Wales is a beautiful country. Okay, I’m biased because I was born here and have lived here my whole life (bar three years in Birmingham for university) but you only have to look at the landscape it has to offer. From rolling hills and incredible green spaces to outstanding beaches and a stunning coastline, Wales has it all.
On the 25th January, it is Dydd Santes Dwynwen (St Dwynwen’s Day). The day is a celebration of Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of lovers, and I thought it was the perfect excuse to also celebrate one of the greatest loves of my life: Wales.
There’s still a lot of Wales that I am yet, but very keen, to see. I hope, when the time is right, to be able to explore more of the country but, for now, I wanted to share some of my favourite places that I have visited in Wales.
The dreamy harbour town in southwest Wales is a gorgeous place to get away to and relax. In normal circumstances, I visit Tenby every year because it’s one of my favourite places to spend time. I love to arrive in the early morning and wander around all the little cobbled streets, coffee in hand.
Whichever way you turn, there’s incredible views to admire and an array of colourful buildings. There’s so many wonderful small businesses here too, so I tend to come away with a variety of Welsh produce, including wine, beer and cheese.
If you live in Wales, you’re probably familiar with Rhossili because of the amazing field of sunflowers!
Rhossili is on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula and it’s easy to see why it’s an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. It’s a great spot to visit for the spectacular views and some fresh sea air. Of course, I had a lot of fun photographing the flowers the last time we visited.
Beddgelert is the sweetest little village in the Snowdonia area of Gwynedd. Despite being small, it’s got some wonderful walks and impressive views.
We visited Beddgelert in September 2016 and stayed in a cosy cottage on the outskirts of the village. It was the perfect location to disconnect from everything, whilst only being a short drive away from other great places in the area. I loved sitting outside the cottage in the late afternoon, with a cider bought from the local shop, and looking out over the mountains that sprawled around us.
It’s also an area of legend because Beddgelert (meaning the grave of Gelert) is the resting place of Gelert, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince, Llewelyn the Great.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and, as you can see, has some breath-taking views!
We planned to take the train to the top on the sunniest day of our trip, without realising it would be fully booked. The day before we left, we planned again to go but a heavy storm came in and the train was cancelled last minute. We were starting to think it wasn’t going to happen, but, on our last day, our luck finally changed. We got up bright and early, and from above the clouds, we looked out over Snowdonia in the glorious crisp morning light.
Visiting Llandeilo at Christmas time last year was such a treat. The Carmarthenshire town boasts many small businesses down its windy streets, so it was perfect for some independent Christmas shopping.
The town is situated at the crossing of the River Towy, on a 19th-century stone bridge, so there’s some wonderful, expansive views over the river and a rainbow of houses leading into the centre. Just outside the centre, there’s also a wonderful walk through woodlands at Dinefwr Park National Nature Reserve which leads to a castle with more incredible views. We even got to see some deer!
Margam / Port Talbot
I have been so grateful, during the various lockdowns, to live in an area surrounded by so much greenery, as well as beaches. Margam has some wonderful, long walks, particularly in and around Margam Park. The reservoir (pictured below) is a total hidden gem that looks almost otherworldly in the summer sun. Spending time in the fresh air, with these amazing views, is a welcome relief and contrast from the same four walls of my house.
My home town! I was very lucky to grow up in the seaside town of Porthcawl. Surrounded by beaches, you’re never short on places to go for a walk and spend time outside. I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit so that I can go for some morning beach swims.
Mumbles, much like Tenby, is a gorgeous place to spend the day.
Situated on the western edge of Swansea Bay, Mumbles has a beautiful beach and an impressive pier. This lovely village, with gorgeous views and brimming with independent businesses, is my idea of the perfect place to go for a wander.
Think cabins, waterfalls, woodlands and cosy village pubs!
I loved spending the weekend in Cenarth. We found a cabin tucked away in a forest, filled the fridge with treats and turned off our phones. The small village in Carmarthenshire was the perfect place to get away, spend time offline and connect with nature. There was lots of walking in the sun and sitting on the porch area of the cabin reading and drinking tea.
Where’s your favourite place in Wales?
Or would you like to visit when it’s safe to? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear!
I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my favourite places in, and memories of, Wales. I can’t wait to be able to explore more when it’s safe and sensible to travel again.