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THE UK: Destination Guides

Study Destination: Wales

An overview of one of the UK's most vibrant destinations for international students, Wales.

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Many students will agree that your study destination is just as important as your chosen course. But where do you start? In this article, Hotcourses’ international student editor - Nuannat Simmons – gives you an overview of another great study destination in the UK: Wales.


Wales is located to the West of the UK, between Ireland and England. Travelling there is very easy; about 2 hours by train from London. As a principality, Wales has its own independent culture, traditions and even its own language to add to a wealth of attractions for new adventurers.


Top Attractions

  • Castles: If you are interested in the history of your new home and like a castle or two, Wales is the place for you. More than 600 castles open their doors to thousands of visitors every year. You can visit Cardiff Castle and have coffee and try your first scone (like Nooraini and her first scone experience in the Isle of Wright), or follow Dan Brown’s stories in his quest to find the Holy Grail in Wales at Castell Dinas Bran (or Crow Castle).

  • National Museum in Wales: You can visit the national museum in Wales and learn more about the rich and vibrant history of this nation. Best of all, admission is completely free!

  • Portmeirion Village: This is a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. Numerous films and television shows have been set in this enchanting location.



If you find that visiting castles and museums is not your ‘cup of tea', Wales also has many outdoor activities for energetic students like you, so get ready to burn off some serious energy!


  • Coasteering:  this is a unique adventure sport where you can experience the rock climbing and cliff jumping into the sea caves. You can try coasteering at the breathtaking scenery of Pembrokeshire coast.

  • Climbing Snowdon: There are 100 lakes and 90 mountain peaks in Snowdonia Nation Park. This location offers beach and coastline for you to walk. Push yourself to the limit and you will never forget this experience.

  • Bog Snorkelling: one of the most eccentric events crammed into the UK’s smallest town at Llanwrtyd Wells, this sporting event consists on completing two consecutive tracks of water- filled trenches in the shortest time possible. You can only use your flippers to push yourself to the finish line!


Major Welsh Cities

Wales also features exciting and bustling cities such as Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. Cardiff has a thriving port, known as Cardiff Bay, one of the largest in the world. The port is now a popular centre of nightlife and entertainment.



The Millennium Stadium, another of the city’s landmarks, has welcomed over 1.3 million visitors per year since its opening in 1999. On the other hand, Swansea is located in South Wales, featuring an authentic maritime city with a majority of Welsh-speaking population.


Finally, Newport is third largest city in Wales. It is also well known for its sport and is home to a formidable rugby team.


Wales is home to major UK universities such as Cardiff Metropolitan UniversityBangor University, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff University and University of Wales (Newport).


Accommodation and travel

There is a full range of accommodation in Wales, from camping, to hotels and B&Bs or cottages that you can rent and share with group of friends.


Wales is easy to get to and has lot of exciting places, customs and activities waiting for you to discover while you are studying in UK, so do not miss your chance to visit!

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