Wales: Year of The Sea, 2018

Ships harbor along the Welsh coastline.

Now Is The Time To Take A Trip To Wales

By Jackie Cohen

Powered by Visit Wales, the tourism board of Wales, 2018 has been deemed the Year of the Sea.

With some of the most beautiful coastline views in the United Kingdom, Wales is surrounded by a tattered, epic shoreline. Craggy cliffs and rugged sandy bays line the beautiful countryside.

The names of places in Wales takes some getting used to.
The names of places in Wales takes some getting used to.

The Year of the Sea 2018 is an extension of the tourism board's effort to challenge incorrect perceptions of Wales and revealing their very appealing products, events, experiences, people, places, and language to potential visitors.

This 21st-century coastal destination is a provocative alternative to other coastal vacation spots. But, what's in it for you? Why is now the time to visit the forgotten section of the UK?

The Wales Way

The Wales Way, a recently launched circuit of three national scenic touring routes, offers visitors a  journey across the country's most unforgettable landscapes while showcasing Wales history. Meandering straight through these attractions, visitors now have easy access to all the country has to offer.

Many attractions and activities await visitors, creating their own path by enabling "stepping stones of discovery," all while exploring genuine, intimate coastline.

Igam ogam: zig-zag your way through Wales

Wales is home to beautiful views.

Though many other routes like the Wales Way exist in other destinations, this one is different because visitors are not confined to their cars.

Trails and off-shoots are seen all throughout the routes, like rail connections, walking paths, cycling routes, and trails on horseback. Whichever means of transportation inspires you most is available to explore.

In Welsh, they say going igam ogam, which means zigzagging your way to discovery.

When deciding a path, endless options are available. The Coastal Way travels through the rugged West Coast around the Cardigan Bay. The Cambrian Way, a 185 mile stretch of the journey, makes its way through Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks. The North Was Way follows the old main trading route along the northern coast of the country.

All of these options were designed to intertwine and intersect at one point or another, making them all accessible from the other routes. See all routes at this website.

Cardiff, a unique capital

Cardiff, the capital, is home to dozens of international airlines, making it an easy spot to visit this year.

The detailed architecture and with colorful trees make for some great Welsh sights.

With new nonstop service from Doha, Qatar, the United States, and large cities throughout the remainder of the United Kingdom and around Europe, it has never been easier to discover this untouched gem of a nation.

Coming up next summer, the world's premier offshore sailing race, the Volvo Ocean Race, will cross through Cardiff.

During this time, the scenic Cardiff Bay Barrage will host events and themed attractions to visitors and sailors, with distinct Welsh flavors.

After your completion of the three aspects of the Wales Way, check out the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain, the Man Engine Cymru. The giant puppet is a moving, steaming, mechanical Man Engine set to stop in Wales this year.

Hotels for all budgets

When visiting Cardiff, accommodations range from low-level to luxe hotels, with excellent options for every budget.

Pale-Hall-Hotel. Larry Field photo
Pale-Hall-Hotel. Larry Field photo

Palé Hall is a newly constructed and refurbished country home now complete with Victorian design elements and a contemporary fine dining hotel.

The historic Coal Exchange of Cardiff has reopened as a luxury 200-suite hotel and spa. Filled with rich history, the former headquarters for the south Wales coal industry is now the perfect resting spot during your visits to the country.

Many more contemporary hotels like Hotel Indigo and St. Davids Hotel and Spa of Cardiff have recently been finished or are currently under construction for the expected boom in tourism in the upcoming months.

With the completion of the Wales Way and the up-in-coming city of Cardiff, your next oceanfront vacation could be on the beautiful Welsh coast, now more than ever is a perfect time to visit the unsung hero of the United Kingdom.

Jackie Cohen

Jackie Cohen is an avid globetrotter, in constant search for new obscure destinations and adventures. With a special interest in sustainable tourism practices, she’s traveled around the world to North and East Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Southeast Asia, and across Europe-always looking for local cuisine, hidden surprises, and lessons in different cultures. She’s from Beverly, MA.