A Local Perspective: Wales

Getting the local perspective is one of the best things about travel. So we decided to sit down with one of our Wanderlist friends, Scott, and pick his brain about the the best, worst and important things to know when traveling to this beautiful British nation.
SMLXL

Where are you from in Wales?
I am born and raised in Newport, South Wales. Newport is around 20 miles away from the capital Cardiff and is also right along the border with England and is the gateway into South Wales. Newport along with Cardiff and Swansea make up the three main city’s in South Wales.

What’s the food like?
While Wales doesn’t really have a signature dish there are a few foods Wales is often associated with. With Sheep farming being extensive in Wales our lamb is known to be excellent. Other foods associated with Wales include cockles, lava-bread and welsh cakes. If you travel to Wales do not leave without trying a Welsh cake… or 10.

What’s the best part about living in Wales?
Tough question, there are many things i love about Wales. The sports, the passion, the history and mythology, the nightlife. But if i had to choose one it would be our countryside and other various sites. Wales is home to some absolutely magnificent mountain ranges, national parks, castles, rivers and even Roman ruins.

What’s the worst part about living in Wales?
The worst part about Wales for me is traveling,trains are often late, roads are often busy, and if your heading
away from the city’s the country lanes can be abit to much to handle sometimes.

What’ the coolest thing you’ve seen/done in Wales?
It would have to be climbing the various mountains of the Breacon Beacons, getting to the top can be hard and
take awhile depending on the mountain but once your at the top the views make the struggles worth it.

If someone was coming to visit what would be the top thing you would recommend?
Snowdon is the largest mountain in Wales and Britain and climbing it is a great experience including some truly world class views. My top recommendation would be Snowdon national park.

What’s a cool activity for someone visiting Wales to do?
It really depends on the person because there are alot of different options. For Sightseeing i would recommend
Caerphilly Castle, Pen Y Fan (a mountain in the Breacon Beacons), “Big Pit” a coal mining museum offering tours
of an abandoned mine and harbour beach which was recently named the best beach in Europe by one publication. For nightlife I would recommend either Cardiff or Swansea. Both city’s are busy most nights of the week, especially on the weekends. Also if you are lucky enough to be in town when Wales have a rugby game Cardiff is the place to be, after the game 72,000+ people will exit the stadium and enter the many bars and clubs around Cardiff creating an excellent atmosphere.

What’s a great place to visit/things to do in the summer months?
There are many nice beaches in Wales to visit during the summer months, most form part of the Gower peninsular. About 70 square miles in size the Gower peninsular is designated as an area of natural beauty. In fact it was the first area in the UK to be awarded that designation. The Gower is made up of many beaches, cliffs, caves, coastline and areas popular with walkers.

What’s a cool local spot that tourists might not know about but need to see?
I’m going to apologise right now for the names of the two places I’m going to give you. As I’m sure you’ve already realised almost all places in wales, especially the areas of interest are named in the Welsh language which is quite difficult to understand so you may struggle with the pronunciation. Pistyll Rhaeadr is a waterfall located in the Area of Powys Mid-wales. Its height is 240 feet and it is a must see if you travel to Wales. Another hidden spot
is Llyn Y Fan Fach, a natural lake located again in Breacon and makes up part of the national park. I’m sure if you Google both places you will agree that they are well worth visiting.

What are the people like?
For the most part the Welsh are a very welcoming people, everyone will speak English and most people are more than happy to help. Don’t be put of by the Welsh names you see, English is the main language in Wales and Welsh is very rarely spoken as a first language by anyone. If you plan on driving in Wales one thing to be
aware of though is that all road signs are in English and Welsh, so try not to get confused. Good luck on your travels!

SMLXL

Let us know your favorite things about Wales next time you visit so we can add to our Wanderlist!
Much love and wandering…
colleen sig
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