The Beauty of Wales

Wales totally bewitched me! Green mountains, romantic ruins and endless beaches – for once I feel words are not enough to describe this wonderful spot on earth. You have to see it with your own eyes, breathe the wind and see how it creates rustling waves in the sea of green grass. I spent one day in South Wales, driving around in the Brecon Beacons National Park and then made my way down to the coast. Join me on a photographic round trip and indulge in the rough beauty of Wales!

Llanthony Priory ruin Wales

The beautiful ruins of Llanthony Priory.

We started our little journey at the Eastern corner of Brecon Beacons National Park at the ruin of Llanthony Priory, an old Augustinian priory from around the year 1100, which is located in the peaceful green Vale of Ewyas, seven miles north of the town of Abergavenny…

Llanthony Priory ruin Wales

This ruin is in perfect shape, so to speak.

Llanthony Priory ruin Wales

There are also a hotel and restaurant at Llanthony Priory. Entry to the ruins is free.

Vale of Eywas, Wales

The postcard idyll of the Vale of Ewyas.

Next we made our way deeper into the National Park, into the green mountains. We were determined to climb the Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons (886 metres) because my boyfriend read on Tripadvisor that it would be an easy walk and a must-do. Well, to say it beforehand: it was worth it, but it was far from being an easy walk! It took us a while to find the correct spot (I advise you to buy a map in advance because typing “Pen y Fan” into the navigation system doesn’t really work, I can tell now). We finally parked at Storey Arms, an outdoor education centre, and started our walk there. We climbed a smaller mountain named Y Gyrn first, believing it was the Pen y Fan… The view already was amazing.

Y Gyrn Wales stone sign

Y Gyrn is a smaller mountain next to Pen y Fan.

Y Gyrn mountain Wales sheep

Where ever you go in Wales, you encounter these white guys…

Y Gyrn Wales ascent

The view back down from the peak of Y Gyrn.

We noticed our mistake when we reached the top of Y Gyrn and saw a much higher mountain towering in front of us. Again we only found out later that this still wasn’t the Pen y Fan but its twin peak Corn Du. The ascent was very exhausting because as you can see the path just goes straight up all the time. The higher we climbed, the stronger the wind grew but what we saw on they way was absolutely worth everything!

Corn Du mountain Wales

The Corn Du (translated: Black Horn) is with 873 metres the second highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons.

Corn Du mountain in Brecon Beacons Wales

View back down almost from the peak of Corn Du. Just next to the path the mountain drops down until the bottom.

Corn Du mountain Wales

A stunning view!

When we reached the peak, we saw the actual Pen y Fan and decided not to climb it; we were too exhausted. At this point the wind was strong enough to literally blow us from the mountain top and the weather began to change…

Pen y Fan mountain in Brecon Beacons Wales

The peak on the left is the Pen y Fan (translated: the mountain’s peak), 886 metres high.

Corn Du mountain Wales

Weather changes quickly in the Brecon Beacons. Just a few minutes before this picture was taken the sun shone brightly…

Corn Du mountain Wales rain

Curtains of rain were driven towards us by the strong wind.

We quickly descended to Storey Arms again. Altogether this adventurous walk took about two and a half hour (with photo stops). Leaving the Brecon Beacons we drove towards the coast, to a spot called Three Cliffs Bay on the peninsular of Gower (near the city of Penmaen). Again the landscape was simply stunning:

Three Cliffs Bay Gower Wales

Three Cliffs Bay.

Three Cliffs Bay Wales Pennard Castle ruin

The ruin of Pennard Castle overlooking the scene of Three Cliffs Bay.

Three Cliffs Bay Wales ruin Pennard Castle

It is said the castle was ruined by fairies…

Three Cliffs Bay beach Wales

The three stone peaks that gave the beach its name look like the spikes on a dragon’s ridge.

Three Cliffs Bay beach Wales

When the tide is out like now the beach of Three Cliffs Bay is just endless.

Three Cliffs Bay stone arch

View back over the beach through an arch in the rock formation of the “three cliffs”.

Now our journey ends. I apologize for the length of this post – I was already trying hard to choose only the best photos, believe me! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed it. Let me conclude with a beautiful sunset view…

Second Severn Crossing England Wales bridge at sunset

The Second Severn Crossing from Bristol (England) to Cardiff (Wales).

Second Severn Crossing England Wales bridge sunset

These photos were taken from the Bristol/England side.

 

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One thought on “The Beauty of Wales

  1. Pingback: 3 things I learned in: England (London/Bristol 2015) | Wonderland

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