From rolling valleys, to windswept moors and peaks, to rugged wide-open coast. South Wales is a place of varied landscapes and true natural beauty.
Whilst the current situation has put travel on hold, we thought we’d share some inspirational places with you to dream about visiting when restrictions are lifted.
Here’ a quick round up of four beautiful places in South Wales.
This is the prettiest peninsula in Wales, jutting out westwards into the Bristol Channel. The Gower is so easy on the eyes, it was the first area in the UK to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. What makes this heritage coast so special is its untouched environments, including heathland, limestone grasslands flecked with wildflowers, fresh and saltwater marshes, soft sand dunes, and ancient pockets of woodland.
All of this on one peninsula. The Gower also has a beach once voted as the best in Europe, and one of the top 10 in the world. Rhossili Bay Beach, and it’s three miles of unspoilt arcing sand, was a favourite of the revered Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Whilst it isn’t inaccessible, it is quite remote, so it’s not a sunbather’s favourite—more of a refreshing and peaceful experience.
The Afan Forest Park is South Wales’ haven for outdoor pursuits. Just south of the Brecon Beacons, Afan has steep hillsides thick with shadowy pines, and winding trails that escape the tree line, presenting the rise and fall of green valleys.
Hiking in Afan is an invigorating yet calming way to spend an afternoon. The trails start at the visitor’s centre and are varied. You could walk along a shady riverbank deep in the valley, through the woods, or head towards a ridge and untamed views. You can even stroll along an abandoned railway line, of which there is 25 miles worth.
© Chris Davies - Visit Wales - Afan Forest Park
Straddling the border between Wales and England, the Wye Valley, is one of the most scenic, and effortlessly attractive parts of the UK. River valleys, lush woodland, cider orchards, and miles of mellow waters. It’s quintessentially Welsh and English at the same time. It’s also known for its rich variety of birdlife, including peregrine falcons, goshawks, ravens, whitebeams, and nightjar. Some of these birds are rarities.
The Wye Valley has a long history of being a place of pilgrimage for poets. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were known to have been inspired by it. Together they launched the romantic literary movement in the 18th Century. This is quite the seal of approval.
The Brecon Beacons is one of Wales’ two big national parks, alongside Snowdonia—and the wildest place in the south. If you want to feel far away from civilisation, the Beacons will abide. Reaching from Llandeilo in the west, to the edges of England in the east, undulating uplands of coarse tundra hold up the sky. It is a truly sublime landscape, waiting for adventures.
Four mountain ranges make up the wider Brecon Beacons park area, with different popularities. The lion’s share of tourism is directed towards the west. This leaves the broodily named Black Mountains, stretching to the Herefordshire border as a land of folklore and pure silence. Wilderness.
Once atop the Black Mountains, between the shallow alpine crests, the limits of vision are spellbinding. Here you’ll be feeling a sense of awe, as you survey the ripple of patchwork farmlands below, vanishing into the distance. Don’t forget your camera!
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy the beautiful sights of South Wales.
Want to keep reading? Check out our other local area blogs.