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Wonders of Wales

Conwy Castle and town
Conwy Castle and town. / Hefin Owen, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Wales is rich both with cultural and natural heritage. Here are located some of the most beautiful caves and waterfalls in the United Kingdom, but here are also some of the most impressive castles in the world, amazing medieval towns, diverse palaces (many are (?) haunted), diverse archaeological monuments.

The most amazing wonders of Wales are:

  • Castles. Some of the most impressive are Caerphilly Castle, Harlech Castle, Conwy Castle.
  • Bridges. There is huge diversity of bridges in Wales with many outstanding structures.
  • Waterfalls. Some of most impressive British waterfalls are located in Wales – such as Pistyll Rhaeadr.
  • Caves. Welsh caves are both very long (up to 70 km) and ornate.

Wales has several systems of administrative division. In this website Wales is divided into 22 council areas.

Council areas of Wales
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Bridgend
  • Caerphilly
  • Cardiff
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Monmouthshire
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Newport
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Powys
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Swansea
  • Torfaen
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Wrexham

Map with the described wonders of Wales

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Wales

Archaeological wonders

Holyhead Mountain

Isle of Anglesey

A prehistoric village site with remains of some 50 buildings. Village covered 6 – 8 ha, in use from 500 BC to some time after the end of Roman governance. In some hut circles have been found examples of stone furniture.

Architecture wonders

Cardiff Castle


An old fortress, used since Roman times. Today here stands an impressive, comparatively well preserved Norman keep, built around 1091. The castle was rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century in a Neo-Gothic style and now resembles a fairy tale castle. The interiors supplement the luxurious exterior – many rooms have rich and even opulent interiors. Reported haunting.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle. / The wub, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Powis Castle


Medieval castle and mansion in an impressive garden. This Welsh castle was built in the 13th century and transformed into a country house in the 17th century when also magnificent terraced gardens were developed. Valuable interior in the State Bedroom. Reportedly haunted.

Chepstow Castle


The oldest surviving Norman stone fortification in Britain, originally built in 1067 and extended several times afterward. Since 1685 partly abandoned, and by the late 18th century in ruins. Nevertheless, the structure is very impressive.

St David’s Cathedral


Old and impressive cathedral in a rural setting. Construction of the present cathedral was started in 1181 and was soon completed. The building though has suffered much damage and modifications. The gravestone of Bishop Abraham murdered in 1080, adorned with intricate Celtic carvings.

St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire
St David’s Cathedral / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Harlech Castle


Medieval Welsh castle with impressive gatehouse. Built in 1283 – 1290. Concentric castle, with several concentric rings of defenses. It withstood a 7-year long siege that ended in 1468 – the longest siege in the history of the British Isles. Slighted in 1647, but is well preserved.

Conwy Castle


Castle built in 1283 – 1289, during the English conquest of Wales. Represents a high achievement of military architecture.

Caerphilly Castle


The largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain, and one of the largest in Europe. Constructed in 1268 – 1271 as a concentric castle with extensive water defense. Well preserved, represents a unique monument of castle architecture.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct


Unique monument – navigable viaduct over the Dee Valley. This aqueduct was built in 1805 and is the longest and highest in Britain. It is 307 m long and rises 38 m above the river.

Hensol Castle

Vale of Glamorgan

Mansion built in Gothic style in the late 17th or early 18th century. This structure is a puzzle for architecture historians as it represents either a very late Gothic style building or a very early Neo-Gothic building. Ghost stories.

Plas Mawr


Historical house in Conwy, the best preserved Elizabethan townhouse in the United Kingdom. Built between 1575 and 1586. The facade is adorned with beautiful plasterwork. Reported paranormal events.

Margam Castle

Vale of Glamorgan

Impressive Victorian country house built in 1830 – 1840 in Neo-Gothic style. Considered to be haunted.

St Winefride’s Well


The oldest continuously visited pilgrimage site in Great Britain. Natural spring to whose water are attributed healing powers. Legend links the appearance of this spring to tragic events in 660 AD. Pilgrims are visiting the well since then. The well has been enclosed in a chapel in the 15th century. Gothic architecture.

Newport Transporter Bridge


A rare example of industrial architecture, the largest of the eight transporter bridges of the world. Built in 1906 and consists of two 74 m tall support towers and a horizontal beam 54 m above River Usk. From the beam is hanging the transporter gondola, traveling 196.6 m over the river.

Caernarfon Castle


In the southern part of old Caernarfon town is located this impressive castle. It was built on the site of an older castle in 1283. Castle bears a reminiscence of the Walls of Constantinople.

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd
Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Beaumaris Castle


Impressive, well-preserved castle, built during the English conquest of Wales. Construction started in 1295. A masterpiece of military architecture.

Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
Beaumaris Castle / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Picton Castle


A medieval castle, built at the end of the 13th century and still inhabited by the family of the original builders. Remodeled in the 15th century and 1820ies.

St Govan’s Chapel


An old chapel in a unique location – at the sea coast, in a dramatic fissure, among high cliffs. Built in the 13th century. It is possible that already in the 6th century here was built the first church by St. Govan.

Plas Teg


One of the most important remaining examples of Jacobean (late Renaissance) style country houses in Britain. Constructed in 1610 and was one of the most prominent houses in Wales then. Declined in the 20th century, now renovated. Considered to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain, linked to pagan beliefs.

Pembroke Castle


Remains of a very impressive medieval castle, built in 1189 – 1218 and 1234 – 1241. Abandoned since the middle of the 17th century. Extensive restoration in the late 19th – 20th century has to large extent returned the former impression. Beneath the southeastern corner of the building is Wogan Cavern – a large natural grotto.

Raglan Castle


Large, visually impressive medieval castle ruins. The present structure was built since 1435, although a castle exists here since the 12th century. In the late 16th century reshaped into a luxurious mansion. In decline since the 17th century.

Carreg Cennen Castle


Spectacular ruins of a medieval castle towering above a precipice. This naturally secluded place has been used as a fortress since prehistoric times. The stone castle was first built shortly before 1197 and rebuilt into its present form in the late 13th century. In ruins since the second half of the 15th century, renovated in the 19th century.

Carreg Cennen Castle, Pembrokeshire
Carreg Cennen Castle / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Bangor Cathedral


Ancient cathedral. Christian shrine has existed here since the 6th century but the current building was built mainly in the 13th century and largely rebuilt in the 19th century.

St Giles’ Church in Wrexham


Magnificent Gothic building. The beautiful 41 m tall tower with numerous stone carvings was built in the 16th century. The interior is adorned with numerous carvings, magnificent detail is ornate wrought-iron gates from 1719.

Penrhyn Castle


This impressive country house was constructed in a form of a Norman castle in 1820 – 1840 and contains parts of the medieval fortified manor house. It is the most impressive mock medieval castle in Britain with corresponding interiors – fine plasterwork, wood, and stone carving. Includes an exquisite art collection that includes paintings of Rembrandt, Canaletto, and other famous painters.

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd
Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldYellow Recommended books

Fodor’s England 2016: with the Best of Wales

With its irresistible mix of storied heritage and cosmopolitan pizzazz, England attracts more than 3 million Americans each year. Fodor’s England captures the most memorable sights and experiences in dazzling color, from fabulous historic houses and age-mellowed towns to cozy country pubs and London’s cutting-edge galleries.

The Rough Guide to Wales

Discover this beautiful country with the most incisive and entertaining guidebook on the market. Whether you plan to hike through the wilds of Snowdonia, follow in Wordsworth’s footsteps at Tintern Abbey, or explore Welsh music and theatre in Swansea, The Rough Guide to Wales will show you the ideal places to sleep, eat, drink and shop along the way.

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