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  • Writer's pictureMair

Top 3 Places in Wales To Visit Once Lockdown is Over

Updated: May 15, 2020

Get planning everyone!

Although we’re restricted with travel at the moment, it doesn’t mean we can’t plan ahead. If there are any positives to take away from this sticky situation the world finds itself in right now, it’s writing down all of the things we’d like to do once the social distancing restrictions are lifted. Where will you travel to once we're allowed to roam the great outdoors once again?

For me, there are a handful of places tucked away in the secret pockets of Wales which I miss, and I’m eager to visit once again once lockdown ends. Here are just a few which I recommend you visit if you’re ever around that area:

1. The Elan Valley, Powys – A world’s first

Nestled in a valley 3 miles from the town of Rhayder in mid-wales, lies the Elan Valley.

The Elan Estate runs over 45,000 acres, so the hillside is specked with man- made reservoirs. There are 6 dams in total, which were built over 100 years ago and are now home to natural habitats and species of flora and fauna.

If you’re lucky, the water will be flowing over the top of the Caban Coch Dam when you visit - if you want to check if the water is flowing over or not before your visit, just check on the Elan Valley website where they have a live camera.

Although the dams are a beautiful sight, the Elan Estate is also known for it’s spectacular sky at night, due to the low light pollution in the area.

The park was granted a silver status by the International Dark Sky Association. It’s the only Dark Sky Park in the world that’s privately owned but open to the public!

Fun fact: Top Gear actually filmed here on the Clearwen Dam (series 22, episode 4). Richard Hammond was winched 200ft up the side of the dam in a Land Rover Defender.

2. Llanstaffan Beach, Carmarthenshire

Situated just 8 miles from Camarthen town, Llansteffan beach is a jewel in West Wales.

The beach runs alongside the Tywi estuary, complete with a picturesque castle on the top, which is thought to date back to around 1100 with historic Norman links.

You can visit the castle on foot via a pathway to the headland, which has stunning views at the top. If you stand right at the top of the gatehouse tower, try and spot the defensive banks and ditch which once formed defence mechanisms for the castle.

The beach itself is great for families during the summer months, as it has a local shop close to the beach which sells souvenirs.

On the opposite side of the estuary, lies the town of Kidwelly. Depending on the time of day, you might catch a glimpse of the trains running along the coastline, or some boats out on the water. Wherever you sit on the beach with your picnic hamper, you’re sure to get a lovely view on a good day.

One important thing to note: As the estuary has a strong current, I wouldn’t advise swimming in it. Also, be sure to check the tidal times… to make sure that there is some beach to visit!

3. Hay on Wye, Powys – Home to the ‘Hay Festival’

If you love books, then you’ll love Hay on Wye! This beautiful small town is packed with community spirit and Welsh charm. From handcrafted wooden crafts, to books, coffee shops and more; there’s always something that will draw you in.

I personally love The Granary, a café near the centre, which makes fresh cakes and coffee; stop there if you’re after a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The Broad Street Book Centre is also a great place to go – a traditional shop which just oozes character. From creaky floorboards, to wooden staircases and old books in glass cabinets, browsing the books there will just draw you in. It’s the kind of treasure trove where you’ll leave with a book, even though you just planned to browse!

The ‘Hay Festival’ is also held here. Over 10 days over May and June, thousands of people from all over the world flock to this town for the iconic Literature and Arts Festival.

Guest speakers, which have featured famous faces such as Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer, and Bill Bailey, travel to Wales to deliver guest talks to the public. Even though the event is postponed this year, always be sure to buy your tickets well ahead of time!


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