Wales

Wales is a country of rolling hills, mountains, and shoreline with an impressive and long history. Today, it is also home to some of the friendliest people in the United Kingdom. The history of invaders just might contribute to the heartiness and durability of these same people. There are many things to do in this country, from shopping to exploring the arts to exploring castles and ruins to ducking into small villages and soaking up the local culture.

Urban centers like Cardiff attract large doses of crowds. And during these explorations, visitors will find a wealth of attractions and things to do. Cardiff is at the heart of Wales shopping and much of the alternative culture found today amid trendy hotels, hip clubs, and art havens, putting Wales’ modern perspective on the forefront. The shops within Cardiff carry an array of goodies. From modern St David’s Centre, a hip urban shopping center only a short walk from the Cardiff Castle, to the many small stalls offering local wares from under a large covering. At St David’s, shoppers will delight in mainly British goods along with food stops and more located off broad walking paths.

Most Wales tours stop in Cardiff. Many even whisk off for a day or two from England. If Wales shopping marks the top of your itinerary, then stops at St Mary, Duke, High, Castle, and Queen streets are a must. Mostly, the area is a pedestrian thoroughfare flanked by greenery and Edwardian-style arcades, some of the most celebrated of all UK retail areas. Castle Arcade is the best-known, built in 1887, it also exhibits a rich past. The oldest though is Royal Arcade which encompasses several Victorian shop fronts in original form. Missing a local market is missing a quintessential Wales shopping experience. St Mary Street hosts the Central Indoor Market Monday through Saturday. The Sunday morning market is an open-air affair on Bessemer Road and The Fruit & Vegetable Market is outdoors on Mary Ann Street, closed only on Sunday.

Many Wales tours focus largely on the outdoors, whether it’s expeditions to historic sites or just exploring scenic landscapes and enjoying myriad activities. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a key location for adventure seekers offering a look at the pure natural genius of Mother Nature on a beautiful coastal trail, alongside stunning beaches, and over the limestone cliffs scattered over Gower Peninsula. Villages with almost unpronounceable names are a highlight of many UK vacations and also an exemplary way to absorb unique culture and chat with locals in a friendly pub environment.

UK tours of North Wales reveal numerous historic attractions including ancient Criccieth Castle, Caernarfon Castle, and Bodelwyddan Castle along with tranquil Bodnant Garden and Anglesey Sea Zoo, a prominent national aquarium. Famous Cardiff Castle is in South Wales where history dates back more than 2,000 years, attracting the most die-hard historians and plain old history buffs. National Museum Cardiff and The Big Pit coal mine are also great places to brush up on the country’s past during Wales tours. The gardens at Aberglasney House are quite lovely. Thick woodlands, walled gardens, and gorgeous cloisters define the setting. West Wales is firmly family friendly too, with two fun theme parks and Caldey Island, just a ferry ride from Tenby. The island is renowned for vast seabird colonies and hiking. Wales shopping is also notable here for famous island chocolate and perfume.

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