#18 best destination in the world

Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park

Best time to travel: June-Aug
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Highest mountain in Wales, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands, and it is located in Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd
  • It is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna
  • The rocks that form Snowdon were produced by volcanoes in the Ordovician period, and the massif has been extensively sculpted by glaciation, forming the pyramidal peak of Snowdon
  • The summit can be reached by a number of paths and by the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack railway opened in 1896 which carries passengers the 4 3⁄4 miles from Llanberis to the Summit station

Conwy Castle, North Wales

Best time to travel: April-June
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Fortification in Conwy, located in North Wales, built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1287
  • Following the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the castle was held by forces loyal to Charles I, holding out until 1646 when it surrendered to the Parliamentary armies
  • In the aftermath, the castle was partially slighted by Parliament to prevent it being used in any further revolt, and was finally completely ruined in 1665 when its remaining iron and lead was stripped and sold off
  • Conwy Castle became an attractive destination for painters in the late 18th and early 19th centuries
  • Visitor numbers grew and initial restoration work was carried out in the second half of the 19th century

Cardiff Castle

Best time to travel: early June-late Sept
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city center of Cardiff
  • The original motte and bailey castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd-century Roman fort
  • The castle was commissioned either by William the Conqueror or by Robert Fitzhamon, and formed the heart of the medieval town of Cardiff and the Marcher Lord territory of Glamorgan
  • When the 4th Marquess died in 1947, the castle was given to the City of Cardiff
  • Today the castle is run as a public attraction, with the grounds housing the “Firing Line” regimental museum and interpretation center

Caernarfon Castle

Best time to travel: late June-early Sept
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, it was a motte-and-bailey castle from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began to replace it with the current stone structure
  • Although the castle appears mostly complete from the outside, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished
  • The castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs

National Museum Cardiff

Best time to travel: June-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Museum and art gallery in Cardiff, founded in 1905
  • The museum has collections of botany, fine and applied art, geology, and zoology

Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn

Best time to travel: late May-early June
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • National Trust property near Tal-y-Cafn, Conwy, overlooking the Conwy Valley towards the Carneddau mountains
  • Founded in 1874 and developed by five generations of one family, it was given to the National Trust in 1949
  • The garden spans 80 acres of hillside and includes formal Italianate terraces, informal shrub borders stocked with plants from around the world, The Dell, a gorge garden, areas of woodland garden with a number of notable trees and a waterfall
  • Bodnant Garden is famous for its Laburnum arch, the longest in the UK, which flowers in May and June

Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Best time to travel: March-May
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • National park along the Pembrokeshire coast in west Wales, established as a National Park in 1952
  • It is the only national park in the United Kingdom to consist largely of coastal landscapes
  • The National Park has a varied landscape of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, wooded estuaries, wild inland hills, the moorland of the Preseli Hills and the wooded Gwaun valley