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What to pack for a trip to Wales

Nia Knott

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You've booked your trip now all that's left to do is pack! Packing to visit a country with such a range of sights and unpredictable climate can be pretty daunting, but don't worry, we've got your packing covered. 

What to Wear

First things first, packing the right clothes can make or break your time in Wales. We recommend packing layers so that you can change with the weather. A couple of t-shirts, warm jumper or sweater, and whatever you do don't forget a waterproof coat, even if you're visiting Wales in Summer. Quick-dry trousers or waterproof over trousers may not win you many style points but you'll feel pretty pleased with yourself when everyone else gets caught out in a downpour in jeans! 

If you're visiting October - March you may want a woolly hat, scarf and gloves and if you're visiting April - September bring a hat and sunscreen. Sunglasses are useful year-round, because of the low angle of the sun in winter.

If you're spending any time exploring some of Wales' amazing countryside - whether it's the coastline or mountains then hiking boots will keep you supported and help to prevent injuries. If you're planning to explore cities, towns & castles then some lighter shoes are also a good idea. Wales isn't only about the outdoors though; our towns and cities have some brilliant nightlife so you might want to bring something to dress up for the evening. 

Travel essentials

All the usual travel essentials apply when visiting Wales. You'll really regret not bringing your 'proper' camera if you have one as Wales is a photographer's paradise, though phones do the job pretty well now too and make sharing photos so much easier, so if you're short on space just pack your phone (and charger!). Wales has pretty good wifi in most places now, so you can keep connected on the road. 

Most essentials like toiletries and over the counter medications can be picked up in Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor etc and even smaller towns will have places to stock up, so you can pack travel size toiletries then pick up more when you're here. 

Be a responsible traveller and bring a reusable water bottle - if you ask in pubs or cafes most will be happy to refill your bottle for you which cuts down on unnecessary plastic waste. 

We still love a good hard copy of a guidebook. Lonely Planet & Rough Guides both have Wales-specific guidebooks, and don't miss the official Wales Coast Path guide books - you can pick them up online before your trip or at most book shops here. 

These are our packing recommendations but we'd love to hear from you - what would you pack for Wales - tell us in the comments below! 

Real Wales, Real People - Dani Robertson

Nia Knott

Our Real Wales, Real People blog series is back! This time we're interviewing the lovely Dani Robertson, from Anglesey, North Wales. 

You’ve seen the pictures, you know just how beautiful Wales is, but how much do you know about its’ people? For a small population – just over 3 million people – the diversity is staggering. The Welsh are known as a friendly bunch, and whether they were born here or made the great choice to move here, you’ll likely receive the same warm welcome whomever you get talking to. One thing I learnt through my travels is that you can learn the most about a place by listening to the people that live there. The idea of this series of interview blogs is to give you an insight into the lives, loves & work of people that live in Wales.

 

Dani, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our Real Wales, Real People blog series. We connected over our mutual love of Wales’ ancient history, and adventure; both of which, as our readers will find out, can be discovered wherever in Wales you find yourself.  

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and where you live?

I’m Dani! I’m 27 and I run a Surf Therapy Project for the wonderful Wave Project in both North and South Wales. I also run an online surf community 'Surf Senioritas'; we run surf academies to get more women surfing.

I was incredibly lucky to grow up on the beautiful Island of Anglesey, in a little coastal village called Rhosneigr. I spent my childhood running wild on the beaches and through the fields (and some of the holiday homes’ gardens!), but I currently live just outside Neath, in South Wales. I moved to Neath for work, and I believe it gets a really bad rep. I live a stones throw from a number of historical sites, a beautiful and diverse woodland, waterfalls and some of the best beaches in Europe. 

As a local, what would your perfect day in Wales consist of?

As an Anglesey local, my perfect day is a cup of tea at my mums, followed by a walk along the beaches all the way to Cable Bay, home to Barclodiad Y Gawres (translation: ‘The Giantess’ Apron’), a Neolithic burial chamber, which is still used for ceremonies today by druids).

Cable Bay is great for surfing (but NOT lifeguarded!) and I think one of the best places to watch a sunset. I’d wrap up warm and stay to see the stars, with hardly any light pollution to spoil the skies, you’re in for a treat.

If you head up there for the Equinox, or a special celestial event such as the total eclipse, you’ll be treated to viewing some pretty special and ancient ceremonies. Not many people know, but you can access entry to the burial mound by requesting the key from the owners at the Wayside Stores, the last shop you pass on your way there! 

I also like to head to the end of RAF Valley’s runway, down by Rhosneigr golf course. You can watch the jets come in to land right over your head!

 What are your top tips for those looking to discover the real Wales?

My top tips are, pack a flask and sandwiches, ditch the car and get walking. Some of the most spectacular scenery we have is tucked away, out of sight of the car parks. Also don’t let weather put you off, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! It’s always wise to bring waterproofs when exploring Wales, we do get a lot of rain! This does mean however, that when the sun shines, the fields are green and life is thriving. Viewing Wales from the sea is an amazing opportunity to see our marine life and sea birds. You can take lots of different boat tours, but I’d recommend the Rib Ride down the Menai Straits, or taking a paddle board guided tour around the coast. I’d always recommend taking a guide unless you’re very sea savvy! Anglesey has some treacherous waters. 

Where would you take friends that come to visit you?

When friends visit, there’s almost too much choice for activities! When on Anglesey, I like to take people to South Stack Lighthouse and nature reserve, and to the top of Holyhead mountain – from the top on a clear day you can see across to Dublin and the Isle of Man!  It’s also quite funny when everyone’s phone providers decide you’re actually in Ireland and you get a ‘Welcome to Ireland!’ text. 

 In South Wales, I’ll head out to the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons National Park. I’m incredibly lucky to live 5 minutes from ‘Waterfall County’ and there are some truly incredible walks with some breathtaking falls; some you can even walk behind.

Finally - what makes you most proud to call Wales home?

 I am proud to call Wales my home as we really are spoilt. Every day is an adventure if you want it to be. There’s so much history, and the stories, myths and legends that go with every place make everything magical. We are proud of our heritage, our language and culture. For a country so small, we have so much to offer.

You can see more from Dani on Instagram

And why not go and check out Surf Senioritas too! On Instagram and Facebook

 

Autumn / Winter News Round-Up

Nia Knott

Although the weather may not yet have caught up, Spring has arrived in Wales! It's been a while since our last newsletter because we've been busy! We're so excited for the 2017 season as we continue to grow and expand what we offer, so here's what we've been up to during the Autumn & Winter, and what you can expect in the year ahead..

Autumn Colour

Autumn was beautiful in Wales last year & we took full advantage. We offered a seasonal special tour to show people the beauty of the Autumn in Wales. This tour will return later this year. 

Exploring the Brecon Beacons with Kate Goes Global

We had a great day showing travel blogger Kate Goes Global around the Brecon Beacons! You can read her experience here

Image Credit: Kate Victoria Photography

Image Credit: Kate Victoria Photography

Vehicle Makeover

We asked the lovely team at Elite Signs in Bridgend to help us out with signage for our vehicle, and we're so pleased with the results! It has made our vehicle much easier for guests to find, and also acts as handy advertising when we're out and about. 

Responsible Travel

We're passionate about the world we live in, and leaving it better for future generations. Whilst we accept that our business does have an impact on the environment, we continuously seek to minimise this, and encourage our guests to help play their part by travelling responsibly. We've also committed to donate £1 from every booking to positive environmental & social causes. 

Photo Tours

We started our photo tours back in the Summer, and are really excited to be working with photographer Mari Owen to offer a range of Wales photo tours. We now offer photo day tours in the Brecon Beacons and on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, as well as 2 day, 1 night photo tours in South Wales or North Wales. 

Image Credit: Mari Owen

Image Credit: Mari Owen

New Signature Day Tour

Listening to and learning from our guests is key for us, and we know that people visiting Wales are often short on time, so we've put together a brand new tour for 2017, fitting in as many of Wales' highlights as possible in a day! 

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North Wales

Also new for 2017, we're so happy to now be able to offer scheduled small group tours from Cardiff to explore North Wales! We'll be running these regularly throughout the year, as well as continuing to offer our Pembrokeshire tours

Wales Wanderlust

We're so excited to announce our Wales Wanderlust tour, which we've been perfecting for a while. Designed with the adventurous traveller in mind, we're really proud of the itinerary which covers castles, mountains, beaches, woodland, waterfalls, ancient sites and so much more! 

We've got a busy season ahead, and loads more plans for the future, so watch this space...!

In the meantime you can keep up with all our news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

Essential Wales Day Trips From Cardiff

Nia Knott

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'We didn't know there was so much to see in Wales!' is one of the most common phrases we hear from our tour guests, when they visit Cardiff and realise there is so much to see within easy reach of the city. With that in mind, we thought we should put together a list of essential day trips from Cardiff for anyone planning a trip to Wales. From rugged mountains to lush green valleys intersected by waterfalls, and from romantic ruins to dramatic coastline, here's what you need to see when you are visiting Wales! 

Brecon Beacons National Park

For lovers of the outdoors, if you're looking for a scenic day out in Wales, head straight to the Brecon Beacons! With unique glacially formed mountains & valleys, incredibly verdant landscapes, abundant waterfalls, woodland & reservoirs, you could spend several days here and still want more! Fortunately though, we've put together the perfect small group tour of the Brecon Beacons, so you get to experience the best of the park in one day! 

The Gower Peninsula

The Gower's beaches are some of the most popular in the UK, and it's not hard to see why! A refreshing day trip from Cardiff, visiting the Welsh coastline and beaches is a must-do while you're in Wales. Don't miss Three Cliffs Bay, and Rhossili, undoubtedly amongst the most dramatic beaches in Wales

The Wye Valley

Home to the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey, and the magnificent Chepstow Castle, a day tour from Cardiff to the Wye Valley will leave you awestruck by Wales' ancient history. If you choose to take a day trip to the Wye Valley, don't miss out the stunning woodland walks with views down to the river far below. Our River Valley day tour visits both Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle, as well as some of the famous viewpoints which inspired Romantic Era painters & poets. 

The Glamorgan Heritage Coast & Countryside

Just a short journey out of Cardiff and you arrive in a rural idyll. Humans have been practising agriculture here for more than 5,000 years, and dotted amongst the lush green countryside are traces of the ancient past. Visit Neolithic burial chambers pre-dating Stonehenge, and explore ruined medieval mansion houses, and Norman castle ruins. Don't miss the coastline; the dramatic cliffs of Nash Point & Southerndown never fail to inspire. There's so much crammed in to this tiny patch of Wales that it's possible to see loads of amazing sights in a day trip.

Further Afield

If you can spare another day, then the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park in the far west of Wales, and Snowdonia National Park in North Wales are within your reach! You could take a two day tour to Snowdonia or Pembrokeshire from Cardiff to explore Wales at its most wild and rugged. Pembrokeshire is home to some of Wales' most dramatic coastline, as well as beautiful beaches and quaint fishing villages. The mountains and lakes of Snowdonia, combined with the amazing castles of North Wales, make a perfect two day tour for those that love the outdoors and adventure. 

Looking for a day trip or small group tour of Wales? We offer tours of Wales from Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons, Gower Peninsula, Wye Valley, Glamorgan Heritage Coast & Countryside and more. We also take tours to Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire from Cardiff. Find out more

 

 

 

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