Wales is a country full of physical beauty with serene mountain ranges, lush valleys and ragged coastline mixing with old-fashioned market towns and ancient castles. Wales isn’t as internationally renowned as the rest of the UK, and as such has retained much of its diversity, not bowing to tourism like areas of Ireland and Scotland – so you’ll find there are plenty of fascinating places to visit – many of which still speak the native Welsh language and range from the beautiful to the quaint.
If you’re crossing the border from England into Wales, the differences in appearance and culture are immediately clear. Wales shares similarities with the other Celtic lands such as Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall in the south of England. The landscape is rocky and mountainous, predominantly green with a largely rural population and a culture rooted in folklore and legend. Though the most obvious difference between the two countries is the Welsh language, and you’ll note as you drive through the terrain, Welsh village names and bilingual signposts marking your route. Don’t fear though as everyone in Wales speaks English.
There are a wealth of places to visit in Wales, from prehistoric sites and crumbling castles to wild landscapes and rocky but beautiful coastline. The cities throughout the country are vibrant and offer lots to the traveller. The capital Cardiff is of course a good place to start with its impressive architecture and buzzing nightlife, but the university town of Aberystwth can be beautiful too – tucked away on Cardigan Bay, it’s home to a mix of cultures – with cheap bars and restaurants mingling with a traditional pier, and quaint backstreets lined with boutiques and cafes as well as pastel coloured Georgian houses and the castle which dates back to the 1200′s. If you feel like getting into Wales’ renowned countryside then head to Snowdonia – home to beautiful green hills and the highest mountain in Wales – Mount Snowdon. You can climb the mountain by taking one of 6 dedicated pathways that range from the easier Llanberis path to the Watkin Path which takes around 6 hours to complete.
It’s not all about seeing and doing though, instead you may find that interactions with the Welsh people will remain in your memory the longest – whether just sitting in a cafe listening to the ancient British language being spoken all around you or standing amongst a throng of people in a pub – screaming at the Rugby.