The principality is probably best known these days for the incumbent Prince and his late ex-wife, Diana. Perhaps a fairer description would be that this country fuelled the Empire with coal from the valleys in the south, and roofed the houses that the British built with slate from the north. This is a fiercely nationalistic part of Britain with its own Parliament and encourages the speaking of the Welsh language.
The capital is Cardiff, and the major buildings in the city were built, and later donated to the Welsh, by a Scottish family who had made a fortune from the coal industry. One of the buildings is the marvellously Gothic Cardiff Castle a gift from the 3rd Marquis of Bute. The home of the national sport, Rugby Union, is the Millenium Stadium, completed in considerably less time than the English version, and within budget. The city is awash with places to eat, drink, and shop so if you were to rent a cottage in near Cardiff it could be the answer. The south coast, although the industrial centre of Wales, is also where you find the Gower Peninsular, a place with beaches, cliffs for climbing, and various other activities on offer. A holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire and further west as far as you can go, is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which again offers a myriad of opportunities for those of an outdoor nature. There are cultural attractions too with the smallest city in Britain and the holiest place in Wales, St Davids, at the countys most westerly point, with the cathedral nestling in a little valley and hidden from marauders by the local landscape, but dont think that it was put up by a bunch of dodgy builders. The wonky flagstones and pillars are due to an earthquake in 1248. The centre of the country is largely unoccupied with the Brecon Beacons self catering and the Black Mountains being excellent walking country although be aware that this is where the British Army trains most of its special forces so take appropriate clothing if you are going for a long yomp. One of the most enterprising towns is Llanwrtyd Wells, which, to encourage tourists, has hosted the World Bog Snorkelling Championships for several years, and even a Bicycle Bog Snorkelling option. Not too sure about that one! There are also various ale festivals, with free beer at the checkpoints, needless to say the bicycle version is advertised as a wobble.
To the west of the Cambrian Mountains you descend to Cardigan Bay. There aren't too many roads that go over the top, but if you do, drive at reading speed, as some of the place names are only pronounceable by the locals with vowels being in short supply. Try asking the way to Llwyngwrll! The most popular tourist place in this area is the Italianate town of Portmeirion, designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and has been the inspiration for plays, films, a television series, and is a regular haunt for artists, both amateur and professional. The coast has a wealth of beaches including Pendine Sands, the place where the world land speed record was set on several occasions. Cottages in North Wales would allow you to visit a wealth of narrow-gauge railways, with the one to the top of Mount Snowdon being the most popular. Some people climb the mountain, others take the train. There are plenty of mountains to climb in the area, mostly around the Llanberis Pass. If a resort town is what you enjoy then the north Wales coast has a wealth of them all along the coast Bangor to Prestatyn there is an almost unbroken line of holiday resorts. But there is also heritage here with the castles erected by King Edward 1st with his 'Ring of Steel', a series of exceptional fortifications that subdued the awkward natives. The island of Anglesey is reasonably flat and the jump-off point for the ferry to Ireland. This was the last bastion of the Welsh druids and has a large array of Bronze Age sites. Finally in the town of Beaumaris, setting aside its remarkable castle, you will find the last example of a human treadmill.