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Why Visit The Heartland Of Wales

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Brecon Beacons National Park Wales Photo Credit: technodean2000

The heartland of Wales is a mystical, magical place of mountains and hills, greenery and gold (or at least old gold mines), not to mention one of the country’s finest coastal stretches. There are bustling market towns and quiet villages, often away from the tourist fray, as well as an endless collection of reservoirs, rivers, forests and other places where the young can run free.

The area stretches from the Brecon Beacons National Park in the south to Snowdonia National Park in the north, and to the very edge of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the west. The seaside here starts at Cardigan (just across the estuary from the end of the Pembroke Coast Path) and continues up to the Dyfi estuary, after which you’re really in North Wales. There’s the gentle wonder of sweeping Cardigan Bay with its holiday towns, such as New Quay with its timeless seaside fun, and the more sedate university town of Aberystwyth. Along this coast are some of the finest beaches in Britain, on what is the UK’s first Marine Heritage Coast, a Special Area of Conservation famous for its resident population of dolphins and porpoise.

But you only need to go a handful of miles inland and you find the green and pleasant scenery rising up to the forest-clad Cambrian Mountains that form the backbone of Wales. Further south and you are in the Brecon Beacons, 835 square kilometers of national park – half of it over 300m.

Here you will find the highest mountains in Wales outside Snowdonia, some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, the National Show Caves with their impressive stalactites – and miles of countryside made for walking, horse riding, cycling and any other number of outdoor sports. And don’t forget the border towns: Welshpool with its markets and Knighton with its long distance footpaths – both Offa’s Dyke and The Glendwr Way.Mid Wales has everything: beaches, mountains, market towns and rolling green countryside. The one thing it doesn’t have is the crowds.

Areas in Brief

Heading north, you cross the river bridge at Cardigan and there’s an immediate change in the scenery. The headlands seem to loom less large and the inland vistas are gentler. That said, there are still exciting, hidden beaches, Mwnt particularly – although it’s not hidden from the crowds.

There are no major seaside towns here. New Quay is the nearest thing, and there are lots of little villages with neat beaches. As the coast heads north the beaches largely disappear, replaced by dark rock and black sand expanses.

Aberystwyth is the main town in the north of the region, and tries for a holiday feel despite its disappointing beach. The area ends with the rather quirky resort of Borth, with its long stretch of open sand that becomes wilder as it heads north, ending in one of the coast’s beauty spots – Ynyslas – the point where the beach, awash with shells and sheltered by massive dunes, sweeps round into the Dyfi estuary. It’s a tucked away spot where you park on the sand and the children can run and play. Inland from Aberystwyth are the Cambrian Mountains, an area that runs virtually from the Brecon Beacons up to Snowdonia.

It’s a quiet, sparsely populated region of mountains, forests, lakes and reservoirs, which is fast becoming an adventure playground for anybody who loves the outdoors – whether walking, cycling, horse riding, canoeing, orienteering or just picnicking.

Bispo is a full time traveller , that loves Europe and Portugal.

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