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Wales - A Year of Discovery 2019

October 2018

2019 is the Year of Discovery for Wales. This beautiful country has lots to offer the visitor, whether they be from home or abroad. Often known for its mountains it also offers the visitor beautiful landscapes, coastlines, beaches, castles, cuisine, adventure and experiences that will remain with you forever. Wales has it all.

The Welsh Way has been created to provide visitors with a network of three national touring routes, The North Wales Way, The Coastal Way and The Cambrian Way. The Coastal Way follows the west coast around Cardigan Bay giving you a 180 mile (290 km) road trip between the sea and the mountains. With more blue flag beaches than anywhere in Britain this coastal route gives the visitor a coastline dotted with small harbour towns, fishing villages, vast stretches of sand, soaring cliffs and the opportunity to sample some of Wales' finest cuisine in local pubs and restaurants overlooking the sea. 

The Cambrian Way runs the full length of Wales, the journey taking the visitor from the north of Wales to the south along the spine of the mountains. At the start Llanduno, the Victorian seaside town, has the Great Orme and its tramway to explore before setting off on the 185 mile (300km) Cambrian Way passsing through two national parks, The Snowdonia National Park and the Brecon Beacons finally arriving into the cosmopolitan capital city, Cardiff. Enroute take in the market towns, forests, lakes and reservoirs and the history of the slate and coal mining that sustained this area in times past. You can experience life in a slate mine with a Deep Mine Tour or get an overview (literally) of the slate quarries on a one of the fastest zip wire experiences anywhere in the world. Not for the faint hearted!  A less stressful experience perhaps would be a visit to one of the Welsh breweries or vineyards (yes, Wales does produce wine) and sample some of the local produce whislt relaxing over an ale or glass or two of local wine.

The area that the Cambrian Way gives access to is criss-crossed by a network of long distance footpaths, cycle routes and horse riding trails. If you want adventure there is plenty of opportunity. Follow in the pedals of the Tour de France champion, Geriant Thomas, a native of Cardiff, who honed his skills on a bike in Wales. Take the Mawddach route along an old railway line, for the less energetic among you, or follow the Taff Trail between Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons or the Celtic Trail which links the Pembrokeshire coast to Chepstow Castle. Follow the Miner's Trail to the summit of Mount Snowdon or alternatively take the easy way to the top of the highest mountain in Wales aboard the Ffestinniog Mountain Railway for spectacular views of Snowdonia and over to the Menai Straits and Anglesey. A more sedate option would be to take a horse drawn canal boat over the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. 

Finally the North Wales Way, the shortest of the three routes at 75 miles (120 km) takes you along an old trading route on the north coast of Wales. This route is dominated by the remains of the ring of Welsh castles built by Edward 1. This a a history buff's heaven. The magnificent 13th century castles of Beaumaris on Anglesey, Caernarvon, scene of Prince Charle's investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, and the walled castle of Conwy are a testament to the building skills of the workmen as they still stand to dominate the scenery today. These castles, together with Harlech Castle  a little to the south, form a  UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Why not join Explore Britain Tours and visit this fascinating country and make 2019 a Year of Discovery in Wales.

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Barmouth Bridge over the Mawddach Estuary
Coastal Wales