After 2 years of living in London, I guess I’ve become a bit of a London snob. I always stick to zone 1 and 2 in general London. Also as an American, I was pretty unaware of everything Wales had to offer. After my short 3 day visit, I was introduced to the wonderful world of castles, ancient history, and some of the friendliest natives ever.
I am originally from California and when thinking of the UK only Scotland, Ireland and England come to mind, I almost always forget that Wales is included in the UK as well. Now that I have visited I am not sure how anyone can forget such a beautiful country. After living in England for 2 years and my colleagues encouraging me to visit Wales since it is such a beautiful place, I decided, it will be great to visit a new country that is only a few hours drive from London.
My family and I went up to Wales after Christmas and before New Years. It was about a 6-hour drive each way from London. If you haven’t been to Wales yet, I would recommend either go with a tour or driving as a lot of Wales is countryside and scenery that needs to be explored and public transport can only get you so far. We stayed in Snowdonia one of the most beautiful national parks in Wales. The great part of Snowdonia is that it has amazing wildlife everywhere, we were able to see sheep, goats, horses, pigs and much much more. Most of Wales is country so you will see animals almost everywhere you go.
Another great experience I had while visiting this beautiful little country was riding the iconic narrow gauge railway. It is called Ffestiniog, don’t ask me how to pronounce it as I could basically not understand a thing in Welsh. Funny how a country located right next to England has such a different language. Back to the train ride, it was 13 miles long and the history of this track is that is runs from the harbor at Porthmadog to the mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. It is a beautiful journey as you get to go through the forests and hills of Snowdonia National Park.
Another great thing about Wales is that there is a lot of coastlines. Now it might not be the warmest of countries and I might have visited in the middle of the winter, but I have been told that the summers are beautiful because of the long stretches of beach. I didn’t get to enjoy the warmth of summer but I can confess that I did get to walk down Rhos on Sea’s coastline. In a nutshell, it is a small and beautiful little seaside town located between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay. If you happen to be in town make sure you stop by Marmalade Cafe as they have the most epic hot chocolates and the best little brunch in town!
Finally, let’s not forget the historical castles found spread across this beautiful nation. On my last day in Wales, I stopped by for a tour of Caernarfon Castle. It is a gorgeous castle that you can explore the dungeons all the way up to the tops of the towers. It was built in the 11th century and the entire city is basically a fort with walls surround it and a castle in the middle. The castle overlooks the sea and was originally built to bring goods into the harbor. If you are in the area you should stop by for a quick history lesson and some great photo ops.
Overall my trip to Wales was short and sweet and the people were so friendly and welcoming. I will definitely go back to visit again. Have you ever been to Wales?