Wales (United Kingdom) Tourism And Travel Guide
10.4° C / 50.7° F
April to September
5 to 7 Days
Cardiff International Airport
From all those romantic desolate settings of Poldark episodes, to the outdoor sets of some of Harry Potter’s latter films, Wales has been a symphony of unparalleled natural beauty and splendour in the popular culture. The southern region of the island of UK, Wales holds its own when it comes to customs, culture and language.
That is why, tourism in Wales is quite different from that in England or Scotland or even Ireland. The place has its own distinct aura, and its people, food, shops and cafes show you a different side to the United Kingdom. So if you are ready to surprise yourself with this region, then here’s a little travel guide to help you visit Wales.
How to Reach
The best and easiest mode of transport to reach Wales is by air, although trains are also good from any other part of the UK.
When you fly to Wales, you will land at the Cardiff International Airport situated in its capital city by the same name. Daily flights operate from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to Cardiff; all of them stopover. The regular airlines are Air France, Emirates and Etihad.
National Express and Megabus run buses to Wales from England and other nearby areas. You can also hire a car and drive to Wales from anywhere in Europe.
Central Trains, Virgin Trains, Arriva Trains Wales are the major rail networks operating in Wales, for both - international and domestic trains. Cambrian Coast Line, Conwy Valley Line and North Wales Coast Line connect Wales to England and Scotland.
You can also travel to Wales by sea, especially from Irish ports. The operators generally working ferries and boats on these routes are - Stenaline and Irish Ferries.
In Welsh cities you can easily find taxis to commute, as well as public transport like buses. For smaller towns, hiring bicycles and going on foot is a better option so that you can experience the place for yourself.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The most appropriate time to visit Wales is from spring to summer, with summer topping the charts. Winters are too cold and windy to do much.
Spring (March to May):
With an average temperature of about 17°C, spring in Wales is a mix of warming days and bursts of wind and rain. Still, after April, the rain takes a back seat and until June-July, Wales remains dry and warm.
Summer (June to September):
Summers here might by warm, sunny, with long days, but they are also extremely humid and damp from all the rain. The sceneries are still great and the mercury flies to 24°C at most. This is the best time to visit Wales, its coasts, mountains as well as cities.
Autumn (October to November):
Autumn season is everything you wouldn’t want in a holiday - rain, cold, fog and sometimes even snow. The temperatures drop to 18°C by October and even though sometimes the scene of orange and gold trimmed tree lanes may warm your heart, it is not to last long.
Winter (December to February):
The delights of winter are far and few in Wales. The landscape turns lonely and cold in this season, with frequent stormy rain and infrequent snow to cement the cold. So not the best time to visit.
Things to Do
Discover Snowdonia Park:
Visit the Snowdonia National Park for some of the best natural splendour that Wales has to offer. From England’s highest peak to a chain of mountain ranges, green thick jungles to shimmering pools and lakes, Snowdonia also offers hiking and bird watching expeditions.
Visit Caernarfon Castle:
A thousand years old Caernarfon Castle was the venue of Prince Charles’ coronation to the title of Prince of Wales. That in itself makes this a place of great interest for tourists. Its timeless aura and ancient feel make this castle a must-visit.
See Italy in Wales:
Portmeirion is a tourist town, like a resort town built back in the early 1900s. It resembles an Italian village and has a line of hotels, restaurants, amusement points and parks to entertain visitors.
Check out the Smallest House in Britain:
Conwy boasts of Britian’s tiniest house, an old red one lane home, located in ancient stone walls of the town. It was owned by Robert Jones, who was its last occupant. Then the house was declared too small for human inhabitation and since then, Jones’ decedents have turned it into a tourist place.
Ride Toy Trains:
Wales is so beautiful that nothing could enhance it more. Or maybe a narrow gauge train ride might! That is why most agencies recommend the Welsh Highland Railway toy train ride from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, going over the stunning loveliness of Snowdonia Park too.
What to Eat
The Welsh start their day with the usual English-y fare - bacon, eggs, tea et al. But what makes Welsh cuisine interesting is their other significant dishes like laverbread and cockles. Additionally, the Welsh also love their rarebit (not rabbit), which is scrumptious cheese on bread, almost like an open cheese toast. You must also try the bara birth, which is a sweet bread or fruit cake - whichever way you see it. And if you are up for trying new things then also do give Lamb cawl, Conwy mussels and Brain Beer a try.
What to Shop
Souvenirs from Wales? Well, there is not much to pick up from here that may not be found elsewhere in UK, except maybe some Welsh cheese and the wooden love spoons crafted with pure artistic brilliance. Other than these, you will find the usual - top hats and wool blankets and plaid shawls, loads of books from Hay-on-wye and Vintage records that have been near extinct from the market for decades now.