Did you understand that Wales has extra castles per sq. km than anyplace else in Europe? That’s only one of the many causes to go to Wales. We’re rounding up all the prime locations to go to in Wales that may entice you to add it to the prime of your UK bucket listing. Wales, one of the 4 nations that make up the United Kingdom, has typically been ignored in favor of its extra distinguished neighbors: England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland however when you go to Wales you’ll surprise why you by no means thought of it earlier.
Places to Visit in Wales
This tiny nation is full of imposing castles, placing landscapes, and superb adventures. The Welsh are a unusual bunch who like to leap off issues, dangle excessive in the sky, and converse a completely completely different language. With a wealthy historical past and a land full of imposing castles, Wales can be a implausible vacation spot for tradition as a lot as it’s for journey.
So prepare to study a phrase or two of the Welsh language, get your adrenaline on, and step again in time as a result of we’re going to share all the finest locations to go to in Wales that may make you need to pack your baggage proper now.
1. Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is one of three nationwide parks in the nation and it tops our listing for its pure magnificence. Located in northwestern Wales, the park covers over 800 sq. miles of rolling hills, lakes, and an enormous rugged panorama.
Adventure lovers will love exploring the Snowdon mountains and so they can hike the many trails to discover the unbelievable mountain views. The star attraction goes to the summit of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in all of Wales standing proud at 1085 meters (3645 toes). Want to hike up the Snowdon Mountain Summit? Book this guided hike with an professional information.
2. Snowdon Mountain Railway
If you’ve got restricted time, you possibly can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway up to Britain’s highest customer heart. The century-old narrow-gauge railway opened in 1896 and its historic steam practice travels up 5 miles to the peak of Mount Snowdon.
When you arrive you get out to do some climbing and take in the extraordinary views from the 1085-meter (3645-foot) peak. You can take the practice again down or hike down the mountain. Watch our video of our journey up to Mountain Snowdon
Llanberis is a good place to make a base when exploring Snowdonia National Park. Plus there’s lots to see together with the National Slate Museum, and one other historic railway, the Llanberis Steam Railway.
Besides Snowdon Mountain, Snowdonia National Park homes 14 mountains over 3000 toes making it one of the best-hiking locations in the United Kingdom. Climbing, mountain biking, and horseback driving are additionally in style in Snowdonia.
This dawn hike takes you from the village of Llanberis for an early morning hike to watch the dawn from the prime of Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa with a professional mountain information.
Places to Stay in Llanberis
4. Bounce Below
Bounce Below is a huge underground trampoline that provides adults playtime in the final jungle gymnasium. The sequence of trampolines, nets, ladders, and slides make for a heart-pounding expertise that offers as many thrills because it does laughs.
Located at Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the cave is twice the dimension of St. Paul’s Cathedral and is the end result of an outdated mining quarry. Let me let you know it’s big so give your self a minimum of a half day to take pleasure in this! Read extra: Bounce Below – The Ultimate Underground Trampoline for the Kid in You!
The Llechwedd Slate Caverns is unquestionably the place to go to for distinctive adventures. After leaping round at Bounce Below, be sure that to do the Via Ferrata and Zip Line. This hair-raising course takes three hours to full and takes you thru a dozen zip strains whilst you traverse alongside excessive cliffs plunging to the caverns under.
There are caves, ropes, and bridges to cross and it’s a superb journey for these in search of one thing distinctive to do in Wales. If you need one thing actually quick, head exterior to the Titan Zipline, it’s the quickest in Europe!
6. Portmeirion Tourist Village
One of the most unusual locations in Wales is the Italian-style city of Portmeirion. Portmeirion is a unusual vacationer village in Gwynedd, Wales. Nobody lives in this city, but it surely’s a beautiful cease in your go to to Wales that offers a quiet retreat in a really completely different vacation spot.
It was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who modeled Portmeirion after the Italian Riviera village of Portofino situated very shut to the Cinque Terre.
Spend a day consuming ice cream and have some sizzling espresso with recent scones and cream as you discover the fairytale village. Or higher but, keep in a single day at the Portmeirion Hotel the place you’re feeling as when you have stepped again in time.
We beloved our keep at Hotel Portmeirion – The benefit of staying right here is you’ve got most of the village to your self in the morning and night earlier than and after the tour busses have left.
Llandudno is the Queen of the Welsh Resorts. It is the largest seaside resort in Wales located on a slender strip of sand that connects the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme. The splendid Welsh resorts of Llandudno and Conwy lie between two attractive sandy seashores. The Hop on Hop Off bus affords two completely different routes to take pleasure in views all the prime points of interest.
Llandudno has two fantastic seashores, making the excellent place to go to in the summer season. Its lovely seaside promenade makes for a beautiful stroll out to the pier that juts 700-meters (2,300-foot) into the bay. Be positive to hop on the Great Orme Tramway, the solely cable-hauled tramway on a public street in Great Britain.
We stayed at Llandudno Bay Hotel and beloved it. This boutique lodge is situated on the Llandudno Promenade with sea views.
8. Conwy Castle
Wales is the fort capital of Europe and one of our favourite castles to go to in Wales is Conway Castle in North Wales. Commissioned by Edward I, Conwy Castle has stood the take a look at of time because it was constructed between 1283 and 1289. It is taken into account one of the best fortresses in Europe and is a chosen UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This magnificent fort has imposing partitions taht have stood the take a look at of time that also encompass the grounds and small city of Conway at the moment. When you go inside Conwy Castle, you’ll witness the nice corridor, chambers, and kitchen, and a extra secluded interior ward with non-public chambers and a royal chapel.
When visiting Conway, ensure to cease and see Britain’s most interesting townhouse of the golden Elizabethan age the Elizabethan Plas Mawr, and the Smallest House in Great Britain.
9. Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle is the most dramatic fortress from Edward I’s Thirteenth-century ‘iron ring’. and is a chosen UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in the city of Harlech in west Wales, in the county of Gwynedd. Looking over Tremadog Bay from the prime of a sea cliff is a surprising view.
Harlech Castles is one of the prime locations in Wales to see. Make positive to go inside to discover the fort tower. If you’d like to go to the fort, it opens at 10:00 am and prices £6.90 pp
10. Great Orme
Witness the towering cliffs of the Great Orme in North Wales to see implausible wildlife, from seals to seabirds as you are taking a Sea Fishing journey in North Wales. We hopped aboard a fishing boat to study all about lobster fishing.
This distinctive journey takes folks out on this distinctive journey the place you board his fishing boat to test his lobster traps in the bays.
Not solely do you learn the way to catch a lobster, however to additionally perceive the conservation of this in style seafood entrée often called the Black Gold of the Sea. For extra data on fishing journeys and lobster safaris to the Great Orme go to: Sea Fishing Trips North Wales
11. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
One of the most picturesque scenes in Wales is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal throughout the River Dee. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the highest canal aqueduct in the world.
Its 18 arches rise 38 meters (126 ft) toes into the air spanning 1000 toes. Pedestrians can stroll beside the water or you possibly can take a canal boat. But if you’re searching for one thing adventurous, strive taking a guided canoe tour
12. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
One of the wildest and most rugged locations to see in Wales is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park situated on the West coast of Wales. The finest method to discover the Pembrokeshire Coast is by going Coasteering. Coasteering was invented in Wales and we determined that if we have been ever going to give the adrenaline journey of Coasteering a strive anyplace, it might be right here. Check it out right here.
Coasteering is a singular journey sport or coastal exploration the place you traverse alongside the coast of Wales by mountaineering, cliff leaping, and swimming into sea caves. It affords exceptional views and as a lot journey as you want. You can leap from 10 meters or you possibly can merely slip simply into the sea. We went Coasteering with Preseliventure, e-book your journey right here.
13. Pembrokeshire Coast Path
If you don’t need to leap in the water, you possibly can hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It covers a distance of 186 miles (299 km) alongside the west coast of Wales and affords some of the most breathtaking coastal surroundings in the world. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you thru rugged sea cliffs, sandy seashores, and churning waters of the Irish Sea.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is split into 14 sections, every providing a singular and unforgettable expertise. Some of the highlights embrace the dramatic cliffs at St. David’s Head, the secluded seashores at Barafundle Bay and Marloes Sands, and the picturesque harbor at Solva.
Hiking the whole path normally takes round two weeks, however there are lots of shorter sections that may be accomplished in a day or two.
14. St. David’s Cathedral
While in Pembrokeshire be sure that to go to St. David’s Cathedral situated in the coronary heart of the metropolis of St. David’s. Within the cathedral is the Shrine of St. David, which is believed to include the stays of the Patron Saint of Wales. The shrine is adorned with intricate carvings and is a spot of pilgrimage for a lot of guests to the cathedral.
The cathedral has an extended wealthy historical past, courting again to the sixth century when The Patron St. David based a monastery on the web site. The authentic constructing was made of wooden and was later changed with a stone church in the twelfth century. Over the centuries, the cathedral was expanded and rebuilt a number of occasions, ensuing in the construction that stands at the moment.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral to study extra about Welsh historical past and structure, or just discover the many nooks and crannies of the constructing on their very own. St. David’s Cathedral is taken into account one of the holiest websites in the nation
The village of Porthgain is so picturesque that the BBC Movie, The Finest with Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin of Hunger Games fame shot right here whereas we visited. There is a superb pub that you have to cease in for a pint, the Slooth, and it is usually a picturesque coastal stroll that’s so excellent, that the Red Bull Cliff Diving Event happened right here in 2013.
You don’t have to leap off the large cliffs, however strolling alongside the coast affords extraordinary views of the coast of Wales. For climbing this is a superb place in Wales.
16. Gower Peninsula
If you’re searching for one other place in Wales for seashores, the Gower Peninsula in South Wales is understood for its lengthy sandy seashores and clear waters. Rhossili Bay is an iconic seaside with dramatic sea cliffs stretching 3 miles (5.8km) to Worm’s Head which received its identify from the Viking phrase for a sea serpent.
Some seashores to try in the Gower Peninsula embrace Llangennith Beach, Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Bay, and Rhossili Bay. Caswell Bay is in style with surfers.
Cardiff is the capital metropolis of Wales and no journey could be full with out visiting this bustling city heart. It’s an awesome place to make a base whereas exploring South Wales and there are lots of issues to see and do.
Book this Cardiff guided Walking Tour with an area information to admire the Cardiff Castle, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, and the Cardiff Civic Centre which was constructed throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A great place to make a base is Hotel Indigo situated in the coronary heart of Cardiff close to all the main points of interest together with the fort, St David’s Hall and principality stadium.
18. Cardiff Castle
One of the hottest issues to do in Wales is to go to Cardiff Castle. This medieval fort is situated in the coronary heart of the metropolis and dates again greater than 2000 years. In the eleventh century, the fort was the seat of the Welsh king, Rhys ap Tewdwr, and later served as the residence of varied highly effective Welsh lords and princes.
In the late Thirteenth century, the fort was seized by English forces below the command of King Edward I, who rebuilt and expanded the fortress to assist safe his maintain over Wales.
Today, guests to Cardiff Castle can discover its ornate Gothic-style mansion, its spectacular clock tower, and the Welsh Military Museum.
19. National Museum Cardiff
If you’re a historical past buff, the National Museum Cardiff isn’t to be missed. The constructing contains a gorgeous atrium, a wonderful rooftop backyard, and a spread of galleries and exhibition areas starting from historic artifacts to modern artwork.
There are everlasting and momentary reveals which might be enjoyable for the complete household. Kids will love the interactive reveals the place they will discover a reproduction Victorian schoolroom, strive on medieval armor, and find out about Welsh historical past, myths and legends.
One of the finest issues about the National Museum of Cardiff is that admission is free.
20. Carreg Cennen Castle
There are greater than 100 castles to discover in Wales which might be in glorious situation and there are numerous extra ruins. We have been informed that if there’s one fort to go to, make it Carreg Cennen Castle simply north of Cardiff.
This dramatic fortress is a component of King Edward I’s Thirteenth-century ‘iron ring. They weren’t mendacity when somebody informed us that we are able to typically be the solely particular person there. We had all of it to ourselves. The fort’s partitions are nonetheless standing however what makes this fort so particular is the proven fact that it’s in ruins.
21. Brecon Beacons National Park
The third installment of the three nationwide parks to go to in Wales is Brecon Beacons National Park is an out of doors lovers paradise. From stargazing to mountain biking its rolling hills, there’s something for everybody. With 4 mountain ranges, there are lots of locations to discover inside its 520 sq. miles.
Brecon Beacons National Park homes the Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark and it’s a darkish sky protect. The Beacons Way is a 100 mile route by way of the nationwide park and the Taff Trail is a long-distance biking route that goes by way of the park from Brecon to Cardiff.
Book this adrenaline journey from Cardiff to Brecon Beacons. Start with a guided tour of world well-known Rhondda Valley in Southeast Wales earlier than starting your adrenaline-fuelled journey of canyoning, swimming, and leaping into crystal clear mountain streams
Llandeilo is one other picturesque fishing village in the county of Carmarthenshire in Wales and is an efficient base to discover Dinefwr Castle and Park, the Brecon Beacons National Park, and the Carreg Cennen Castle. When in Llandeilo, additionally, you will be close to two notable Gardens – The National Botanic Garden of Wales and Aberglaseny Gardens.
Llandeilo has a historical past that dates again over 1,000 years, and there are a selection of historic landmarks to discover in the city. One of the most notable is the ruined Llandeilo Castle, which dates again to the Thirteenth century and affords gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.
Llandeilo is especially well-known for its meals scene, with a quantity of high-quality eating places and cafes serving up scrumptious Welsh delicacies and regionally sourced produce.
One of the most colourful locations in Wales is the pretty seaside city of Aberaeron. Make positive to strive its honey ice cream in which has been regionally made by the Holgate household for 35 years.
We stayed at the Harbour Master Hotel, a beautiful lodge overlooking the sea with an awesome restaurant. Aberaeron is also referred to as the Lobster Capital of Wales, so ensure to take pleasure in regionally caught lobster in the night.
24. Devil’s Bridge Falls
Devil’s Bridge is a village named after the bridge it’s well-known for. It has been a vacationer attraction since the 1700s. Devil’s Bridge is definitely a sequence of three bridges constructed on prime of each other. The authentic dates again to medieval occasions. Instead of demolishing the bridges after they turned unstable, they merely constructed one other atop them.
Legend has it that it received its identify after an outdated lady misplaced her cow and noticed it grazing on the different aspect of the river. The Devil appeared and agreed to construct a bridge in return for the soul of the first dwelling factor to cross it.
So, when the bridge was accomplished the lady threw a crust of bread for her canine to retrieve. When the canine jumped over the bridge, it was the first dwelling factor to cross the bridge.
Aberystwyth is a seaside city in West Wales, in the county of Ceredigion. One of the foremost points of interest in Aberystwyth is its seaside, which is an extended stretch of golden sand that’s excellent for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports activities.
The seaside is backed by a promenade that provides gorgeous views of Cardigan Bay, and there are a number of cafes, eating places, and bars close by the place guests can take pleasure in a meal or a drink.
Aberystwyth can be dwelling to a quantity of historic landmarks and points of interest, together with Aberystwyth Castle, which dates again to the Thirteenth century and affords gorgeous views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Other notable landmarks embrace the National Library of Wales, which homes a set of Welsh books and manuscripts, and the Vale of Rheidol Railway, which takes guests on a scenic journey by way of the Welsh countryside.
26. Caernarfon Castle
Located in the city of Caernarfon, Gwynedd, in North Wales, Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fort that was constructed by King Edward I. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the fort was constructed between 1283 and 1330, with the intention of serving as a royal palace and a army stronghold. King Edward, I wished to make a press release about his conquest of Wales and to reinforce the English Crown’s authority over the Welsh folks.
The fort has a reference to the Prince of Wales started in 1911, the future King Edward VIII was invested right here as the Prince of Wales. Since then, the investiture of every new Prince of Wales has taken place at Caernarfon Castle.
The fort contains a sequence of spectacular towers and ramparts. One of the most notable options of the fort is its polygonal towers that guests can climb to the prime for views of the surrounding Welsh countryside.
27. Hay on Wye
Hay on Wye is the nation’s nationwide e-book city situated in Powys close to the border with England. The city is legendary for its massive quantity of second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, in addition to its annual literary competition. The Hay Festival has been working since 1988.
The competition is a celebration of literature, arts, and tradition, and brings collectively a variety of writers, poets, artists, and musicians from round the world. The Hay Festival takes place over 10 days in Mid May and June in Hay on Wye and has featured the likes of Margaret Atwood, Bill Clinton, and Salman Rushdie.
Hay on Wye was based in the early nineteenth century as a market city, but it surely turned well-known in the Nineteen Sixties when Richard Booth, an area bookseller, started selling the city as a middle for books. Today, Hay on Wye has round 20 bookshops, many of that are situated in historic buildings and supply a variety of uncommon and weird books.
28. Center of Alternative Technology
To step out of historical past for a bit, The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a good change of tempo. Thie instructional and analysis heart situated in Machynlleth, Wales was based in 1973 by a gaggle of activists and environmentalists who wished to promote sustainable dwelling and display sensible options for a low-carbon future.
CAT is ready on a 7-acre web site and is dwelling to a range of instructional reveals and interactive shows. Visitors can find out about renewable vitality, natural gardening, sustainable constructing methods, and plenty of different matters associated to sustainability and environmentalism.
Getting Around Wales
The finest method to get round Wales is by rental automobile. We flew into Machester, England, and picked up our automobile at the airport earlier than heading out to discover Wales in a counter-clockwise path. It was an awesome route to see all the prime Wales points of interest over the course of 8 days in Wales. Check rental automobile costs at RentalCars.com
The Welsh Language generally is a bit of a tongue tornado to get your head round however don’t fear everybody speaks English in Wales. The hardest half of the journey is simply making an attempt to learn some of the indicators. But then once more, isn’t studying one other language half of the enjoyable of touring?
So there you’ve got it! These are our suggestions for the finest locations in Wales. From its imposing castles to rugged coast, there are such a lot of issues to do in Wales, I’m shocked it isn’t on extra folks’s radar.
While writing this text, it made me need to return. There continues to be a lot extra to see and do. What’s your favourite place in Wales?
Read More About Travel in Great Britain
Our journey to Wales was in partnership with Visit Britain and Visit Wales