The things I like about Wales
In at number four on The Lonely Planet's Top Regions 2017 List, Wales is a country that's rich in rolling hills, bountiful countryside, glorious mountain ranges, idyllic villages, historical towns, ancient castles, beautiful lakes and rivers and magnificent beaches, as well as so much more. It's no surprise I'm proud to call Wales my home.
After having travelled to many wonderful places, and written blogs about my experiences and the wonders of the landscapes I have been lucky enough to see, I have become ever more appreciative of my own country, and so I'd like to share this post to celebrate it in all it's glory! Wales is an historic nation, beginning with the Celts around 1000BC, and evolving through the arrival of the Romans and then the Saxons, the construction of many great castles and the gatherings and celebrations of poets and musicians, to become the beautiful and archival country it is today.
The North of Wales has an abundance of mountain ranges and peaks to get stuck in to. Not only do they provide excellent scenes for artists, photographers and day-dreamers alike, they also offer exceptional adventures. I love to spend my Summer days in the North; hiking, scrambling, cycling, climbing and generally exploring the wonderful landscapes. With the main mountain ranges being found inside our delightful Snowdonia National Park, you can spend many days in the area, and still have places on your list that you haven't got round to visiting (and have little memory left on your camera from all of the amazing photos you've taken,too!).
That's right. Whether you've spent a long day exploring the mountains of the North, had a relaxing time strolling on the long stretches of beach, or you're just getting out of the house on a rainy day, we have some fantastic pubs. The thing that I love most about the pubs all over Wales is the atmosphere. Like the rest of Wales, our pubs are historical and authentic, and the people who run these pubs are very often locals who have lived in Wales for generations, and have a myriad of stories and knowledge to share. When you walk into the warmth of a good Welsh pub, the locals will greet you, and you can be sure to get chatting to local people who have all sorts of stories to tell, and, if you're a tourist, advice and recommendations to offer. If you're lucky, you'll also get treated to some great Welsh produce on the menu, including local meats and fish, home-grown veg and age-old recipes. Splendid.
The coastal path in Wales really is a delight. Running along almost all of the coastline that Wales has, it offers 870 miles worth of walking, cycling, running, or whatever it is you'd like to use it for. When it first opened in 2012, The Lonely Planet named our coast the top region to visit in the world! So, whether alone, with your friends and family or with a canine companion, you really must have the Welsh Coastal Path on your 'to-do' list (don't worry, I'm not saying you have to walk the entire 870 miles, but be sure to sample some of it!). Leading to beautiful beaches, cosy countryside cafes, hidden crags and glorious ocean views, there's something for everyone along this beaten trail. A personal favourite of mine is getting out on my bike, pedalling along with the ocean breeze blowing the stress of the day away, feasting my eyes on the beautiful colours and scenery the landscape offers, and, of course, stopping at a quaint cafe for a good old cup of tea!
We are very proud of our beaches in Wales, which is a good thing, seeing as we have a vast amount of them. With several of our beaches, including Rhossilli, Barafundle and Tenby being regularly voted some of Britain's best, it's no wonder we like to brag. With some beaches stretching for miles, they are a wonderful day out whatever your intention. Whether you're looking for a fun-filled family day, a long walk with the dogs, a romantic stroll or a dip in the sea, Wales is definitely the place to be when it comes to the beach (just be sure to visit on one of our rare but glorious sunny days!).
According to people in 'the know', we have over 600 castles in Wales - clearly it is a country worth fighting for. Many of these historical buildings are well preserved and can be visited all year round. Often offering insight into our history, as well as wonderful countryside views from the top, it really is a worthwhile venture to head to one or two if you get the chance. With so many, it's likely you won't have to travel far to find one!
Overall, presenting what is probably a rather biased view, it's safe to say I really love Wales. As well as everything I've already mentioned, we have wonderful towns and villages, and of course our capital City of Cardiff, which plays host to a real blend of heritage and modern life, as well as our fantastic millennium stadium. We also have beautiful food to try, as I'm sure many will agree that nothing can warm your soul better than a good bowl of homemade cawl! So, whether you're reading this from afar, or reading about your own home country, be sure to appreciate Wales and all it has to offer, and get out and explore! These really are just a few of the things I love about Wales. I think to write about everything I love in detail, I'd be better off publishing a book.