20 Things I Have To Do In Wales

I’m moving to Wales everyone. EEEK. In some ways it is an overwhelmingly terrifying reality, and yet I am so excited that I don’t care about how scary it is. Right now I am trying to focus on what is ahead, rather than all the wonderful things I am leaving behind. I don’t mean to sound cruel, but one had to deal with FOMO somehow.

Today I am presenting my Welsh bucket list, or 20 places I have to explore while in Wales. If this list doesn’t convince you to come visit me, I don’t know what will : (

20 things you must do in Wales

1. Ironworks/Big Pit tour and museum.

Blaenafon_Ironworks-24May2008

This free-to-visit old mine site showcases the awe-inspiring remains of the Welsh coal industry. You can meander around blast furnaces or watch history come to life with the on-sight interpretations and reconstructions.

2. Hay-On-Wye – the city of books

Hay-on-Wye-Bookshop2

There may not be many residents of the tiny village of Hay, but they certainly have their fair share of bookstores. Often called the city of books, Hay is filled from top to bottom with every kind of bookstore imaginable, including the largest second-hand bookstore in the world. Many old buildings, from the fire station to the local castle, have been converted into bookstores as well. It is the heaven of bibliophiles and also the location of an annual literary festival that president Bill Clinton dubbed “the Woodstock of the mind”.

3. Snowdonia

Snowdonia national park Wales

Snowdonia is a national park in the North of wales (the 3rd national park to be established in the whole united kingdom). I could try to describe it to you, but any attempt would be futile. Do yourself a favor and look it up on google images.

4. National Coast Line Trail

National Coastline Trail Wales

Wales is the first country to provide walking paths for its entire coastline. The national coastline trail covers a whopping 870 miles of stunning natural landscape weaving past towns, historical landmarks, nature preserves, and of course, fantastic beaches.

5. Portmeirion

Portmeirion_Banner2_top

Walking into the village of Portmeirion is like walking onto a picture perfect movie set. Actually it was used as the set for the 1960s TV show “The Prisoners”. The entire village was designed and built in the early to mid 20th century by a man who wanted to replicate a perfect Italian village. And boy did he deliver.

6. The Clink

the-clink-brixton-bg-desktop2

The Clink has consistently been voted as a top fine dining restaurants in Wales. But what makes it truly special was that it was set up to provide training opportunities for prisoners, which means that all the servers are in fact convicts who want to be trained to start a new life. Because it is technically a prison, you’ll have to eat everything with plastic cutlery, which means they don’t serve much steak, but I’ve heard that there specially crafted selection is delicious nevertheless.

7. Indoor Market (Cardiff)

County arcade, Leeds

The Cardiff Indoor Market is a festive farmer’s market with all the usual flowers and food and such located within two stories of a gorgeous victorian building in the city center. There has been a farmer’s market operating in that same location since the 18th century.

8. Welsh Chorus

Welsh Chorus

The Welsh are famous for the poetry and music that have sustained them throughout their tumultuous history. Chorus music is so closely associated with their national identity, that Wales is often referred to as “the land of song”. Hayley Mill’s nervous solo in Tiger Bay was cute, but sometime while I am there I want to see the real thing.

9. Cardiff Castle

Castle Wales

Sitting proudly in the center of Cardiff are the ruins of a grand castle. The imposing stone walls guard nearly 2,000 years of Welsh history as the grounds have served to host Roman forts, A Norman castle, a WWII bomb shelter and much more.

10. Tintern Abbey

Tintern_Abbey_South

This abbey built in the 12th century has become one of the most picturesque ruins in the entire world. The ruins are so extraordinary that they have inspired works of art by the likes of William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, J.M.W. Turner and other geniuses.

11. Lots more castles…

conwy castle wales

Wales has more castles per a capita than any other country in the world. Seriously guys, in Wales, castling is a verb.

12. Cardiff Bay 10k Trail

cardiff-bay

I love hiking and jogging and am so glad that Cardiff has so many public parks and trails running through it. I can’t wait to explore them all.

13. St. Fagans Living History Museum

St Fagans

St. Fagans is an open-air history museum that showcases Welsh history and culture in a vivid way. In 2012 it was named the favorite attraction in all of the United Kingdom by Which? magazine. And the best part is that, like all of the museums in Wales, admission is completely free. .

14. Coasteering

coasteering-pembrokeshire-wales

What better way to explore the gorgeous Welsh coast then by swimming, jumping, and rock climbing through it all. Basically, coasteering means exploring the coast whatever the cost. Count me in.

15. Zip World

velocity-rider

And since we are on the subject of thrilling adventures, Wales is home to Zip World a park that boasts to having the longest zip line in the Northern hemisphere and fastest zip line in the world. If your need for adrenaline isn’t quenched, they also host Europe’s only four-person zip line and the world’s longest fully underground zip line.

16. Gower Peninsula

Rhossili-bay_gower-peninsula

Worms_Head_Gower

The area around Gower is home to remarkably unspoiled beaches.

17. St. David’s Cathedral

St_David's_Cathedral_and_Bishop's_Palace_-_geograph.org.uk_-_774149

Named after Wales’ patron saint, St. David’s cathedral is one of the most iconic in all of the United Kingdom. Since the founding of the monastic community in 539AD, it has been a witness of an unbelievable amount of history from Viking raids to William the Conquerer stopping by to pray in 1081AD. Stop me before I faint.

18. Taff Trail

Taff Trail

Well whadya know, yet another amazing hiking trail. The Taff trail was built in the 18th and 19th centuries to transport coal from small mining villages to Cardiff bay. Now it is a 55-mile trail that runs alongside a river and is paved well enough to make for a comfortable bike ride.

19. Even more castles

Welsh Castle

With over 400 castles scattered across the gorgeous countryside, I’m pretty sure I’ll have plenty to explore.

20. Learn to cook Welsh food

Closeup_of_Welsh_cakes,_February_2009

Like welsh cakes and… more welsh cakes.

And there you have it. Are you gonna come visit me or what?

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

17 thoughts on “20 Things I Have To Do In Wales”

  1. Wow! What a great list! I didn’t know about any of these things. Or Wales, really. I always breeze right over it, but this list really puts it into perspective; it sounds amazing! Especially all the hiking trails, and those cakes! Yum 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t forget Wales! I think it may just be one of the most underrated tourist attractions on earth. Better come before the rest of the world learns the secret and floods in!

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    1. Don’t say that Zoe! I’ll definitely be keeping in touch through skype and email and such. It won’t be so bad. I have to go, but I am going to miss you and your family SOOOO much.

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  2. What an awesome list! I’ll be in Wales for a few days next May while I backpack across the UK, so I’ll definitely add some of these sights to my own bucket list. Also best of luck with moving to Wales! That’s so awesome.

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      1. Aww thanks… *blushes* It’s actually through my school. We will be backpacking across the UK with my favorite English professor while doing British lit research.

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  3. I’m coming to visit you! Okay, so I definitely HAVE to go the city of books, and it is now my goal to backpack the entire Welsh coast. And castles? Don’t even get me started… I’m pretty sure I belong in Wales. (-: You are going to have sooooooo much fun!

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    1. Saving for travel is difficult. But every bit counts. If you can possibly work it out, even if it takes a long time (it sure did for me), it will be worth it.

      Like

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