North Wales

Snowdon is the centrepiece of a huge national park that contains not just mountains but vales clothed in ancient oakwoods, moorlands, lakes and a stunning coastline. For more seashore, head for the Llyn Peninsula or Isle of Anglesey, booth designated ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. There’s another AONB along the border, in the gorgeous shape of the Clwydian Range of hills. So we’re not shore on scenery – or activities. It’s said that North Wales is the UK’s activity capital. With all that walking, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, golf, and horse riding on the doorstep we’re not about to argue.

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Mid Wales

We don’t mind being known as the quietest region in Wales. Quite the opposite. It’s not in our nature to shout too loudly about out timeless border country, lakes and mountains, in case it disturbs the peace and the rare Red Kites that feel so at home here. It’s the same story along the Ceredigion Heritage Coast, where dolphins swim in Cardigan Bay’s clear waters. You’ve probably heard of the Brecon Beacons, the fresh, green National Park in our Southern corner. But we’re essentially a region of best-kept-secrets, some of which are downright eccentric. Have you visited Wales’ highest waterfall? Or the UK’s smallest town (Llanwrtyd Wells if you’re wondering) which hosts bizarre events like bog snorkelling or man versus horse? Or Knighton’s ‘Space Centre’ where they peer into out inky night skies? Best of all, though, is the rest and relaxation you’ll get from just being here.

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South Wales

The Romans set up camp in Cardiff 2,000 years ago. Their fort has since grown into a fabulous city-centre castle. It’s a surprising sight that sets the tone for the entire region. Forgive the cliché but we really are full of surprises. Take the Valleys. This former industrial powerhouse, transformed over the last few decades, is now filled with forest and country parks, not coalmines. Afan Forest Park is listed along with California and Chamonix for its world class mountain biking. Back in Cardiff, you’ll find a contemporary waterfront city – familiar to fans of Doctor Who – that has reinvented itself. Just a short hop in one direction there’s the undiscovered Glamorgan Heritage Coast, and in the other the wooded Wye Valley, an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, South Wales will come up with the kind of experience you’re looking for.

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South West Wales

Some pub quiz questions for you. Where are the following: (1) Wales’s longest beach, (2)Britain’s only coastal National Park, (3) the UK’s first protected ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, (4) the best coastal walk ever (in our humble opinion anyway), involving a holy well and lifeboat station? The answers: (1) Carmarthen Bay’s Cefn Sidan Sands (all seven miles of it), (2) the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (all 180 miles of it), (3) the Gower Peninsula (bonus points for its 50 bays, coves and beaches), and (4) the path around St David’s Peninsula (see why it inspired Celtic saints). Here in the South-West we like to be beside the sea. We even have a breezy bayside city, Swnasea, whose modern character is shaped by its maritime past. It’s easy to escape to countryside too in Carmarthenshire’s green farmlands, forests and country parks of the ‘Garden of Wales’.

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