On Announcing that I was off to Wales for my summer holiday a well-meaning but I suspect slightly prejudiced enquirer responded:
‘Oh Wales – I’m terribly sorry’!

Simon Jenkins offers my first in a short series about holiday books.I’ve had this one on my shelves for a while but it came into its own this year as I sought to explore some new sites across mid and North Wales.It is a beautifully produced book and anyone who is interested in history and architecture would enjoy the rich feast of entries lavishly illustrated with skilled photography.

From the great citadels of Caernarvon, Harlech, Powis and Beaumaris in the north, to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, St David’s cathedral (‘the loveliest church in Wales’) in the west to the exquisite little hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd above the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in the heart of the country, the buildings of Wales embody its history and are the equal of any in the British Isles. Simon Jenkins has travelled, it seems, every mile of the country to celebrate, and in some cases to find the very best of them, and irresistibly conveys in this book his enthusiasm for them. Cumulatively they amount to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted sons. Anyone who is visiting Wales or who loves it will want to own this glorious book.

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