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SOUTH EAST WALES

To experience a true taste of what has shaped Welsh culture throughout history, the South East of Wales is an integral part of any Wales tour. The South East of Wales is a cultural pallet made up of the spectacular contrasting colours of Welsh heritage where ancient sites and industrial heritage rub shoulders.

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DESTINATION GUIDE TO SOUTH EAST WALES

guidemapRugged mountains, lush valleys, untouched coastline and thriving cities, South East Wales showcases every aspect of Wales' diverse appeal.

Encompassing the counties of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire and the South Wales valleys, the South East of Wales stretches from the English border and the Severn Estuary in the East to the city of Swansea in the West. The region's landscapes are diverse from the barren mountain hillsides of the Rhonda and Taff valleys to the gently rolling hills of Monmouthshire's rural landscapes and the border villages of the meandering Wye Valley. The region's coastline is equally beguiling with the secluded bays of the Gower Peninsula one of the country's best kept secrets.

Similarly, the South East of Wales is a cultural pallet made up of the spectacular contrasting colours of Welsh heritage where ancient sites and industrial heritage rub shoulders. There are a number of stunning and unique examples of medieval architecture found in the imposing fortresses of Raglan Castle, Caerphilly Castle and Chepstow Castle not to mention the majestic beauty of the ruins at Tintern Abbey set peacefully on the banks of the tranquil river Wye.

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PLACES TO EXPLORE

  • Tintern Abbey
  • Big Pit
  • Blaenavon UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Market towns of Abergavenny, Usk and Monmouth
  • Raglan Castle, Caerphilly Castle and Chepstow Castle
  • Cardiff, the Capital of Wales

Just a short drive away however and you'll find yourself in the Welsh Valleys which are synonymous with Wales' industrial heritage; once providing coal for export all over the world the region comprises a number of mining communities and an intriguing history which can be explored at Big Pit, a live working mine, and the iron works of Blaenavon which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites for their cultural significance. If you're looking for a more modern culture however look no further than the capital city of Cardiff, one of Britain's hippest cities for shopping and nightlife but retaining a distinct Welsh identity.

As a result of its industry and commercial success, and partly due to its close links with the affluent southeast of England, the South East of Wales is the nation's most populous region. Three of Wales' five cities are found here; besides Cardiff there is also Newport which was home to the 2010 Ryder Cup and the up-and-coming city of Swansea which is hot on the heels of Cardiff. The region is dotted with a host of charming towns and villages from the mining communities of the valleys to quaint medieval market towns such as those at Monmouth, Usk and Abergavenny.

To experience a true taste of what has shaped Welsh culture throughout history, the South East of Wales is an integral part of any Wales tour.

Destination guide to south east Wales - Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey, Chepstow, Wales

Sparsely populated there are no cities but just a handful of small towns and villages in mid Wales. The region's quaint communities such as market town Crickhowell, Victorian Spa town of Llandrindod Wells and bustling fishing village Aberaeron each hold their own unique charms whilst the focal point is the sweeping coastal resort of Aberystwyth home to the National Library of Wales and, in recent years, a lively cosmopolitan student population.

With traditional Welsh townships, some of the nation's cultural highlights and tranquil natural beauty, mid Wales is more than a stop-over between the north and south on any Wales tour.

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arrowOur guides to the places and regions of Wales.

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