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Top Ten Best Places in Wales

Following 200 nominations received from the across Wales, our Panel of experts selected a shortlist of ten places for the public to vote on in August and September 2016. The top ten places in Wales, as shaped by planning and planners are:

Aberaeron (Ceredigion)

AberaeronAberaeron is one of Wales' first planned towns and since then has been developed and managed by the planning system to be a popular tourist destination and providing services to communities in its large rural hinterland. 


Caernarfon (Gwynedd)

CaernarfonCaernarfon's walled town, waterfront and castle have flourished. Through the planning system the historic character of this town has been celebrated and created a great place for the local community and visitors. It is a vibrant, walkable town with a wide variety of shops, arts facilities and business.

Cardiff Bay Inner Harbour (Cardiff)

Through a major project the former derelict Cardiff Docks have been Cardiff Bayregenerated to create a popular area with shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, businesses and homes, as well as the home for the National Assembly for Wales, based around a new freshwater lake following the construction of a barrage.

Denbigh (Denbighshire)

DenbighThis picturesque market town has been protected and enhanced through planning, including a long term heritage-led regeneration programme to improve the historic buildings of the town. This bustling town provides valuable services to the local residents and its wider rural area.

Gower (Swansea)

GowerGower was designated the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK. Its rich and diverse scenery have been protected and managed through planning, balancing the needs of local communities and the pressures of this popular tourist destination with the sensitive natural landscape and habitats.

The Hayes, Cardiff

The HayesPlanning has been at the heart of the transformation of The Hayes in recent years to become a bustling pedestrianised shopping thoroughfare in the city, rich in public art. It is lined with grand Edwardian and Victorian buildings on one side and the new St David's centre on the other, and the new Cardiff Central Library at the end.

Llandudno Promenade and Mostyn Street (Conwy County Borough)

LlandudnoLlandudno was a planned resort some 150 years ago and through the planning system the historic character of this popular seaside resort has been retained and managed. It continues to be a bustling and walkable resort, attracting visitors and local people alike.

Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre (Merthyr Tydfil)

Merthyr TydfilFrom its hey day of mining, Merthyr Tydfil town centre suffered decline but has been revitalised through an ambitious masterplan, informed by local residents, which has transformed the town centre, bringing the Town Hall and Penderyn Square back to life and developing linkages into the town and across the River Taff and to the College to give a positive future to this Valley's town.


Snowdonia (Snowdonia National Park)

SSnowdonianowdonia is the first and largest National Park in Wales, rich in landscape, its towns and 60km of coast. It is home to the highest Mountain in Wales and England – Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa. It attracts a high number of visitors and planning has sensitively managed this pressure along with the needs of local communities whilst protecting its special qualities.

Tenby (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park)

TenbyTenby is an attractive walled town with fine beaches and a working harbour. Sensitive planning has protected the historic qualities of the town whilst enabling it to develop to meet the needs of the high numbers of visitors and its local communities.