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The most diverse of Wales's three regions, the south covers the area around Cardiff that stretches southwest as far as the rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire. It's the most accessible part of the country, as the roads are relatively good and the rail network is more extensive than it is elsewhere in Wales. Pleasant seaside towns such as Tenby are within a four- to five-hour drive of London;
from Cardiff and Swansea you're never more than a half hour away from some gorgeous small villages.
Cardiff has enjoyed a certain success in reinventing itself as a cultured, modern capital, but Swansea and neighboring Newport have struggled to find their place in this postindustrial region. With a few exceptions, it's better to stick to the countryside in South Wales. The heart-stopping Gower Peninsula stretches along 14 miles of sapphire-blue bays and rough-hewn sea cliffs, and Brecon Beacons National Park is an area of grassy mountains and craggy limestone gorges.