At the far end of the UK, Wales is steeped in history and tradition. Cities like Cardiff or Swansea have a lot to offer.
THE Wales it is more than just a member country of the United Kingdom. It is a society with very own characteristics and whose name is linked to the succession to the English throne. After all, the heir always receives the title of Prince of Wales. Or Princess, that this thing about monarchs being only men is ground that has already borne grapes.
The capital of Wales is Cardiff, a vibrant city full of interesting sights. Although the summer months do not guarantee good weather, they will be the best time to schedule your visit. Yes, the probability of rain in Wales is always very high.
The country is a fascinating destination and has an outstanding natural and heritage wealth. It has a nature full of beauty, hiking trails that leave anyone enchanted and, still, fascinating castles.
Learn about Wales, land of castles
There are some interesting curiosities about Wales that are worth getting to know. Ready to get to know some of them? Well, here goes,
- In Welsh, the name of the country is Cymru;
- This is the nation that has the most castles per square kilometer;
- Although there are some Welsh football stars (such as Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale) rugby is the sport that generates the most passion in Wales;
- The national anthem – Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau – means “land of my fathers”;
- The flag has two stripes in white and green, with the Red Dragon occupying a large part of the flag.
King Edward’s Castles and Walls
The castles of Beaumaris and Harlech, in North Wales, more precisely in the former principality of Gwynedd, are two of the symbols of this nation. Both were built under the responsibility of the most brilliant military engineer of the time, Jaime de São Jorge.
The fortified enclosures of Caernarfon and Conwy are also surprisingly well preserved. They are an excellent and valuable testimony that demonstrates the quality of medieval military architecture and the defensive capacity of the time of Edward I of England.
Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
The production of iron and coal led Wales to play a leading role worldwide throughout the 19th century. As a result, it “won” a large-scale Industrial Landscape.
The traces of that golden age are present in various details, from the workers’ houses, to a primitive railway network, not forgetting the foundry ovens, boilers, iron and coal mines, among other elements that made this landscape a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 2000.
Pontcysyllte Canal and Aqueduct
The Pontcysyllte Canal is an excellent example of an authentic feat of civil engineering from the period of the Industrial Revolution.
A construction carried out at the beginning of the 19th century that was a real feat as, to become a reality, it had to overcome numerous obstacles, namely geographical ones.
Thomas Telford was a famous engineer, responsible for the project of the canal bridge, a monumental work of metallic architecture.
It is a work that served as an example and inspired many others that followed, as it was innovative by using revolutionary knowledge in the field of construction and engineering.
Cardiff, capital of Wales
As well as being the capital, this is also the largest city in Wales. The ex-libris of tourism in Cardiff will probably be Cardiff Castle, as its history is vast and interesting. It is dated 1081. However, the architect William Burges was at the origin of a profound transformation that took place in the middle of the 19th century.
But Cardiff has other points of interest, namely another castle. This one seems straight out of a fairy tale.
Coch Castle is a Victorian building built on the remains of a Norman castle. It is a fascinating castle, which has secret passages inside, as well as dungeons and other details that leave anyone amazed.
Cardiff Bay is another popular location, as is the interactive science center known as Techniquest. Another highlight of a visit to Cardiff is certainly the St Fagans National Museum of History.
Another iconic city in Wales is Swansea. A city that has countless natural charms, stunning landscapes, fantastic beaches and gardens ideal for having a picnic with friends, family or your better half.
The existing ruins in the city are also enchanting. Oystermouth Castle or its ruins are impressive and are one of the great local attractions, as they are impeccably preserved and offer all the guarantees of safety to those who visit the space.
The Swansea Waterfront National Museum – which forms part of the National Museum of Wales – is fantastic and free entry means that anyone visiting the city can invest some of their time in a trip to the museum.
To top it all off, you can always take a stroll along Sawnsea Bay or, alternatively, through the beautiful Singleton Park.