Wales is close to England, bordering Cheshire, Chester, Shropshire, Herefordhshire and Gloucester. But in lots of ways feels like a completely foreign land- in a very good way! The country includes four main regions: North Wales, South Wales, Mid Wales and West Wales.
Wales boasts three expansive natural parks, Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast. It’s home to just over three million people and offers world class scenery, a rare opportunity to sample proper fresh air, and stunning wildlife.
There’s even a taste of Italy here – the quaint coastal town Portmerion was modelled on an Italian village. Although the Welsh are some of the most proudly patriotic people in the world, the baroque buildings and pretty colours here could almost have you thinking you’ve made your way to the Riviera.
Wales has something for everyone, and each region has its own distinct personality.
Things to see and do
If you’re looking for the opportunity to get away from it all and get in touch with nature, it doesn’t get much better than Wales. The scenery here is nothing short of breath-taking, and there are plenty of opportunities to get a real sense of being alone in the world if you like your “me time”. There are wonderful walks, stunning un-spoilt beaches and some great roads for driving enthusiasts.
Whichever part of Wales you head to, you’ll never be far away from a castle. There are more than 600 of them, earning Wales the proud title of Castle Capital of Europe. From roman ruins to 19th century follies, there are magnificent buildings everywhere. Raglan Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Conwy Castle and Chirk Castle are some firm favourites with visitors, but fans of history will be spoilt for choice in this ancient land.
Lots for everyone
Fans of BBC’s Gavin and Stacey can’t visit Wales without a trip to Barry Island, which as well as the famous terraced houses, arcades and chip shops also boasts a very pretty beach. Doctor Who and Torchwood enthusiasts have to pay Cardiff a visit, but the city isn’t just for sci-fi fans; this is a really cosmopolitan and welcoming place with a huge amount of activities and points of interest. There’s a Norweigan church by the harbour, some fantastic art galleries and lots of high quality bars and restaurants, not to mention great places to shop.
Wales is full of pretty seaside towns, such as Llandudno, Rhyl, Barmouth, Anglesey and Tenby, and it’s a great place for birdwatchers. Hundreds of thousands of birds visit North Wales during the winter, from murmurations of starlings to huge roots of ravens. If you’re lucky you might also spot some seal pups – over 5,000 grey seals live in the Welsh waters.
Serious walkers love Wales. Snowdonia is a must, with Mount Snowdon offering stunning views of Ireland. The park is home to a huge selection of wildlife, as well as countless craggy peaks, weather beaten trails and over 100 sparkling lakes. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park offers some of the most unspoilt beaches in the world, set amid a landscape of rugged cliffs and wild hills. Over to the South, the Brecon Beacons includes Pen y Fan, reaching heights of 2609 feet. This huge expanse of craggy land is not for the faint hearted, but it’s one of the most beautiful and truly peaceful places in the UK, if not the world.
Why buy a holiday home in Wales?
Wales is famous for its rugged scenery and gives visitors a sense of being alone in the world that it’s hard to find elsewhere in the UK. It’s a truly ancient land, rich with different landscapes from lush greenery to imposing black mountains, and the beaches here are exquisite. If you want some well-deserved peace and quiet every so often, Wales is the perfect place for a holiday home.