Attractions

The top tourist attractions in Wales include the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, one of the top performing arts venues in the UK; Cardiff Castle, a complex including Roman, Norman, medieval, and Victorian remains; St Fagan's National History Museum, arguably the best open-air museum in Europe; St David's Cathedral, which dates back to 1181 and graces a site which has held a church since the 6th century; Caernarfon Castle, in the delightful medieval town of the same name; the atmospheric Tintern Abbey, immortalised by poets like Wordsworth; Hay-on-Wye, known for its wealth of book shops and the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts; and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, despite this wealth of fascinating cultural and historical sites, Wales remains most famous among travellers for its stunning natural landscapes and attracts many people wanting walking holidays. There are many popular hiking trails in Wales, but the most celebrated is Offa's Dyke Path, which traverses the country from north to south, following a dyke constructed in the 8th century. Walking this National Trail path in its entirety takes about two weeks, but it can be broken up into short sections. Two of the best places to experience the scenic beauty of the country are Snowdonia National Park and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Snowdonia National Park photo

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is Britain's second-biggest national park, after the Lake District, and the biggest in Wales, boasting rugged mountain trails through some of the tallest peaks south of t…

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is Britain's second-biggest national park, after the Lake District, and the biggest in Wales, boasting rugged mountain trails through some of the tallest peaks south of the Scottish Highlands. The tallest peak is Mount Snowdon at 3,560 feet (1,068m), which is visited by half a million people each year, many climbing or walking while the less adventurous ride the magnificently scenic Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top. Mount Snowden was written about by William Wordsworth, and has retained an aura of profound romance for many fans of the poet ever since. There is plenty more to explore, including lakes, waterfalls, and glacial valleys, as well as Roman forts, Stone Age burial chambers, railways, and the crumbling remains of the country's mining heritage. Other nearby destinations not to be missed include the beautiful Victorian resort of Betws-y-Coed, whose former copper mines are open to the public, and Blaenau Ffestiniog, which also offers tours through its cavernous slate mines. About 26,000 people live in the Snowdonia National Park, and more than half of the population chooses to speak Welsh rather than English, which goes some way to demonstrating the traditional and authentic nature of the region.

Website www.eryri-npa.gov.uk

Cardiff Castle photo

Cardiff Castle

Situated right in the heart of the city, Cardiff Castle is a unique complex of historical buildings incorporating a medieval castle, a Victorian Gothic mansion, and a Norman keep, …

Cardiff Castle

Situated right in the heart of the city, Cardiff Castle is a unique complex of historical buildings incorporating a medieval castle, a Victorian Gothic mansion, and a Norman keep, which in turn was built over a Roman fort. Cardiff Castle stands as witness to more than 2,000 years of history. Roman soldiers and knights have lived in the castle, and the wealthy Bute family resided in it from early 19th century up until 1947. Those who visit Cardiff Castle will be rewarded with opulent rooms, Mediterranean gardens, and Italian and Arabian decor. The Essential Ticket includes access to a selection of the lavish Castle Apartments, the Norman Keep, the Battlement Walk, the Wartime Shelters, the Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier, the Interpretation Centre (including a film show), and an audio guide in multiple languages. The Premium Ticket offers all this plus a 45-minute guided tour with an expert guide, and access to some additional rooms in the castle. People of all ages will enjoy exploring the castle complex. As one of the top tourist attractions in Wales, it's definitely worth a visit for anybody in the city with an interest in history.

Address Castle Street

Website www.cardiffcastle.com

Wales Millennium Centre photo

Wales Millennium Centre

Nicknamed 'The Armadillo', this performing arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area hosts performances such as operas, ballet and dance recitals, stand-up comedy, and musicals. …

Wales Millennium Centre

Nicknamed 'The Armadillo', this performing arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area hosts performances such as operas, ballet and dance recitals, stand-up comedy, and musicals. Known as one of the world's iconic performing arts venues, it features a world-class stage and also offers free foyer performances, tours, and exhibitions for visitors to get an overall vision of the best of the arts world in Wales. The centre stages all the most popular and famous shows performed in London and all over the world, with classic favourites like Cats, West Side Story, Wicked, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert frequently performed, alongside the best in contemporary Welsh, British, and international entertainment. Guided tours of the centre are available, allowing guests to check out the dressing rooms, marvel at the sheer size of the stage, and find out what lies beneath the mystical inscription. There is also a wonderful restaurant, a coffee shop, an ice-cream parlour, and some theatre bars to enjoy. The theatre is wonderfully accessible for wheelchairs. Even if you are not lucky enough to be seeing a show, the Wales Millennium Centre is worth a visit to enjoy the architecture, exhibitions, and free performances.

Address Bute Place, Cardiff

Website www.wmc.org.uk

Llandaff Cathedral photo

Llandaff Cathedral

The Llandaff Cathedral, located on the western edge of Cardiff, is one of Wales' premier sights, not to be missed by visitors to the Welsh capital. Situated in what used to be the …

Llandaff Cathedral

The Llandaff Cathedral, located on the western edge of Cardiff, is one of Wales' premier sights, not to be missed by visitors to the Welsh capital. Situated in what used to be the tiny village of Llandaff, the area surrounding the cathedral still retains a village-like feel, with stone-and-timber buildings and narrow and crooked lanes. Constructed in the 12th century on the site of an earlier church - of which, a pre-Norman Celtic cross is all that remains - the Llandaff Cathedral boasts some of the greatest medieval art to be found in all of Wales. Suffering extensive damage during Nazi bomb raids in World War II, the cathedral was restored and received two modern additions: the Welsh Regiment Chapel, and the striking Jacob Epstein sculpture Christ in Majesty. The sculpture, made of aluminium and suspended from a concrete arch that dominates the cathedral's nave divides opinion between those who find it arresting and those who find it garish and out of place. Head to the Llandaff Cathedral and see the interesting work for yourself, before relaxing in the tranquil public gardens that surround this significant religious site.

Address Cathedral Road

Website www.llandaffcathedral.org.uk

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