13 JUN 2019: Wales is a “huge nation with lots to offer,” says Visit Wales exec (and proud Welshman) Rob Jones. And there’s no better means of experiencing it, he adds, than via The Wales Way, a group of three national touring routes launched late last year that showcase the country’s most epic landscapes, fascinating history, coastlines and attractions.

“We’re trying to get people out and about and into their cars to discover not just the major attractions, but go off the beaten tracks,” Jones says. “So, instead of going into [the capital city] Cardiff, we want people to seek those country lanes, and discover those stately homes and small B&Bs, little tea shops, etc.”

The Wales Way is designed to represent “the best of Wales” for visitors, as well as what makes it unique, he adds.

The touring route family has three segments:

• The Coastal Way (290 km): Starting in Aberdeen and ending in St. Davids, this portion of the route is dubbed “a road trip between the sea and mountains” that follows the west coast around Cardigan Bay. Ideal for nautical views, visitors will also discover beaches, harbour towns, towering cliffs and plenty of personal “secret places.”

• The Cambrian Way (300 km): The “countryside” segment of the route journeys north-south along the mountainous spine of Wales, connecting the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno through Snowdonia and Beacons national parks and wide-open spaces to Cardiff. Along the way, the route reveals market towns, forests, lakes and the old slate and coal mining heartlands. It connects with the Wales Coast Path and Glyndwr’s Ways and the Cambrian Way long-distance walking trail, as well as the new Heart of Wales Line Trail.

• The North Wales Way (120 km): Following the northern coast past mighty 13th century castles – Beaumaris, Caernarfon, and Conwy – to the Isle of Anglesey, the “Castles and Culture” trail cuts through a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as offers access to Snowdonia and a host of coastal market towns.

Collectively the routes are part of a decade-long program to increase visitors and help position Wales as a year-round destination for experience-seeking travellers, willing to explore off-the-beaten track locations.

Detailed in maps and apps, which point out dozens of sights, from craft centres to castles, and distilleries to zoos, the Wales Way enables visitors to “discover all that Wales has to offer, rather than just staying at major places,” says Jones. “All you need is a car, or even if you want to do by public transport, you can do that as well.

“Wales has a vast amount of things to do,” he continues. “And, remember, if you ask me, ‘Can I do this is Wales?’ the answer is always, ‘Yes.’”

 

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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