If you’re looking for a really exceptionally beautiful place to visit in the UK, there’s nowhere better than Wales. With rugged coastlines, picturesque villages and glorious countryside, it’s a region that’s rich in culture and gorgeous natural landscapes. In Wales, there are five places that are named as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – here are some tips on what to do if you visit them…
The Wye Valley
On the border between England and Wales, the Wye Valley contains some of the most beautiful lowland landscapes in the United Kingdom, including the River Wye, which is the fifth longest river in Britain and passes through the famous village Hay On Wye, which is perfect for all of us bookworms out there as it has the most bookshops per area of anywhere else in the country! Once you’ve got yourself a brand new battered paperback, put it inside your rucksack before setting out on your trek, where you can explore sites with wildlife like bats and falcons.
The Gower Peninsula was the first place in Britain to be named an area of outstanding beauty and it certainly lives up to its reputation with its seventy miles of coastline and glorious blue skies (on good weather days!). Things to do in Gower include exploring its sandy bays and rocky caves, including Rhossili Bay, which is a three mile stretch of white sand and named Europe’s third best beach in 2013. If you love walking and birdwatching, Gower is the place for you.
Isle of Anglesey
In the northwest of Wales, Anglesey boasts 125 miles of coastline, but it’s probably best known for its quirky spirit, which originated thousands of years ago when it was thought of as a holy place by the Celts and resisted the Roman Invasion. Anglesey is known for its copper mines, its Bronze Age burial sites, and being the home of the World Heritage site the Beaumaris Castle, which was left unfinished by Edward I.
The Llŷn Peninsula
Extending into the sea from northwest Wales, the Llŷn Peninsula is home to numerous volcanic peaks and mountains along with other glorious scenery, making it the perfect destination if you and your family fancy a walking or cycling holiday. It’s a remarkably unspoiled location, with the Llŷn Coastal Path proving incredibly popular among walkers. It’s a 91 mile walk that stretches from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, taking in cliff top paths, hidden coves and beaches, and small harbours on its way. Nature lovers will also adore the wildlife in this area, which ranges from bottle nosed dolphins to grey seals to a huge range of native birds. It’s the perfect holiday for anyone who wants a little peace and natural beauty.
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley
Named an area of outstanding natural beauty in 1985, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is the perfect place for anyone who loves walking and exploring – you could also take a cycling or riding holiday here if you want to cover more of the area. With mountains covered in purple vivid heather and the famous Horseshoe Pass, it’s a place that you shouldn’t miss out on seeing.