Wales is having its moment in the sun, and not just because of the — whisper it — good weather.
It’s because 2017 is the country’s Year of Legends, celebrating its history, storytelling tradition, natural attractions and creative minds, from Roald Dahl and Gillian Clarke to Dylan Thomas. Lonely Planet, meanwhile, has named North Wales one of the top regions to visit in 2017 — the only part of the UK to earn a coveted spot on the list.
There’s something for every kind of traveller here, whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat, a family holiday, an active escape or a city break. Plus, during festival season, the country’s calendar is packed with first-rate events.
With a fifth of Wales designated as national park, this is a place that’s full of big landscapes. And the long days and milder weather of summer are just made for long hikes, whether you plan to conquer Britain’s third-highest mountain, Snowdon, or a gentler peak in the Brecon Beacons.
But Wales’ dramatic interior landscape is not its only draw — the coast is also unmissable. Wales has 230 beaches and 50 islands to explore, from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the south to rugged Anglesey in the north. Yet, despite its obvious natural charms, Wales isn’t just somewhere for embracing the great outdoors.
As you’d expect from a country celebrating its legends, it’s got history in spades, packing in 641 castles — more per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Four of them — Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris — are even encompassed into a Unesco World Heritage Site.
And once you’re done exploring these medieval structures, you can admire more recent feats of engineering such as Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape — both also listed by Unesco.
If you needed any more reason to visit right now, there are culinary events happening all over Wales this summer, as well as top-notch dining destinations that show off its legendary produce all year round. Wherever you go, you can be sure of a warm Welsh welcome.