Wales' tumultuous past and recent industrial
history is in evidence all over the country, and the Coast Path
takes you right alongside some of the most fascinating buildings
and places which tell their own part of the story.
North Wales Coast & Dee Estuary
For a great castle experience, stop off in the 22 tower, walled
town of Conwy. Conwy
Castle was constructed by the English monarch Edward I between
1283 and 1289. It is a World Heritage Site and “incomparably the
most magnificent of Edward I's Welsh fortresses”. You can visit the
first of his Welsh castles at Flint. Or visit one of the smallest
churches in Britain in the village of Rhos-on-Sea, near Colwyn Bay.
St Trillo’s Chapel, built in the 6th Century has room for about six
worshippers. It is on the site of a pre-Christian, sacred holy
well, over which the altar is built.
Isle of Anglesey
The Coast Path passes through historic Beaumaris
with its courthouse, jail and castle (a World Heritage Site). Known
as the most technically perfect castle in Britain, it was another
in Edward I’s massive building programme in North Wales and has
classic proportions and perfect symmetry. Head out to
South Stack Lighthouse and take the tour to find out about the
impressive history of this important part of Wales’ maritime
Menai, Llŷn & Meirionnydd
Wales is spoilt for World Heritage Sites, and you’ll catch two
of them – the magnificent castles of Caernarfon and
on this stretch of the Path. Or let the train take the strain and
head inland from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog to explore the
slate mining history of this corner of Wales. The journey itself
holds many joys and you’ll marvel at the engineering feat it took
to create this fascinating train line.
In an imposing setting above Aberystwyth sits the National Library of
Wales, an exciting repository of information and knowledge
about Wales and the world – millions of books, manuscripts,
archives, maps, pictures, photographs, films, music and electronic
information – all free to use. Or explore the National Trust’s
an 18th century Welsh gentry estate with a spectacular walled
Fascinating remains and evidence of different
defensive systems can be discovered all along the Coast Path.
They range from Iron Age promontory forts, Napoleonic and
Elizabethan forts to remains from the First and Second World
Wars. Explore what it might have been like to live in an Iron
Age settlement at Castell
Henllys and embrace your inner warrior.
Investigate Pendine Sands which was the
setting for Welshman John Parry-Thomas’ attempt on the land speed
record in March 1927. (His original speed record of 170mph was
beaten by Sir Malcolm Campbell in his car Blue Bird.) While
travelling at about 170 mph the drive chain on Thomas’ car broke
causing a fatal injury. Visit the
Museum of Speed in Pendine Village to see his car Babs.
Gower & Swansea Bay
Waterfront Museum at Swansea, housed in an original and listed
waterfront warehouse linked to a new, ultra-modern slate and glass
building, tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now
and over the last 300 years. Also, look out for
Whiteford Point Lighthouse, on the Gower Peninsula. Built in
1865, it is one of only two remaining cast-iron, wave-washed
lighthouses in the world and the only one in the UK.
South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary
Built in 1906, the
Transporter Bridge in Newport was one of only 20 similar built
in the world between 1893 and 1916 and still works today. Set in a
beautiful 90 acre park, the earliest surviving part of
Tredegar House, Newport, dates back to the early 1500s, and is
one of the best examples of a 17th century Charles II mansion in
Britain. It can all be seen through tours and the regular special
events held here.