croeso!

Spring is a perfect time to explore Wales' bustling cities, rural villages, and quiet country lanes. Don't want to drive? Explore by bus, train, or walking tour. Or take a ride with the postman! En route, visit, a mill, a Roman camp, a new waterfront museum. Enter our contest to win great museum gifts!

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in the news greetings
When Wales "called all Joneses" to Cardiff�s Millennium Center last November, 1,224 Joneses arrived from all over the world! The result? The Joneses grabbed the Guinness World Record for �largest surname gathering in the world� away from the Norbergs of Sweden. The Norbergs just couldn�t keep up with the Joneses. So Spring has arrived - probably my favorite season in Wales. Year round we see the changing of the seasons and the differences they bring to the landscape, but one constant you can be sure of is the welcome or "Croeso" from the Welsh people. We're a friendly lot and probably a bit inquisitive to go with it. A trip to Wales would not be complete without trying to get to know a few of us locals. A great way to do this is to ride a PostBus (read on for a feature on this....) or sit in on a Male Voice Choir rehearsal - an unforgettable experience - and who knows, you may get invited down the pub afterwards for a pint. To find out more about the choirs and where they rehearse, check out homecomingwales.com.

Hope to see you in Wales.

Claire Goold
Wales Marketing USA
Visit Wales
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spotlight on: the museum of Wales centenary
Don a hard hat and rattle 300 feet into the earth in a "pit cage," the way Welsh coal miners did. See where workers turned out the wool that dressed Europe and where they mined the slate that roofed the world. Stroll through a superb collection of French art, amassed by two ladies from rural Wales. Visit a Roman fort, a living history center, and a high tech waterfront museum.

This spring, a visit could take you from Cardiff all the way to Snowdonia, making stops at the seven museums that together make up the National Museum Wales, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2007.

Along the way, you will learn about Welsh history, from the Celts, through Wales' years as the most remote outpost of the Roman Empire, all the way up to the clanging, clamor and danger of the Industrial Revolution and on to modern times. Special Centenary exhibitions and events abound, admission is free, and by visiting all seven, you will also get a great insight into Wales and it's people.

Click to read on . . .>

photo � Crown Copyright 2006
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"Go on without me - leave me here to die!" our 10-year-old daughter only half-jokingly said two hours into our anticipated three-hour hike to the top of Snowdon. As part of our highly anticipated trip to Snowdonia National Park, we (mom, dad, 14, 13, and 10-year-old kids) were determined to hike Pyg Track to the top.

Having read all the warnings and suggestions on such an undertaking, we felt we were up to the challenge. To get an early start on our climb, we spent the night before in the lovely Plas Coch Guest House. Jane gave us the energy for the hike with her most delicious and nutritious breakfast, and Frank was the perfect guide and ambassador for both Llanberis and Wales itself. The gods had blessed us with a perfect day: 68 degrees, gentle breeze, and crystal clear skies. Needless to say, the three-hour hike was filled with spectacular scenery from start to finish.
Each of us felt a true sense of accomplishment as we crested the top and took in the stunning 360 degree panoramic view. And the 10-year-old girl who begged us to leave her? She was proudest of all. Snowdonia National Park is one of our favorite places on earth and will always hold a very special place in the hearts of the whole family.
Deb and Dave S.

Click here so you can plan your own climb up Mount Snowdon.

your Wales story

Do you have a story to share about your visit to Wales? We'd love to hear it. And if it shows up in a future issue of Croeso we'll send you a $25 gift certificate as a token of our appreciation.

Tell us your story.
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travel ideas: a car-free countryside tour
So much of Wales' beauty and rich history lies in its quiet rural areas. Picture the scenery: A ruined 13th-century castle, one of 641 in Wales, suddenly appears alongside a country road; round a bend and a quiet lane suddenly reveals the sea below; the tiny border town of Hay-on-Wye's vast array of second hand bookshops.

Travel down a country road in the south, and suddenly Corn Du and Pen y Fan, the tallest mountains in the Brecon Beacons, appear on the horizon, their summits trimmed with snow. Travel to the east, and see the Gothic windows of Tintern Abbey frame leaves in vivid shades of green. In the north, travel by train on Britain's only public rack and pinion railway up Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.

One easy way to explore Wales' byways and hidden treasures is to rent a car. For visitors who don't want to drive, however, there are abundant options for exploring the quiet corners of our country. Wales' public transportation system makes it possible to visit even the most remote landmark.

Click to read on . . .>

photo, Britain on View © 2007
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travel offers: touring Wales on foot or by car

Escorted tours
and value-priced packages are both great ways to see the Welsh countryside. Here are some choices, both classic and new:

The Wayfarers' six-day, five-night guided walk, "Snowdonia: Land of Myths & Mountains" takes walkers to a castle; a farm with working border collies; to Portmeiron. Daily walks cover 8 to 10 miles (pick-up van available). Mention this article when you book and receive a CD of Welsh music.

Mountain Travel Sobek makes its entry into Wales in 2007 with its guided "Historic Hikes of North Wales," also focused around Snowdonia. This more intensive trip includes a hike to the summit of Mount Snowdon, Wales' tallest mountain. Mention this article when you book and receive a free North Face duffle bag.

Avanti Destinations offers great values on driving tour packages, which include stays in small, privately owned hotels that belong to the elite Welsh Rarebits hotel group. Packages include three nights accommodations with breakfast, a four-day economy car rental, and a four-day Great British Heritage pass,. From $469per person, Avanti packages must be booked through a travel agent, contact your local agent or take advantage of the knowledge of our Wales specialists.


photo � Crown Copyright 2006
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contests and Promotions - bring the museum home
Enter our special springtime contest, and you may win a fabulous collection of gifts-a bright red scarf and two handsomely illustrated books-from the shops of the National Museum Wales!

The book "Faces of Wales" is packed with portraits of the most celebrated people through 500 years of Welsh History. "Colour and Light-Fifty Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Works at the National Museum of Wales" presents the finest works from the museum's superb collection.

To enter, just answer the question below:

How would you book a trip to Wales?
Click here to answer.
View the official rules for complete details.

There's no wrong answer, but you must be a Croeso! subscriber to enter. Also, so we can notify you if you are a winner please add walesinfo@visitbritain.org to your address book. Otherwise when we notify you the email may get trapped as junk mail.

CONGRATULATIONS TO our two first prize winners, Phil Martin of Redwood City, CA and Laura Breisky of Corte Madera, CA, who received lovely baskets of spa products from Pur, Welsh makers of all-natural and organic, chemical-free skin care products. To find out who won our Grand Prize, a digital camera, for the 'Tell Us When You're Coming' October sweepstakes, read our next issue of Croeso!


photo, Britain on View © 2007

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Heading photo courtesy of Brecon Beacons National Park, © 2007