Saturday, April 13, 2013

South Wales - beyond the cities

Americans who have seen the classic John Ford film, "How Green is my Valley" will find the history and landscape of Southern Wales familiar. The valleys of the largely English-speaking south were where the Welsh mining industry took hold over a hundred years ago and from the Victorian era to the 1980s, this industry defined the area. Today, the mining industry is largely gone with less naturally invasive businesses like technology taking its place. The valleys of South Wales are green again!

Venturing out from the metropolitan areas of Swansea, Newport and Cardiff, travelers will find some of the world's most intriguing landmarks. Tintern Abbey, a ruined Cisterian Monastery in the Wye River Valley, inspired William Wordsworth to write some of the most recognized lines in English poetry; and JMW Turner's waterfolors of the scenic ruin changed the course of modern painting. Wander these exquisite ruins yourself, and then journey to nearby Hay on Wye in Mid Wales, a town of books where 30 antiquarian bookshops keep the legacy of the printed page alive. Also in the Wye Valley are Chepstow Castle and Caerwent Castle, two landmarks where King Arthur's Welsh ancestry can be traced. Be sure to also visit Caerleon, another location long-associated with the legend of King Arthur.

Learn more about traveling to Wales with Celtic Tours World Vacations

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