It may be the smallest of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, but Wales is packed full of things to do. From scenic cycling through the country to the raucous nightlife in Cardiff, Wales jams a lot of fun into a small space. Join the Welsh in year-round festivals or take in a rugby game before hiking the mountains or kayaking the rivers.
Flights to Wales are packed with travelers – both foreign and national – visiting the outdoorsy country for a bit of exploration, to take in a rugby game or find their way to Cardiff for some excellent evening fun. If you’re already traveling Europe and find yourself in the United Kingdom, hop a cheap flight to Wales and enjoy a night out in Cardiff. One of Britain’s hottest cities and the capital of Wales, Cardiff is a waterfront city featuring exquisite restaurants and five-star hotels suitable for any traveler. Brush up on your Welsh history on the flight to Wales – this country has one of Europe’s largest groups of medieval fortresses and should not to be missed by tourists.
Expect a fair amount of rain. Wales enjoys a temperate climate, similar to the rest of the UK and Ireland and as it is on the Irish Sea, the coastal areas get the rain first. A rain jacket/umbrella is an essential part of tourists’ kit.
Book Wales flights and accommodations in the summer months, when vacationers take to the caravan parks and holiday cottages of the country.
It never gets very cold in Wales due to the proximity to the sea. However, winter months are more wet than cold. If you plan to travel to Wales during the winter months, pack smartly with rain gear and layers.
There is a good public transport system with trains and buses offering comprehensive links throughout the country. Road quality is very good for rental cars, and if you feel like traveling with the local postie you can hop on the Postbus. The Postbus is a scheme run by the Royal Mail that uses the distinctive red vans to pick up passengers as well as post. Short journeys cost up to £1, longer journeys between £2 and £4.
Wales has three national parks and five areas of outstanding natural beauty. Snowdonia covers about 830 square miles in north-west Wales and Snowdon, at 3,560 feet, is the highest mountain in England and Wales. Tourists can take a train (March-November) almost to the summit.
On the coast of Snowdonia is Portmeirion, the Italianate village built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975.
The Brecon Beacons in south Wales is 500 miles of beautiful peaks, valleys, waterfalls and caves. The tallest peak here is Pen-y-Fan. It is a day’s walk to the summit, but there is a railway – Brecon Mountain Railway.
Wales has no shortage of castles, four of which are World Heritage sites: Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris on the Island of Anglesey and Harlech.
The town of Blaenavon has also achieved World Heritage status. It is the best-preserved example of a traditional South Wales iron-making town and is home to the National Mining Museum of Wales, where visitors, with a real miner for a guide, can descend 300 feet underground to see the conditions in which thousands of men worked at the coal face.
Fancy a spot of bog snorkeling? Llanwrtyd Wells is the smallest town in the UK, but it is the capital of festivals. Not only does the town host the World Bog Snorkeling championship each August, but it is also home to the Real Ale Wobble festival, which combines mountain biking with drinking beer, and the Man Versus Horse Marathon (June).
Visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, known in English as “St Mary’s Church in a hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and St Tysil’s Church of the red cave”. It’s the longest place name and the longest railway station name in Europe.