Historic South Wales Guide

by Ben Johnson

Facts about South Wales

Population: 2,200,000
Famous for: The Brecon Beacons, Mining, The Gower Peninsula and lots of sandy beaches
Distance from London: 3 – 5 hours
Highest Mountain: Pen y Fan (886m)
Local delicacies: Glamorgan sausage, Laverbread, Leek Soup
Airports: Cardiff

Boasting a wonderful mix of cosmopolitan cities and stunning coastal scenery, South Wales is only a couple of hours from London via train and only slightly longer by car. For those interested in visiting the main historic cities of Wales, we recommend a trip to both Cardiff and St Davids.

Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, has a long history dating back to the Neolithic period. In fact, people were already settled in the area over 1,500 years before both the pyramids at Giza and Stonehenge were even built! By the time of the Romans, a large fort was built on the current site of Cardiff Castle and stonework from this period can still be seen in its walls.

Situated on the south western tip of Wales lies St Davids, a delightful little settlement which has the title of being the smallest city in Britain. Featuring a historic cathedral amongst its ancient buildings, St Davids is also the final resting place of St David, the patron saint of Wales.

For those interested in castles, the south of Wales has – amongst others- the fantastic early-medieval Pembroke Castle and the stunning fantasy folly castle of Castell Coch near Cardiff. Be sure to check out our interactive map of castles in Wales for a full list.

This region is also bursting to the seams with Roman remains including the large military site at Caerleon and the urban centre of Venta Silurum, the latter of which boasts town walls still standing to a height of around 5 metres.

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