Exploring the hidden treasures of Wales
Thursday, 15 December 2022
In this article, Bethan reveals underrated places around Wales. These are places that are magical, peaceful, aesthetic and contribute massively to Welsh culture and history.
Wales is a magical country of just over three million people, and I am one of the fortunate few to be a part of this number. Unfortunately, such a small country may slip under the radar when people think of beautiful places to visit. There are so many whimsical locations in the land of the dragon that I believe should be shown to the world. Let us begin with my family’s hometown, Chepstow or Cas-gwent (its Welsh name).
The bustling town of Chepstow fuses the ancient and modern cultures of Wales and possesses an ideal image for many visitors. Significant spots include the extensive Chepstow Port Walls: these are medieval remnants that stretch far and wide across the town and remind many of the striking Welsh past that fights to remain relevant today. Another incredible landmark is the Chepstow Castle, a grandiose and preserved fortress that boasts at least 900 years of history.
As a child, I visited the castle countless times, pretending I was a stubborn princess or chivalrous knight as my family led us through stone rooms. However, if you’d rather explore the modern parts of Chepstow, don’t hesitate to hit the high street with its picturesque boutiques and handsome sculptures. The town truly succeeds in providing entertainment for its visitors and is steeped in so much history that it will make any historian happy!
Another idyllic part of Wales is Tenby; by far one of the top hidden treasures in this country. Tenby is located further west than Chepstow, in Pembrokeshire. It encapsulates Welsh natural beauty, with glowing, sandy beaches and the fairy tale harbour brimming with rainbow-coloured houses. Despite being a tourist attraction, Tenby retains its individual identity: the Welsh name is Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Little Fortress of the Fish), and this poetic phrase makes sense when exploring the harbour. Watch out for all the fish! Furthermore, Castle Beach shows again the beautiful history of Wales as visitors can sightsee the ancient Tenby Castle whilst sunbathing. Tenby Castle was built in the 12th century, but sadly it has fallen into ruin over time. The old castle walls are still present, however, and they are an important attribute of Tenby.
Wales is a vastly important land, known not just for its archaic history but for its natural beauty. It will always be a place to escape to when Nottingham city life gets too much and allows me to reunite with my culture on a profound and personal level. Wales symbolises ‘cwtch’ for me; the Welsh word for a special sort of hug which cannot even be translated properly into English. Ultimately, it is a word that comforts us and gifts so many people the sense that they’re home again.