Within such a small area, there is so much to see of Wales. To the south east and north east is its industrial side, close to the M4 and the A55 (which leads to the M53 and M56) respectively. At its most westerly points, it is linked by ferry with the Republic of Ireland. Its joys include sandy beaches, numerous castles, little trains and dramatic mountain scenery. A perfect place to work, rest, play or to take into consideration its merits as a conference venue location.
Just off the M4 and the main railway line into Swansea and London Paddington is Celtic Manor. Just outside the city of Newport, it opened in 1982 as a golf resort and conference venue which held The Ryder Cup competition in 2010. Further west, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff isn't only its national stadium. It is a world class concert and conference venue, with its retractable roof coming into its own with the former, along with several other events including speedway racing. Both the Millennium Stadium and the Cardiff City Stadium offer executive suites and private boxes.
As we go further west, its rural and coastal nature is more apparent. Golf clubs, country houses and hotels form the bulk of conference venues on leaving Swansea. As well as hotels, one of Swansea's venues is the Grand Theatre, a fine Victorian building which also plays host to the UK's only Russian ballet company. Conference facilities are also available at the Liberty Stadium (Swansea City A.F.C's home) and a Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli R.F.C.'s home.
A 'must visit' for gardeners is the National Botanical Garden of Wales. It is suitably equipped for hosting conferences as well as boasting Wales' rarest tree, bee, bog and Japanese gardens and The Great Glasshouse. It is the largest single span glasshouse in the world, and centrepiece of the attraction with plants from six areas of the world, zoned to represent a variety of climates. For the ecologically minded, or anyone seeking a venue with a real difference, the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth is an equally good suggestion.
A little further west is the unspoilt Pembrokeshire coast which includes the seaside town of Tenby, popular with artists. One venue, close to the resort, is Slebech Park near Haverfordwest. It is a beautiful castellated 18th century manor house, with spa treatments available and palatial grounds. Nearby is St. David's, the smallest city in the UK, Fishguard and Milford Haven.
There is a number of universities in Wales with suitable conference venues, with Swansea's and Cardiff's suitably equipped. Similar facilities are available at Lampeter (University of Wales, Trinity St. David), Aberystwyth and Bangor universities, and at Glyndwr University (Wrexham, Northop and St. Asaph).
Aberystwyth is a good point for exploring Mid Wales and North Wales from, thanks to the Cambrian Coast and Vale of Rheidol railway lines. On the Cambrian Coast line, Newtown and Shrewsbury are a short ride away, as are the little trains on the Talyllyn and Barmouth and Fairbourne railways.
Further inland, there are two unique conference venues in Mid Wales. One of them is Broneirion, a country house overlooking the River Severn, at one time the home of Victorian entrepreneur David Davies. The other, is the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society's showground, on Builth Wells. Both are a short drive between the two along the A470.
North Wales is dominated by its mountain scenery, most notably Snowdon. This is framed by the Irish Sea, the Lleyn peninsula, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Anglesey. By road or rail, Manchester or Liverpool is less than four hours away from Anglesey's largest town, Holyhead. The popularity of Rhyl and Llandudno as seaside resorts has resulted in a great number of hotels and suitable conference venues in North Wales. Llandudno - now North Wales' most popular and select resort - has a good number of luxurious hotels and a fine conference venue in the form of the Venue Cymru theatre. It boasts a café bar, office space and has the ability to host over 5,000 delegates.
Whether your desired conference is in the northern or southern part of Wales, there is a lot to offer. By road, most accessible from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. By rail, North and South Wales are well served by inter-city services. By air, Wales' principal airport is Cardiff, though Bristol may be just as convenient for South Wales, as is Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester airports are for North Wales.