Things not to miss

written by Keith Drew
updated 7/25/2019
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#01 Conwy

One of north Wales’ finest walled medieval towns, Conwy contains over two hundred listed buildings within its tight grid.


Richard Hayman/Shutterstock

#02 Cadair Idris

The dominant mountain of southern Snowdonia, Cadair Idris is a magnificent beast chock-full of classic glacial features.

#03 Green Man Festival

Three wonderful days of new folk, American and indie music plus a range of workshops, performance art and comedy in green fields near Crickhowell.

© Trybex/Shutterstock

#04 Aberystwyth

The capital of sparsely populated mid-Wales, Aberystwyth is a breezy and bright university and seaside town surrounded by luscious countryside.

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#05 Mountain biking at Coed y Brenin

Some of Wales’ finest singletrack and adrenalin-pumping descents through the forest combine with family trails, high-ropes adventures and even geocaching.

© Matt Gibson/Shutterstock

#06 Ffestiniog Railway

Of Wales’ many “great little trains”, the Ffestiniog Railway, winding down through the Snowdonia mountains, is one of the best.

#07 St Davids Cathedral

The heart of Welsh spirituality, St Davids Cathedral is at Wales’ westerly extremity and has drawn pilgrims for a millennium and a half.

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In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.


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#08 Mawddach Trail

Ride or walk this easy trail beside Wales’ finest estuary, the Mawddach, crossed by the 2253ft rail and foot bridge into Barmouth.

© Alexandra Glen/Shutterstock

#09 Carreg Cennen Castle

The most romantic ruin in Wales, Carreg Cennen Castle sits in glorious isolation amid pastures grazed by Welsh longhorns.

#10 Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Break up this path around some of Wales’ wildest coastal scenery into a series of day walks, or tackle the full 187 miles in one big push.

#11 St Fagans National History Museum

An unmissable chronicle of Welsh life, featuring period buildings from all over the country.

© Gail Johnson/Shutterstock

#12 Snowdon

Hike one of half a dozen demanding tracks to the top of Wales’ highest mountain – or take the train and sup a beer at the summit café.

© Lukassek/Shutterstock

#13 Cardiff Bay architecture

The wonderful Wales Millennium Centre and National Assembly Building are just two of many striking modern structures around the rejuvenated Cardiff Bay.


Tim Dobbs


#14 Portmeirion

The grandest folly of them all, Portmeirion is a gorgeous visual poem that will melt the hardest heart.

© Debu55y/Shutterstock

#15 The Wye Valley

Soak up the pastoral beauty of this wonderful valley and sense why Wordsworth was so moved as you wander past Tintern Abbey.

© matthi/Shutterstock

#16 The Valleys

Colourful terraces of housing, hunkered down under the hills, are the hallmark of Wales’ world-famous Valleys, the old mining area in the south.

#17 Abergavenny’s food

Sample some of the best morsels Wales has to offer in this gastronomic hotspot or, better still, time your visit to coincide with September’s food festival, among the best in Britain.

© Nicky Rhodes/Shutterstock

#18 Big Pit

Plunge into the depths of coal-bearing earth in this superb evocation of what life was like for vast numbers of Valleys miners.

#19 Aberglasney

Rescued from near-terminal decay, these formal gardens in the Tywi Valley are a perfect counterpoint to the nearby National Botanic Garden of Wales.

#20 Llanwrtyd Wells’ mad events

Bog snorkelling, a Man versus Horse Marathon and a Real Ale Wobble bring a wonderful sense of lunacy to this quiet corner of mid-Wales.

(Illustration) © Lasko Dmitry/Shutterstock

#21 Rugby

Although Wales’ standing in international rugby fluctuates wildly, the game remains nearly a religion here, never more so than when the national team are playing at Cardiff’s awesome Millennium Stadium.

© PhotoLondonUK/Shutterstock

#22 Llandudno

North Wales’ most genteel seaside resort, Llandudno spreads languidly around the bay beneath the ancient rock plug of the Great Orme.

Llandudno Pier

© jax10289/Shutterstock

#23 Brecon Beacons

The rambling moors of the Brecon Beacons are perfect for wild, lonely walks with thundering waterfalls and limestone caverns as destinations.

© antb/Shutterstock

#24 Hay-on-Wye Festival

Rub shoulders with the literati or just come along for music, a few book readings and a great time.

© Allen Paul Photography/Shutterstock

Travel advice for Wales

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written by Keith Drew
created 12/12/2012
updated 7/25/2019
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