Colin Jackson’s 8 favourite places to visit in Wales

The Olympian chats to Lauren Taylor about loving his home country.

When it comes to Welsh sporting heroes, they don’t get much bigger than former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson.

Now a BBC athletics pundit, he’s also working with Wings For Life World Run – running events raising funds for spinal cord injury.

Born and bred in Cardiff, the 53-year-old still lives in the city and loves to travel around his home country.

“Get across the boarder and straight away its better! We have so many stunning places,” he says, laughing.

We asked Jackson to share his absolute favourite places to visit in Wales.

1. Cardiff

“The capital city has a lot to offer now culturally. If you’re a shopper, there are many places to shop, if you want sport, the activities are there for you – both on the water front and land. Great, fantastic restaurants.”

2. Gower 

“Staying on the south coast, go to the Gower, and to the Mumbles, and then you start to feel a little bit of how beautiful Wales can truly be.”

3. Tenby and Saundersfoot

“If you keep heading further west, you get to Pembrokeshire. Both the south and the north Pembrokeshire coast are fantastic, just breathtaking.

“Saundersfoot is probably my favourite around that side. I just love it, it’s a small version of Tenby really. I shouldn’t say that, because people of Saundersfoot would hate the saying ‘its a small version of a bigger town’, which is not that big.

“I think Tenby is beautiful, the fact that it’s a walled town, of which there are not many. Beautiful beaches around there, Caldey Island is just off the coast, which is absolutely fantastic.”

4. Aberaeron

“You’ll hear a little bit more Welsh being spoken here. It’s a beautiful fishing port where you’ll see all those lovely coloured houses everywhere – especially around the marina. It’s stunning.”

5. Llangrannog

“A little further up towards Llangrannog is absolutely breathtaking – beaches that are literally bare. You can get on top of the cliffs there and see dolphins and porpoises – you feel like you’re not in the UK. When you’re in Wales, you feel like you’re in Wales, though. We have an abundance of little gems there.”

6. Llŷn Peninsula

“The Llŷn Penisula, as you start to go up to the top – it’s the figure that goes straight across into the Irish sea. It has the most breathtaking views ever. If you look across, you can see all the Snowdonia mountain range from some of the beaches there. The whole mountain range is spectacular, with all the slate quarries up towards there.

7. Brecon 

“I used to run for Brecon, so of course I’m going to say Brecon is a great town to be in, in Mid Wales. Newtown is nice, and Lake Bala is our biggest natural lake – it’s stunning.”

8. Anglesea

“If you’re brave, go across the bridge over to Anglesea, which is spectacular. When you’re driving across Anglesea and you turn around and look out there, it’s just breathtaking. Quite dangerous waters though, it’s one of the fastest waters in the estuary there, so only go where you are told to go. Beaumaris is lovely to look at.

“And of course, on Anglesea you have Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch [the town with the longest place name in an any English-speaking country].”

Colin Jackson is the International Sports Director of the Wings For Life World Run. The global race, now in its eighth year, is in Cambridge on May 3, 2020. 100% of entry fees and donations go directly to the foundation. Visit wingsforlifeworldrun.com.