Most of Anglesey’s coast, from South Stack in the west to Puffin Island in the east, is an AONB. The coast path is a great way to explore, passing wild beaches, flower-dotted heathland and mud flats busy with birds. Bronze Age burial chambers offer a glimpse of the ancient past, whilst the elegant Plas Newydd mansion graces the south eastern shores.
Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is the newest of the Welsh AONBs and it’s within easy reach of Liverpool and Manchester. At its heart is the Clwydian Range, a 21-mile chain of hills stretching from Prestatyn to Llangollen on the lively River Dee. There are wonderful views of undulating countryside from the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, which runs right through the region.
Llŷn Peninsula AONB
One of Wales’ little-known gems, the Llŷn Peninsula is a natural extension of Snowdonia. Around a quarter of the peninsula is an AONB which includes superb, unspoilt coastal scenery, long-extinct volcanic peaks and Iron Age forts. An 84 mile section of the Wales Coast Path runs right around Llŷn, passing coves, cliffs and unforgettable beaches.
Famous for its beaches, surf and walking trails, Gower also contains exceptional ecological and archaeological sites. Within a few miles of each other are three Nature Reserves, several Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the earliest known human burial site in Western Europe, Paviland Cave, where 34,000 year old remains were found.
Wye Valley AONB
The entire length of the River Wye is a Site of Scientific Interest and the lower section of its valley, from Hereford to Chepstow via Tintern Abbey, is an AONB. Wonderfully lush, this is one of Britain’s finest riverside landscapes: many artists and writers have found inspiration here. It also attracts canoeists, climbers and riders, while the Wye Valley Walk and Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail are hugely popular with walkers.