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'Game Of Thrones' Star Iwan Rheon's Guide To Wales

For Condé Nast Traveler, by Meredith Carey.

You may not like his character Ramsay Bolton on HBO’s award-winning “Game of Thrones” — OK, hate is a better word — but off-screen, Iwan Rheon is far more amiable. Named Wales’s official ‘Year of Legends’ ambassador for 2017, the Welsh actor shared with Traveler a few must-see spots in his home country, including the dramatic mountains of Snowdonia, impressive cathedrals and rural islands inhabited by puffins. There’s no reason you shouldn’t follow Rheon’s lead, either: With more castles per square mile than anywhere else in Europe (plus, it’s just a two hour train ride west of London), Wales is the perfect intersection of history and natural beauty — there’s a lot to see beyond its most famous, tongue-twisting town.

1. Snowdonia National Park

“Not much can beat the mountains of Snowdonia. The tallest mountains in Wales with wonderful views in every direction. I have fond memories of exploring the mountains with my grandparents. On a clear day there’s nowhere like the peak of Snowdon and you can even get the train up [to the top].”

2. Beddgelert

"North Wales has so many hidden gems. Beddgelert is beautiful and recently I visited the Llechwedd Slate Caverns [nearby], which is a great day out."

3. Caernarfon

"All this is not too far from the historic town of Caernarfon with its amazing castle. A stronghold for our language and heritage."

4. Cardiff

"How can I not mention my beloved Cardiff? Home to Roald Dahl and now “Doctor Who.” With the city centre dominated by two glorious monuments: Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium. There's so much more there as well: Victorian arcades, modern shopping. [It's] a vibrant city with bars and restaurants all within walking distance."

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