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South Wales

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© Lonely Planet Publications
660

661

South Wales
Take a clutch of scarred medieval castles. Add a twist of Unesco World Heritage industrial
history. Squeeze in some of Britain’s wildest coast. Sprinkle liberally with sleepy villages, secret
coves and surfing hotzspots and throw in some rolling hills for good measure. Smother with
local pride and, hey presto, this is a microcosm of Wales. Welcome to the south, where the
Welsh Dragon breathes as strongly as ever.

At the eastern extremity, Chepstow’s striking castle welcomes visitors to Wales, and the
Wye Valley is a beguiling place to paddle the waters. In between, things get gritty, with
Blaenafon and Big Pit providing stark reminders of a collapsed industrial heritage. Dropping
down to the coast, modern Swansea is emerging as a serious rival to Cardiff, and the tiny,
beach-rich Gower Peninsula is one of Wales’ loveliest corners.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Hiking to Wales’ most spectacular fortress,

Carreg Cennen Castle (p674)
„ Discovering World Heritage steel and coal

history at Big Pit in Blaenafon (p666)
„ Surfing at the stress-dispelling Gower

Peninsula (p672)
„ Charting Wales’ industrial past at Swansea’s

Pembrokeshire
Laugharne

Carreg
Cennen
Castle

National Waterfront Museum (p668)
„ Embracing rugged cliffs, secluded beaches

Gower
Peninsula

and adrenaline thrills in Pembrokeshire
(p675)
„ Chilling out at Laugharne (p673), Dylan

Thomas’ seaside hideaway

„ POPULATION: 1,741,443

Blaenafon
Swansea

„ AREA: 2911 SQ MILES

SOUTH WALES

Stretching over 100 miles from historic border-town Chepstow in the east to the big
sky and sea views of the jagged coast in the west, south Wales packs it in. The big draw
is Pembrokeshire, the Welsh Land’s End where the winds of outdoor life blows year-round.
Almost 200 miles of magical shoreline has been defined a national park, delineated by
craggy cliffs, golden sands, chocolate-box villages and traditional seaside resorts. St David’s,
Britain’s smallest city, nestles at its westernmost tip and is home to Wales’ holiest site. For
budding hikers, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of Britain’s most celebrated longdistance walks.

662 S O U T H E A S T W A L E S

lonelyplanet.com
h
Ystwyt

SOUTH WALES

40 km
20 miles
Leominster

Llandrindod
Wells

Tregaron

Cambrian
Mountains

CEREDIGION

Llanwrtyd
Wells
i A483

Kington
Builth
Wells

ENGLAND A49

A438

A470

A470

A470

A4
A40
0

Wy

Tyw

Lampeter

A483

3

A478

A4
8

0
4770
AA4

A4
04
2

Western Cleddau

A406
0

79
A...
SOUTH WALES
© Lonely Planet Publications
Take a clutch of scarred medieval castles. Add a twist of Unesco World Heritage industrial
history. Squeeze in some of Britain’s wildest coast. Sprinkle liberally with sleepy villages, secret
coves and surfing hotzspots and throw in some rolling hills for good measure. Smother with
local pride and, hey presto, this is a microcosm of Wales. Welcome to the south, where the
Welsh Dragon breathes as strongly as ever.
Stretching over 100 miles from historic border-town Chepstow in the east to the big
sky and sea views of the jagged coast in the west, south Wales packs it in. The big draw
is Pembrokeshire, the Welsh Land’s End where the winds of outdoor life blows year-round.
Almost 200 miles of magical shoreline has been defined a national park, delineated by
craggy cliffs, golden sands, chocolate-box villages and traditional seaside resorts. St David’s,
Britain’s smallest city, nestles at its westernmost tip and is home to Wales’ holiest site. For
budding hikers, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of Britain’s most celebrated long-
distance walks.
At the eastern extremity, Chepstow’s striking castle welcomes visitors to Wales, and the
Wye Valley is a beguiling place to paddle the waters. In between, things get gritty, with
Blaenafon and Big Pit providing stark reminders of a collapsed industrial heritage. Dropping
down to the coast, modern Swansea is emerging as a serious rival to Cardiff, and the tiny,
beach-rich Gower Peninsula is one of Wales’ loveliest corners.
South Wales
POPULATION: 1,741,443 AREA : 2911 SQ MILES
HIGHLIGHTS
Hiking to Wales’ most spectacular fortress,
Carreg Cennen Castle ( p674 )
Discovering World Heritage steel and coal
history at Big Pit in Blaenafon ( p666 )
Surfing at the stress-dispelling Gower
Peninsula ( p672 )
Charting Wales’ industrial past at Swansea’s
National Waterfront Museum ( p668 )
Embracing rugged cliffs, secluded beaches
and adrenaline thrills in Pembrokeshire
( p675 )
Chilling out at Laugharne ( p673 ), Dylan
Thomas’ seaside hideaway
Swansea
Laugharne
Castle
Blaenafon
Carreg
Cennen
Pembrokeshire
Peninsula
Gower
660 661
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