freshly caught fish daily.
A world under the sea
Did you know Anglesey is one of the best drift diving spots in the UK? From beginners to the most experienced divers, the Welsh coast will certainly impress. There’s plenty to delve into in Anglesey, including shipwrecks and spectacular marine life. Start in the introduction pool and continue into the open water with Anglesey Divers ‘Try Scuba Diving’ one-day course.
From white water rafting in Cardiff to sea kayaking in Morfa Bay, Wales has all you’d need to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in you. Head to the hustle and bustle of the capital city and experience something completely different to what your average city would offer with white water rafting at Cardiff Bay. Then, experience the wild waters of Wales by kayak at Morfa Bay, on the border of the Pembrokeshire Coast.
Cardigan Bay is home to the UK’s biggest pod of dolphins. You should be able to spot bottlenose dolphins all year round but there are some locations that are better than others. For example, New Quay in the summer is the ideal site for spotting them, and if you are very lucky, you might be able to spot seals, porpoises, basking sharks and even orcas. Tours are available from March through to October weather and tide depending.
For more information on a Wales holidays, log on to: Visit Wales.