Although it is much smaller in size than its popular neighbors like England, Scotland, and Ireland, Wales can be just as appealing to visit for a holiday. With fewer tourists flocking here than many other destinations, it can make for the perfect place to have a quaint and peaceful getaway – though there’s plenty of excitement to be enjoyed there as well.
If you need a bit more convincing though, or you’d just like to learn a little more about what Wales has to offer, read on for a few of our recommendations for things you absolutely have to do if and when you visit this lovely little corner of the world.
Explore Snowdonia National Park Wales
You can’t leave Wales without first stopping by Snowdonia, where the landscape looks as majestic and its name sounds. Here sits the highest mountain in England or Wales, which you will have the opportunity to climb if you are up for the challenge of reaching the summit. Alternatively, if you enjoy getting a look at the mountain but don’t want to attempt to reach the summit on foot, you can still enjoy the view from the top using the park’s online panoramic and interactive display. It’s not quite the same as being there in person, but it’s all the more interesting if you’ve at least seen the mountain itself with your own eyes!
Some other, less strenuous activities the park offers include walking trails, train rides, and water sports like kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. The park is also home to several quaint historic villages, which make for ideal places to stop for a lunch break, or just to explore a bit. All in all, there’s a lot to see win the area, and given that it can take a couple of hours just to drive from one end to the other, you can just imagine how much time you might ultimately spend losing yourself in the sights along the way.
Head To The Races
Horse racing is a popular tradition in many European countries, and Wales is no exception. Not only do races attract sports fans, but they also appeal to socialites looking to dress up and enjoy a few drinks with friends, or to betting enthusiasts looking to have a bit of personal fun with the action. Most significant courses will offer small bars and restaurants to suit these crowds, and the horse racing betting sites of the UK have made it easier than ever for those interested to get some skin in the game, so to speak. In other words, most anyone can enjoy a day at the tracks for his or her own reasons.
Our favorite venue in Wales is Chepstow, located in the southern part of the country near the English border. In addition to impressive racing facilities, Chepstow also has several restaurant and bar options that serve everything from quick, casual bites to steak dinners with several courses. For that matter, Chepstow also has on-site betting booths, for those who might prefer to wager in person as opposed to online. It’s the full experience and makes for an excellent place to experience the UK racing culture.
Explore The Wonders Of Portmeirion
Portmeirion Village was designed by a Welsh architect as a mystical tourist attraction and developed over the course of five decades in the 1900s. If you’ve even been to Italy or France, you will instantly recognize some of the architecture there, much of which was inspired by the French Riviera. Portmeirion is comprised of a village, woodlands, secret gardens, and beaches, ultimately making it such that you could easily spend your entire weekend there without growing tired of the sights and surroundings.
The village is home to local businesses housed in picturesque, colorful buildings alongside cobblestone streets. And just outside of the village are 70 acres of subtropical forest to explore – home to some of the rarest flowers and trees in the UK. Furthermore, if you follow the correct unmarked, winding path, you may find yourself standing in front of the ocean on the gorgeous shores bordering Portmeirion! Due to the fact that it exists primarily for tourism purposes, the area can get somewhat crowded, so we’d recommend trying to coordinate your stay there with the offseason. That way, provided decent weather, you’ll be able to enjoy everything this magical town has to offer in peace.
Visit A Few Castles in Wales
If you’ve ever toured through any of the historic parts of Europe, then you’ve probably seen your share of storybook castles. And though they can surely all start to blend together in your mind after a while, you should at least visit some more unique castles in Wales if you have time to fit it into your schedule. The area does, after all, have some of the most spectacular offerings in the UK in this particular category of sightseeing.
One of our favorites is Caerphilly, which was one of the first castles in the country to be built with concentric walls. It is also located on its own little island, which makes for stunning scenery and a certain fantasy-like vibe (you almost can’t help but imagine what it would have been like for someone to try to seize this castle in its heyday). Another top spot to consider seeing is Conwy Castle, which is viewed as a sterling example of military architecture and has also been granted status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both castles are excellent options – but mind you they’re still just two of about 600 castles in the country!
We hope that with these suggestions, you’ll give Wales serious consideration the next time you’re looking for a new destination! It may not be as large as some of its neighbors, and it lacks some of the internationally recognized tourist attractions. But whether you’re looking for activity, sightseeing, relaxation, or a mix of all three, Wales has a great deal to offer.