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Wales

The principality of Wales is one of Britain's least explored corners, but that is perhaps one of its greatest charms. This ancient Celtic land of song and spells really lets you get off the beaten path and explore an authentic and utterly magical part of Britain. Highlights include the Pembrokeshire coast, the peaks and historic castles of Snowdonia and a warm welcome everywhere in the hillsides.

The principality of Wales is unaccountably one of the most under-explored regions of Britain, but that is perhaps one of its greatest charms. This ancient Celtic land of song and spells is entirely different to England, and while there may be a superficial resemblance between Pembrokeshire and Cornwall, for example, or between Snowdonia and the Lake District, you’ll find a very different culture and history, and a warm, hospitable people. A visit to Wales lets you get off the beaten path and discover an authentic and utterly magical part of Britain.

From the capital city of Cardiff to its former coal mining valleys, Southern Wales has the country’s highest population density, and is a stronghold of two of Wales’ greatest passions – rugby and choral singing. Head west, and you’ll be able to explore the magical Pembrokeshire coast with its wild beaches, sea cliffs and offshore islands teeming with puffins, guillemots and gannets, while inland there are Norman castles, prehistoric stone circles and the stunning Preseli Hills.

Mid-Wales offers the chance to go hiking in the Brecon Beacons, unearth a rare first edition in the bibliophile’s mecca of Hay-on-Wye and sample epicurean delights in many of the region’s traditional inns. The charming market towns and ruined abbeys more often than not have a spectacular backdrop, and the sense of peace in a land that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years is palpable.

North Wales is the most traditional part of the country, and Welsh is still spoken in many homes. Once you’ve managed to distinguish your ‘llyns’ from your ‘llans’, you’ll be ready to discover some truly spellbinding pastoral beauty among the peaks of Snowdonia and along the coast, while the bloody history of the region comes alive as you explore one of its many magnificent medieval castles.

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