Moving to UK three years back, Wales and Cardiff was my first ever long trip in the UK. There began all my ventures exploring Great Britain and Europe. Being my first trip in this wonderful continent, it still remains close to my heart as I planned the whole trip by myself. Finding out where all to visit, where to stay, where to eat and what to adventure out was not all that easy. I had to sit few weekends and work out a nice day-by-day plan. This venture really helped me plan many other trips and all my friends relied on my plan. I booked a rental car as few other friends joined along with me. I was very much excited as the long weekend began, packing my bags we were all set for the trip. Being a wet country throughout the year, I was a bit worried if the weather might play spoilsport. Luckily I would say it was sunny throughout with small patches of rain. There were beautiful beaches, castles, pretty mountains all over the trip giving wonderful memories. Let me walk you through Wales and Cardiff trip
Tips before heading to Wales
- It rains throughout the year in Wales, hence make sure you carry a raincoat/umbrella
- Snowdonia mountain train tickets have to be purchased online, as you never get tickets on the day you visit. It’s open from March until October
- Make sure you carry a thick jacket wherever you travel in Wales, as the weather can drastically get cold and for winters it’s a must to carry.
- Pound is the currency accepted here. Take required money needed.
Top places to visit in Wales/Cardiff (Click on the pics to view in HD)
Snowdonia Mountains – Top place to visit in northern Wales which defined nature to next level. It started with a mountain train slowly ascending to the top of Wales. Breathtaking beauty all the way, make sure you catch a window seat on the train. Also, you have an alternate option to trek all the way up and down. The weather was amazingly clear and blue skies added icing on top of my photos. I strolled to some of best spots and was able to capture pretty pics. I made sure I had all the time to relax, enjoy the views, soak up all of heavenly Wales. It was a dream trip indeed. Few photos to justify what these mountains had to offer.
South Stack Lighthouse – Yet another scenic location of northern Wales which you would not like to miss. It was little windy and cloudy when I visited here, yet the views it offered were out of the world experience. You get great views of the sea from the top of the cliff and you can trek all the way to the lighthouse at the edge of the cliff. It would take like half an hour to walk to the lighthouse, which was worth it. I later had amazing Welsh food for lunch and headed to my next location.
Great Orme Mountains – It is one of the prominent mountains in northern Wales and there is a cable tramway which takes to the top. It was fully fogged up after reaching the top of mountains and very chilly. But still, I liked the views which were misty and tried some jumping shots which blended well with the weather. There are numerous walking trails to explore and you can walk all the way to summit. There are well trodden paths and stone steps in places which make the walk safe for all. The satisfaction of achieving the climb is well worth it.
Rhossili beach and Three cliff bay beach – I headed first to Rhossili beach all the way from Nottingham (my home). It was Wales best beach and top ten beaches to visit in the UK in Swansea. It has got very good trails to walk on a sunny day. It was really windy when I reached the beach. The bay, the beach and Worm’s Head are a wonderful place to walk and explore. Clifftop walks are there, too, and we even got to watch a bit of surfing. Next headed to Three Cliff Bay beach which was part of the Gower peninsula, this is a lovely place for walking and taking in the Scenery. If you are fit, the best way is to walk through the woods and over the dunes. It was unspoilt and not much crowded, peaceful and relaxed walking around.
Millenium center, Mermaid Quay & Cardiff Castle – Along Cardiff bay, you would find a wide range of shops, boutiques and best restaurants where you can relax by the evening. Mermaid quay is set up in a beautiful location in front of waterfront. It is a perfect place for dining out and try various Welsh ice creams, coffee and local foods. Mermaid Quay’s distinctive architecture is inspired by its maritime location and rich heritage. You could also book for a show in Wales Millenium center which is most unique art theatre. There were lots of castles which you can visit and I decided to do Cardiff castle as it has quite some history and popular one to visit.
Pembrokeshire and Harlech – There wasn’t much to see around Pembrokeshire except for the harbor, but I would say the drive around was the best-provided weather is good. Then we went to Harlech beach which was ranked one of top beaches in UK. It’s a peaceful beach with golden sand. It was really clean and very few people were there when I went. Relaxed the whole afternoon and enjoyed a lovely sunset and started to my cottage near Snowdonia national park. There is Harlech castle nearby which you can visit if interested.
Gower Peninsula and Cadair Idris – These were the best routes which I had taken for my Wales journey. Though they were not any places which I specifically visited, the road trip along was breathtaking. I took the whole coastal route from Cardiff (South Wales) to Snowdonia (North Wales) along Pembrokeshire. There was St. David Peninsula route as well, which had a lot of greenery, nature, and mountains offering you what Wales is made of. We stopped here and there wherever the views were inviting for amazing photos and proceeded with the trip.
Top Foods to try out in Wales
- Welsh coffee – Traditional coffee with an infusion of whiskey/rum/vodka/alcohol
- Welsh loaf – Try out the loaf made of yeast, fruits, and spices which goes with tea/coffee.
- Cookie pancake – Try the typical Welsh cake with the lovely sugary tradition of localites.
- Grilled salmon – Seafood is also popular in Wales and I loved it.
- Cawl – Typical Welsh soup with meat/vegetables which goes with the cold weather.
Signing off with few beautiful memories of Wales which im sure you all will plan one day.