Many of us find ourselves somewhat strapped for cash these days, but the good news is that there’s so much to see and do on our own patch that there’s simply no need to go to the far side of the world looking for interest and excitement. People come from across the globe to see this sceptred isle, and here we have it all on the doorstep.
Wales is a case in point, a unique part of the UK with its own long history and traditions – yet easy to get to and, with its beautiful mellow countryside and excellent range of outdoor activities, great for family breaks. And if you’re after cheap city breaks in the UK, you’ll find that many Welsh towns are on the coast, and boast numerous lovely but affordable guest houses - letting you have (sorry) a whale of a time even if you’re on a relatively tight budget.
In southwest Wales, Gower is perfect for a budget break by the seaside. Apart from the great sandy beaches here there are attractions like the wreck of the Helvetia, washed up on the sands of Rhossili Bay, and you get great views across the surrounding land and seascapes from nearby Three Cliffs Bay. There are lots of rock pools exposed when the tide goes out to hunt down crabs, crayfish and other sea life, and there’s a great range of affordable accommodation in the immediate area.
In Swansea you’ll find loads of things to do, including a visit to Wales’s oldest museum, which houses - amongst other fascinating exhibits - an Egyptian mummy, and the National Waterfront Museum is just along the road, with exhibits on local industrial and maritime history. Both museums are free and have pleasant cafes for a light lunch. All around Swansea Bay you’ll find a wealth of historical attractions and entertainments. Shipwrecks, standing stones and medieval castles are the norm, and the Prom along the beachfront is great for a bracing walk in all weathers.
In Cardiff, the castle is one of the biggest attractions but also if you come here in July or August you’ll be able to catch numerous free events that are put on as part of the fabulous Cardiff Festival, which is centred on Cardiff Bay.
Camping is a big attraction for families, groups and couples, and there are many excellent campsites right across Wales, in mountainside, coastal and woodland settings. A few nights under canvas with modern facilities close to hand - but with an aura of pioneering excitement - is just the thing for adding an element of fun and adventure to any holiday. Trawsdir Barmouth and Graig Wen St in Snowdonia National Park, St David’s Park in Red Wharf Bay and Forest Fields in Builth Wells are just a few of the recommended ones, but there are plenty of others.
Wales is particularly good on the child-friendly attractions front, with the Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran and family activities along the Barmouth Quay especially popular. With great mountain-biking along the established trails at Coed Y Brenin, and collecting shells along the fabulous beaches of Shell Island in Cardigan Bay on offer, along with numerous other thrills and spills, you have all the makings of a really super getaway in wonderful Wales.
About the Author: David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.
Photos via Flick Creative Commons