Stunning photos of white sandy beaches could be a tropical paradise – but they’re actually of WALES

Travel writer Daniel Start made it his mission to show people that they don't need to travel across the planet to find beautiful surroundings.

He took photos of Wales' most beautiful and lesser-known spots for his book, Wild Guide Wales, which reveals over 1,000 different spots you might not know about.

The stunning locations include secret beaches with white sand and majestic gorges concealed in dense rainforest.

In addition, the Welsh landscape is awash with blue lagoons, hill forts, ruined castles and abandoned quarries.

One of the most idyllic hidden spots is the secret beach and sea cave in Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, where a cavern has collapsed into a huge blue crater which fills with water at high tide.

The ancient stone circles at Bryn Cader Fader in Snowdonia are over 4,000 years old and were once a prince's burial place.

Only 18 stones remain standing as the rest were damaged by treasure hunters and soldiers during the Second World War who used them for target practice.

The vast empty "green desert" of the Cambrians, the middle section of Wales, is filled with picturesque lakes and valleys and is a rambler's dream.

In some spots the nearest road is over 20 miles away and Daniel said its vastness is like being in the Canadian outback.

There are many nods of the past hidden away in the landscape, including ruins of an old top secret bomb store in Glyn Rhonwy in north Wales and a 19th century copper mine in Ystrad, south Wales, where a 15ft high water wheel still lies.

The giant Dinorwig Quarry in north Wales is another location where it appears time has stood still since it was closed down in the 1940s as the old workshops are still standing.

Daniel, whose childhood was spent in Monmouthshire and who spent three years living on a hill farm in Snowdonia, has listed the country's best adventure activities, camping sites, pubs and restaurants.

The 44-year-old quit his job at a London council 10 years ago to pursue his dream of writing a guide to the best undiscovered places in Britain.

He said Wales has not received the same fanfare as Scotland as a tourist destination but it is worthy of similar recognition.

Daniel, now living in Bristol, said: "I grew up in Monmouthshire and as a child explored the Brecon Beacons and then Snowdonia while doing my Duke of Edinburgh award.

"I also lived on a hilltop farm in Snowdonia for three years so I've known for a long time the beauty of this country.

"Wales is an awe-inspiring land with wild and dramatic landscapes. You don't need to head off to Thailand for adventure.

"People may be put off by the weather but there are lovely sunny days in Wales, you just need to be willing to go as soon as the weather looks good.

"I believe Wales is just as spectacular as Scotland but it probably doesn't yet have the same reputation and gets a bit overlooked.

He continued: "But that means holidaymakers are going to get a very warm welcome and there is a food revolution with artisan cheeses and meats so you'll eat very well."

Wild Guide Wales, by Daniel Start and Tania Pascoe, is published by Wild Things Publishing on May 6 and costs £16.99.

Sun Online Travel previously revealed the best cheap UK seaside destinations for a staycation – including three towns in Wales.

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