Dan Snow's favourite places in Wales

Historian Dan Snow has been coming to Wales since before he can remember. He's got a passion for the Welsh landscape, its language, its people and history. Here he picks his favourite places to visit.

  • Caernarfon Castle
    Caernarfon Castle, Snowdonia

    Lots of castles stand proudly on their own, but very few have the medieval borough that was originally attached to them. Often people preserved the castles, but destroyed the old housing around it. But Conwy and Caernarfon have both got these extraordinary medieval walled towns that still survive, and give you a sense not just of the castles themselves, but also the fact that there were whole colonies there.

  • Moel y Gest, part of the Snowdonia Mountain range

    Moel y Gest, Snowdonia

     by Northern Soul

    My earliest memory of Wales is walking out of my nain’s house, onto the footpath, across the fields and up into the hills. I remember clearly going with my great uncle, who is a sheep farmer in those hills. There’s one called Moel-y-Gest just east of Criccieth, which I remember from my childhood as being a towering mountain.  It’s not quite that big, but it’s still special to me. Whenever I visit for the weekend, that was the first thing we’d do every Saturday morning: climb Moel-y-Gest

  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in snow

    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in winter, Wrexham, North Wales Borderlands

    What a monument to the industrial past! This incredible aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal high above the River Dee. What I find amazing is that the people who built this knew that they were absolutely the centre of world innovation. People were creating things here that changed world history.

  • Old mining machinery at Big Pit
    Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, South Wales Valleys
    Wales was the first region on earth where more people had industrial jobs than agricultural jobs. When you see the pit heads, and the ruins of old factories, and visits places like Big Pit - which is the most amazing museum in Europe, by the way – it reminds you of the extraordinary changes that have taken place, just in the last 200 years. And when you add that to the last 5,000 years of history – well, it’s almost overwhelming.

    More World Heritage Sites in Wales 

  • Rhossili, Gower Peninsula

    Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula

    I’ve spent a lot of time in North Wales, and I’ve done some amazing walks in the Brecon Beacons,  but I never got down to the Gower peninsula until I was 31 years old, to my shame. Gower took my breath away. We walked from the golf course at Langland, right the way round through all those coves on the south coast, to Worm’s Head, this incredible promontory which is cut off at high tide. It really is something else. It’s just unbeatable. 

    More Areas of Outstanding Beauty