Wales - Not for the faint hearted

Wales is a country that is stereotypically associated with rain, sheep and rugby, however, there is more to Wales than meets the eye.

Wales is a country to explore, to enjoy and to truly experience through a vast range of activities that are enriched with welsh culture. From naturally sourced food, to educational heritage, this popular destination has enough to tickle everyone’s tastebuds. For the more daring tourist, we can quickly move away from home made welsh rarebit and locally sourced cakes, to the adventurous extreme sports Wales has to offer.

When people consider cycling they often envision a gentle ride along a developed cycle trail with breathtaking views. Wales definitely has its’ vast share of such cycle trails, but I can assure you there are many paths hat are not for the faint hearted. Wales has seven purpose built mountain bike centres which certainly get your adrenaline, your legs and that mud moving! Join mountain bikers from around the globe at one of the top biking destinations worldwide: Afan Forest Park, near Neath. From first hand experience I can honestly assure you it is just brilliant.. muddy, but brilliant!

What goes up must come down! An amazing aspect of Wales that people often dismiss or forget is the glorious mountains it has to offer: Some of the highest in the UK may I add! From the Brecon Beacons to Snowdonia, Wales can offer various mountain orientated activities including rock climbing, abseiling and hiking. There is nothing like that sense of satisfaction and achievement when you have reached the top of your climb.. not to mention the views are just breathtaking, especially over the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks.

Wales has some of the most fantastic Blue Flag beaches across Britain. A Blue Flag beach is part of the Blue Flag programme which works towards the sustainable development of beaches and marinas. This programme follows a strict criteria which includes water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety. Wales has an outstanding 40 Blue Flag beaches and 5 marinas, showing that they are working hard to sustain their beaches and environment.

The best beach based activity is of course surfing! Wales definitely does not let us down here and for beginners has a selection of surf schools to choose from, such as LC2’s BoardRider, Gower Surf School, Welsh Surfing Federation Surf School and OFFAXIS. LC2’s BoardRider is a great choice for those who are weary of the sea as it is an indoor sports centre that has instructors on hand to assist you.

Wales has a lot more to offer than gentle walks, castles and viewpoints. Although the latter are all amazing attractions, I wanted to show you that Wales can also be exciting, adventurous and daring. If you participate in the welsh domain of extreme activities.. Wales is a challenge and is definitely not for the faint hearted.

This post was written by Jon Cockerill, Managing Director of www.cottages.co.uk

Image: Pyg Track at Pen-y-Pass mountain pass in Snowdonia (north-west Wales) by The Ancient Brit. via Flickr.