The beauty of Wales is that out of all the countries in the world it’s the closest to being the source of a real life once upon a time fairytale in my opinion. Winding tree encroached roads lead off to hidden forests as they fork out across the country. Castles sprout up from the ground as they battle to exist after years of punishment from the elements. It’s a country you could easily imagine was the set to a real life damsel in distress story.
Most of the world wouldn’t argue that Wales is considered the land of castles while others might think of it as the land of rain instead. Luckily my weekend stay in Cardiff was mostly rain free and it was the castles and countryside representing in full force.
Looking around as I drove out of Cardiff I couldn’t help but wonder what life was like way back in the day if everything is still so lush and beautiful now. Would the trees have been even more abundant, would the rivers and creeks have flowed with force and did it really rain as much a people say it does back then.
I’ve never hid the fact that I’m in Europe for its long and rich history. I love seeing buildings that have been around for years and imagining who once lived there. Were they rich/poor, a pillar of the community or a dirty rotten thief only looking after himself. I wish every castle, house and pathway could speak and tell the long history of its existence. Would the castle tell me of the wealth and knowledge that has passed through its doors or would it show scandal and long forgotten secrets?
Being surrounded by so many of those I wish I knew moments in Wales was an absolute thrill. The best part was all of this happened within a short distance of Cardiff, there is still some 400 or so castles to find spread out across the rest of Wales. Let alone the other significant buildings and stories of its long history.
All I know is that after a weekend there I just want to rent a car and set off up the coast and explore those winding roads and castles for myself. Perhaps I’ll find a damsel to rescue in one of those big old castles or maybe I’ll just sit and marvel at them and imagine the stories they could tell me.
Many thanks to the great folks at Visit Wales for sponsoring my weekend stay in Cardiff and organising everything to get me there and show me around.
I was a damsel in distress when you grabbed my bags and helped me over that puddle outside of our hotel in Caridff! hahaha
does that count? 😉
Beauty! Especially like Caerphilly Castle. How amazing.
Thanks Juno, Wales really is a beautiful part of the world
I love Caerphilly Castle – many happy memories there 🙂
I can see why Abi. On a warmer day I so could have seen myself laid out with friends enjoying some food and drinks on the beautiful green grass around the castle
I have never been to Wales but after seeing the beauty of Wales through these photographs I wish to go there on a vacation. Everything is so green in every image.
Gorgeous! I’m from Wales and it wasn’t until I left that I realise what a great place it is. I love going back there now.
Cardiff and Caerphilly are both wonderful, but they are but a small taste of what is on offer in my homeland. Yes, it rains in Wales, but that is true of most countries with lots of greenery.
Originally Wales and all of the United Kingdom was one vast forest. Then man cleared most of it for agriculture, later mining and steel came to South Wales creating a semi industrial landscape. Following the demise these industries over the last 20 years, this landscape has been reclaimed by nature, creating the green South Wales you saw on your weekend.
Thanks for the quick history info John. Love love love hearing about how places have changed over time.
Looking at those pics makes me want to just put on a suit of armor and trot around on a trusty steed…
The more I go to the UK, the more I realize how much there is to see. I have been thinking at Wales as a possible destination for hiking (I saw pictures from Pembrokeshire and fell in love) and hadn’t thought at his history and beautiful castles.
One reason more to add it soon in a future itinerary.
Wales is fantastic for hiking. I recently did a weekend in Snowdonia, not on my website yet though. Recently been to the Shropshire/Welsh border – and you really should consider Cumbria.
You’re making me excited to go back to Wales! We’d always day trip over to north Wales (Conwy/Llandudno area) when I was growing up, and while there’s only the one castle, it’s definitely got that historic appeal.
Lovely photos mate! Very keen to spend some time in Wales once I leave the Southern Hemi!
Matt mate Wales would be a good stop for you after NZ
Good to read your post on Wales – Will like to visit it one day as have many friends living there. Three National Parks there would be my targets 🙂 Cheers
I just love Wales so much. That first photo of the castle really brought back memories, although I haven’t been to that specific castle. It’s such a peaceful little undiscovered part of the world. I’m going to have to return soon. It’s so nice that you live close by and can go easily.
Wow, and all this time I thought Wales was a shit-hole 😉
I really just love Wales, all those castles and green rolling hills. It really is stunning in Autumn. Thanks for sharing.
It looks lovely! And lucky you getting such nice weather. I’m hoping to visit Wales next summer while I’m in the UK, and I can’t wait to see some of these castles!
Brings back childhood memories of many Welsh holidays. If you like mountain biking check out the tracks in Wales.
This is lovely! Wales was never on my list of places to visit, but I’m thinking that I need to go now that I’m living in London.
Some great shots there. My boss is Welsh and always raves about how beautiful and underrated it is. Might just have to check it out sometime…
Definitely makes me want to go to Wales! I love castles and picturesque places.
Love this article! Wales is so often passed over as a holiday destination, but there is an incredible amount to be seen and experienced here. Reminiscent of New Zealand in so many ways – especially the areas around the Brecon Beacons. Gorgeous.
Your photos really make me miss Cardiff!
I’ve lived there for a year, and had the most amazing time. The cultural scene is very lively (go for a drink at Milgi’s and find out what activities will be on that night. Or the Cardiff Arts Centre, or the Gates Arts Centre for live jazz nights, or the Globe for comedy, or Passion for pole dancing lessons…) I often went cycling or hiking in the Brecon Beacons, which is amazing as well. Damn, I miss Wales!
If you’re into fiction, you might be interested in the short story I wrote there, inspired by Cardiff Castle and the rain: http://debbiedoeslondon.blogspot.com/2010/08/backyard-tragedy.html
Thanks for bringing back lovely memories!
Great site! Keep it up,
Let us know if you ever feel like doing guest post. We’re always looking for new writers.
I must agree that Whales is really beautiful. I hope I can get there someday. What’s the best part of Whales by the way?
I love your pictures! Good angles and shots!
Wales was just added to must-visit list!
Great that you got out of London and into the extremities of our tiny isle. Too many of our antipodean cousins never get further than London. There is so much to see on the edges.
I felt the same when I was living in Scotland. Everyday, no matter where I went, I was surrounded by endless history and I couldn’t help but try to imagine all the souls that had walked the same path as I was currently walking and what their lives were like. I was lucky enough to get to visit the castle that my ancestors lived in centuries ago. It was the closest I think I will ever get to experience a fairy tale!
Wales is incredibly beautiful! I like the way the pictures were captured. Makes me want to pack up and fly to England ASAP! 🙂
Wales is really nice, especially up north.
I’d really love to go to Cardiff, not only for all the reasons you mentioned above, but also because a lot of my favorite British television shows are filmed or set there (Doctor Who, anyone?)