Wales in the United Kingdom, also known as Britain, is full of vegetation and wildlife. And surely you have heard about the world-famous Wales national parks. They hold exceptional value compared to all other national parks in the UK.
You haven’t? Well then, you need not worry. Here, you will learn everything you need about these magnificent national parks.
All three of the Wales national parks encompass roughly 20% of the landscape.
So, does that excite you? Would you like to spend your next vacation in this country in the place which manages most of the landscapes in Wales itself? Regardless, here are many things that you can explore too.
That said, let’s see what you can explore.
1. National Parks in Wales
Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast, and the Brecon Beacons. They are designated as Wales national parks due to their special significance to the nation.
The three national park authorities are also the only members of National Parks Wales, a.k .a. NPW’s local planning authority. Commercial activities are prohibited in all three of the Wales national parks to protect the natural environment.
The authority of each national park is a free-standing body within the local government framework. The National Parks serves two purposes,
- To preserve and improve the natural beauty, protect the wildlife, and enrich the cultural heritage of the national parks.
- To promote opportunities, interests, importance, and awareness among the public about the national parks.
2. The Three Wales National Park
The three Wales national parks are
Interesting Fact: Over 12 million visitors visit the Wales national parks every year, making them popular destinations.
2.1. Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia is a beautiful mountain region in northwest Wales and a national park covering 827 square miles and 37 miles of coastline. The name ‘Snowdon’ arrived from the highest mountain in Wales, about 1090 meters above sea level.
Unlike other parks, some land areas are owned by both public and private. They are managed by the members of the local authorities and the Welsh Government, called the Snowdonia National Park Authority.
More than 26000 people live within the park, and many agricultural activities occur in the mountains. The entire length of the park’s coastline is under a particular conservation area.
The park’s forest is made of deciduous trees in which mountain ash, hazel, welsh oak, and birch are common. Wildlife makes Snowdonia their home, including feral goats, otters, polecats, osprey, merlin, red kites, and much more.
Snowdonia has many protected sites, about 20% of the total area, and is protected by the UK and European Law.
2.1.1. Activities in Snowdonia National Park
Hiking is very popular in Snowdonia and sometimes gets crowded, among which Y-Garn, Mynydd Drws-y-Coed, Moelwyn Mawr, and Y Llethr are some of the hiker’s favourites.
- A long designated trail, the Wales Coast Path, runs between Machynlleth and Penrhyndeudraeth within the park.
- Another long trail that runs through the park is the Cambrian Way, connecting Cardiff and Conwy.
- Tour the world heritage castles, artistic Portmeirion Village, majestic mountains, stunning lakes, towns, and villages.
This place provides endless opportunities to discover, explore, and admire nature.
2.2. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Along the Pembrokeshire Coast in West Wales is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It is the only national park with the largest coastal landscape in the United Kingdom. It offers landscapes like sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, wooded estuaries, wild inland hills, and wooded Gwaun Valley, covering about 243 square miles.
South Pembrokeshire coast, the Daugleddau estuary, the St Bride’s Bay coast, and the Preseli Hills are the four distinct sections of this national park.
2.2.1. Activities in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
The designated national trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, lies entirely within the park and is 299 km long, connecting St Dogmaels from north to Amroth at the South end. Here are some things that you can enjoy:
- Enjoy the lighthouses, passing lagoons, the limestone Green Bridge of Wales, and seabirds when you visit this trail.
- The wind-buffeted Skomer island offers a place for a puffin colony in southern Britain. Kites, falcons, dolphins, and seals play close to the central bay.
This park is managed by the members appointed by the authority of Pembrokeshire National Park, and they ensure the well-being of the communities within. Coastal bus services are available all year round to make it easier for walkers if they decide not to walk the entire length.
It is also a favourite destination for all beach lovers. Some famous beautiful beaches include Amroth, Barafundle Bay, Broad Heaven, Newport, Newgale, and many more.
2.3. The Brecon Beacons National Park
The last of the three national parks is the Brecon Beacons National Park; it is in the Brecon Beacons mountain range of South Wales, covering 519 square miles. It includes the Black Mountains in the east, Brecon Beacon, and Fforest Fawr in the mid-wales, including the highest summit at Pen Y Fan and the Black Mountain in the west.
The Usk Valley separates the east Black Mountains and the Brecon at the centre. Most of the park is covered with grassy moorland and is home to mountain ponies, sheep, common ravens, northern wheaters, red kites, and much more wildlife.
It is home to Wales’ first international dark-sky reserve, where you can camp to spot the meteor shower, nebulas, and Milky Way.
It includes waterfalls like Henrhyd Falls, falls at Ystradfellte village, and caves like Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, and it is also known for its remote reservoir. Due to its harsh weather, some uplands are used for military training.
The most popular trail for hikers is the circular trail of the central Beacons, which starts at the Neuadd reservoirs and will take about 4 to 5 hours.
This park is maintained by ‘the special purpose of the local government’ to prevent and enhance the landscape and work towards its promotion and protection.
2.3.1. Activities in Brecon Beacons National Park
The park offers various outdoor activities like walking, horse riding, mountain biking, cycling, fishing, rock climbing, sailing, windsurfing, camping, caving, caravanning, and many more.
The Taff Trail is a popular long-distance walking and cycle route between Cardiff and Brecon in Wales.
3. Is Visiting Wales National Parks Worth It
The three national parks are different in landscape and cultural heritage and have other unique qualities. The tourism industry significantly contributes to the local economy, and the national parks are responsible for promoting and creating awareness.
They also provide public transport facilities to bring service benefits and economic benefits to the local people. So it would be best if you experienced this perfect place for weekends and holidays at least once in your lifetime.