Hotels in Wales, United Kingdom
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Wales’ small size belies its geographical diversity. The smallest country that makes up Great Britain, Wales is on the west coast of the British isle right in the surf path of temperamental Irish Sea. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Wales was England's coal-faced sister, with pockets of unassuming wild appeal here and there now recognized as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Soaking in the charm of these spots – the Gower Peninsula for example – is made easier given the abundance of affordable seaside bed and breakfast in Wales.
Snowdonia National Park
Wales is far from untrammelled in terms of human habitation. The peaks of Snowdonia not only hold some of the oldest rocks on earth, it is also home to some of the oldest native populations in what Romans would eventually call Britain; descendants of Bronze Age settlers continue to wax lyrical in the primitive British tongue.
The rugged mountains, which contain 15 peaks standing over 3,000 feet, are both beautiful and beckoning, and seeing a steady stream of intrepid mountaineers and outdoor adventurers slide off their backs in summer. Convenient accommodation in Wales can be had within Snowdonia National Park if you plan to make ascent.
Ancient Ruins in Anglesey
Anglesey, Wales’ largest island located on the northwest, was only conquered by the Romans in 60AD (while the rest succumbed to Roman rule a decade earlier). As a result, the largest concentration of ancient sites is here. The home of the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is also here albeit unmarked.
Celtic Crosses on the Coast
On the west coast are popular seaside resort towns of Aberystwyth, Tenby and Swansea, with the equally eye-pleasing Gower Peninsula facing the Bristol Channel. The Gower Peninsula, and its army of hotels, is by far the most crowded as it hosts what many British consider the most beautiful beaches.
In Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, on a craggy promontory overlooking the Irish Sea to the north and Cardigan Bay to the northeast, lies St. David’s Celtic crosses and ‘cromlech’, megalithic structures that mark the resting places of early humans.
Where to Stay in Wales for Eisteddfod
Close to the southwest English border is Cardiff, the capital, where the “eisteddfod” (music, performance and literary festival conducted in Welsh) tradition is most vibrant. The choicest hotels in Wales are here, and you would need to book early if you plan to come during this event. Catch the National Eisteddfod Festival in early August to fully immerse yourself in the local language and culture.
On the castles front, Cardiff has its fair share. It may have only been named capital not 60 years ago but it had an early start in 75 A.D.; Roman occupation can be discerned at the Cardiff Castle which was built on earlier foundation. But there are plenty more 'stones with stories' in Wales – more than the numbers of days in a year in fact – that deciding where to go from the capital can be an adventure unto itself.