Home to three national parks, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Britain's smallest city, Wales is a wonderful destination for a staycation in the UK. Bordered by golden sands and surf-battered cliffs, and filled with dramatic peaks and valleys, this beautiful country is a real magnet for those who love the outdoors.
Climbing, hiking, mountain biking and wildlife watching are just a few of the activities on offer during holidays in Wales. And then there are the castles, over 600 to be exact, so you could visit a different one every day for a year and still not see them all! Add to this a string of award-winning beaches, cosmopolitan shopping cities like Cardiff and Swansea, as well as a host of thrilling attractions, and it's easy to see why Wales is so special.
Surrounded on three sides by water, with the enchanting Isle of Anglesey at its rugged tip, North Wales offers an incredible base for your break. Head to the Llyn Peninsula to reveal sandy shorelines and secluded surf breaks, or enjoy a bucket and spade day out at a traditional seaside resort, such as Llandudno, Barmouth or Abersoch.
Further inland, you’ll find the Snowdonia National Park, home to one of the biggest reasons to visit North Wales, if not the highest, Mount Snowdon - easily accessible thanks to a train ride. North Wales is packed full of rich heritage too, with the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Harlech, Caernarfon and Conwy Castles, and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal.
From the lakes, waterfalls and mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park through to the winding rivers of the Wye Valley and the breathtaking beaches of the Gower Peninsula Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, South Wales is a feast for the eyes. Tread the Wales Coast Path for epic views over turquoise seas, explore the Glamorgan Heritage Coast which includes the pristine sands of Rhossili Bay, or try some water sports at Mumbles on Swansea Bay.
If you fancy a challenge, see if you can reach the summit of mighty Pen y Fan, or delve deep underground and uncover the secrets of Dan yr Ogof cave. And that’s before we even mention the beauty spots of Llangorse Lake, the Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark and Llanthony Valley.
Encompassing the counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, as well as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, West Wales is a spectacular peninsula. If you’re looking to spot dolphins, seals and puffins, and experience some of the cleanest waters in the country, then this is the place.
Wander the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, hop aboard a boat trip to the wildlife sanctuaries of Ramsey, Skomer or Skokholm Islands, or visit the Cistercian monks of Caldey Island. For a beach day, lounge on the soft sands of Barafundle Bay or stroll through the charming streets of Tenby, Laugharne or St Davids. And after all that sea air, venture inland for a hike in the Cambrian Mountains, the Brechfa Forest, or the Towy Valley.