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Wales: nature at its best.

Don’t forget Wales when you’re planning this year’s summer holiday. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the U.K. with unspolit countryside, spectacular castles and is steeped in history and legends. With 400 castles, 100 of which are still standing, Wales is sometimes known as the ‘Castle Capital of the World’ and many of us have visited the imposing medieval castles at Caernarfon, Conwy and Cardiff. But a lesser known area, complete with castle, gold mine, legendary highwayman and famous Bird Reserve is the Cambrian Mountains of South Wales.

Start your tour at the RSPB’s Gwenffrwd-Dinas Reserve (gweffrwd.dinas@rsp.org.uk), whose trails take you through trees and supernaturally green plants that give you the feeling of being in a South American rainforest. It’s home to one of the world’s most beautiful birds of prey, the Red Kite, saved from extinction by the RSPB and local farmers. From here you can climb up to Twm Sion Cati’s Cave, the secret refuge of the clever 16th century highwayman, Wales’ Robin Hood. Known for his kindness to his victims, he none the less kept the booty for himself.

Then head fourteen miles south and visit the Roman Goldmine of Dolaucothi, active until the 1930s. It’s now owned by the National Trust who offers underground tours. You can also visit the nearest small town of Llandovery, on the Heart of Wales railway line, famous for the remains of its castle.

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