Tenby (c) Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Top 10 special places of Wales revealed by National Trust

The Gower, Snowdonia National Park, the Brecon Beacons and The Lonely Tree have all made the top ten of ‘Special Places’ in a National Trust Wales poll.

The national competition has seen the public debate and champion the places that mean the most to them. For eight weeks celebrities, politicians, schoolchildren and the general public have been involved in a national conversation and voting in their thousands for their ‘Special Place’ in Wales, part of a major campaign by the National Trust Wales to find the country’s most treasured places.

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Penarth Pier, the restored Art Deco pier pavillion, won the conveted top spot but several natural, green spaces made the top ten list. The Powys landmark ‘The Lonely Tree’, an iconic Scots Pine that has surveyed the Llanfyllin landscape for at least 150 years was voted in third – according to local tradition, anyone walking up Green Hall Hill should visit the tree and give it a hug! A recent storm sadly blew the tree down but a special protection programme is now in place to restore the tree and protect it for years to come.

The beautiful bays and beaches of Mwnt and The Gower secured both coastal places a top five place with the walled seaside town of Tenby in eighth place. The stunning mountainous landscapes of Snowdonia National Park and the Brecon Beacons also appealed and made numbers seven and nine respectively.

National Trust Wales’ ‘Special Places’ Top 10:

  1. Penarth Pier
  2. Cyfarthfa Castle
  3. The Lonely Tree
  4. Mwnt
  5. The Gower
  6. Dyffryn House and Gardens
  7. Snowdonia National Park
  8. Tenby
  9. Brecon Beacons
  10. Hay-on-Wye


The campaign kicked off in May with celebrities including Julien MacDonald, Matt Johnson, Alex Johnson, Matthew Rhys, Sophie Evans, Wynne Evans and Bryn Terfel getting behind their favourite landmarks and encouraging the public to vote.

TV presenter Alex Jones, who chose the Brecon Beacons as her favourite place, said, “I think the landscape we are lucky enough to have in Wales is what makes places in Wales so special to us, it’s so breathtaking and diverse. We have great coastal areas and some beautiful mountainous parts in the north. It has everything wrapped up in the perfect small parcel!”

Launched following research by the conservation charity which showed that 67 per cent of the Welsh public consider the National Trust as the main trusted protector of Special Places throughout the country, the campaign has aimed to uncover Wales’ most treasured space and award them with support by the Trust and other partners in the coming year – whether this be help with local fundraising, a celebratory event or support to help preserve it for everyone to enjoy.

Research has shown that childhood memories from places where we grew up (44 per cent) is what makes a place truly special. The National Trust campaign has encouraged the public to get behind their own place and celebrate them, from castles to coastlines and countryside.

For more information on all of the places in the top ten, visit National Trust Wales.


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