So you have booked a week or two holiday in London for the Olympics. You’ve spent a couple of days watching the action but now you are looking for something else to do while you are on holiday besides sitting in a stadium.
You want a change of scenery but you don’t want to travel hours to get there, here is the answer
– Monmouth town centre, less than 2 hours from the London Olympics 2012
What you’re looking for is a trip to a country that the International Olympic Committee refuses to acknowledges exists, Wales.
First off hire a car. Public transport is rubbish in Britain not to mention expensive.
From London Wales is around an hour and a half drive down the M4. Considering the difference in scenery, it is an hour and half well spent and will take you to a different world. Wales, a combination of fresh air, open spaces, awesome scenery and an ultra modern society steeped in history.
The scenery in Wales is dramatically different from what you get anywhere in England South of Manchester.
What are you looking for?
Shopping, scenery, history, sports, nightlife, entertainment, industry, seaside, mountains, wilderness, food, friendly people, Wales has got it all.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Shopping
Cardiff. Cardiff city centre has arguably got the best shopping centre in the UK and possibly Europe. Massive variety of shop, massive variety of food, clean, new, easy parking Cardiff really does have it all and unlike other cities you do not have to walk miles to get around the shopping district. It is not stretched out like Oxford Street in London for example. All the shops are within a few blocks in either directions making it easy to see loads of shops and not have to walk to far.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Scenery
What are you looking for? Coastline, mountains, moorland, rivers, lakes,history, engineering?
For coastline the number one stop in Wales and probably the UK has to be the Gower Peninsula. Again very easy to get to, huge variety of coastal scenery and coastal walks and yet you everything is within 20 minutes of each other.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales -Mountains
Mountains? Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons. The Brecon beacons are easy to get to from Cardiff and offer some of the best unspoilt scenery in the UK. Like the Lake District but a little smaller. Very well organised loads of cycle tracks and footpaths.
Snowdon is in the North of Wales so takes quite a bit longer to get to. Like Scotland but smaller.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Moorland
Again the Brecon Beacons has got loads of exposed moorland and the Gower also has some as well but on a much smaller scale.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Rivers
Wales is home to many many rivers. The Loughor estuary is home to a massive range of wildlife. The Usk is a major river with good fishing. Then you have the Taff and Tawe rivers. The Wye valley is also a stunning part of the country.
The Taff is arguably the highlight as there is a cycle path the follows it from Brecon to Cardiff.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Lakes
Wales has many man-made and natural lakes. Bala is the largest lake in Wales and is based in Snowdonia.
Lake Vrynwy is a beatiful man-made lake in Mid Wales.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – History & Castles
Wales is probably the world leader when it comes to castles per square mile. Castle highlights include Weobley castle on the Gower, Kidwelly castle for its size, Carreg Cennen for its location.
The sheer number of castles show how much attack Wales has been under for the past 800 years.
North Wales has many castles which tend to have been restored more than those in South Wales.
If you like disused railways Wales has got enough to keep you going for years. Here are some links to interesting websites
– Aberfan disued railway
The disused railways are the result of short sighted goverrnment policy which attempted unsuccesffuly to signifcantly reduce the losses of operating the rail network.
The closures failed in their main purpose of trying to restore the railways to profitability, with the promised savings failing to materialise. By closing almost a third of the rail network, Beeching managed to achieve a saving of just £30 million, whilst overall losses were running in excess of £100 million. The shortfall arose mainly because the branch lines acted as feeders to the main lines and that feeder traffic was lost when the branches closed. This in turn meant less traffic and less income for the increasingly vulnerable main lines.
2012 Olympics, What to do? Visit Wales – Engineering
Millenium Stadium in Cardiff city centre, Dinorwig hydro electric power station in North Wales, Blaeavon coal mine.
Wales has something for everybody, it’s like England but with nicer scenery, less people and more things to see and do.
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