Did you recognize 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 can entice you to add it to the prime of your UK bucket checklist. Wales, one of the 4 nations that make up the United Kingdom, has typically been neglected 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 crammed with imposing castles, putting landscapes, and wonderful adventures. The Welsh are a unusual bunch who like to bounce off issues, dangle excessive in the sky, and converse a completely totally different language. With a wealthy historical past and a land crammed with 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 greatest locations to go to in Wales that can 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 checklist 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 they usually 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 ft). Want to hike up the Snowdon Mountain Summit? Book this guided hike with an knowledgeable information.
2. Snowdon Mountain Railway
If you’ve got restricted time, you may take the Snowdon Mountain Railway up to Britain’s highest customer middle. 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 mountaineering 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 may be loads 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 ft making it one of the best-hiking locations in the United Kingdom. Climbing, mountain biking, and horseback driving are additionally fashionable 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 certified mountain information.
Places to Stay in Llanberis
4. Bounce Below
Bounce Below is a big underground trampoline that gives adults playtime in the final jungle gymnasium. The collection of trampolines, nets, ladders, and slides make for a heart-pounding expertise that provides as many thrills because it does laughs.
Located at Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the cave is twice the measurement of St. Paul’s Cathedral and is the consequence of an previous mining quarry. Let me inform you it’s large so give your self at the very least 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, make certain 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 when you traverse alongside excessive cliffs plunging to the caverns under.
There are caves, ropes, and bridges to cross and it’s a wonderful 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 original 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 an exquisite cease in your go to to Wales that provides a quiet retreat in a really totally 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 scorching 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’ve got 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 slim 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 provides two totally 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 time. Its stunning seaside promenade makes for a stunning 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 resort 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 check 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 delegated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This magnificent fort has imposing partitions taht have stood the check of time that also encompass the grounds and small city of Conway as we speak. When you go inside Conwy Castle, you’ll witness the nice corridor, chambers, and kitchen, and a extra secluded inside ward with personal chambers and a royal chapel.
When visiting Conway, make sure to cease and see Britain’s best 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 delegated 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’re 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 examine 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 fashionable seafood entrée referred to as 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) ft into the air spanning 1000 ft. Pedestrians can stroll beside the water or you may take a canal boat. But in case you are on the lookout 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 greatest manner 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 will 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 provides outstanding views and as a lot journey as you need. You can bounce from 10 meters or you may merely slip simply into the sea. We went Coasteering with Preseliventure, guide your journey right here.
13. Pembrokeshire Coast Path
If you don’t need to bounce in the water, you may hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It covers a distance of 186 miles (299 km) alongside the west coast of Wales and provides 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 embody 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 complete path normally takes round two weeks, however there are loads of shorter sections that may be accomplished in a day or two.
14. St. David’s Cathedral
While in Pembrokeshire make certain 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, relationship again to the sixth century when The Patron St. David based a monastery on the website. 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 as we speak.
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 wonderful pub that you need 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 bounce off the large cliffs, however strolling alongside the coast provides extraordinary views of the coast of Wales. For mountaineering this is a wonderful place in Wales.
16. Gower Peninsula
If you might be on the lookout for one other place in Wales for seashores, the Gower Peninsula in South Wales is thought for its lengthy sandy seashores and clear waters. Rhossili Bay is an iconic seashore with dramatic sea cliffs stretching 3 miles (5.8km) to Worm’s Head which obtained its identify from the Viking phrase for a sea serpent.
Some seashores to try in the Gower Peninsula embody Llangennith Beach, Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Bay, and Rhossili Bay. Caswell Bay is fashionable with surfers.
Cardiff is the capital metropolis of Wales and no journey can be full with out visiting this bustling city middle. It’s an excellent place to make a base whereas exploring South Wales and there are loads of issues to see and do.
Book this Cardiff guided Walking Tour with a neighborhood 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 very good 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 numerous highly effective Welsh lords and princes.
In the late Thirteenth century, the fort was seized by English forces beneath 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 just isn’t to be missed. The constructing contains a beautiful atrium, an attractive rooftop backyard, and a spread of galleries and exhibition areas starting from historic artifacts to up to date artwork.
There are everlasting and short-term reveals which are enjoyable for the complete household. Kids will love the interactive reveals the place they’ll discover a reproduction Victorian schoolroom, strive on medieval armor, and find out about Welsh historical past, myths and legends.
One of the greatest 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 are in wonderful situation and there are numerous extra ruins. We have been instructed that if there may be 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 instructed 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 undeniable 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 outside lovers paradise. From stargazing to mountain biking its rolling hills, there’s something for everybody. With 4 mountain ranges, there are loads 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 effective 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 provides beautiful 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 beautiful 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 stunning resort overlooking the sea with an excellent restaurant. Aberaeron is also referred to as the Lobster Capital of Wales, so make sure 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 collection of three bridges constructed on prime of each other. The authentic dates again to medieval occasions. Instead of demolishing the bridges after they grew to become unstable, they merely constructed one other atop them.
Legend has it that it obtained its identify after an previous girl 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 residing factor to cross it.
So, when the bridge was accomplished the girl threw a crust of bread for her canine to retrieve. When the canine jumped over the bridge, it was the first residing factor to cross the bridge.
Aberystwyth is a seaside city in West Wales, in the county of Ceredigion. One of the predominant points of interest in Aberystwyth is its seashore, which is an extended stretch of golden sand that’s excellent for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports activities.
The seashore is backed by a promenade that gives beautiful views of Cardigan Bay, and there are a selection 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 provides beautiful views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Other notable landmarks embody 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 navy stronghold. King Edward, I wished to make an announcement 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 collection 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 guide city situated in Powys close to the border with England. The city is known for its giant quantity of second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, in addition to its annual literary competition. The Hay Festival has been operating 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 grew to become well-known in the Nineteen Sixties when Richard Booth, a neighborhood 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 provide a variety of uncommon and strange 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 middle situated in Machynlleth, Wales was based in 1973 by a gaggle of activists and environmentalists who wished to promote sustainable residing and display sensible options for a low-carbon future.
CAT is about on a 7-acre website and is dwelling to a spread of instructional reveals and interactive shows. Visitors can find out about renewable power, natural gardening, sustainable constructing methods, and lots of different subjects associated to sustainability and environmentalism.
Getting Around Wales
The greatest manner to get round Wales is by rental automotive. We flew into Machester, England, and picked up our automotive at the airport earlier than heading out to discover Wales in a counter-clockwise course. It was an excellent route to see all the prime Wales points of interest over the course of 8 days in Wales. Check rental automotive costs at RentalCars.com
The Welsh Language could be 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 greatest locations in Wales. From its imposing castles to rugged coast, there are such a lot of issues to do in Wales, I’m stunned 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