Thu, Sep 23, 2010
A country that is a world apart from its next door neighbor England, Wales is a land which is marked by the innumerable and striking contrasts that are evident and which run all through this nation. Wales is a land of castles, a land of mountains and valleys, a land of poets, a land of cities and coal mines. A country which has such a beauty to it that the feel here can be likened to an ache, and when leaving here this ache soon turns into a determination to get back here as soon as possible, and a concrete feeling of dissatisfaction at being anywhere else.
One of the four nations that constitute the United Kingdom, Wales lies in the west of England to the western side of the Island of Great Britain. The wealth of natural beauty that Wales has can only be equaled by its immense historical and cultural wealth. There is much to see, hear and experience in Wales, and a tour of this country is an experience that is unrivalled by even England.
The stunning landscape of Wales which includes rolling hills, deep valleys and verdant farmland is its most visible attribute, and this is the reason most tourists come here for. The three National Parks Wales has are much visited by travelers to this nation. The Pembrokeshire National Park is the only coastal park in the United Kingdom. There are five areas, which are named Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, which means that these areas are some of the richest with respect to natural wealth. The national Parks in Wales are a different story from the huge open wild lands that National parks in other countries normally have. These are heavenly country side with quaint villages and market places, living communities, so to say.
The terrain of Wales offers immense opportunities for a whole range of activities. The natural beauty of Wales can be enjoyed by long walks, hikes and cycling. The terrain is suited for a range of activities like mountain climbing, trekking, paragliding, mountain biking and a range of activities. Wales is also famous for its large number of golf courses. If you are a climbing enthusiast Wales has plenty of climbing opportunities in the form of its numerous mountains. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, and there is a train that runs to the very top. Breathtaking views of the countryside can be had from here. Mountain biking is another popular activity as the runs here are some of the very best in Europe.
Wales has a selection of some of the best beaches in the united kingdom in its 750 miles ( 1, 200 kilo meters ) and several of these have won numerous awards and are blue flag beaches. There are a whole range of water sports that can be enjoyed here, like water skiing, diving, snorkeling, sailing and a multitude of other activities like Para gliding and wind sailing.
In the case that physical pursuits are not your cup of tea, the city centers of Wales teem with a plethora of attractions, there are many little craft shops and other stores dotting the cities, there are numerous designer outlets and hundreds of galleries. The Food markets and festivals that are held across the country is very much recommended, the local produce and food is shown off during these fests, and the festivals are an excellent location to sample the Welsh cooking, and farm products. Swansea food Market is the biggest of its kind in Wales, and is famous for its cockles, Welsh cakes are also worth trying.
The National Botanical Garden is another highlighted attraction; at its center is the biggest single span glass house in the world. The glass dome is about 4, 500 sq meters which is an area that is more than 23 tennis courts.
The national stadium of Wales is the Millennium Stadium, which is at the heart of Cardiff the capital city. Many international sporting events as well as concerts with huge attendance are held in the stadium, and have a capacity to fill upto 74, 500 people. This is the first stadium to have a fully retractable roof.
Wales has the densest number of castles in the world; the number of castles in one sq k m is more than any other country in the world. The Caerphilly castle is one of Europe’s biggest fortresses. The tower here has a higher degree of leaning than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.