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Said to be the best-preserved Neolithic burial chamber in the country, Pentre Ifan is a 4500-year-old cromlech in a remote part of Pembroke

In many ways, Wales is just what you picture it to be: rolling moorlands, glaciated mountain areas, mellifluous male-voice choirs, tongue-twisting place names, Rugby Union, 'Bread of Heaven', romantic castles, people with querying lilts, cheese on toast and old mining towns.

But Wales is more than this. Apart from the fantastic walking and cycling that's available in the country, there's also a wealth of water and adventure sports, horse riding and fishing. Add to this some fine and even quirky festivals and Cardiff's nightlife, and you have a great destination awaiting you. There is a negative side too.

Rampant deforestation and the gradual replacement of 19th-century mining ugliness with late 20th-century industrial playgrounds. The backbone behind this strange mixture of beauty and ugliness, poignancy and affliction is Welshness - a strength of spirit and character which despite centuries of neglect and attempted assimilation remains defiant.

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Off the beaten track
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