‘Good things come in small packages’ and when considering Wales as a holiday destination this well known phrase has never rung more true!
We’ve compiled a list of favourite places to visit and destinations to holiday in!
SNOWDONIA - so this beautiful National Park is right on our doorstep and has to be our favourite, number one spot! This beautiful range of rugged mountains and hills are in the northwest corner of the country in the county of Gwynedd. Here you will find 14 majestic peaks over 3,000 feet high - the most famous of which is Snowdon at 3,546 feet high. This National Park really has got it all - mountain peaks, glacier-hewn valleys and lakes, ridges, rivers and charming villages!
CONWY - staying in our neck of the woods in Gwynedd is the historic and immensely pretty town of Conwy sitting near the mouth of the River Conwy with the imposing castle towering above the colourful estuary and harbour. The castle itself is classed as a UNESCO World heritage Site, well worth a visit and is highly photogenic! The walled town is colourful, quaint and very well geared up for the tourist trade. There is a great selection of independent shops, CAMRA pubs and restaurants - what’s not to like!
LLANDUDNO - The "Queen of the Welsh Resorts," Llandudno is the largest seaside resort town in Wales. Located on the north coast with views across the Irish Sea, the town straddles a peninsula with long sandy beaches on either side. It has so much to offer - 19th-century grandeur, a sweeping 2 mile seafront promenade lined with Victorian wedding-cake architecture, the longest pier in Wales, Britains longest cable car whisking you to the top of the Great Orme or if a head for heights isn’t your strong point then take the cable-operated heritage tramcar up the steep incline to the summit (there are only three in the world - the other two being in Lisbon and San Francisco)
ANGLESEY - Staying in North Wales we need to mention the Isle of Anglesey - Wales’ largest island and bigger than any in England. It has miles of hidden beaches along it’s inspiring coastline. Almost all of the coast has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The island's mild climate makes it popular for day trippers and campers alike. Finally, one of the best opportunities for a quirky photo is on the railway platforms of the town with the world's longest place name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllandysiliogogogoch.
PORTMEIRION - Sitting on the doorstep of Porthmadog is the fantastical and unreal village of Portmeirion - a colourful collection of scaled-down mansions and cutesy cottages. It was designed and built between 1925 and 1975 to resemble a quaint Italian fishing village. Visitors staying overnight get the whole place to themselves once the gates are closed, when they can explore its beautiful gardens, fountains, church, and the coastal paths of the lower village. This has been the location for numerous films and TV programs, including the 1960s cult show, The Prisoner
PEMBROKESHIRE COAST - At last our compilation moves out of North Wales and heads further south into Pembrokeshire! This welsh county boasts famous beaches, the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail, spectacular walking, surfing and sea kayaking. As well as it’s natural assets it offers forbidding Norman castles, fascinating islands and the magical mini city of St Davids (not forgetting the picturesque resort of Tenby still partially enclosed by it’s medieval walls)
BRECON BEACONS - In Wales’ southeast corner lies the Brecon Beacons. Not quite as wild as Snowdonia and not as spectacular as the Pembrokeshire it boasts two National Trails and a National Park. It has its fair share of charming, lively market towns and a year-round programme of cultural events including the Hay Festival, Green Man, HowTheLightGetsIn and Brecon Jazz. Incredible natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage - it really is a destination for all seasons!
HOLIDAY PHOTOS - A few Top Tips!
Firstly, no excuse now for coming home with a boring set of photos. Programme modes on DSLR cameras, filters on mobile phones and Instagram and if you’re very serious about your photos then Photoshop when you get home!
Mobile phones giving easy access to capturing great moments as they happen is a huge plus nowadays - but edit and delete as you go or else you’ll be accumulating large numbers of photos on a daily basis!
Composition - use the ‘rule of thirds’ technique whenever you’re looking through your view-finder. Imagine your screen is divided up into a grid of thirds and have the main focus of your picture on one of the lines, or where they intersect. This creates much more impact and interest.
Sunshine - so when we’re lucky enough to deal with this on holiday don’t let it spoil your holiday snaps! If the sun is behind your subject this can cast shadows over faces. Using your camera flash can fill in dark areas so that faces aren’t underexposed. Sunhats providing shade or putting on a pair of sunglasses get round the problem of having to squint and all looks very natural in bright sunshine.
Perspective - think about where you’re standing when taking your photo. For example low angle gives a more interesting perspective and can give stunning results so think about kneeling or lying down to shoot your subject.
Frame Your Subject - find something that can surround your subject. Objects like doors, trees, leaves etc. This will help direct the viewer’s attention to the subject
Background - Be patient and wait until the person that’s idly walking across the back of your shot has gone!
Enjoy the ease of access we now all have in the form of digital photography and have a great holiday!