|| It's the kind of landscape that implores you to abandon the car in favour of more intimate forms of
transport; it matters not whether you walk or cycle as long as
you breathe the air and touch the soil.
Here are some of Britain’s most beautiful vistas, from ocean views to neck-straining panoramas, from formidable castles and hillforts to historic stately homes and blue-rinsed bays.
It is the mountains which define this
ancient, sheep-grazed terrain, from the statuesque Berwyns of
the Dee Valley – with its peat-stained waterfall at Pistyll –
to Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. |
Part wilderness, Snowdonia National Park covers over 800 sq miles and includes both Snowdon at 3,650ft and the five-peaked massif of Cadir Idris.
As well as ever-changing skies, the Park boasts lowland woods, glacial lakes, dunes and heart-thumping scenery.
The region's coastline has some of Britain's
most popular, traditional coastal holiday towns. Wealthy
Victorians led the way in their headlong pursuit of sandy
beaches and fresh air and the coast has a number of grand
resorts replete with swell-washed piers and evocative
Coming to prominence with the arrival of steam power and the locomotive, they range from traditional resorts such as Barmouth and Criccieth to the sailing centre of Abersoch and evergreen hotspots like Llandudno – famous for its Great Orme – Colwyn Bay, Rhyl and Pwllheli (home of both Plaid Cymru and a large Butlins site).
It was Edward I who left an enduring legacy
of castle building in the 13th century. His "ring
of iron" includes castles at Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech and
Beaumaris – all part of a continual war for control of Wales
that has raged since Roman times.
The rivalry took an astonishing twist in the 15th century when Owain Glyndwr, self-declared Prince of Wales, temporarily defeated the English and even won control of the immense fortress at Harlech. His victory may have been short-lived but it restored a sense of Welsh pride.