Recommend August 2015 - (Page 51)
PALOMA VILLAVERDE DE RICO
Here's a hodge-podge of sights visitors won't
want to miss when making their way through
Wales' southern area.
paloma villaverde de rico
› Abergavenny is an idyllic market town with picturesque streets
lined with locally owned stores such as bakeries, butcher shops,
and bookstores. Here, the historic town's market hall is a mustvisit: I walked in and the first thing I noticed were the flying pigs,
and I knew I belonged in this quirky town. The flying animals might
get the attention of visitors, but locals have all eyes on the stalls,
selling all sorts of goodies, including unique souvenirs.
› Afraid of the dark? The Big Pit in Blaenafon will give you chills.
It's a unique attraction that takes visitors 300 ft. underground with a
real miner. It's an eerie and haunting feeling to walk in the footsteps
of miners from bygone times-including 5-year-old children who
worked the mine and had only a single candle to guide them
through the dark, cramped facility. The miner does such an
eloquent job of weaving the tales of the mine that visitors will feel
transported back in time with only the mine's ghosts as company.
› Wales is home to 641 castles, including Tretower Court and
Castle, over 900 years old. The castle itself is now in ruins,
although visitors can walk in and look around (beware the very
steep stairs with no railing-fun!), and the court is home to rooms
that replicate life in 1470. It's pretty cool taking a self-guided tour
and poking one's head into rooms to see what life was like back in
the 15th century. It's the surrounding landscape, though, that really
captivates, with grazing sheep, fairytale-like homes and greencloaked hills that spread out for as far as the eye can see.
› If your clients are traveling to Wales with children, a great option
is hopping on the Brecon Mountain Railway, with all-weather
observation coaches led by a vintage steam locomotive. The
90-minute trip heads into the Brecon Beacons National Park-the
surrounding scenery is something to marvel at.
My favorite thing about Wales?
All the leek-based dishes-out of this world!
M A R C H 2 015
› For book lovers, Hay on Way is the "way" to go. Coolest thing:
Buying a book on castle grounds! There are myriad bookstores
with so many literary titles it will take an English Literature grad's
breathe away. And it's a beautiful town, too.
› Cardiff, home to some 300,000 residents, is the country's
enchanting capital city and is very easy to navigate. Must-sees
include Cardiff Castle, with striking mock Gothic decor. Do tell
clients to head to the very top of the Norman Keep for a bird's-eye
view of the city. The Doctor Who Experience on Cardiff Bay is,
well, a no-brainer for those clients who are fans of this TV show-
even for non-fans, it's pretty cool stuff. Also, don't leave the capital
without taking a few hours to discover the treasures housed at the
National Museum of Wales (Monet lovers won't be disappointed).
› The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny is a boutique-style, 35room hotel that was once a coaching inn. Look to book the
Castle Cottage accommodation, a lovely restored 17th century
accommodaion directly across from the hotel's car park.
› Oh, countryside living in Wales...we adore the inviting Lake
Countryside Hotel in Llangammarch Wells, where after dinner
drinks by the fireplace are de rigueur. It's a delightful property, and
the views all around are dazzling. Book a few nights here to truly
enjoy the surroundings and to take time to get a few spa treats.
› The chic Parc Thistle hotel offers spacious accommodations
with nice views of the city, but its best feature is that it's within
walking distance of the city's top attractions. ●
Visit Wales: americas.visitwales.com
Lauren Summers, Director of Marketing, Visit Wales North America,
gives some insight as to why Wales should be on you and your
› Wales is an enchanting destination; like someplace out of a story book-
from the rolling green hills to the crisp, blue shores, the scenery is truly
breathtaking. In Wales, you have so much at your disposal; the country is
home to 870 miles of walkable coastline, 641 castles, six
"Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty," six UNESCO World Heritage sites,
three national parks, and two languages-English and Welsh.
› Wales is perfect to include on a multi-destination trip to the UK and
Ireland due to its central proximity. Wales is about two hours from London
by train, an hour and a half from Manchester by car and two hours from
Dublin by ferry.
› I think it's great to get out and visit the different regions of Wales. Each
region depicts a unique part of the Welsh culture. When you are able to visit
multiple market towns and seaside villages, and combine that with a visit
to Cardiff it helps travelers understand the complete story of Wales-they
can piece together the country's history to better understand the present.
› If you want to see more than one region of Wales, then you need at least
a week. For travelers that are looking for just a small taste, they can spend
about three days in the country and go in-depth into an area.
For more on my interview with Summers, visit recommend.com.
august 2015 49
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2015
Hotel Desk: AC Hotels by Marriott
Tour Talk: Cuba Calling
River Cruise Update
The Girls—& Guys— Just Wanna Have Fun
Martinique Travel Planner
Sint Maarten’s Three All-Inclusive Sonestas
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Update on Air, Hotels & Tours
Israel: A Journey of Divine Discovery
Festival Time: “Step Outside the Ordinary”
Official Florida Travel Industry Education Program–Beaches Course
The Battle Begins: Girls vs. Guys Getaways
Recommend August 2015