Wales is probably my favourite part of the United Kingdom. It is a glorious mixture of mountains and valleys, with glorious beaches and lush sands just there to be enjoyed on warm days. There are pretty market towns filled with history, myths and legends, and folk heroes like Owain Glendower, just waiting to return one day and save the Welsh people once again.
Wales is the perfect place for a spring break, with the area around Cardigan Bay a definite must visit. One of my favourite towns is Aberystwyth, which has all the vibrancy of a university town, but mixes this with a blend of traditional Victorian seaside and lots of heritage, including both the Vale of Rheidol railway and another relic of Victorian times, the cliff railway, which gives you some spectacular views across the bay.
Aberystwyth has some glorious architecture, with many of its old buildings now being given new life and purpose. Amongst these is the beautiful old station building that has been preserved and is a now a rather large Wetherspoons pub, the Yr Hen Orsaf (which has a good selection of local beers and ales, and an impressive gin offering.) Also on the station (which is also rather wonderful, a really elegant Victorian splendour) is a very good junk shop where you can browse through everying from furniture to books, clothes and jewellery, and pretty much everything in between.
Aberystwyth is a bit of a gem for those who love to trawl around charity shops, it has a good selection including a very good Oxfam bookshop where you can usually find some vintage books and first editions. The beautiful Art Deco, former Burton store is also now a charity shop, but the building is well worth a look if you are a fan of architecture.
There are a good selection of restaurants and coffee shops, as well as plenty of dog friendly places where you can enjoy a great Sunday Lunch, and the recently renovated park area is lovely as are the ruins of the castle, perfect for children who want to play Knights and princesses.
No wonder it is one of Caitlin Moran’s favourite places (see devotes quite a few pages of Moranthology to it.)