It's a brilliant free outdoor museum 10 minutes west of the centre showing how Welsh people lived, worked and spent their spare time through the ages. Set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland in the grounds of St Fagans castle, a 16th-century manor house, over 30 buildings have been painstakingly moved from various parts of Wales and reassembled brick by brick. Native farm animals roam the fields and farmyards, and there’s a working flour mill and blacksmith. There are also some great old-fashioned shops including a baker’s and a sweet shop. The village of St Fagans itself is worth a look, with pretty thatched-roof cottages, a picturesque cricket ground and decent pub.
The phrase "Ambition is critical" greets visitors leaving Swansea railway station. The city has a reputation as a graveyard of ambition, a distinction which owes as much to Joe's Ice Cream as to its scenery and beaches. One taste and you'll never eat ice cream anywhere else.
Anyone who's ever lived in Swansea can tell you that Joe's was established in 1922: it says so on the side of their cartons. Since then, millions of litres of the stuff have been sold to locals and visitors alike.
Make your choice from the extensive range of specials, or just have a cone or carton of pure vanilla ice cream as it comes, rolled in chocolate strands or chopped nuts as you wish.
In addition to the original premises on St Helen's Road (near the cricket ground, Guildhall and university), there are two newer branches at Mumbles and Parc Tawe.
85 St Helen's Road - 01792 653880
524 Mumbles Road, Mumbles - 01792 368212
The Piazza, Parc Tawe - 01792 460370
Five victorian shopping arcades which run off St Mary Street and High Street. The arcades are shopping centres as Jules Verne might have imagined them; beautifully ornate yet ever-so-slightly ramshackle. Full of interesting independent shops and cafes.
Walk along St Mary Street and High Street and you can't miss them!
There’s no landmark in Cardiff which can give you a view of the city in the way that the London Eye or the Eiffel tower would, although the Garth and Wenault mountains are worth venturing out to for a view of the city from a distance. But if you want a window into the Welsh nation, go to Cardiff when there’s an international rugby fixture on. For the Welsh, rugby is the expression of a nation and it’s an experience you will never forget. The sight of 75,000 people - mostly wearing red - in such a huge stadium is itself a spectacle, and the singing will make your hair stand on end.
Pembrokeshire is the new Cornwall! before all the tourists arrived and clogged the roads. Walk the Pembrokeshire coastal path, it has breathtaking scenery, golden sandy beaches in coves where you might not have to share your beach! Pebble beaches perfect for skimming practice and the locals are so friendly, they always have time to stop for a chat and find out about you - whilst keeping you up to date with the latest news in agriculture!!
A funked-up glass restaurant on the sea front in Swansea, Wales, run by Italians with Welsh accents and with home-made concoctions like tiramisu and pistachio flavour ice-creams.
This is the most beautiful, friendly, chilled-out place to relax and the staff are young, friendly, and attractive with a startling consistency - moody dark Italians mix with cheerful Welsh blondes as the cherry on top, though, of course, there are many cherries in the ice cream, should you wish.
A favourite among families, sundae-sharing couples and grannies treating themselves, a summer sundae there is divine, and the city lights shimmering over the sea at night make the old city look more magical than it looks close up, that's for sure!
Knab Rock, Mumbles, Swansea, Wales, SA3 4EN
tel +44 (01792) 369 135
This museum, with its collection of Welsh archaeology, arts and crafts, and surprisingly impressive collection of Impressionist paintings, is worth a visit if you’ve got a few days here. Entry is free.
Down between Cardiff Castle and the River Taff is Bute park, an adventure playground of standing stones, ruins and trees. It’s right on the edge of the city centre, and is a great place to take the weight off your feet after some shopping. The park extends north along the river and becomes Sophia Gardens, where you’ll find Glamorgan cricket club’s ground and the Welsh Institute of Sport, and the wide open playing fields of Pontcanna and Llandaff fields.
A romantic, fairytale castle just outside Cardiff. Rebuilt from a medieval ruin, its gothic interior is crammed with ornate murals, lavish gilding and elaborate wood carvings.
If you like this over-the-top style, you might also want to visit Cardiff Castle in the centre of the city. Both were designed by William Burges.
On the A470 at Tongwynlais, about five miles north-west of Cardiff.
A few sayings you can try out on your visit: Iechyd da (cheers) Diolch yn fawr (thanks very much) Twll dîn pob Sais! (Down with the English!) All street signs are in Welsh and English and while everyone in shops and pubs speaks English, a lot of people are also Welsh speakers.
A lovely park with a huge lake to feed the ducks or hire a boat. There’s a great playground for children, lovely rose gardens and an impressive greenhouse. Also in the park is a memorial lighthouse dedicated to Captain Scott, the South Pole explorer, who set sail on his final, ill-fated voyage from Cardiff.
Seriously good ice cream made from sheep's milk from their own herd and fruit from local growers. Buy a cone and eat it sitting on the grass in the "honesty" bookshop under the castle.
9 High Town, Hay-on-Wye
Tel: 01981 550716 www.shepherdsicecream.co.uk
A ruined medieval castle, on a cliff, in the hills of the Brecon Beacons, with (on a good day) views out to the sea. Wild and windswept, a fantastic location, which will set anyone's adventurous imagination going. Great exploring for all ages (don't miss the cave), with footpaths around the castle for longer walks. Pop to the farm next door to a fab cafe in a barn, also the source of Brecon Carreg mineral water.
In the village of Trap, 4 miles from Llandeilo in SW Wales. The castle is signposted on brown "Tourist Attraction" signs.
Tir y Castell Farm, Trap, Llandeilo SA19 6TS Camarthenshire
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