Wales is a diverse country ranging from the breathtaking landscapes of mountains, hills, valleys and rocky coasts, to the vibrant cities with their rich history and vibrant culture.
Wales Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Wales, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Welsh Arts and Architecture
The capital city of Wales, Cardiff, is full of impressive buildings, both new and old, and is an interesting and energetic city. Cardiff Bay has a huge waterfront development where you can see the impressive glass and steel building of the National Assembly. The Millennium Centre is a venue for music concerts, theatre, ballet, opera and other performances and you can have a guided tour of the centre where there are also restaurants and shops. In Cardiff Bay you can also see other interesting places such as the Techniquest Science Discovery Centre with a great planetarium. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in Cardiff Bay, together with the Mermaid Quay where there is a shopping and leisure centre along with boat tours around the area.
Cardiff Castle is impressive and popular building with medieval and Victorian Gothic revival architecture, together with parts of the original Roman wall remaining. The castle has impressive Gothic Towers and beautiful interiors with stained glass, murals and marble and is set in lovely parklands. You can visit the 12th century Llandaff Cathedral with a mixture of medieval and modern architecture, together with St. David’s Cathedral which was designed by Pugin and built in the 19th century.
The National Museum, along with the National Museum of Art, is home to collections of art, geology, natural history and zoology and you can see works by artists such as Renoir, Monet, Lowry and Bacon. St. Fagans National History Museum is another interesting place to visit and it is located in St. Fagan’s Castle which was built in the 16th century. The museum shows the history of the people of Wales and their lives you can see people making traditional crafts. There are many exhibits including an open air section with a farm and school and it holds regular festivals. There are many pubs, restaurants and cafes to eat and drink in throughout the city and many places to shop.
Newport is an interesting city with ancient Roman remains, elegant buildings and lively culture. Tredegar House built in the 17th century is a grand building with lovely landscaped gardens and park that holds regular events here such as craft markets, fairs, and circuses, and you can have a guided tour around the house and park. Newport Museum and Art Gallery houses collections that include art, natural history and archaeology and includes Roman and medieval artefacts, works by painters such as L.S. Lowry and Stanley Spencer, together with porcelain and ceramics. In Caerleon there is the National Roman Legion Museum together with the Roman Baths Museum and you can see Roman remains here of the walls of the Isca Augusta fortress, together with an amphitheatre, barracks and baths.
The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre has many performances that you can see such as drama, opera, music and dance, together with local art collections such as painting and photography. There is also a bar and cafe in the Centre where you can eat and drink while enjoying views of the River Usk. During the summer there is the Newport Festival with lots of different events taking place around the city. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in Newport and the nightlife is lively with lots of pubs, clubs and bars and places where you can enjoy live music. There are also many of places for shopping in Newport which include the High Street, Market Arcade and Newport Arcade.
The Welsh Landscape
Snowdonia is a beautiful region in Wales with mountains, ridges, valleys and forests and has a diverse landscape to explore. You can hike up Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, and during the summer there is also a charming narrow gaurge railway that you can ride to go to the top of the mountain and eat in the cafe there admiring the stunning views. Other scenic mountains you can also hike up include Tryfan and Glyderau. The region is a National Park and includes lovely forests of trees such as oak, ash and birch and has abundant interesting wildlife including polecats, otters, peregrine and osprey. Visitors can also have a tour around the slate mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog or around the copper mines in Beddgelert.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in west Wales is a large and diverse region where there are rocky cliffs, hills, valleys and beaches. You can explore the many different stunning landscapes in the region and enjoy all the nature and wildlife there.
The Park includes the Pembrokeshire Coast Path which runs for many miles throughout the National Park and includes climbs and descents and landscapes such as sheer cliffs, valleys, estuaries, headlands and bays. Among the distinctive landscapes of the Pembrokeshire Coast is the Castlemartin peninsula with its imposing cliffs of limestone and the plateau is great for cycling.
You can also see the fascinating stack rocks towering out of the sea standing out on their own. There is the popular Green Bridge of Wales where the limestone has formed into a natural arch in the sea. At Freshwater West beach, not far from Castlemartin, there is a lovely wide beach with many dunes and is a hugely popular area for surfing with its strong waves. Another interesting place along this coast is Govan’s Chapel, which is a small 13th century chapel made of limestone and built into the bottom of a cliff at St. Govan’s Head near Bosherton. You can also visit the Bosherton lakes where there are beautiful lilies all over the water and you can see otters there and go fishing.
Popular Welsh dishes include tatws popty which is a stew with a meat joint, potatoes and vegetables, and tatws pum munud which is a stew of bacon, vegetables and potatoes. Another stew is cawl which is made with lamb and leeks, and Shepherd’s pie is minced lamb topped with mashed potatoes. Laver, a seaweed, is used to make laverbread which is a popular food in Wales. It is boiled, covered with oatmeal and then fried, often with cockles and bacon.
Roast lamb is often enjoyed with laver, mint or plum sauce. Cockles are eaten a lot in Wales and are often steamed and monkfish is also popular and can be eaten with laver. Leeks are a traditional food of Wales and are enjoyed in a variety of dishes including leek soup.
Other favourites are faggots which are meatballs of lamb or pig liver together with onions, and Glamorgan sausage which is cheese with egg and breadcrumbs in a sausage shape. Welsh rarebit, or caws pobi, is melted cheese on toast with Worcestershire Sauce, pepper or mustard often added, and crempog are pancakes made with buttermilk and often eaten with butter. A traditional Welsh breakfast is bacon, sausage, egg, cockles and laverbread. Sweet foods include bara brith which is a sweet bread with dried fruit and Welsh cakes which are quite like scones. Popular alcoholic drinks in Wales are beer and whiskey and favourite non-alcholic drinks include tea.
Whether you are exploring the stunning coast with its cliffs, stacks and beaches, walking in the beautiful valleys, or enjoying the fascinating city museums and festivals, you will always enjoy your trip to Wales.
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