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Wales

General Information

Languages : English, Welsh
Currency : Pound Sterling (GBP)
Time Zone : GMT (EST +5hrs)
Capital City : Cardiff
Population : 2.9 Million
Government : Constitutional Monarchy
Total Area : 8,022 mi²
Climate : Temperate
National Holidays: NA
Additional Info: Pembrokeshire is known as Gwlad hud a lledrith, 'The land of magic and enchantment'. Wales, (the Land of Castles) is a stirring reminder of the warlike medieval period.

Destination Activities


Activity Details

Hiking

Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia (Eryri), and include Snowdon, which, at 1085 m (3,560 ft) is the highest peak in Wales. The 14 (or possibly 15) Welsh mountains over 3,000 feet (914 m) high are known collectively as the Welsh 3000s.



Snowdon - Pen-y-Pass is a very popular starting point for many walks. Two easy routes from here take the Pyg track and the mining track. These two tracks go up the corrie of Llyn Llydaw and meet above Glaslyn where the path continues as a good track on a steep slope. There is reasonable opportunity for sun bathing by both lakes and both routes are quite busy ways up. Another easy way up starts from Llanberis and essentially follows the railway track. You can stick to the ridge and have excellent views down steep long slopes and cliffs to the Pass of Llanberis This way up sees some of the smaller cliffs of Clogwyn Goch and other such delights. The classic traverse is the Snowdon Horseshoe. It is well publicized and its reputation for being scary and narrow is accurate. The entire route is a grade one scramble. The first time I traversed the route I was petrified but the second time wasn't a problem. The first (and most difficult) obstacle is where the crags appear to block the way up the east flank of Crib Goch. Almost any route can be taken up (at varying levels of difficulty) but the easiest route requires a bit of trust at one stage as the way ahead lies hidden while traversing round a steep bulge with a 20m drop beneath. Once above the first obstacle the way up is straightforward but intimidating and very steep on both sides.

Biking

Wales is full of glorious green lanes, quiet, safe and perfect for exploring by bike.

In the north of Wales, head to the Llyn Peninsula - a finger of land that juts out on the west coast, this area is a nature lover's dream. Being a peninsula, the roads here are noticeably quieter without any 'through traffic' which means you can cycle along the lanes for miles, with only cows to whizz past. The scenery is dramatic with large hills dropping straight into the sea, breathtaking views of Snowdonia, and some 47 miles of coastline at your handlebars.

In Pembrokeshire, in the south of Wales, look for some mystery at the Preseli hills offer ancient standing stones, the chance to talk to angels, see some great sunsets and enjoy a huge diversity of wildlife. You can cycle right onto Newport sands, where you'll see along the coast to Dinas Head, a popular dolphin viewpoint. Behind you is the iron-age hillfort of Carn Ingli, ("Hill of Angels") and the Preseli hills, which were the source of Stonehenge's bluestones. Although how they got them to Salisbury without so much as a bike rack, is hard to imagine. And where you're standing is a sunset bella vista.

In the south central region of Wales, check out the relatively flat Tywi Valley which starts bursts into life as the Brecon Beacons make their presence felt, east of Llandeilo. As the valley skirts the western side of the Brecon Beacons (mountain range) and then snakes its way lazily towards Carmarthen, you can follow the path of the river from Llandeilo and you're gifted with views that are normally reserved for Arthurian legend. Imagine yourself in the role of an errant knight as your pedals spin you along the B4300 with the silver thread of the River Towy winding into the distance and Dryslwyn Castle rising out of the mist. There are lush green valleys, mountain wilderness, stunning lakes, beautiful gardens and fantastic food available at farmers markets in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Llandovery. Cycling heaven.

Photography



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