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Exploring the history and adventure of Great Britain's Wales
The following post comes courtesy of Visit Wales.
Wales, bordered by England to the east, is a small country with endless adventures from coast to coast. Wales is home to three National Parks and five Areas of Outstanding Beauty (which are areas of British countryside considered to have significant landscape value). Although it may be small, Wales is home to many unique offerings that travelers can only experience in this corner of Great Britain. This “Land of the Castles” is home to 641 fortresses. You can also take the train to the North Wales village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (yes, you read that correctly); at 58 letters, it is the longest place name in Great Britain (and one of the longest in the world). From traditional villages to the scenic coastline and all of the modern cities in between, this hidden gem of Great Britain has something to be uncovered around every corner.
Wales Coast Path
Steeped in history, wildlife, and of course, beaches, the Wales Coast Path is the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast. Stretching 870 miles, the route can be walked or cycled, and offers plenty of stops along the way. Take in the stunning landscapes, explore quaint seaside towns, or pop in a pub for a fish-and-chips break. The journey would take 42 days to complete from start to finish. There are several shorter routes filled with fun.
If you are looking for the ultimate aquatic adventure, jump into a day of coasteering in Wales. What is coasteering exactly? Invented by local surfers in Pembrokeshire in the 1980’s, this “aquatic nature trail” involves cliff-jumping, rock-hopping, swell-riding, and cave-exploring to get you as close as humanly possible with the waters of Wales. It’s a great way to explore the coastline and is enjoyable for families and adrenaline junkies alike. There truly is no better way to become one with nature.
Horse-Drawn Boat Trip
A visit to North Wales would not be complete without a horse-drawn boating trip through an UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more than 100 years, Llangollen Wharf has welcomed visitors on horse-drawn boat rides. On these narrow vessels, you can sit back, relax, and watch fish and fresh water from the River Dee make their way through the canal. The Llangollen Canal has recently been designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 11-mile route, including Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The backdrop of mountains is spectacular.
Viewfinder Tip: Be sure to save time to explore Cardiff, the capital of Wales.
Snowdonia, Wales, is home to the largest zipline experience in the Northern Hemisphere: Zip World. Here, adventure-seekers will fly more than 700 feet in the air above a mountain lake, at speeds of up to 75 mph. Zip World is uniquely located in Penrhyn Quarry, the world’s largest old slate quarry. From high above the quarry, you will see panoramic mountain views of Snowdonia, the Isle of Anglesey, and even the Isle of Man (on a clear day).
Steam Train Journeys
One of the best ways to travel around Wales might be to take one of the region’s historic narrow gauge steam trains. These railways date back centuries and provide sweeping views of the country. One of the most famous “Great Little Trains of Wales,” the Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the world, established in 1832. Spanning 13.5 miles and set against the backdrop of Caernarfon Castle, a journey on this train takes you on a climb 700 feet above sea level, through mountain tunnels and forests. It passes majestic lakes and waterfalls along the way.
When you seek adventures in a new place, for what kinds of activities do you look?
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