Snowdonia National Park, Wales


If you have ever dreamed of treading in the apocryphal footsteps of King Arthur, Snowdonia National Park, Wales awaits you.

Established in 1951, Snowdonia National Park spreads over 827 square miles of mountains, valleys, forests, estuaries, and lakes. Snowdonia hosts Snowdon, the highest mountain in Britain and Wales, and Bala Lake, or Llyn Tegid, the largest natural lake in Wales. Located on Britain’s western coast, Snowdonia National Park is Wale’s largest National Park.

United Kingdom National Parks are referred to as “Britain’s Breathing Spaces.” Your holiday in Snowdonia, or Eryi as the Welsh call it, will be relaxing and invigorating.Nant Gynant valley, Snowdonia, North Wales

Snowdon comes from the Old English words for “Snow Hill.” Yr Wyddfa, “the tumulus,” is the Welsh name for the mountain. Over half of Snowdonia’s 26,000 residents speak Welsh, one of Europe’s oldest living languages.

Legend tells of a fearsome giant called Rhita Gawr. Nearly all the kings of Britain had been slain by Rhita Gawr before Arthur met him in battle at the top of Snowdon. Arthur emerged victorious and Rhita Gawr was buried beneath Snowdon’s summit. Current research shows that critical prisoners were sometimes held at at the top of Snowdon. The spectacular scenery of Snowdonia National Park spurs the imagination and it is easy to understand why so many stories have found a home in Wales.

There are several established paths to walk up Snowdon. These paths range from 3.5 to 5 miles up to the summit. The Snowdon Mountain Railway also takes visitors up to the top of Snowdon. This rack and pinion mountain railway took its first tourists over one hundred years ago.

Train afficionados should also take the Bala Lake Steamway, a 9 mile journey through picturesque Welsh countryside, as well as The Miners’ Tramway, leading a half mile into Llechwed Slate Caverns.

Snowdonia hosts a wealth of historical sites from across the centuries, including Harlech Castle, slate quarries, Roman ruins, and Neolithic burial cairns.

Harlech Castle is set upon a spur of rock and most famous for holding up under a several year seige during the War of Roses, the longest siege in the United Kingdom history. See the critical flight of stairs leading 200 feet down to the base of the cliff.

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or a full summer holiday, Wales’ Snowdonia National Park promises to exceed your expectations.


Tenby, Wales

Strategically set just off the British Isles, Tenby, Wales is a picturesque seaside resort with a history that dates back several hundreds of years. Tenby is famous for being a 10th century Welsh stronghold controlled by the Earls of Pembroke. The city’s harbor was once a national port for trading, fishing, and exporting. Today, the town is known primarily for its beautiful beaches, tourism, and the unique French-style, pastel colored homes that line the coast.

Tenby has a population of 4,900, and is often referred to as “The little England beyond Wales.” The town is considered a natural settlement due to its timeless appeal and harbor location, which is protected from the Atlantic Ocean. Located just South of the Pembroke Coast and 50 miles from Swansea, the area is accessible by the local train line that connects to Pembroke Dock, by National Express Service Bus, or by road.Tenby Harbour, Wales, United Kingdom

Tenby was once a town of great importance but two events contributed to its decline and ultimate downfall. The English Civil War resulted in the capture and surrendering of the castle, followed by a plague that wiped out much of the population. The town was abandoned by merchants and trade, which ultimately resulted in the town’s long slide into decay. In the 18th Century, Tenby made an astonishing comeback after Sir William Paxley purchase land and heavily invested in the town. The result was elegant homes, businesses and a pipe that brought fresh water to the town. The town has continued to grow over the years to include a wide range of restaurants, shops, pubs, and hotels.

Today the town still has its cobbled streets and a number of activities for tourists to enjoy. It is a very busy tourist town in the summer months. Visitors can take long walks along Tenby’s South Beach or the coastal path along Pembrokeshire’s national park. Caldey Island is a monastery located right off the coast, or you can take a tour of the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery. Families can swim along the local beaches or take boat trips around the bay. Visitors will love Tenby’s mild weather, which is mostly always sunny, with cool summers and mild winters.


Aberystwyth, Wales

Aberystwyth, Wales is a seafront resort town that offers stunning vistas and a variety of activities for visitors. The gorgeous Victorian and Edwardian architecture of the multi-story buildings nestled between the protected harbor of Cardigan Bay and the rolling hills of the west coast of Wales. Prior to becoming renowned as a resort town, Aberystwyth was a well-known, yet geographically isolated, market place.

The name was derived from a Welsh translation meaning Mouth of Ystwyth as the town is near the intersection of the rivers Rheidol and Ystwyth. The area was occupied as far back as the Mesolithic Age as it was blessed with flint ideal for hunter gathers to make tools and weapons. The oldest surviving structure is the remains of the Celtic fortress on the top of the hill Dinas Maelor, which dates from over 700 BC. The earliest structure in Aberystwyth is a fortress known as Strongbow, constructed in 1109 AD and subsequently destroyed by the Welsh. The town has to be self-sufficient due to its isolated location which led to the development of many industries in the market area.Aberystwyth in Wales, United Kingdom

The Aberystwyth Castle was built between 1404 and 1408 AD, cementing the town’s name in historical records. Unfortunately, in 1649 the castle was almost completely leveled by Parliamentarian troops during the English Civil War. Currently three towers still exist and the site has produced some interesting archaeological finds. In 1783, the gardens of Hafod Uchtryd were completed. The Victorian era marked the transition of Aberystwyth from market place to resort destination with the completion of the Cambrian Railway in the 1860s. Currently the town is home to about 15,000 permanent residences with an additional 10,400 student population at the local university.

The weather is mild and pleasant year-round due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream. Numerous museums, gift shops, restaurants, and over 50 pubs are located in the market area. One of the most popular activities is a day at the beach. The Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway combines a vintage feel with panoramic views. The view to the south includes the distant Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. Turning to the north, guests can enjoy the mountains of Snowdonia. The terminus of The Cliff Railway includes a carefully-balanced mirror that turns to project a panoramic view of the entire countryside. From the summit, guests can walk over the cliff-tops while taking in the majestic scenery of the seaside town.


Llangollen, Wales

Llangollen, Wales may be more commonly recognized as the festival capital of the world. This lively little place has a small population of 3,412 and is situated on the edge of Berwyn Mountain, near River Dee in the community of Denbighshire. Its perfect climate has the right amount of sun and less rain than other towns in Wales. The perfect setting entices sightseers to enjoy the natural beauty of historical architecture, engage in water activities, or admire the mountainous terrain.

The history of this town began when Saint Collen founded the first church in Wales. Saint Collen was rumored to have arrived in a coracle (a small boat) with an origin that derives back to Langolen, Colan, or Cornwall. In 1345 the bridge of Llangollen was constructed by John Trevor, Bishop of Saint Asaph. The bridge was expanded across railways by the 1860s and was broadened in the 1960s. New construction to the bridge still upholds the timeless beauty of the original antiquated masonry.Llangollen in Denbighshire Wales United Kingdom

The natural beauty in Llangollen, Wales is breathtaking. Its white water rivers, towering mountains, horse-drawn boats, and steam trains increases its timeless picturesque beauty. Newcomers are in awe at the amazing sights as they travel through intricate gardens or stand on an impressive bridge that is a 1000 foot long.

Llangollen has undoubtedly made its mark on the world with attractions and events that appeal to mass populations. Visitors enjoy the opportunity of shopping at several independent shops for unique items. Market Street hosts an outdoor market each Tuesday for everyone to enjoy local produce and fresh homemade delicacies.

Events take place year-round on open grounds. Townspeople love to celebrate life and happily invite newcomers to join in on the fun. The International Musical Eisteddfod in July is a widespread event where singers and dancers assemble to perform and celebrate. October’s food festival follows shortly thereafter. Its venue is replete with precious antiques, rare collectibles, and a variety of cuisine. By January, it is time to celebrate again with the Pantomime, a musical and theatrical production. Instrumental music and sung dialog provide cultural entertainment for all.

Llangollen has something for everyone because of its diverse culture, affordable prices, and undeniable beauty.


Llandudno, Wales


Llandudno is a small town in the country of Wales that has a population of just over 20,000 people. The origins of Llandudno can be dated back all the way to the stone age. While the town can be traced back to the stone age, it was not developed until the middle of the 19th century. The church of St. George created a small community in Llandudno that would grow to over 1,000 people by 1848. The city would continue to grow throughout the years until it eventually became the major resort town it is today.

While Llandudno is not a very large city, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country of Wales. Llandudno sits directly on the water, so people come from all over to experience the beautiful sights and weather the town has to offer. It is not uncommon for the population of Llandudno to nearly double at the height of travel season, so the town is filled with several high quality resorts to handle the influx of tourists.Llandudno pier in Wales United Kingdom

The two main attractions in Llandudno are the Llandudno Bay and the Llandudno Pier. Llandudno Bay features over two miles of beautiful sand and rock on the shore of the Great Orme peninsula. This is a great place to enjoy the sights of Llandudno, but there are also several biking trails at Llandudno Bay.

Llandudno Pier is the just under 2,300 feet long, which makes it the largest pier in Wales. The pier has several bars, restaurants, shops and amusement rides that are very popular among the tourists. There is also a theater that holds different shows throughout the summer. If you are planning to take a boat ride while visiting Llandudno, then there is a very good chance that the boat will be leaving from Llandudno Pier.

It may be wise to avoid traveling to Llandudno during the months of November, December, January, February and March. The weather in Llandudno is known to get very cold during these months. It is very common for the temperatures to struggle to rise above freezing during these five months in Llandudno. The temperatures tend to be very warm and sunny during the rest of the year. You also have a much smaller risk of experiencing participation if you visit during the warm months. All of the attractions of Llandudno are outside near the water, so the quality of your visit will be greatly enhanced with great weather.


Swansea, Wales

After Cardiff, Swansea, Wales is the second largest metropolis in Wales. The population is well over 200,000. The city is the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, a well-known poet. Situated on the Gower Peninsula, Swansea is known for extraordinary natural loveliness. The city is also known as one of the most relaxed urban centers in all of the United Kingdom. Urban Swansea has a wonderful mix of medieval and contemporary architecture while rural Swansea County on the Gower Peninsula has walking trails and farms where local produce is grown.

On the coastline, Swansea is in South Wales. The area has distinctive natural features including beautiful landscapes and seascapes. Swansea includes the Gower Peninsula with its countryside and villages, the city and its suburbs, the north moorland that stretches to the Black Mountain foothills and the east section shaped like a crescent around the Swansea Bay.Coastline and Lighthouse, Swansea, WalesThe region gets much rain and wind coming in from the Atlantic Ocean, but it experiences moderate temperatures during the year. In fact, the area is much milder than further inland. Still, Swansea is Britain’s rainiest urban center.Because of its ideal coastal location, evidence of several civilizations exists, especially on the peninsula. Items dating as far back as the Bronze Age are found on the Gower Peninsula. The Romans and the Vikings made use of this harbor region. During medieval times, Swansea was a rich fertile agricultural area around the city. Swansea Bay was also good for trade during the Industrial Revolution. The area was used for copper smelting starting in the early 1700s. The products increased to different metals and even the production of pottery.

After the metal industries declined, the city was left with waste products. However, much of the city was demolished by bombing during World War II. Fortunately, the medieval castles, churches and other ruins built to last through the centuries remain mostly intact. Cleanup after the war and more recent development has made a difference. The modern buildings and homes are attractive with the backdrop of the bay.

Visitors to Swansea will find a city that has cultural events, a marina and waterfront, museums and public parks. The castles are open for tours. The Gower Peninsula has wildlife, beaches, impressive cliffs and standing stones in place since ancient times. Fine dining is found in the city, and the National Showcaves Centre for Wales is fascinating to old and young.


Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is the capital of Wales. The city sits along the southeastern coast of Wales, near the point where the Mouth of the Severn meets the Bristol Channel. Cardiff lies on the edge of the Severn Estuary, and is itself built on reclaimed marshland.

Archaeological evidence dates human settlement in the Cardiff area back to the Neolithic Era. There are also Bronze Age burial mounds, and remnants of fortifications from both the Iron Age and the Roman occupation. William the Conqueror built Cardiff Castle on the ruins of the Roman fortifications, and the city gradually grew around the castle. Cardiff has been an active port city since the Middle Ages.Sailing Boats in Cardiff Wales at Sunset

The town was captured by Owain Glyndŵr during the Welsh Revolt of the early 1400′s, and during the English Civil War the battle of St. Fagans was fought nearby. Cardiff also witnessed mayhem during the Second World War, when it suffered damage from German bombers during the blitz.

In addition to being a major port, much of Cardiff’s growth has been related to the production of coal for the steel industry. Modern day Cardiff is also a center of finance, and a major tourist destination.

Because of the city’s long history, there are many tourist attractions that are centuries old. Cardiff Castle has both Roman and Norman structures open to the public, as well as a Welsh regimental museum. Castle Coch, on the northern side of Cardiff, is a smaller Gothic Revival structure built in the 1800s. Caerau, Beaupre and Penmark Castles are all nearby as well.

Llandaff Cathedral is nearly 900 years old. It was damaged by bombs during World War II but has since been restored. St. FagansNational History Museum is home to reconstructed buildings from different periods of Welsh history. The National Museum Cardiff has excellent art and history exhibits charting the development of Wales. Visitors interested in Modern Wales can observe debates in the Welsh National Assembly when it is in session.

There are also several parks and trails in and around Cardiff, that show off both the history of the city and the beauty of the coastline. The city hosts several festivals during the year, so check the calendar before visiting.

Cardiff has a wide range of accommodations available, including camping facilities at the Cardiff Caravan Park. Eating and drinking establishments are available to visitors with any size budget.


Colwyn Bay, Wales

Steeped in history, North Wales abounds with stern fortresses, castles built by England’s Edward I as he stooped to conquer the Welsh. As time went on, the castles weren’t needed and many fell into disrepair. Today, these sites remain, evoking a medieval era of fierce battles and rugged warriors. Nestled in a beautiful landscape, many Welsh towns draw visitors anxious to flee the modern pressures of clocks and cell phones. Colwyn Bay, Wales, on the coast, is one such town.

In Victorian times, with the advent of the railroads, Colwyn Bay became one of the many seaside towns that Britons escaped to as they fled the smoke and gloom of rapidly industrializing Britain. Prior to the Victorians, Colwyn Bay existed as a fishing village, sharing the catch with the area’s subsistence farmers. The area was part of the Pwllycrochan Estate. When the estate was sold in 1865, the land began to be developed into a resort area. When the rail way was extended into North Wales, development began in earnest. Generations of urban Britons created memorable times on holidays in pretty seaside towns such as Colwyn Bay.
Colwyn Bay, Wales
During WWII, Colwyn Bay became the headquarters of the Department of Food, in charge of foodstuffs, rationing and overseeing that everyone got their rations fairly. Overrun by civil servants, poor children from Liverpool, evacuees from blitzed urban areas, Colwyn Bay gradually absorbed the growing population and got on with the job.
Today, visitors flock to the North Wales and Colwyn Bay for much the same reasons the Victorians travelled to the town. Fresh sea air, quiet walks along the promenade by the beach, glowing sunsets and the restful escape from the busy rush of modern life. With all of North Wales in easy reach by rail or auto, Colwyn Bay invites visitors to rest a spell, enjoy some fine Welsh food and ales in the local pubs and escape to the beach for a sunset.

Day trips around the area could mean visits to brooding Caernarfon Castle. Edward I constructed the fortress not only as a stronghold in North Wales, but as a seat of government. A massive presence, the castle looms over the coastline, where supplies could come in by sea, rather than risking bringing anything overland through Welsh-held territories.

For an entirely different experience, spend a day at the world-class venue of Welsh Mountain Zoo. Here visitors can watch a live penguin parade as they follow a bucket of fish or enjoy meercat antics, shy lemurs and other exotic, endangered animals. With sealions and chimps performing daily, the zoo deserves its reputation as a great place to visit.


Ayrshire, Scotland


Ayrshire is a county located on the southeast coast of Scotland. It is most known for its famous breed of cattle as well as its role in the history of golf. The most famous golf event in the United Kingdom, the British Open, was first held in the Ayrshire town of Troon back in 1860.

The land that is now Ayrshire has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. The location on the coast means that it has always been a great source of food with its abundance of fishing. The area also has some of the most fertile soil in Scotland. There are vast potato fields along the coast, and the farmers also grow many other root vegetables such as garlic and onions. The farms in the region are also home to lots of livestock, mostly cattle and pigs.Holy Island off the coast of the Isle of Arran in Ayrshire, Scotland

Ayrshire first became part of the kingdom of Scotland in the 11th century. A famous castle was built in Ayrshire in the 13th century. Known as Turnberry Castle, it is famous as the birthplace of Robert the Bruce, who led the Scottish armies that defeated the English forces in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

There are lots of great attractions for visitors to Ayrshire to enjoy. The Isle of Arran is a big draw for hikers who enjoy exploring its high peaks and glacial valleys. The isle is full of small towns that offer visitors friendly hospitality and quaint charms in their pubs.

Another popular tourist attraction in Ayrshire is Culzean Castle. It is one of the most popular tourist draws in all of Scotland. The castle and its beautiful grounds offer spectacular views of the sea.

Many visitors come to Ayrshire to enjoy the beautiful scenery on cycling excursions. The sleepy towns and picturesque seaside roads offer cyclists many wonderful routes to explore. The rolling hills and frequent pubs ensure that cyclists will sleep well after a day of riding through the area.

The most common reason that people visit Ayrshire is to enjoy some of the most amazing golf in the world. There are many courses to enjoy in the county, but the two most famous courses in Ayrshire are Turnberry and Royal Troon. Both of these courses have hosted the British Open multiple times. They offer some of the most beautiful holes and spectacular play of any courses on the planet, and both are open to the public.


Portrush, Northern Ireland

A small town that once played host to the British Open in 1951, Portrush,  is a resort town in on the edge of Northern Ireland. The name Portrush comes from the Irish Port Rois, which translates to Promontory Port, and it features three sandy beaches. The city itself sits on the Atlantic ocean which makes for a perfect place to have a get away. Over the years, the town has become an ideal vacation destination, featuring history from many different centuries as well as beachside attractions and activities.

Similar to many towns nearby, Portrush started out as a fishing port. The city was built nearby the Dunluce Castle, a now-ruined medieval castle built in the thirteenth century. The city is rich in history even before the castle was built. Where the Royal Portrush Golf course now calls home, there was once a terrible battle between the Irish and Vikings. In 1103 the King Magnus Barefoot was slain by Irish Clans. In the 20th century, the area became a resort town. Portrush was a popular stop for passenger steamer ships which were much like the cruise ships of today. The beaches are lined with Georgian style houses built by the wealthy in the last century.Dunluce Castle & Portrush, Northern Ireland

Today, the coastal town remains a popular vacation destination. While the area has a lot of history, there are activities for everyone. Royal Portrush Golf Course, is one of the top courses in the world and was the host of the 1951 British Open. The beaches are popular surfer destinations and can easily become crowded when the waves are perfect. Portrush also offers the best nightlife in Northern Ireland. The Kelly is an entire complex dedicated to nightclubs and bars, and it often attracts some of the biggest DJ names in the world. The beaches host a variety of music events and festivals throughout the year.

The weather in Portrush is similar to the rest of the United Kingdom in that has a very mild climate. The winter months are more chilly than cold and it averages in the 40′s during the day. In summer time, the temperatures average at around 60 degrees fahrenheit, but there tends to be more rainfall during the summer months as well. The best time to head to Portrush for a vacation would be anytime from April to July. During these months, the Northern Irish town experiences the most sunshine and the least rain.