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    Driving The Welsh Coast

    CardiffFancy a different sort of holiday? Why not pick up a car hire, take a trip around the Welsh coast and discover the culture and history of this often forgotten part of the UK.

    What better place to start a tour of Wales than in the capital city of Cardiff. The medieval Cardiff Castle has a regimental museum and spectacularly Gothic designed apartments. During the summer there are often concerts held here and in August it hosts the main event of the annual Mardi Gras. The Millenium Stadium hosts top sporting and music events and is worth a visit. Just a few miles away is the seaside town of Barry. Here you can relax on the beach or enjoy a stroll around Porthkerry Country Park. Next stop is Bridgend, where there are several nearby golf courses and a 12th century Benedictine monastery called Ewenny Priory. From here we go to Swansea, birth place of the poet Dylan Thomas. There is a centre which documents his life and works in its permanent exhibition 'Dylan Thomas - Man and Myth'. Another place of interest here is the Plantasia, a large greenhouse which houses over 5,000 plant and insect exhibits in three zones, Tropical, Arid and a humid butterfly house.

    The next major stop on our way round the Welsh coast is Milford Haven. It used to be a whaling port but today the docks are a marina and the commercial quayside is now home to cafes and restaurants. The Dockside Gallery has displays of some of the best Welsh art and craft works of the last few centuries. Travelling further up the coast is the town of Cardigan where you can walk along the Teifi River Trail, enjoy the wonderful scenery and many different species of birds that you will come across. In August the town holds a River and Food Festival where you can sample the local produce and see many fun activities such as the duck race! Further north along the west coast is Aberystwyth. Primarily a university town it also has a museum showcasing the rich history and archaeology of the county and a steam railway which you can ride up to Devil's Bridge.

    Snowdonia National ParkHarlech is on the coast but is also part of Snowdonia National Park. So as well as visiting the castle and the beach you can also go walking and see the mountains of Snowdonia. Continuing north, Caernarfon is a busy market town, the Market Hall is one of the oldest buildings in the town, and it has the most famous castle in Wales. It is here that the investiture of the Prince of Wales takes place the last being Prince Charles in 1969. Next is Bangor, probably mostly widely known due to the song Day Trip to Bangor, one of the smallest cities in Britain. The cathedral contains an oak carved figure of Christ which dates back to the 15th century and has a biblical garden where you will find a sample of every plant mentioned in the bible.Following the coastline round to the east we come to Llandudno. The pier here is 1,234 ft long, was built in 1878 and is a Grade II listed building. On the first May Bank Holiday weekend Llandudno has a three day Victorian Carnival when the main street becomes a funfair and there is a parade. Colwyn Bay was the birth place of several famous people including Paula Yeats, Ken Roach and Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame). Here you can find the Welsh Mountain Zoo which has a wide variety of animals including a children's farm and a condor haven. Finally, our last stop on our tour of the Welsh coast is Prestatyn. It is home of one of the five Pontin's centres left of the 31 that have existed since 1946. It is also the final stop on the Offa's Dyke Path which is a long distance footpath that starts in Sedbury, near Chepstow. There are also the remains of Roman Baths to visit and the castle.

    Why not hire a car and see some of these lovely places at your leisure. Where are your favourite places on the Welsh coast?

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