One only needs to travel to Britain to understand why it is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Britain is a nation where history comes to life with castles and museums that will dazzle anyone. The people are friendly and the countryside is incredible. I traveled to Wales quite extensively in the Summer of 2013, seeing Cardiff, the Pembrookshire area, the Snowdonia area, and Conwy.

Welsh recorded history begins around 2,000 BC with the arrival of Celtic Tribes. The Romans invaded Wales in 48 AD and occupied the region until they withdrew from Britannia in the late 4th Century. When the Romans left, the native population was attacked by the Saxons, but they soon withdrew as Wales was separated from England. The Welsh were able to retain their culture and language for another 500 plus years. When the Norman's invaded, that all changed as Wales was incorporated into the greater empire. <>The Normans began the process of gradual erosion of Welsh territory and during the reign of Henry I (1107-1142) a network of castles tightened around the country. Only England's troubles gave Welsh independence a chance to survive for the next 100 years and Llywelyn the Great headed up an independent state whilst the King of England was absent at the crusades. <> However half a century later Edward I finally conquered Wales and built those great architectural glories or symbols of subjugation whichever way you wish to look at it! - the famous castles including Caernarfon and Conwy. There was a brief successful flurry for the independence movement masterminded by Owain Glyndwr in the first half of the15th century but this was short-lived and Wales was gradually incorporated in Britain. Henry VIII passed two Acts of Union in 1536 and 1543 giving upper class Welshmen equal opportunity but the language of justice and administration was to be English. The result was the gradual Anglicisation of the gentry beginning the divorce of culture between the gentry and the common people which was to lead to the political radicalism and religious non-conformism which so marks Welsh history.

Caerphilly Castle & Cardiff

The Pembrokeshire Coast

Snowdonia National Park

Inverness & Invergordon 2013