Wales and Welsh identity established itself after the Romans left Great Britain in the 5th century. The country is part of the United Kingdom and is considered to be one of the modern Celtic countries in the world along with Scotland and Ireland.
The country has had a rocky history and the Welsh parliament was only established in 1998 after being incorporated into the English legal system since the 16th century. The cultural identity of the people living in Wales never left, something emphasized by the fact that both Welsh and English are the official languages of the country.
The history of Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom is closely tied, and even though it’s not considered to be a major tourist destination, there are still some tourist attractions in Wales that you have to visit one day.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best things to do in Wales so you can add these items to your bucket list when you plan to visit the country.
1. Conwy Castle
If you ever dream of a medieval castle, then the one located in the walled market town of Cony in the north of Wales will most probably closely resemble it. Conwy Castle is arguably one of the most iconic castles in Europe and is one of the Welsh castles that was built by King Edward I (1239-1307) during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289.
The castle was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and was described by the organization as one of the “finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th-century military architecture in Europe.” Today, it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and one of the must-visit attractions in Wales.
Read more on Listerious: 15 facts about Conwy Castle
Official website: Conwy Castle
2. Snowdonia National Park
The Snowdonia National Park is located within the borders of the Snowdonia region in the northwest of the country. The national park in this amazing mountainous landscape was the first of the 3 national parks in Wales to be designated as such in 1951 and covers an area of 2,130 square kilometers (823 square miles) in the counties of Gwynedd and Conwy.
The national park is home to the highest peaks in the country as well and the highest peaks in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland. It’s the perfect place to hike as it features numerous hiking trails in a wonderful natural environment typical of this part of the country. All the “Welsh 3000s,” mountains over 3,000 feet, are found here. The highest peak is called “Snowdon,” an amazing mountain that stands 1,085 meters (3,560 feet) above sea level.
Official website: Snowdonia National Park
3. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that crosses the River Dee in the northeast of Wales. It stands 38 meters (126 feet) tall, features 18 stone and cast-iron arches, and was completed between 1795 and 1805, well over 2 centuries ago. This alone makes it one of the most astounding landmarks in Wales.
This amazing structure is both the longest aqueduct in the United Kingdom and the highest navigable aqueduct in the world. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most popular tourist spots in the region. It’s managed by the Canal & River Trust and multiple activities can be done in the area, including hiking, biking, and even boat rides across the aqueduct itself!
Read more on Listerious: 12 facts about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Official website: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
4. Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is another remarkably well-preserved castle located in the northwest of Wales. It can be found in the town of Caernarfon, Gwynedd, and the current version of the castle dates back to the same time as when Conwy Castle was built in the late 13th-century.
This castle was considered to be Edward I’s administrative center in the north of Wales, something that reflects in the sheer size of the structure. If you’re interested in discovering how a medieval castle looked like, then this remarkable structure is something that you must put on your bucket list while visiting Wales.
Read more on Listerious: 17 facts about Caernarfon Castle
Official website: Caernarfon Castle
5. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Wales has over 2,700 kilometers (1,680 miles) of coastline, and some areas can easily be described as true wonders of nature, hence the tagline “A Wonder Filled Coast.” This has resulted in the entire Pembrokeshire Coast being declared a National Park in 1952, an amazing piece of nature in the southwest of the country.
This particular national park is the only one that solely features a combination of wild and maritime landscapes. It covers an area of 629 square kilometers (243 square miles) and consists mostly of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and inland hills. One of the most fascinating features of this park is the so-called “Green Bridge of Wales,” a remarkable rock formation. The park also features a National Trail referred to as the “Pembrokeshire Coast Path.”
Official website: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
6. Pen y Fan
Even though the highest peaks in the country can be found in the Snowdonia region in the north of the country, the southern part of Wales also features amazing landscapes with distinctive peaks. One of the most popular peaks in the country is called Pen y Fan and is situated within the third national park in the country, the Brecon Beacons National Park.
This mountain reaches a height of 886 meters (2,907 feet) above sea level which makes it the highest point in Britain south of the peaks in Snowdonia. The fascinating shape of the twin peaks Pen y Fan and Corn Du has resulted in these peaks being referred to as “Arthur’s Seat.” From the summit of this peak, it’s possible to see the Bristol Channel on a clear day. This makes reaching the peak of this magnificent feat of nature is an achievement that just about any hiker dreams!
Official website: Pen Y Fan and Corn Du