Wales’ Tourism Rebirth: A Social Media Success Story

Wales is one of the UK’s greatest publicity success stories and its achievement hinges on both the boom in investment in the area, as well as the hard work put in by the marketing teams of hundreds of restaurants, tourist attraction and B&Bs. Marketing teams across Wales have made the difference when it comes to promoting the region and its thanks to them that millions of tourists now flock there each year.

Of course, historically speaking, Wales has been a popular tourist attraction for some time now, but it’s safe to say that until recently its heyday has been firmly in the past. A quick trip to the coast of Wales is all it takes to get a glimpse of the Golden Age of Wales’ tourism complete with Victorian promenades and expansive beach-side hotels. Left to flounder during Wales’ dip in popularity, some of these ageing establishments have been given a new lease of life in recent years thanks to some savvy social media marketing that has transformed Wales from a ‘has-been’ destination into a shining hub for UK tourism.

We’ve lifted the hood on Wales’ success to see how it’s managed to undergo such a significant change:

Foodie Explosion

 

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Remember when ‘going out to eat’ essentially meant picking between pizza, Indian, Chinese or the pub? The food industry has undergone a real cultural change in the last 20 years and it’s safe to say that Wales has benefited from this! As tastes within the UK have become more refined, the restaurants in Wales have been able to change with the times. Restaurants such as Sosban & the Old Butchers and the award-winning Penally Abbey are two examples of fine-dining restaurants that have made a splash with their innovative food and smart marketing.

Boutique B&Bs

 

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There was a time when accommodation options in Wales were limited to run-down hotels and even more tired caravan parks, but thanks to the boost in interest that Wales has received, fresh investment in the area has led to smart new places opening all across the country. Head and shoulders above the Travelodges and Premier Inns are the stylish boutique hotels that have cropped up in all the major tourist towns of Wales. Stand-outs include the classy Rooms at James Sommerin and Brown’s in Laugharne.

New Generation of Attractions

 

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Forget about the run-down pleasure beaches and fairgrounds that you might associate with Wales because it has lot more to give now! Wales’ best modern attractions take advantage of the numerous spectacular natural (and man-made) landmarks that the country boasts. Surf Snowdonia, the UK’s only artificial wave pool is set within the striking environs of an old quarry, whereas the thrilling Zip World Fforest offers an exciting day-out for the whole family all set within a lush Welsh forest.

What’s Old is New

 

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Thanks to continual re-investment, much of what was old in Wales has now been made new. Many of the battered and abandoned hotels on the North coast have been refurbished, tidying up the beach fronts of dozens of towns and bringing new jobs to the areas too. As much needed tourism has returned to the area once more, councils have been able to re-invest their earnings back into infrastructure, smartening up High Streets and promenades that haven’t been touched for decades.

Must-Visit Castles of Britain

One of the biggest draws for tourists from outside the country is the centuries of history that is still visible to this day. Royalists are often the first to point out the major pull that the incumbent Royal family has for foreign tourists, although it’s arguable that without the success of their predecessors they wouldn’t have anything near the clout that they currently have.

Regardless of what you might think of them, it’s arguable that the castles built and occupied by our monarchs over the centuries are a bigger draw than our current rulers. There are dozens of castles in various states of repair that can be found all across the UK, some of them have been preserved by English Heritage and the National Trust, whereas others have been left to ruin. A visit to one of these grand places offers you a chance to step back in time, not to mention get a breath of fresh air!

Dover Castle

Open all year round, Kent’s Dover Castle is a veritable treasure trove of historical sights and sounds, including a Roman lighthouse, Second World War tunnels, a Norman keep and even 13th Century siege tunnels. There’s so much to see here that you might consider staying the night in the Serjeant Major’s House which sleeps six and comes complete with its own garden and views of Dover itself.

Warwick Castle

At 950 years old, Warwick Castle is no spring chicken but it’s remained in remarkable condition thanks to the extensive conservation work undergone by its owners, Merlin Entertainment Group. There’s plenty to learn about whilst you’re there, not to mention a host of exciting shows for the family during the Summer. Regular jousting competitions are a real sight to behold, whilst Bird of Prey shows and one-off evening events offer something a little different for visitors.

Windsor Castle

The sometimes-home of the current Royal family is within spitting distance of London making it a fantastic day out for anyone looking for a day-trip out of the city during their visit to the capital. The castle grounds and building are truly breathtaking, exhibiting a range of architectural styles that run the gamut from 11th-century Norman through to lavish 19th-cenutry State Apartment. The castle has been besieged and survived fires as recently as 1992, but has remained one of the prime examples of English castles.

Arundel Castle

Open from 2nd April through to the 3rd November this year, Arundel Castle is home to close to a 1000 years of history which began at the end of the 11th Century and runs right the way through the tumultuous course of English history. Whilst exploring the splendidly furnished room of Arundel Castle you’ll bump into a whole host of treasures including possessions of Mary Queen of Scots and a huge collection of paintings, furniture and other such relics.

Caring For The Great Outdoors: Invasive Species & Litter Bugs

The Great Outdoors might not stay ‘great’ for long, unless you do something about it…

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise for you to hear that we’re all rather passionate about the environment here; in fact, an undying passion for the great outdoors is something of an occupational hazard for us here. As a result, we’ve all got our fair share of ‘dos and don’ts’ that make up our everyday milieu and although they might seem a little extreme to some, we feel that if more people adopted these minor lifestyle changes then the world would be a much better place!

If you love the great outdoors as much as we do then you then why not considering making one of these lifestyle changes?

Beware of Invasive Plants!

Whilst 52% of the country might be living in fear of foreign invaders, these people are no doubt blissfully unaware of the thousands of organisms that are spreading unchecked throughout the UK and, unlike the European immigrants that they fear, could quite seriously ruin the value of their home.

Plants such as Giant hogweed, Rhododendron ponticum and Himalayan balsam all have a negative impact on the environment, not to mention house prices, and should be dug out or destroyed if found. Other plants have even got legislation that punishes those who negligently spread fragments of invasive plants, indeed if you happen to fall foul of a Japanese knotweed law then you may be heavily fined or even imprisoned!

Recycle, recycle, recycle

For thousands of people around the world, recycling has become second nature, but that doesn’t mean that our work has been done just yet! In order for the world to thrive it’s important that everyone pitches into the global recycling effort, which means that you should always be paying close attention to what you’re throwing away.

Sorting out your glass and tins might be a firm part of your routine, but are you as vigilant when you’re getting rid of your plastics and cardboard too? Many plastics can be recycled, so it’s a good idea to take a close look at any packaging that comes your way (especially food!) as you might find that you could be recycling more than you already do!

Buy locally sourced food!

This one can prove to be a little tricky, especially if you’re living in a built up area. The carbon footprint for many groceries that are now considered ‘everyday’ is extortionate; in fact some of the UK’s favourite fruits and veg, including bananas, tomatoes and oranges, have to travel thousands of miles to reach their destination before making their way into our mouths. There’s no easy way to say this, but these are luxuries that we should no longer indulge in!

You can help improve the environment by choosing to only buy foods that are produced in the UK. Whilst you might find that your meals start to resemble War-time rations (expect to be eating a lot of meat and two veg) at least you’ll be able to be satisfied knowing that your food hasn’t damaged the environment on its journey to your mouth.

4 All Natural Alternatives To A Traditional Theme Park

The theme park is a time-honoured go-to for thousands of parents looking to entertain their tiresome tots for the day, but although your kids might be getting their fill of fresh air and thrills whilst they’re getting whizzed around on a rollercoaster, it’s questionable how much value for money you’ll be getting as a full-paying parent.

Let’s suppose that even if you miraculously manage to wangle 2-for-1 tickets into one of the few well-respected theme parks in the country, the grim reality is that you’ll be spending a good chunk of your time stood in a queue playing repeat games of ‘I spy’. Factor in the spiralling costs of food, drinks and other treats that are casually inflated beyond any normal price in these places, and you’ll find yourself tragically out of pocket, as well as invariably bored.

Our recommendation? Avoid these places at all costs and opt for one of these ‘all natural alternatives’ that off a more wholesome day out with much shorter wait times:

Mount Stewart House, County Down


As long as you haven’t made the mistake of indulging in one too many of these already, a visit to this spectacular stately home should prove just as thrilling to you and your family than a long day at a busy theme park. Although you may find yourself occasionally queueing for the loo here (Mount Stewart is very popular with the older generations), unless your family is from a particularly well-monied background, there’ll be no shortage of ‘oohs and aahs’ as you explore the exotic gardens in these lands.

Zip World Fforest


If you’re determined to get your dose of high-speed thrills and spills, but aren’t keen on queuing, then Zipworld Fforest boasts some of the best in the UK. All activities at this revolutionary outdoor adventure park are booked ahead of schedule and whilst we wouldn’t describe any of them as cheap, the fun on offer here is second to none for all the family, no to mention rigorously tested (for those concerned with safety). Choose from exhilarating zip-line rides and gigantic swing, all set within this lush green Welsh forest.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Whether in Winter or Summer, Wales’ Bodnant Garden holds some truly spectacular sights for young and old. Your kids might well yawn when you tell them you’ll be spending a day at a garden, but the sights on offer here will soon have them eating their hats (not literally though). During Winter you can take the kids (and the dog!) through the rather stunning Winter Garden Trail and finish up with a well-earned slice of cake and cup of tea in their quintessentially decorated cafe – a decidedly more wholesome alternative to a burger and chips.

Whipsnade Zoo

Finally, as long as your ethics agree, a trip to Whipsnade Zoo is well-worth the admittedly high price of entry, especially if your little ones are as as ours are. There’s a lot to get excited about here too, as Whipsnade is the largest zoo in the UK, covering a jaw-dropping 600 acres, it’s also one Europe’s largest wildlife conservation parks. There’s a big selection of animals on offer here including Sudan cheetahs, elephants and rhinoceros.