by Norm Longley
South Wales travel guide. Holiday advice and tourist information cover heritage attractions (castles, coal-mining, seafaring), beaches, outdoor pursuits (hiking, mountain biking, surfing), wildlife, national parks, accommodation, restaurants. Thorough coverage includes Cardiff, Wales Coast Path, The Valleys, Blaenavon, Brecon Beacons, Hay-on-Wye.
About this book
This new Bradt guidebook is the first solely dedicated to a specific part of Wales, encompassing the country’s southern third. Covering Monmouthshire, Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Brecon Beacons National Park, this guide provides in-depth coverage of a broad range of attractions. Catering for walkers, heritage aficionados, wildlife lovers, families, mountain bikers, foodies and city-lovers, it furnishes all the practical information you need to plan and enjoy time in South Wales.
The region boasts 400 miles of coastline, along which some of Britain’s finest beaches nestle between comely resorts and traditional fishing villages, including in the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Inland, The Valleys encompass a former powerhouse of the British coal-mining industry where abandoned collieries have become thriving tourist attractions in a World Heritage landscape. Alternatively, enjoy peace and quiet in the Brecon Beacons, one of few British International Dark Sky Reserves, characterised by high peaks, wild moorland and thrashing waterfalls. From here, mountains extend east to the renowned book town of Hay-on-Wye. In South Wales, you can embrace history, landscape and culture in quick succession.
Hikers come from all over to walk the Wales Coast Path, the first footpath worldwide to extend the entire length of a country’s coastline. Bike Park Wales in Merthyr is Britain’s leading mountain-bike centre, while St David’s Peninsula offers thrilling coasteering and the Gower Peninsula exciting surfing. The region’s special wildlife ranges from puffins and deer on offshore islands to porpoises and dolphins powering across sheltered bays.
Urbanites will love the Welsh capital of Cardiff, fast becoming one of Britain’s most dynamic cities, following exciting regeneration crowned by the Millennium Centre. Wales is nicknamed the Land of the Castles, with more fortifications per square mile than any European country: South Wales boasts twenty where your imagination can run riot. Unexpected treats gather here too: visit Europe’s second-tallest sand dune (The Big Dipper in Merthyr Mawr), the UK’s smallest city (St David’s), or even vineyards and whisky distilleries.
Whether you are an adrenaline-seeker or culture-lover, a wildlife watcher or beach-goer, foodie or hiker, discover South Wales with Bradt’s comprehensive guide.
About the Author
Norm Longley (www.normlongley.com) was brought up in Somerset, before studying at university in Bedfordshire. The urge to travel then kicked in. After time in Canada, he taught in Serbia for several years, also travelling extensively around the countries of the former Yugoslavia and other Balkan states. After returning to the UK, Longley turned his hand to writing guidebooks, living in London and Cambridge before resettling in Somerset, (very much home base now). Now an experienced guidebook writer for over more than 20 years, Longley is the author of two Bradt guides (Montenegro, Slow Somerset) and several Rough Guides. He has also written on travel for publications including The Guardian and The Independent. With his family, he often spends weekends popping across the border to Wales or roaming the Somerset countryside in search of exciting and/or novel things to do – or at the very least, hunting down good food and drink.
Additional InformationTable of Contents
PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
At a glance, Geography, Climate, Natural history, History, Archaeology, Government & politics, Economy, People & culture (inc Religion, Language, Education), Art & architecture, Music, Literature, Sport
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Tourist information, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Travelling with a disability, Travelling with children, LGBT+ travellers, What to take, Money and budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating & drinking, Public holidays & festivals, Shopping, Arts & entertainment, Outdoor activities, Media & communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Cardiff (and around) History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information and tour operators, Orientation, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Cafés, bars & nightlife, Entertainment, Shopping, Sports & activities, Other practicalities, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Monmouthshire to Newport
Chepstow, Tintern and the Wye Valley, Caldicot, Usk, Monmouth, Newport, Caerleon
Chapter 5 Vale of Glamorgan to the Gower
Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Ogmore, Merthyr Mawr, Porthcawl, Kenfig NNF, Bridgend, Port Talbot, Swansea, The Gower
Chapter 6 The Valleys
Afon Lywd (Blaenavon), Ebbw Vale, Sirhowy Valley, Rhymney Valley, Taff Valley (Merthyr Tydfil), Ely Valley, Cynon Valley, Rhondda Valleys (Fach & Fawr), Ogwr Valley, Garw Valley, Lynfi Valley Afan Valley, Vale of Neath, Dulais Valley
Chapter 7 Brecon Beacons to Hay
Brecon Beacons National Park, Brecon, Crickhowell, Abergavenny, Talgarth, Hay-on-Wye
Chapter 8 Carmarthenshire
Amman Valley, Llanelli, Laugharne, Carmarthen, Tywi Valley and Llandeilo, Kidwelly, Llandovery, Newcastle Emlyn, Teifi Valley
Chapter 9 Pembrokeshire
Narberth, Landsker Borderlands, Saundersfoot, Tenby, Manorbier, Pembroke, Stackpole, Milford Haven, Haverfordwest, St Bride’s Bay, Marloes, Skomer/Skokholm, St Davids, Fishguard, Newport, Mynydd Preseli
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Reading