Readers picks: Overrated destinations of the world
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Northern Wales( Google Maps )
Place: Northern Wales
Last visited: 20 years ago
My perspective: My husband and I were living in a tiny flat in London with 15-month-old twins. Broke, and in dire need of a holiday, we were delighted by the kind offer of a week in a friend's cottage in the Vale of Ffestiniog, in northern Wales. As we crossed the border into Wales, it began to rain, and it did not let up till the day of our return, a week later. The house turned out to be a deathtrap for little ones. The front door opened directly onto a road. The back door opened onto an unfenced yard, with easy access to the same road and a stream in which to drown. Inside, the house was not much better. There was a steep staircase with no kind of railing or banister and an open landing with a sheer drop to the ground floor. With no safety gate to restrict them, our children could not believe their luck, and began a campaign of climbing expeditions to test our nerves. Every day we spent in the car driving to different castles, but it was always too wet to really enjoy walking around the grounds in the driving rain. Any cozy-looking tea shop we tried to take refuge in would refuse us entry, as it was claimed that our double stroller, even if folded, would cause a fire hazard by blocking the exits. It was very hard to like the Welsh, I must say.
--Mary Melling, Rancho Palos Verdes
Pictured: An aerial view of Vale of Ffestiniog in northern Wales