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Wales has been inhabited by a range of peoples, from the early Celtic tribes that settled around 500-100 BC to the Britons pushed into the country during the Roman and Saxon invasions. Today a proud country, Wales embraces a distinct culture that includes its own language, holidays and music.
Wales boasts a stunning variety of scenery. The Welsh coastline stretches over 1,200 kilometres, marked by unspoilt beaches and a vast array of marine and bird life. Inland stand craggy mountain ranges, striking waterfalls and lapping lakes. The biggest mountains in Wales and England are to be found in the Snowdonia National Park. It was here that Plantagenet King Edward I built an iron ring of medieval castles in order in to establish his dominance over the country. They still stand and feature on several Insight itineraries. Cardiff was the world’s major coal port in the early 20th Century and much of its appearance can be attributed to that period. The Welsh capital is now enjoying a renaissance. Plush hotels, modern restaurants and bars coexist with striking architecture from different eras.
Take time to hit the shops in Cardiff. Glossy new chain stores sit side-by-side with trendy boutiques, super malls have shot up, while the characteristic old Victorian arcades and markets have been given a new lick of paint.
Cardiff hosts some of the very best in arts and entertainment. You'll find professional theatre, opera of the highest quality, visiting ballet, classical music, ranging through to comedy clubs and contemporary circus acts.
The Pembrokeshire coast ranks among Britain's top coastal walks. Grab yourself a healthy dose of sea air while enjoy the spectacular eroded limestone cliffs and peaceful secluded sandy bays. Want to explore indoors? Head to The Valleys to tread the tunnels of an abandoned Welsh coal mine. Kitted-out in helmet and cap-lamp descend 300 metres to the real coalface with an ex-miner as your guide!
Av temp: 9˚C48˚F
Av temp: 16˚C61˚F
Av temp: 12˚C54˚F
Av temp: 6˚C43˚F
London GMT + 0hr
Pounds (GBP, £)
When to go: May-September for the best temperatures to feel the vibrancy of this flourishing country.
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