7 Reasons You Must Visit Wales for a Holiday
Wales can be quaint and pastoral, whilst at the same time taking your breath away with its hard beauty. A place for picnics by the river and intense expeditions, a place for rich stories, and rich food. Wales should already be at the top of your staycation list, but if you need some gentle reminding as to why you should visit—here are seven reasons to visit Wales any time of year.
Exceptional Welsh food & drink
What makes a dish go from nice to sublime? The answer is simply the produce. Using high-quality produce and ingredients, fresh from the farm or ocean is the key to creating a world-class fine dining meal, and the local produce from Wales is unparalleled. Wales is abundant in lush pastureland, perfect for grazing. This has helped the country to become world famous for its succulent lamb and in the production of award-winning cheeses.
The coast of mainland Wales if extruded would stretch for over 1,000 miles. With all that coast, fresh seafood isn’t hard to come by. Wales is known for its mussel farms, oysters, and lavabread—but also has a glut of fish, crab, and lobster. The bounty the sea gives in Wales is amongst the best in the world.
No trip to Wales would be complete without a tour of the incredibly charming pubs where you’ll find live music, great food, top-quality ales, and the warmth of the Welsh communities. Going for a walk along the stunning coast and spotting wildlife before ending your day by the fire in a pub can’t be beaten.
National parks and Jurassic coastlines and mighty mountains
The diversity of Welsh landscapes is something to behold. Dappled riversides and pristine waterfalls, vast windswept swathes of open moorland, rolling hills of the greenest grass, pine-cloaked valleys and skyward mountains, and tumultuous coast hewn raggedly from the land. Wales has it all.
Snowdonia is home to the grandest peak in Wales, Snowdon, and even if you have no desire to conquer and summit the mountain, just beholding it can be spectacular. There are countless walks and trails across Snowdonia, with varying lengths and difficulties, so you should be able to find a route to suit.
People have thrived on the Beacon Beacons for nearly 8,000 years, and with each passing century, communities have left their mark on the landscape. You'll find 519 square miles of rolling hills and towering mountains, like Pen Y Fan, monuments, settlements, churches, castles, canals, industrial sites and museums speak of times gone by.
In West Wales, there are also numerous mountains and hills to discover. You can take a scenic walk to Devil’s Bridge Falls, nestled in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains, or explore Llanelli Mountain, which offers stunning views of the Preseli Hills and the Brecon Beacons. For a panoramic view, try the Caringly Mountain circular walk from Newport, providing 360-degree views across Pembrokeshire and beyond.
Due to the expanses of open space, Wales is teeming with wildlife (if you know where to look). There are dragonflies and butterflies at the many lakes and gardens, and on the coast, you have starfish, crabs and other sea creatures in the rock pools, and dolphins, seals, and porpoises in the water. However, the best of Welsh wildlife can be found in bird watching. With the combination of the open Atlantic coastline and soaring maintenance, there is a vast array of different species of birds for you to observe.
One of the most unforgettable activities you can do is a trip to Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast between April and September. There you’ll see hundreds of puffins wandering around (they aren’t particularly afraid of people so you can get quite close) as well as a wealth of other birds and wildlife on this flower-carpeted island.
The Intriguing History of Wales
Welsh history stands apart from the rest of the UK, shrouded in myth and legend. The Welsh landscape is littered with prominent historical sites dating back to the Neolithic age through to the industrial boom of the 19th and 20th centuries. For history lovers, Wales offers a distinct look back in time through its landscape and preserved architecture, painting a picture of not only Wales, but the entirety of the UK was like centuries ago.
After the Romans departed from our shores, Wales embarked on a journey of rediscovery, rekindling its customs and culture. While some facets of life were influenced by the remnants of Celtic traditions, Christianity remained a steadfast presence throughout Wales. Much like in Devon and Cornwall, this fusion gave birth to a distinctive cultural amalgamation, a harmonious blend of Christian beliefs and the ancient Celtic way of life.
From these cultural fusions arose many medieval churches, monasteries and castles that would have been filled with whispers of fanciful stories of ancient Welsh myths and legends that still capture the imagination of modern-day society.
Highest density of castles in the world
From a few weathered stone walls in a field to grand monuments, and some that have been continuously inhabited for a thousand years. Wales does castles with abandon and has 600 of them. This means there are more castles per square mile than anywhere in the world.
It’s thought the oldest castle in Wales is at Chepstow – where construction started in 1067. It is the oldest post-roman stone fortification in Britain, originally commissioned by William the Conqueror, and strategically placed overlooking the River Wye near the English border.
The largest is Caerphilly Castle, which occupies around 30 acres. Surrounded by intricate artificial lakes, it is renowned for the elaborateness of its water defences. It even has a draw bridge. The epitome of a castle. In recent years it has found extra fame as a filming location for Doctor Who.
If you are looking for some guidance on which castles, we have a previous blog post that lists some of the stunning castles to visit in the Brecon Beacons.
A wealth of myths & legends
Wales is steeped in archaic stories and legendary claims to fame. The most significant of which, is its association with King Arthur. Many still argue whether he existed, but the consensus is he was a Romano-British warrior chief, who fought viciously against Saxon invaders in the 5th Century. This heroism led to stories, which led to his popularity skyrocketing and so followed King Arthur with his Knights of the Round Table.
Literature and culture
If you’re a fan of literature and poetry, you’ll have heard of Dylan Thomas. Even if you’re not, you’ll have heard of Dylan Thomas. Thomas is the most renowned Welsh poet and one of the greats of the 20th Century. His writings perfectly captured themes like a loss of innocence, nostalgia, and mortality. Tragically Thomas died at the young age of 39 whilst touring America, though his poetry lives on. The Dylan Thomas Trail in Ceredigion is a walking route that encompasses some of the scenery and settlements that helped inspire his most loved creations, including Under Milk Wood.
A Staycation in Mid Wales
At the Lake Country House, we’re lucky to be a hotel and spa in the heart of Wales, close to the Brecon Beacons National Park, where the Black Mountains rise. We’re also within reachable distance of Snowdonia National Park. Come and find calm in the serene Welsh valleys, with blissful spa treatments, and pretty walks. Indulge too, with award-winning cuisine and four-star luxury. Check out our special offers page for more.