Executive Advisory Council Members Traveled to Wales in 2017
“Wales is beyond the highest expectations! It is extensive and there is way more to see and do than I ever anticipated. I believe there are many themes for programs there, and general land in-depth itineraries.
Cardiff was a surprise. I was very impressed by the bustling pedestrian streets and the relative youth of everyone around. The weather was gorgeous, and everyone seemed to be celebrating this. The people seemed just so very happy! I greatly enjoyed the Cardiff Bay area and am very impressed by the investment the Welsh government has made in Cardiff.
The natural beauty of mid-Wales is etched in my mind. And the North East is dramatic and breathtaking. I would like to have taken the train on Mount Snowdon. Seeing that would have been the icing on the cake – or the bacon in the Welsh Rarebit.” — Beth Ray-Schroeder, Director, Alumni Travel, Duke University Alumni Association
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s no coincidence that the BBC’s Springwatch was based at the RSPB Ynys-hir reserve on the Dyfi Estuary. The Welsh coast and islands are famed for their wealth of wildlife, with internationally important populations of birds and marine mammals. Cardigan Bay has the UK’s largest resident population of bottlenose dolphins, which you can visit on boat trips. Grey seals and porpoises are often seen here, while in Pembrokeshire’s protected waters you may also be lucky enough to spot basking sharks, orcas, fin whales, bluesharks, sunfish and turtles. The coastal skies are filled with birds: the nature reserves at Anglesey’s South Stack and Pembrokeshire’s Skomer Island are a good place to start, and you can cycle or walk (and even canoe in the summer) around the National Wetland Centre near Llanelli.
Quite apart from all those mountains to walk up and rivers to swim/fish/paddle in, recently there’s been a huge boom in adrenaline sports that are making the most of the landscape. Mountain bikers are blazing trails into the Brechfa Forest, where a series of runs – following the ski resort system of green, blue, red and black routes – have been created. Down on those big coastal sands you’ve got horse riding and kite-buggying onshore, and kite-surfing offshore. There’s sailing on the Towy Estuary, white water canoeing up at Llandysul – notably during the annual Teifi Tour, held every autumn – and the UK’s best sewin (sea trout) fishing on the Towy, Teifi and Cothi.