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Wales’ lively capital, Cardiff is a modern city with some excellent facilities, including the world class Millennium Stadium, which hosts a variety of sporting events, and some fantastic museums – the excellent National Museum and the open-air St Fagan’s National History Museum. Cardiff Castle, with its mixture of styles from across the ages, sits in the centre of the city. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in Cardiff, particularly around Cardiff Bay.

‘The Valleys’, north of Cardiff, were long an area of heavy coal mining and still bear the scars today. Several places in the area have now established interesting museums on this industrial heritage, most notably the ‘Big Pit’ museum at Blaenafon.

At Wales’ far south east, the Wye Valley forms the border with England and is a lush, green area of woodland and farmland, perfect for walking and getting out on the river. This border area is also filled with castle ruins, designed to block English invaders from entering Wales. Chepstow and Raglan castles are among the many interesting sites.

West of Swansea, Wales’ second largest city, the striking Gower Peninsula juts out into the Bristol Channel. An undeveloped area, the coast is lined with sharp cliffs, sandy bays and rolling waves, making it one of Britain’s best spots for surfing.

Image © VisitBritain / David Angel