The phrase 'good things come in small packages' may be a cliché, but in the case of Wales it's undeniably true.
Compact but geologically diverse, Wales offers myriad opportunities for escaping into nature. It may not be wild in the classic sense – humans have been shaping this land for millennia – but there are plenty of lonely corners to explore, lurking behind mountains, within river valleys and along surf-battered cliffs. An extensive network of paths makes Wales a hiker's paradise – and thousands of people duck across the border from England each year for that reason alone. Things are even more untamed on the islands scattered just off the coast, some of which are important wildlife sanctuaries.
Stones with Stories
Castles are an inescapable part of the Welsh landscape. They're absolutely everywhere. You could visit a different one every day for a year and still not see them all. Some watch over mountain passes, while others keep an eye on the city traffic whizzing by; some lie in enigmatic ruins, while others still have families living in them. There's also an altogether more inscrutable and far older set of stones to discover – the stone circles, dolmens and standing stones erected long before castles were ever dreamt up, before even histories were written.
Just because it's not exactly tropical doesn't detract from Wales being a superb beach-holiday destination – and the melanoma risk is considerably lower here! The beauty of the British coast is cruelly underrated, and Wales has some of the very best bits. When the sun is shining the beaches fill up with kids building sandcastles and splashing about in the shallows. And when it's not? How about a bracing walk instead.
Hospitality & Hiraeth
Beyond the scenery and the castles, it's interactions with Welsh people that will remain in your memory the longest. Perhaps you'll recall the moment when you were sitting in a Caernarfon cafe, listening to the banter in the ancient British tongue dancing around you. Or that time when you were in the pub, screaming along to the rugby with a red-shirted mob. They talk a lot in Wales about hiraeth. A typically Welsh word, it refers to a sense of longing for the green, green grass of home. Even if you're not from Wales, a feeling of hiraeth may well hit you when you leave, only to be sated when you return.
Best places to stay in Wales
Great Britain travel guide
From the graceful architecture of Canterbury Cathedral to the soaring ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, via the mountains of Wales or the Roman ruins of Hadrian's Wall, Britain's astounding variety is a major reason to travel here.
What are your travel resolutions for 2014?
Let's face it. As soon as the last New Year's balloons have deflated, your resolve to be a fitter, healthier superhuman in 2014 will be as flat as morning-after champagne.
Wales travel guide - 5th Edition
The phrase ‘good things come in small packages’ may be a cliché, but in the case of Wales it’s undeniably true.
In AD 75 the Romans built a fort where Cardiff) Castle now stands.
Forget the Med: five stunning stretches of coast in northern Europe
Travellers flock to the Mediterranean shores of Italy, France and Spain, but for deliciously different places to dip your toes, look a little further north on your map of Europe. You’ll need a sweater if you visit outside the summer, but the views, dunes and magical history are worth a slightly paler suntan.
Wales travel guide - 4th Edition
Nobody knows Wales like Lonely Planet. Whether you’re looking for secluded beaches or mountain walks, ancient monuments or medieval castles, a romantic hotel or a top gastropub, this book gives you everything you need for an unforgettable trip.
Cardiff City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
The best way to see Cardiff! Join us for a 50 minute guided open top bus trip. The tour includes Cardiff Castle, Techniquest and Millennium Stadium. This is a 'Hop-on, Hop-off' service, which allows you to use this tour as a convenient way to access all major highlights in Cardiff.
A walk back through history to King Offa’s Mercia on the border of England and Wales
Santarun: see how the Welsh make jogging a festive occasion
...meanwhile, back with the Peloton... by antwerpenR.
Great Britain - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Great Britain starts here. You'll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus a list of the fresh, the transformed, the hot and the happening places in Britain.