Route planner: Wales
1. Begin your Welsh adventure in Cardiff… Bursting at the seams with restaurants, bars, exhibitions and parks, Cardiff is the compelling capital of Wales. Millennium Stadium’s sporting events keeps the city abuzz, Cardiff Bay is the ‘sunset’ spot, and the 2000-year-old castle adds a dashing of rich history to the mix.
2. Head west to discover Llansteffan – nestled on an estuary of the River Towy, Llansteffan is lined with golden beaches and framed with a backdrop of rolling hills. The local coastal walk weaves you along shoreline beauty and picturesque Welsh countryside.
Stay at: Pant yr Athro International Hostel
3. From the birthplace of King Henry VII, to the only coastal national park in the UK; Pembrokeshire has no shortage of visceral beauty. And with Fishguard acting as the gateway to Ireland, if you do get tired of the Welsh cakes, you can always hop on a ferry and grab a glass of Jameson.
4. Machynlleth has more to offer than its beautiful clock tower, green hills and close proximity to the infamous Bron-Yr-Aur cottage where Led Zeppelin recorded their third album. As the location of the Centre of Alternative Technology, arguably the most influential research facility for sustainability in Europe, the town gifts you natural beauty whilst teaching you how to respect it.
5. Bangor is one of Britain’s smallest cities, linking to the island of Anglesey via the Menai Bridge. Nature has blessed this area with magnificent coastlines and picture postcard views to explore at a leisure activity of your choosing. Megalithic monuments pay homage to this ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’.
6. Walk the Wales Coastal Path from Llandudno to Colwyn Bay (11km) to view the magnificent medieval Conwy Castle. The Great Orme is a large limestone peninsula home to ancient copper mines and many natural springs. Experience the diversity of the wildlife and the stunning views over the Irish Sea.
7. Journey through Wales and reach Snowdonia – a Narnia of natural beauty. Soaring peaks, endless valleys, cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes and fresh air make for a Welsh standing ovation. Ancient beauty stands defiant to modernity and invites you to co-create in its ongoing legacy.
Stay at: Cwm Pennant Hostel
8. This spa town – Llanwrtyd Well – is known for its healing water, fabulous countryside and crazy events – the World Alternative Games, the Man Versus Horse Marathon and the World Bog Snorkelling Championships. The latter two races started as banter in the local pub, so watch what you say!
Stay at: Stonecroft Inn
9. Climb the highest peak of the Brecon Beacons – Pen Y Fan; standing tall at 886m. Don’t miss the mystical waterfalls that feed into the impressive Tal-y-bont reservoir. With over 500 square miles of scenic moorlands, mountains and forest, it’s also an international Dark Sky reserve, so offers marvellous stargazing as well as daytime sightseeing.