8 Reasons Why You Should Never Go to Wales

Last updated on:
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Read the full disclosure policy here.

When most people (and especially most Americans) plan their first trip to the UK, a handful of destinations usually end up on their itinerary: London, Stonehenge, maybe Oxford, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and perhaps a hop over to Dublin since it's so close.

I don't know of very many people who add Wales to their first UK itinerary. In fact, it took me more than five visits to Britain before I finally spent any mentionable amount of time in Wales. Everyone knows about London, and Scotland does a great job of marketing itself to tourists. Wales, on the other hand, largely gets overlooked.

Reasons to visit Wales

But I get it. Because there are so many reasons why you should never go to Wales.

Reasons like…

Castles, castles, castles

Caernarfon Castle and harbour at sunset
Caernarfon Castle at sunset

Wales has a ridiculous number of castles – over 600 of them, in fact, which leads many people to call the country the “castle capital of the world.” That seems a bit excessive, doesn't it? I mean, does a small country like Wales really need THAT many castles?

Many of them are in ruins now, and a few are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Seems like a lot of upkeep, if you ask me.

Conwy, Wales at dusk
An adorable street with a castle at the end? Are you for real, Wales??

And, really, who wants to drive around and see a castle on nearly every hilltop? Doesn't that get old after a while?

All the legends

Wales has a lot of legends associated with it and its history, from dragons to magic swords to holy drinking vessels. The legend of Merlin, for example, was based on the Welsh legends of the wizard Myrddin Wyllt, and many historians argue that King Arthur isn't a myth at all, but instead a real figure from Welsh history (though perhaps not actually a king). There's the mystery surrounding the Nanteos Cup, too, which many believe to be THE Holy Grail.

But c'mon, Wales. No need to be putting fairy tales in peoples heads.

Bridge in Betws-y-Coed, Wales
Yet another fairytale-like spot in Wales.

Old language

Go home, Wales: your language is drunk.

The Welsh language is an old one – it dates back thousands of years, in fact, and is likely the oldest language in Britain. And yet the language has changed little despite so many millennia passing. It's still ridiculously difficult to speak (well, for us non-Welsh, at least), and don't even bother trying to read signs in Welsh. It's just futile.

This is seriously a place name in Wales:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch train station

It means “The Church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the Church of Tysilio by the red cave.”

Yes. For real. It's one of the longest place names in the world.

If the place names aren't silly enough, Tolkien also based one of his versions of the Elvish language (Sindarin) on Old Welsh. So yes, it's so strange-sounding and old that it was actually the basis for a made-up fantasy language.

The scenery

Conwy harbour at sunset
Conwy harbour at sunset
Lake Vyrnwy at twilight
Lake Vyrnwy

Wales has all sorts of scenery, from rolling hills (that they call mountains) to crashing coastlines. The roads through some of this scenery are twisting and so narrow that two cars literally can't pass one another. And they're often littered with sheep.

The combination of these two things will probably mean that you'll stop a lot when driving and you'll be late to everything.

Welsh countryside

Welsh roads

And then there are the beaches, which are far too empty and clean compared to ones you'll find elsewhere in Europe. Some have even won awards and stuff, which kind of just makes it feel like Wales is showing off.

Ynys Llanddwyn beach
Ynys Llanddwyn

Adventure sports

People in Wales are a little crazy. Not only do they do things like surfing and whitewater rafting in frigid mountain water, but they also like to fly down mountainsides on bikes, hurtle over old quarries on zip lines, and even invented a sport that combines swimming, coastal hiking, and cliff jumping in a sport the Welsh have dubbed “coasteering.”

Zip lining at Zip World Titan in Wales

I know of New Zealand as an adventure-crazy country, but Wales may be just as insane when it comes to inventive (and abundant) ways to hurt yourself.

RELATED: 7 Epic Adventures to Have in North Wales

Adorable towns

Little Welsh towns – like the ones you'll find in Snowdonia – are unbearably cute. With old stone buildings and cozy low-ceilinged cafes and pubs, it's just too much.

Dolgellau town center in Wales
Dolgellau town center

Dial back on the quaintness, Wales. Seriously. You're going to leave people very disappointed when they visit other villages after these.

Betws-y-Coed train staion
Betws-y-Coed train staion

Welsh humbleness

People in wales are far too humble. Whereas in Scotland they are quick to tell you what a town or loch or island is famous for, in Wales you almost have to force it out of the locals.

They also don't like to brag about their famous Welsh residents (like Tom Jones and Roald Dahl) or about cool accomplishments (they built the first traffic suspension bridge) or fun facts (Wales is home to a 4,000 year old tree!).

Smallest house in Great Britain in Conwy, Wales
For example, the smallest house in Great Britain is in Conwy, Wales!

Stop being so darn sheepish, Wales! (I mean, I know you HAVE lots of sheep, but you don't need to act like them.) A little bragging every once in a while will do you good.

Not a lot of tourists

Lastly, since most tourist to the UK go to places like London and Edinburgh, you'll find many parts of Wales virtually devoid of any tourists. You can walk into a pub in many small cities and find only locals speaking Welsh (who will give you a strange look when you start speaking English). Even the touristy places still feel very quiet.

Caernarfon, Wales at sunset

It's a real shock after visiting so many other parts of the UK where you just find busloads and busloads of tourists.

Seaside resort town of Llandudno, Wales
Even the seaside resort town of Llandudno was quiet.

The caveat

OF COURSE this entire post is tongue-in-cheek. I think Wales is an amazing part of the UK, and I'm frankly baffled over why more people don't visit. With all the castles, beautiful scenery, outdoor adventure, and the fact that there aren't a ton of tourists, there's really no denying that Wales is a great destination.

I only spent a handful of days in northern Wales, but it was long enough for me to conclude that Wales is very special (and I'm definitely not saying that just because I have a Welsh surname…).

Harbor in Conwy, Wales

In fact, I think my next trip to the UK might be JUST a trip to Wales!

Who's ready to plan a trip to Wales?

 

*Note: I was a guest of Visit Wales and Visit Britain on this trip, but all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

Join the ADB Community!
Sign up here to get exclusive travel tips, deals, and other inspiring goodies delivered to your inbox.

94 Comments on “8 Reasons Why You Should Never Go to Wales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Well this post convinced me to never go to Wales. I mean, who wants to see castles and learn about fairy tales? Not me, ew.. 😉

    I cannot wait to go one day!!!!!

      I know, right? What a truly awful place! 😉

      I LOVED it!

        That’s WME for you. It is completely obvious that this article is portraying a sarcastic image of our non independent Principality of wales. Yet this village idiot is unable to sense this. Your too easily offended. All of you Welsh natz.

      What the h*ck people these are stupid reasons. Castles and fairy tales are part of welsh culture and you are insulting it.

        … It’s called sarcasm. Wales is of course an amazing place!

      I don’t understand… Was this a joke? These almost all seem like reasons to go to Wales?

        Did you read “the caveat” where I say this whole post is tongue-in-cheek (i.e. a sarcastic way of saying Wales is awesome)?

        True, its very pretty in wales

      I hated you so much until the last paragraph 🙂

    I want to go just to see that place name sign! Crazy.

      Haha yes it’s definitely an attraction all it’s own!

    I DID go do Wales on my first trip to the UK. I was staying nearby in Northwest England and went to Wales nearly every weekend. The hiking there is amazing and so is the scenery.

      That’s awesome to hear! And yes, great hiking there too!

    Hmm, finally something worth reading about Wales! I’m a bloke who likes things simple and the quaintness of Wales is great for me. Plus, I don’t think I’ll have any problems with cars, as I go about my trips in a bicycle. I’ll enjoy Wales very much…can’t wait!

      If you like quiet and great scenery, you’ll love Wales! (And I saw lots of cycling groups there, too! Just be careful on those crazy roads…)

    I know a (non-Welsh) guy who can say that name and uses that to impress people whenever he can 😀
    Apart from that, you are absolutely right. Wales looks like such a dull place and I desperately want to go..!

      Mad props to that guy – I certainly would be impressed!

    Sshhh, Wales is meant to be a secret.

      Exactly why I’m telling people they should never go there! 😉

    I wouldn’t be able to give you a sensible reason for not visiting Wales yet. Even while I lived in Edinburgh for three years, it didn’t even cross my mind. How foolish I was! I make a solemn promise to Wales not to skip it next time I visit the UK!

      A very wise promise to make, I think! 😉

    I have a picture of the lengthy name at the train station too! 🙂

    Speaking of castles in Wales, Cardiff’s famous Castle is worth visiting too. You can easily spend a few hours there as well as exploring the city center.

      I didn’t visit Cardiff on my first trip, but it’s definitely on the list for next time!

    I spent a few days in Wales back in ’09 and really loved it! It’s certainly underrated as a destination with such a gorgeous landscape, and of course, all of the castles! Definitely can’t wait to return to the Land of Dragons again. Thanks for sharing!

      “Underrated” is definitely the word! I loved it a lot, and see many more trips to Wales in my future.

    This post makes me want to go to Wales even more! We had it on our UK list (first time) this past summer, but due to a air traffic control strike our flight was delayed and later cancelled. I guess this means we will just have to go back and spend our entire vacation time in Wales! 😉 | http://ourpassportpages.com/

      I’d say that sounds like a pretty good plan!

    I am only 5″1′ tall, I think that red small house is just perfect for me! 🙂

      You know what’s funny? The guy who originally lived there was a fisherman who was over 6 feet tall!

    Now I want to go to Wales! I have no idea how it’s not insanely popular if it’s as awesome as your posts make it seem. Like Wales was never on my bucket list before but after reading about it it may have jumped nearly to the top 🙂 And I would actually consider planning an entire trip around Wales, and taking side trips to the rest of the UK, cause it really seems like my kind of place!

      It’s such an underrated and overlooked destination, but I really do think it’s amazing!

    This was hilarious! I was thinking you’d be writing about bad weather and sheep but this was even better!

      Haha, glad you enjoyed it! I had fun writing it. 🙂

    what a cute post!!! made me laugh a lot. just love your sense of humor. and yes, definitely avoiding wales now…not 🙂

      It was a fun post to write – sometimes you just need to mix it up a little bit!

    Wales is so special. I actually went on my first trip to Britain 16 years ago, but I haven’t been back since and that’s just a sad oversight on my part. Got to go back now!

      It really is special – I hope to return soon!

    ‘Love your post.

    I’m a British person, and I’ve been to Wales a few times. It really is quite lovely, and you’re right, not even English people tend to visit ‘cos it’s in our backyard type of thing lol! I actually visited Wales more, now that I actually live in Germany!!

    However, the seaside is amazing, the hills roll, the people are humble, and the national parks are fantastic!

      Wales definitely has a lot going for it, and I was really happy to discover just how lovely it is!

    This is a great blog post. Love the reverse psychology thing you’ve got going on.

    Been to Wales a few times and have to agree that it’s a pretty special place.

      It’s fun to write things from a slightly different perspective sometimes – glad you enjoyed the post!

    I didn’t make it to Wales until my *third* visit to the UK. We took a train from London to spend the day in Cardiff, including a visit to the Doctor Who Experience, which was great fun.

    You’re completely right, though- Wales is less flooded with tourists than the other places I went within the UK, and it’s all quite pretty. Great post!

      I still haven’t been to Cardiff – definitely on my “next time” list!

    Love this post.

    I have lived in Wales for 15 years now and lucky to have some beautiful places just up the road. Brecon Beacons is a must. If you come to Wales you can not leave without walking up Pen Y Fan and going up Snowdonia.

    There are so many quaint places to visit as you can see from the pictures. From Tenby to Saint David@s soooo many.

    There is so much to see and as an English person living in Wales after all this time I can still not pronounce half of the street names.

    Also never ever had chips and cheese until I came here. Now I am addicted. 🙂

      There are definitely lots of places that I’d love to visit next time!

    Hey

    I came across your site while researching Southeast Asia as myself and my girlfriend are travelling there soon. I then stumbled this post and loved it, plus being welsh made it an ever better read for me. It’s really nice to see wales being recognised by fellow travellers. Thank you, and also your information on Southeast Asia have been very helpful.

      Happy to be able to help, Callum – and even happier that you enjoyed this post! I had fun writing it, and had even more fun in Wales!

    Great article about Wales Amanda. Looks like you missed out on the south western part – you should definitely add it to your itinerary for your next visit.

      Yes, I was mostly in the north during this trip – but I definitely plan to return!

    I am going to be in the UK in September. Unfortunately, most of our time is already scheduled, but we want to take a day trip from London to Wales. We won’t have a car, so will have to take a train and walk or find transport once we are there. Do you have a suggestion for where we should spend our so very short time in Wales?

      To be very honest, a day trip to Wales from London using public transport isn’t going to allow you much time in Wales at all! If you’re going to do it, I would probably take the train to Cardiff. It’s about 2 hours one-way, which would allow you about half a day to explore Cardiff.

    To be 100% percent honest Wales is a shit holiday destination. But a amazing place to live , I can only think of 3 places better to live and that’s Canada , North Usa and New Zealand. We have some beautiful county side , we are bilingual since we speak welsh and English ( English south and welsh in the valleys/north )

    But tbh we have nothing to do what so ever.

    Great place though.

    I’m only a year late reading this, but I spent two weeks in Wales last month on my first UK trip – intentionally! It was not enough time. One week in Snowdonia and another just south of Brecon Breacons. Each time I stayed in one of those stone houses in a quaint, small town like you mentioned. I was surprised Welsh was spoken so much since I’d just come from Belfast and Gaelic is not commonly heard there. People keep telling me to start a travel blog and I’m too nervous to do it. It’s such a passion of mine.

      I really loved Wales, too, and can’t wait to go back and explore a lot more next time!

    I myself have 1 quarter welsh blood in me. I would love to see all the castles and definitely for an American it is a culture shock for those coming from big cities to explore a more quiet rural setting. From the sound of it the preservation of their language, culture and landscape makes it impressive for those who want a holiday that’s different to your typical tourist swamped experience. The fact that its so medieval is impressive. It has been shadowed by England for so long!

      Despite my tongue-in-cheek approach to this post, I really loved Wales and agree with you – it’s special and impressive!

    I’m sorry but I believe that as a person from wales that this is an absolute outrage. You’re telling people not to come to wales, wales gets so much of its money from tourism and this will cause a lot of people not to come. You’re complaining about wales being good, and if it were bad you would you would pick on that and be bullying towards that to. Personally I believe that this could be classed as racist as you are making us feel ashamed of our heritage and country!

      Ummm… did you even read this post, or did you just see the title and leave this comment? If you read the post, you’ll know it was written tongue-in-cheek and is actually a love letter to Wales! I love Wales and think it’s a great destination!

        if you think that this is a great destination then why didn’t you entitle it with something that was actually to do with the piece? and as a fluent welsh speaker we do take pride in our language and calling it ‘drunk’ is really offensive. how would you feel if someone wrote this about where you live, a place you take pride in and a place you love

          Well, this is my blog and I’m allowed to take creative license with my content and have fun with it, like I did here. I’m from the US, so I’m quite used to reading negative things about my own country. (Though, again, this post isn’t actually negative! It’s written with sarcasm and is meant to be humorous – I’m sorry that you don’t get it, but I won’t be changing the post.)

    I’m not expecting you to change the post, or cause you to be less ‘creative’ or ‘fun’ however I just believe that when your mocking or joking about a whole country (and a very patriotic one at that!) that you should be more empathetic and careful with your selection of words and topics. I understand that you probably went through a lot of trouble to do this, but on the contrary I still think that some of the things were unnecessary and therefor a bit far.

    Hi, I live in Wales in Cardiff and i wanted to see what others saw when they visited Wales! also next time you go to Wales be sure to go to Cardiff and there is one magnificent castle right in the centre. And i totally agree, people here can be quite crazy!!!.

      Yes I definitely need to get to Cardiff!

    Replies to this lovely article show how uneducated and lazy these people are. How would you believe that someone is wasting her time on a long article with charming pictures in order to say bad things about a country? SMFH!

    Thank you so much for all these information. I am planning a UK+Ireland trip(a month) and thinking about Wales even though this is going to be my first time 🙂

    Perhaps you can spend a week easily but I need to figure out how to organize Wales part(what to do, how many days) properly.

    What would you do?(I know the question is not fair)

    Thank you

      A month sounds like a long time, but you could easily spend two weeks in Ireland and two weeks in Scotland alone! I mean, I guess you could do a week each in Ireland/NI, Scotland, England, and Wales if you wanted to divide it up that way, but it would probably mean only getting to see a couple highlights in each country!

    Go to Isle of Man and you can see ireland England Scotland and wales from there, was up on the Dublin mountains during the week and could see welsh mountains Isle of Man and mourne mountains in Northern Ireland. All so close together so you can easily spend a few days in each country and see a lot of stuff

    What are you saying!? Wales is an amazing place! All of these reasons are garbage! Castles are cool, and myths and fairy tales are just stories and shouldn’t be a reason not to go there. Besides the castles, Wales is just like any other country, only a lot more interesting. What if I said I was from there? What if I said I can pronounce llanfairpwllg
    wyngyllgogerychwrndobwyllllantysiliogogogoch? (and I can!) Also, this is WAY more than 8 reasons. >:(

      It’s exactly 8 reasons, and clearly you didn’t read to the end because I very clearly point out that this post was written with loving sarcasm. I love Wales and think everyone should go there!

    I do like Wales itself but obviously like Welsh less, especially after I read those comments. Fantastic article Amanda, thank you! Welsh should be proud to have you as their tourist ambassador 🙂

    Best regards from Croatia – come to visit us as well one day!

    Oh I know! It’s a bloody awful place! Can’t go anywhere without tripping over a castle or a legend. <3 😉

    Thanks for all the reasons not to go, surely gonna strike Wales trip off from my bucket list ; )

      Yup, definitely don’t wanna go there! 😉

    Are people really that stupid?? Clearly, the title and whole article was a joke. “3 reasons to not like puppies 1) Adorable 2) Fun 3) Loving”

    …..”Oh my God, how dare you say something mean about puppies!!!!!!”

    These are no reasons not to visit Wales. Wales is one of the most beautiful countries ever. And the language is great. By the way, castles are really fun to climb on! (Yup, I’m that kind of kiddo). Ans what’s wrong whit legendes? And I’m learning Welsh now. I have to say that it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s fun to learn. And yes, Welsh is an old language, but why is that a reason for not going to Wales. I don’t try to be mean, but I just don’t think these are good reasons. And I’m sorry when my English Sucks, I’m Dutch.

      Clearly you didn’t read to the end of the post – this post is written to be sarcastic, and I do explain at the end that these are all reasons why you SHOULD go to Wales!

    Hey Amanda. Herby from South Germany visited Scotland and Ireland 10 times or more. But never had planed to go to Wales. This year i decided to plan a Trip to Wales in 2019 – May-June. I will be alone and travel with a rental car through Wales for two weeks. My wife and a lot of my friends looked very astonished about my plan… Why Wales… what´s there ? So i have seen a report in the german tv about Wales, and i knew for one moment, i must visit this country ! So i found today your Internet- report and i will say: Thank you for the informations there…

      If you like Scotland and Ireland, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t also like Wales!

    I would love to travel to Wales I always thought I’d enjoy Wales now I’m convinced I’d hate Wales and must make plans to visit

    Maureen Floyd (that’s taken from the Welsh name for Lloyd)

    😊

      Haha! Thanks for embracing my sarcastic humor. 😉 Wales is great and you should definitely visit!

    so do they like really have a different language? that seems so weird when they are right next to england which has like an amazing language with shakespear and stuff is it like english?

      The English were not the first people to settle in Wales – or Scotland or Ireland. All of those places have native languages (often a version of Gaelic), and the same is true in Wales! It looks and sounds nothing like English.

    I was soooooo angry reading this because I am Welsh and it was quite offensive, no one that I have gone up to has ever said anything like this. I know your joking and all but Wales isn’t all what you just said we have beautiful landscapes, amazing schools and also the Welsh language is actually quite beautiful as I am half-Fluent. This comment is not meant for any hate I just wanted to get my point across thank you 🙏

      I guess Wales just doesn’t use sarcasm in the way the rest of the UK does? These are all actually reason why Wales is AMAZING, which I explain if you read all the way to the end of the post!

    You just insulted wales by calling it an amazing place? How stupid can one man get? You said that adorable towns and not a lot of tourist are reasons you should not go to wales. But man, come on bro. You should of thought this through

      And you should perhaps read the entire post before commenting, bro. This is all sarcasm – these are reasons why people SHOULD go to Wales, and I explicitly explain that at the end because apparently lots of people have been confused by this. And as for how stupid one man can get… well I dunno because I’m not a man. 😉

As Seen On

As Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen On