Fun things to do in Wales

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Wales

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    Walk to St Govan's Head

    by nani80 Written Dec 14, 2011

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    St Govan's Head is the most southern part of Pembrokeshire.
    The easiest way to access St Govan's Head is from the parking area located in MOD range (open to the public only on non-firing periods, so check at the entrances to the range - when a red flag flies above the area is closed to the public).
    But if you really want to enjoy, start your walk at Broadhaven (Trevallen Gates to MOD range, near Bosherston), and enjoy the views to the coast renowned as the most wild and beautiful in Pembrokeshire. Follow the path to the St Govan’s Head, and continue along the cliff edge to the St Govan's Chapel.

    Sea stack near St Govan's Head St Govan's Coast Path St Govan's Head St Govan's Chapel
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    Severn Bridge

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When we drove from England to Wales, we had to cross the Severn Bridge.

    The toll at the time we were there was 4.60pounds (only paid on entering Wales).

    It is a spectacular looking suspension bridge, which crosses the Severn Estuary, and was opened by the Queen in 1966.

    A second bridge has been built since, to cope with increased traffic flow.

    I have a bit of a secret passion for suspension bridges, so was very excited to cross it!!

    Severn Bridge wonky photo of Severn Bridge through windscreen Severn Bridge Severn Bridge Severn Bridge
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    South Stack

    by Folbi Updated Mar 30, 2005

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    You can visit a lighthouse at the bottom of a cliff (400 steep steps to walk down).

    This is also a good place for bird watching (from April to September) as 4000 pairs of sea birds mate here every year.

    Just off the road above the lighthouse is a bird watching refuge owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) where you can borrow binoculars to spot kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, gulls and - if you're lucky - puffins (higly sought after birds ... at least by me)

    For the little story, I've been spotting puffins for 4 years now but never managed to see one ... My next attempt will probably be to go to Skomer Island this summer (South West Wales) where i think there is a 100% chance for me to end my "quest of the puffin" by seeing a full colony

    The only puffin i've seen
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    8 Hours In South Wales - What To Do? See ...

    by scotlandscotour Updated Sep 2, 2004

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    ~
    Head to St Fagans http://www.nmgw.ac.uk/mwl/ part of the National Museum of Wales.

    And if the weather is ok, go to The Gower Peninsula
    http://www.explore-gower.co.uk/ ... that is the best way to spend 8 hours ... try not to spend too much time a) in Cardiff b) driving.

    If you want culture go and explore the recent history of coal mining and life in these communities
    http://www.nmgw.ac.uk/bigpit/

    And if you want another culture, try Brains Beer ... Cardiff has pubs to support students and rugby fans!

    For a lovely castle, try Chepstow
    http://www.castlewales.com/chepstow.html better than Cardiff Castle and Castle Coch.

    Castle enthusiasts should check out Caerphilly Castle
    http://www.castlewales.com/caerphil.html

    A lot of South East Wales is heavy industry and its decline ... not pretty.

    North of the industrial coast and the populated "valleys" are the Breacon Beacons - wild open moorland, if you want fresh air and adventure.
    http://www.breconbeacons.org/

    Welsh Dragon - On The Flag Of Cymru
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    Conwy Castle

    by Balam Updated Dec 7, 2009

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    Conwy Castle is certainly one of the most impressive castles in Wales and is my favorite, overlooking the Conwy estuary it's 8 towers soar above what is one of the finest examples of medieval walled towns in Europe. Both the castle and it's adjacent town walls were built for King Edward I between 1283 and 1287 and it proved to be the most expensive of the chain of castles (The Iron Fist) that King Edward I had built in order to subjugate the Welsh.

    The layout of the castle had to follow the shape of the rock on which it was constructed and the interior was divided into two separate wards with the outer containing buildings such as The Guard houses, Kitchens and the Great Hall and the inner ward housing the Royal apartments.

    Unfortunatly the castle had started to fall into disrepair within 60 years and some repairs and modifications were made in 1346 by Edward the Black Prince (Father of King Richard II) but no other major work was done to the castle and although it did see some activity during the Civil War (1642 - 1651) but at the end of the war the castle was stripped of saleable materials leaving an empty shell as happened to many castles in this period

    Adult - £4.60, Concession - £4.10, Family - £13.30

    A joint ticket for Conwy Castle and Plas Mawr is available:
    Adult £6.85, Concession £5.85, Family £19.55

    Entry is free for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.

    Opening times
    01.04.09 - 31.10.09: Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00

    01.11.09 - 31.03.10: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 16.00, Sunday 11.00 - 16.00

    Entrance Times and Fees Updated 08/12/09

    Conwy Castle Conwy Castle Conwy Castle
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    Raglan Castle

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 11, 2005

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    Other than a tour of the Tower of London earlier in our England trip, Raglan Castle was the first 'ruined' castle that I had ever had the chance to clamber around!

    Not long after crossing into Wales, we came across this very impressive structure, one of the most famous of all Welsh castles. The castle's origins stem from the influence of William ap Thomas, who fought with King Henry V of England in France at Agincourt (1415). Following his knighthood, William began construction in 1435 of the moat-surrounded 6-sided Great Tower (located directly above the car in the photo). Many aspects of Raglan show signs of French influence in the design, as a result of the time William had spent in France.

    The masters of Raglan remained loyal to the Crown until the bitter end. By 1646, the castle was under seige by the revolutionary forces of Oliver Cromwell in the final stages of his successful overthrow of the Monarchy. Finally surrendering in one of the last battles of the Civil War, two of the six sides of the Great Tower were brought down after great engineering exertions to forever disable it as a fortification.

    It was an amazing place to climb walls, view moats and just re-live history!

    Sue & her Brother Ready to Tour Raglan
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    Bosherston Lily Ponds

    by nani80 Written Dec 14, 2011

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    A magical place to visit in the late spring or summer, when lilies are in flower.
    The lily ponds were man made in the 19th century as a part of the Stackpole Estate. It is now a protected nature reserve where you can spot water birds, otters, fish, dragonflies, etc.
    Some believe that it is a home of the Lady of the Lake from where King Arthur obtained his magical sword, Excalibur.

    Bosherston Lily Ponds
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    Conwy

    by Balam Updated Dec 7, 2009

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    Conwy renowned for its medieval Castle and mostly complete town walls is certainly one of the gems of The United Kingdom, with it's picturesque harbour that sits on the estuary of the River Conwy spanned by Thomas Telford suspension bridge. Both the castle and the Town walls are a World Heritage Site with the castle itself being one of the most impressive examples of mediaeval military architecture that you will find. The circuit of Medievil town walls are just over three quarters of a mile long and and are guarded by 21 towers at regular intervals of about 46m. The walls are 1.68m thick and 9m high, The towers are15m high iat their highest and externally it would have presented a continuous stone face and would have been formidable to any would be invaders.

    Today Conwy is only invaded by tourists and is a busy town with nice shops and many ancient buildings that sit comfortably among more recent builds, there is a lot of things to see and do.

    Of course at the top of the list (and the Town) is the Castle, closely followed by Plas Mawr, A true architectural gem which is probably the finest surviving Elizabethan town house you will find anywhere in the UK. Or the Oldest House in the TownAberconwy House which is a 14th C merchant's house probably the Oldest house in Wales, built by the same craftsmen that constructed the castle and using the same stone.
    Down on the quayside There is the famous smallest house in Britain which was once the home of a Fisherman who was 6' 3" tall.
    You can visit the Conwy mussel museum, take a boat trip on the river or walk around the RSPB reserve which even if your not that interested in birds is a lovely walk.

    Conwy Smallest House, Conwy Aberconwy House, Conwy Plas mawr, Conwy Conwy castle
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    Ensure You Visit North Wales - The Best !

    by scotlandscotour Updated Sep 7, 2004

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    Visit North Wales.

    Though the "Capital" of Wales is Cardiff, in the very South - this has only been the capital since the 1960's and is an administrative choice. The heart of Wales lies much further North:


    Snowdonia National Park
    The "jewel in the crown" of Wales is Snowdonia National Park - the most stunningly beautiful and diverse scenery in the world - it combines sandy beaches, rocky mountains, ancient woodlands, desolate moorland, historic villages and castles - all within one days walk!!! No exageration.

    This region, in the North West, was the last strong hold of the Welsh tribal armies holding out against the English domination by King Edward I - and it remains the heart of the Welsh language - for many being their First Language.


    Note - North East Wales
    Also of note, if you are travelling between England and North Wales, is the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty called the Clwydian Range - a delightfully beautiful and unspoilt area of sheep farms and market towns. It runs from Prestatyn in the north to Llangollen (home of National Eisteddfod).


    Explore the Offa's Dyke Long Distance Footpath, from Prestatyn to Chepstow.
    http://www.prestatyn.org.uk/offa's.dyke/


    To find out more about King Edward's Castles and his military campaign against the Welsh, read
    http://www.castlewales.com/edwrdcas.html


    Follow this link to the best High Level Walk in Wales: Snowdon Horseshoe


    Easiest access is via Chester or Dublin (road A55, or rail). The journey up from South Wales is fun to drive but not quick!

    Magical, mysterious Welsh Woods
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    Plas Mawr, Conwy

    by Balam Updated Dec 7, 2009

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    Plas Mawr (Great Hall) was built between 1576 and 1585 for the influential Welsh merchant, Robert Wynn. (His tomb is in the Parish Church)

    The tall lime rendered walls of Plas Mawr tower majesticaly over the high street and reflect the status of its builder as does the richly decorated interior. Plas Mawr is an architectural gem and the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan era in Wales and England.
    Robert Wynn was a remarkable and well travelled courtier (who would have made a great member for VT if only it had been going then)He was a trader who rose to great import amongst the Welsh gentry of the time. The house is especially noted for its ornamental plasterwork which is of an exceptional quality and has been fully restored to its original splendour and has The initials RW and his coat of arms incorporated into the plaster in many places.
    Probably the best example of this is the plaster overmantel in the hall (Picture 4) which has been repainted in its original vivid colours

    Another great feature is the houses furnishings, many of which are original to the house and others are real period furniture from the local area. The furniture has been placed based on an inventory of the contents made in 1665.

    --

    Visitors can take an audio-tour of the house which describes the restoration and the life of the Tudor gentry (not just Wynn's generous entertaining and feasting, but also the work of the servants which underpinned such a lavish lifestyle).

    Adult - £4.95, Concession - £4.60, Family - £14.50

    A joint ticket for Conwy Castle and Plas Mawr is available:
    Adult £6.85, Concession £5.85, Family £19.55

    Entry is free for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.

    Opening Times:
    01.04.09 - 30.09.09: 9.00 - 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays except Bank Holidays

    01.10.09 - 31.10.09: 9.30 - 16.00 Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays except Bank Holidays

    01.11.09 - 31.03.10: Closed

    Updated Opening times and entrance fees 07/12/09

    Plas Mawr, Conwy Plas Mawr, Conwy Plas Mawr, Conwy Plas Mawr, Conwy Plas Mawr, Conwy
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    Brecon Beacon National Park

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 11, 2005

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    After spending our first night in Abergavenny, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales, we were very soon away to explore the park.

    Created in 1957 to preserve this mountainous area of natural beauty and human history, the Brecon Beacons encompasses 519 square miles of ridges, with it's highest peak, Pen Y Fan, reaching 2900-feet (890-m).

    The four mountain ranges within the park along with their ample forests provide many great hiking trails. In addition, the elevation can result in severe weather in winter, making this area an ideal location for arduous training by elite British military units. In fact, while we were standing there gazing down into one of the valleys, we were amazed to see an RAF Tornado fighter-bomber flying below us at high speed as it practised a ground-hugging attack approach!

    Mountains of Wales
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    Harlech - Castle, Beach and Surprise Corner!

    by scotlandscotour Updated Aug 20, 2004

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    Others will tell you to go to Harlech Castle. Only I will tell you how to find Surprise Corner:

    You must see castles in Wales - the remains of the conflicts between Welsh "Princes" and English Kings. A war eventually won when Edward I conquered the Welsh, after the strangle hold of these impressive miltary castles.

    These are not mock castles or palaces - these are real fortresses - and it was war!

    Of them all, I think Harlech is the best, for its location and history.

    Now - You may go to Harlech Beach too - a huge expanse of white sand good enough for Australia or California, except it'll have a cold wind. When the castle was built, the sea came right up to the foot of the cliff on which it stands. Ships lay siege to the castle. Now there is this vast, flat expanse of sand.

    Surprise Corner:
    ;-) I promised you something special:

    Travelling north from Llanbedr (4 miles south of Harlech) you will approach a sharp right hand bend at a village called Llanfair. If driving park on the left (bus stop).

    Walk to the low rock wall, overlooking the sea, with views back to Shell Island. Go through a metal "kissing" gate, where there is a grassy area and seat. Below you is Harlech Beach like you'll never see it, and your heart will remain there for ever!

    It comes as such a surprise, no one expects such a view. No one except the locals know of this!!!! (They are all millionaires in the modest houses nearby, it is such a place to live).

    No picture of it - I don't want to spoil the surprise!

    Moody Harlech Castle - Built By Edward I (English)
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    Snowdon Mountain Railway

    by Balam Written Feb 17, 2010

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    For those who don't want or can't walk (or Climb) up Snowdon there is always the Option of the train.
    It was in 1869 that a new branch line of the London and North Western Railway opened bringing people from Caernarfon to Llanberis and the foot of Snowdon then the only way to reach the summit was to walk or take a donkey ride, A proposition was then put forward to extend the railway up to the summit but a local landowner (George William Duff Assherton Smith) turned down every proposal as he thought that a railway would spoil the scenery, it was twenty years later that a rival plan to build a railway from Rhyd Ddu station on the other side of the mountain up to the summit brought fears that Llanberis would forever lose its tourist trade and with this in mind Assherton Smith changed his decision allowing his land to be used and so in November 1894 the 'Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Co. Ltd' was formed to build the railway.
    In order to ensure that the trains were able to climb the steep and continual gradient of Snowdon the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Co. Ltd travelled to Switzerland to find the best mountain railway technology

    The smooth constant operation when climbing the steep slopes has been achieved by a double racked rail used with a rotating toothed pinion. This pinion is mounted underneath the locomotive guaranteeing that the locomotive does not lose its grip on the track.
    The pinion is the only source of traction for the locomotive with the wheels only supporting the weight of the engine. The main point that is unique to rack railways is that the locomotive always pushes the carriage up the mountain and due to safety reasons it is never coupled to the train. The carriage has its own set of brakes that will bring the carriage to a stop if it is disengaged from the Engine.

    After some construction setbacks due to some very bad weather the first train reached the summit in January of 1896 and the railway was ready to open to the public in the Easter of 1896.

    Prices:

    Llanberis to the Summit. Return £25:00 for Adults and a Single is £16:00
    Children return £16.00 Single £13.00

    Other discounts apply for students and the disabled or for the various stations along the way

    Snowdon Mountain Railway
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    Caernarfon Castle

    by Balam Updated Apr 14, 2009

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    Caernarfon (Carnarvon in English) is certainly the most famous of the Many Castles of Wales; Begun in 1283 on the site of what was first a Roman fort and then a Norman motte and bailey castle built by 'Hugh of Avranches' sometime around 1090. The original motte was incorporated into the Edwardian castle, but was sadly destroyed around 1870.
    King Edward I built Caernarfon castle to mark a pinnacle in his conquest of Wales, The castle was designed as a military stronghold, royal palace and as the seat of government.
    The sheer scale and majestic controlling presence easily setting apart from apart from the rest and even to this day retains in no uncertain terms the intention of its builder King Edward I.
    The castle was designed built to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and Edwards ultimate dream castle, and certainly even after all these years Caernarfon's immense strength and imposing power remains.

    The castle stands at the mouth of the Seiont River and with its highly unique polygonal towers and Great intimidating battlements dominates the old walled town of Caernarfon which also founded by Edward I to house the builders and then castle employees.
    Edward certainly made sure of the symbolic status of Caernarfon by making sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born there in 1284.
    In 1969 the Caernarfon gained worldwide fame by hosting the Investiture of Prince Charles as The Prince of Wales.

    The castle houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers which is Wales's oldest regiment.
    Many special events are held throughout the year.

    Adults £5.10, Reduced rate £4.70
    A Family Ticket is available at £15.00 for 2 adults and up to 3 children (under 16 years.)

    The Castle is Open:
    1st April to 31st October - 09.00 - 17.00 daily
    1st November to 31st March - 09.30 - 16.00 Monday to Saturday, 11.00 - 16.00 Sunday

    It is closed:- 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January.

    Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon Castle, Kings Gate
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    Bangor Cathedral

    by Balam Written Sep 23, 2008

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    Bangor Cathedral is one of the earliest monastic settlements in all of the UK. being founded by St. Deiniol in the year 525 (more than 70 years before Canterbury); when Deiniol was consecrated Bishop in 546 his church became a Cathedral, the Cathedral is the only institution in Bangor that has persisted through the changing scenes of national and local life. It is small in comparison with many other cathedrals in the United Kingdom. The building one sees today is of course not the original, for the Cathedral has been rebuilt on several occasions. The first stone one being erected by Bishop David between ll20 and ll39.

    The 'Cathedral' has suffered immense damage throughout its history having been severely burnt on several occasions, both during local conflicts between the Princes of Gwynedd and by them against 'Longshanks' Edward Ist of England.

    In 1402 it suffered severe damage once again when Owain Glyndwr made his advance into the north; for it was garrisoned by English troops and their fight to retain it was bitter; with Owain losing many men. Then again late in l5th century extensive rebuilding was again undertaken, for the Cathedral had suffered saver damage during the English Civil War. Finally in the nineteenth century, Sir Gilbert Scott was asked to supervise a drastic restoration. It is the result of his endeavours which can be seen today; a Victorian creation which completely hides any part of the original Cathedrals that once stood on this hallowed turf.

    Despite all the destruction and rebuilding which has occurred, the Cathedral holds some great treasures. None more so than perhaps the tomb of the Great Owain Gwynedd, for he lies under the high alter. However, Owain is not the only one to be buried in the Cathedral, for he is but one of three Princes of Gwynedd that are buried here, another of the three being his troublesome brother Cadwaldr.

    On the walls are murals which depict the six cathedrals of Wales and notable men of the Welsh Church from Dubricius (Dyfrig ) to the first Archbishop of Wales, A.G. Edwards. The Cathedral also contains a memorial to poet Goronwy Owen, who left his native Wales to teach at William and Mary College in Virginia in the mid-eighteenth century.

    Bangor Cathedral Bangor Cathedral Bangor Cathedral Bangor Cathedral Bangor Cathedral
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Wales Things to Do

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