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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Wales - Cardiff; Population - Wales - 3 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - WALES

From Pembroke it was on to Stackpole Estate followed by Tenby, the Gower, Cardiff and the border towns of South Wales - September 2016.


uknote1The new plastic five pounds sterling, issued in 2016










wales590Barafundle Bay is regularly listed in the UK's top ten beautiful beaches. Get there by walking via Stackpole village - Stackpole Estate


wales602Stackpole Estate is a site run by the National Trust covering 12km of coastline comprising beaches, lakes, woodland and cliffs


wales604It's a lovely, tranquil area to wander around - Stackpole Estate















wales607Broad Haven is another in a long line of quality beaches on the Welsh coast - Stackpole Estate














wales614The clue is in the name of this body of water, Lily Ponds - Stackpole Estate


wales619As well as the swans there's a wide variety of birdlife hiding among the lilies - Stackpole Estate


wales626Tenby is one of the most picturesque beach resorts (I've seen) in Britain













wales637The harbour at high tide - Tenby















wales628 629 630Carmarthen Bay separates North Beach on the left from Tenby Harbour on the right - Tenby


wales645Tenby is set above Carmarthen Bay, perfect for a bird's eye view of the seafront below


wales641Colours come out to play on a grey day in Tenby














wales652A Tenby Castle cannon points towards St Catherine's Island - Tenby














wales653St Catherine's Island from high above Castle Beach - Tenby


wales655Quite a difference between low and high tide, as Castle Beach all but disappears - Tenby


wales658At low tide take the steps up to the island's plateau, though the fort is closed to the public - Tenby














wales660A cute little hotel garden, ideal for a spot of ocean-gazing relaxation - Tenby














wales664Calm waters surround a boat bound for Caldey Island - Tenby


wales663The lovely sands of South Beach lead to Caldey Island, home to birds and seals as well as a monastery famed for its chocolate - Tenby


wales673Manorbier is a 20min bus ride west of Tenby, with its own castle - of course!















wales672Paddle boarding at Manorbier















wales677Bright street art on the walk into town from the train station - Swansea


wales680A statue of world-renowned Swansea poet Dylan Thomas stands outside the Dylan Thomas Theatre, overlooking the marina - Swansea


wales682The South Dock Marina is linked to the Tawe Basin and on to the River Tawe - Swansea














wales696The Mumbles is a long coastal strip leading south from Swansea. It has a pier and - whaddayouknow - a castle! Well this is Wales..














wales678More bright murals near the train station. By the way the city's buzzing at the weekend, recommended! Swansea














wales707Besides the nightlife, Swansea's main draw is as a gateway to the Gower Peninsula with its beaches, rocky bays, cliffs, wildlife and hill walks - Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula


wales713Surfers take a break at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula


wales721The name is derived from the three pyramidal rocks on the right - Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula














wales738A glorious sweep of sand on the western coast of the Gower - Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula


wales735A kite glides above the lone house at Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula


wales744Standing on the cliff edge at Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula















wales724A super-zoom on a mother and baby seal basking on the rockface at Worms Head - Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula














From Swansea and the Gower I moved on to Cardiff, Barry Island and Caerphilly, adding these photos to Wales 1


wales849From Cardiff I headed inland to the quaint town of Hay-on-Wye, set among rolling hills next to the English border


wales848It has a beautiful setting, but it's famous for something else - Hay-on-Wye


wales863Books, books, and more books! Hay-on-Wye















wales853Second hand books to be precise. This one on Castle Street is a maze, covering every subject under the sun - Hay-on-Wye














wales855But the main man, and creator of the book town, is Richard Booth. Born in Hay, he opened a second-hand bookshop in the 1960s and bought books en-masse. Others followed his example, more and more bookshops opened up and the town became known as the 'Town of Books'. And not forgetting the internationally famous literary festival - Hay-on-Wye


wales860Richard Booth is also the self-proclaimed King of Hay, having declared the town an independent kingdom in 1976, another bid to attract publicity and drive the economy. Buy passports, stickers and his autobiography at 'The King of Hay' bookshop - Hay-on-Wye


wales868Yes indeed, another castle! Hay Castle is undergoing restoration with the goal of creating a major centre for arts and culture - Hay-on-Wye













wales867There's even al-fresco book sales around town, in alleyways and parks - Hay-on-Wye














haynote1The Hay-on-Wye pound is one of several community-based currencies around Britain, accepted by various independent shops in Hay in a bid to promote the local economy


wales864You have been warned! It was funny to see a tourist reading a Kindle outside, shopkeepers quickly displaying their mock indignation for such a gadget, news spreading down the street like wildfire - Hay-on-Wye


wales852A small open-air market surrounds the clocktower - Hay-on-Wye


wales879Flowers on display in a residential area - Hay-on-Wye














wales882This unremarkable stream, Dulas Brook, actually marks the border between Hay-on-Wye (right) and England (left)














wales884Dulas Brook feeds into the far more impressive River Wye, some of which forms the England/Wales border. The path belonging to the historic Offa's Dyke border trail also passes through town, on its way from Prestatyn in the north to Chepstow in the south - Hay-on-Wye


wales887Even if you're not a bookworm it's an attractive town in a beautiful rural setting - Hay-on-Wye


wales910Agincourt Square is the main square in Monmouth, with Charles Rolls, half of Rolls-Royce, standing in front of the Shire Hall














wales913The town centre lies between the rivers Monnow and Wye, pictured - Monmouth















wales896The 13th century Monnow Bridge, much repaired in the 1700s, is Wales' only medieval fortified bridge that's still standing - Monmouth


wales906Looking through Monmouth Castle - where King Henry V was born in 1387 - to the Great Castle House, home to the Royal Monmouth Regiment - Monmouth


wales899Vice Admiral Lord Nelson's fighting sword is on display at the Nelson Museum. Noel Gallagher's Wonderwall guitar was also on display in a temporary music exhibition - Monmouth














wales898Pee in Mick Jagger's mouth?! Monmouth













wales937Follow the Wye River and the English border south to arrive at the village of Tintern


wales934A rain-sodden photo of Abbi the 4¼ton water wheel, who's nearly 150yrs old - Tintern


wales916The big attraction in Tintern is the 12th century Tintern Abbey















wales920The mist and rain give the ruins a much more atmospheric feel - Tintern















wales926Through the abbey's east window - Tintern


wales940A few kms south of Tintern is Chepstow, still hugging the River Wye but also a stone's throw from the coast














wales945The River Wye is split between Gloucester on the left (England) and Monmouth on the right (Wales) - Chepstow













wales961The bridge is a great spot to appreciate Chepstow Castle's outer walls, perched above the River Wye - Chepstow


wales974The 11th century castle was built by William the Conqueror to subjugate the Welsh, following his earlier success in the Battle of Hastings of 1066 - Chepstow


wales979From the castle to a hamlet across the Wye in Gloucestershire - Chepstow













wales962The entrance to Chepstow Castle - Chepstow














wales981These 12th century wooden doors are the oldest castle doors in Europe - Chepstow


wales968The River Wye meanders away from the castle - Chepstow


wales990The Severn Bridge is the main link between South Wales and England, crossing the River Severn near Chepstow and on to Bristol















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LINKS - Wales tourist board - guide to north Wales - - take a train up Snowdon, Wales' highest mountain - more info on Snowdon - guide to mid Wales - another site focussed on mid Wales - guide to south Wales - Britain's official tourism website - train information across Britain - Wales public transport journey planner - National Express coaches cover Britain


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