Kate Humble’s favourite places to visit
Name: Kate Humble
Job Title: Wildlife TV presenter
Last year Springwatch was filmed at Ynys-hir RSPB Reserve near Machynleth. So, for this years Wales View magazine Springwatch presenter Kate Humble, who lives in Monmouthshire, told us a handful of her favourite places to visit in Wales.
Go wildlife spotting in Kate Humble’s favourite areas of Wales
It’s a place I’m only just becoming familiar with after spending a weekend there while we were filming at Ynys-hir for Springwatch. Exploring the coastline there is quite wonderful, just crossing the bridge over the Menai Strait makes you feel you’re visiting a new land. It’s a real playground for people who love to be outdoors. Almost all the 125-mile coastline of Anglesey is within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are two RSPB reserves here – South Stack Cliffs and Valley Wetlands – and four Welsh National Nature Reserves. The coastline is stunning and the woodland is beautiful. My husband is obsessed by castles and he was in his element exploring Beaumaris Castle and other historic monuments. You can go cycling, kite surfing, sailing, kayaking and wild swimming. For people who like the great outdoors in it’s raw splendour Anglesey is perfect.
It’s a very beautiful county that is sometimes overlooked as people race over the Severn Bridge towards the better-known areas of Wales like Pembrokeshire or Snowdonia. It’s a perfect place that has an enormous amount to offer. The Wye Valley, which is desiginated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was practically the first tourist destination in Britain, attracting people in their droves during the Victorian era.
With stunning woodlands, the 72-mile stretch of the Wye down to Chepstow is a beautiful canoeing river. There are any number of great food producers here, as well as great restaurants and pubs. We’ve lived here for almost four years now and when we’ve welcomed visitors they’ve been surprised at how accessible it is. We hope to start our own project near Monmouth very soon teaching old rural skills for people who want to start their own smallholding.
In doing so we’d like to attract people to stay a bit longer and see what the country has to offer.
Look out for the goshawk, locally extinct in the 19th century, this secretive bright red-eyed forest bird gets its groove on for a dramatic ‘sky dance’ in spring.
The Ynys-hir reserve is a remarkable place, with wet grasslands, salt marshes and oak woodland where the lapwing, little egret, redshank and wood warbler call home. It was a reserve I didn’t know and neither did my co-presenter Chris Peckham, so it was a whole new area of discovery for us as well as the viewers of Springwatch. It has demonstrated that this area of Wales, which is not particularly talked about as a tourist destination compared to Snowdonia or the Black Mountains, is not only beautiful, but also full of extremely diverse wildlife. The Springwatch effect has helped to raise the profile of Ynys-hir and visitors have been utterly inspired when they’ve come to see the place for themselves.
It’s one of the most beautiful areas of the country I’ve seen.
Discover what wildlife to look out for if your are coming to Wales in the spring or summer.
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