We love travelling but during the summer months it can get busy, airports are hectic, flights and hotels are expensive and the sunny resorts can get uncomfortably hot.
Instead, during this period, we tend to visit places closer to home and try to experience them as a tourist. It is so easy to take what we have on your doorstep for granted.
So this summer we look at our top 5 reasons why you should visit Wales although we must admit, sun worshipping is not really a reliable option.
1. The Beaches
Wales has some fantastic beaches from little bays like Caswell and Langland on the Gower peninsula to wide-open expanses of sand such as Rest Bay, Porthcawl and South Beach, Tenby.
The South and West coasts are really popular with surfers and resorts such as Rhosneigr in the north are great for kayaking, learning to kitesurf and other watersports.
2. The Landscapes
There are 3 national parks in Wales – Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and the Brecon Beacons. These parks actually make up 20% of Wales. The Pembrokeshire Coast has been rated as one of the top two coastal destinations in the world by the US National Geographic Traveler magazine.
The rugged Snowdonia park is dominated by Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales.
The Brecon Beacons is perfect for hiking. It includes the Beacons Way, a 100-mile walk through the national park.
3. The Castles
There are a lot of castles in Wales, about 600 in total. Although a lot of these are now just piles of earth mounds and trenches at least a 100 are still standing or have substantial remains.
In the south, Cardiff Castle and Caerphilly Castle (the largest castle in Wales) are particularly impressive and Pembroke Castle to the west is one of the oldest. To the north, there are Beaumaris, Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle, and Caernarfon Castle.
Basically, wherever you may be in Wales you’re not that far away from a ruined castle of some description. There are five within 10 miles of our house!
4. The Museums
As in the rest of the UK most national museums have free entry. In Wales these include the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, Big Pit National Coal Museum and our favourite the St Fagans National Museum of History.
This open air museum contains over forty original buildings from various locations around Wales and different historical periods. These have been re-erected in the grounds of St Fagans castle.
5. Cardiff, The Capital City
Our final pick is Cardiff the Welsh capital, it is the largest city in Wales and only 2 hours from London. The city has over two thousand acres of park, making it the greenest capital city in Europe.
It is a very compact city and very easy to walk and explore, Cardiff Castle makes an impressive centrepiece to the city and Cardiff Bay is a lovely area to visit.
This summer Cardiff hosted the UEFA Champions League Final at the Principality Stadium. The stadium is situated in the city centre which leads to a great party atmosphere during events.
So next time you are visiting the UK, take a few days to explore Wales and yes, there are a lot of sheep!
Is there a place that you recommend visiting and feel is being overlooked by travellers.