The COVID-19 global emergency caused an unprecedented health and economic crisis in 2020. Along with other countries across the globe, we were, and continue to be in the extraordinary position of asking our visitors – from within the UK and across the globe – to stay home and instead plan to visit Wales in the future. We’re hoping to welcome our much-loved visitors back to Wales later in 2021.
We’re looking forward to inviting you to enjoy our shores, our mountains, our towns and our cities once again. To experience our landscapes, our culture and our epic adventures. To invite you to eat, swim, dance, sing and check in to the real Wales. And to make a promise in 2021 to care for each other, for this epic land, and for our communities.
As you look for inspiration for later in 2021, make your promise before you visit, to get the most out of your visit to our unique corner of the world.
We’re a small country, but we have a lot to offer when it’s safe to welcome you back once again.
Plan to enjoy the outdoors in 2021
Let’s start with a few places you may already know. Three spectacular National Parks; the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia, and five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); Anglesey, the Clwydian Range, the Llŷn Peninsula, the Gower Peninsula, and the Wye Valley.
Upper Wyndcliff, Wye Valley, MonmouthshireView Credits
Then add to those the Wales Coast Path. It’s 870 miles (1,400km) of linear walking, with endless loops and links. It was the first path in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety. Wales’ walking credentials are also boosted by three National Trails: Glyndwr’s Way, Offas Dyke Path, and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Glyndwr’s Way trail in Mid Wales, overlooking Lake Vyrnwy and a section of the Wales Coast Path between Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich, West WalesView Credits
Speaking of the coast, Wales is also pretty famous for our beaches. There are 40 Blue Flag award winning beaches – more than in any other part of the UK. The list includes big names, like Tenby’s Castle Beach, recipient of the Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2019. Some of our quieter spots are Green Coast award winners; these are usually smaller and wilder, and highlighted for their environmental credentials.
Castle Beach, Tenby, West WalesView Credits
Look up to the sky, and you’ll realise our clean seas are matched only by the quality of our starry skies, free from light pollution. There are hundreds of places to stargaze in Wales – as well as a network of International Dark Sky Reserves and Dark Sky Parks that astronomers have singled out as being world class.
Dark skies over Bannau, Carmarthenshire and Fan Brycheiniog from Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon BeaconsView Credits
Back on the ground, the landscape of Wales is punctuated with more than 600 castles – more per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Some of the headliners are Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech in the north, and Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carew, Kidwelly, and Pembroke in the south.
Our reputation as an adventure capital has been strengthened over the past few years, with historic sites and landscapes re-imagined to offer exhilarating experiences. Visit Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda and you’ll find the fastest zip line in the world, while Dolgarrog aluminium works is now home to an inland surfing lagoon and adventure park.https://www.visitwales.com/media/oembed?url=https%3A//youtu.be/oAaRcx9dhzU&max_width=0&max_height=0&hash=MB-w6OuUe3KTX2sEn9wndYPZztP40n4xZMO1mr3nJRc
Actor and singer Luke Evans zips in to experience the fastest zip line in the world at Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then you’ll find Welsh flora and fauna have a lot to offer, both on land and at sea. Find your sea legs by sailing alongside porpoises and dolphins on our western coast, and then come home to roost with our thriving seabird colonies. Fans of puffins will want to visit Skomer, an island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, which has the first Marine Conservation Zone to be created in Wales. Choose your season and location, and across Wales you can see rare butterflies, bats, dragonflies, lapwings, otters, and ospreys.
Seal spotting, Cardigan Bay, Mid WalesView Credits
If you visit some of our most popular events or attractions in Wales, you’ll appreciate how the outdoors plays its own part in the line-up and the experiences. Nature is all around, as is the spirit of community. It’s easy to join in with a local group of swimmers, runners or cyclists to get the inside track on the best places to go.
If you are a delegate here for a business meeting or conference, there are a range of sustainable venues to choose from. The natural landscape of the Welsh countryside is ideal for out of conference experiences or a wild playground for team building and incentive experiences.
Bluetits chill swimmers at Harlech, Gwynedd, North Wales and cyclists at Stwlan Dam, Blaenau Ffestiniog, North WalesView Credits
To get around, we recommend following The Wales Way, our family of three distinct touring routes that plot your course around the country by car, train, bus or bicycle.
Remember to stay safe and respect the environment while you’re having fun. From beach trips to days out in the National Parks, always follow the advice of AdventureSmartUK to have the best experience.
Discover new corners of Wales; a country that offers a warm welcome without walls. Check in to our hotels, visit our campsites, explore our cottages. Then throw open the doors to let the outside in.
Boutique hotels, Cardiff, South Wales, camping on Anglesey and Fforest Farm, Cardigan
Images © Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright