28 of the Best Places to Visit in Wales in 2023
Did you understand that Wales has extra castles per sq. km than anyplace else in Europe? That’s simply one of many many causes to go to Wales. We’re rounding up all the highest locations to go to in Wales that can entice you so as to add it to the highest of your UK bucket list. Wales, one of many 4 nations that make up the United Kingdom, has usually been ignored in favor of its extra distinguished neighbors: England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland however when you go to Wales you’ll marvel why you by no means considered it earlier.
Places to Visit in Wales
This tiny nation is full of imposing castles, placing landscapes, and wonderful adventures. The Welsh are a unusual bunch who like to leap off issues, dangle excessive within the sky, and converse a completely totally 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 get able to be taught 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 one of the best locations to go to in Wales that can make you need to pack your luggage proper now.
1. Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is considered one of three nationwide parks within 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 unlimited rugged panorama.
Adventure lovers will love exploring the Snowdon mountains they usually can hike the various trails to discover the unbelievable mountain views. The star attraction goes to the summit of Mount Snowdon, the very best 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 skilled information.
2. Snowdon Mountain Railway
If you will have restricted time, you possibly can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway as much as 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 height of Mount Snowdon.
When you arrive you get out to do some climbing and take within 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 as much as Mountain Snowdon
Llanberis is a good place to make a base when exploring Snowdonia National Park. Plus there’s a lot 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 many best-hiking locations within the United Kingdom. Climbing, mountain biking, and horseback driving are additionally standard in Snowdonia.
This sunrise hike takes you from the village of Llanberis for an early morning hike to look at the dawn from the highest 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 within the final jungle health club. The sequence 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 dimensions of St. Paul’s Cathedral and is the results 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, ensure that to do the Via Ferrata and Zip Line. This hair-raising course takes three hours to finish and takes you thru a dozen zip strains when you traverse alongside excessive cliffs plunging to the caverns beneath.
There are caves, ropes, and bridges to cross and it’s a wonderful journey for these looking for 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 probably the most distinctive locations in Wales is the Italian-style city of Portmeirion. Portmeirion is a unusual vacationer village in Gwynedd, Wales. Nobody lives on this city, but it surely’s a beautiful 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 near the Cinque Terre.
Spend a day eating ice cream and have some hot coffee with fresh scones and cream as you explore the fairytale village. Or better yet, stay overnight at the Portmeirion Hotel where you feel as if you have stepped back in time.
We cherished our keep at Hotel Portmeirion – The advantage of staying here is you have most of the village to yourself in the morning and evening before and after the tour busses have left.
Llandudno is the Queen of the Welsh Resorts. It is the biggest 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 beautiful sandy seashores. The Hop on Hop Off bus offers two different routes to enjoy views all the top attractions.
Llandudno has two wonderful beaches, making the perfect place to visit in the summer. Its beautiful seaside promenade makes for a lovely stroll out to the pier that juts 700-meters (2,300-foot) into the bay. Be sure to hop on the Great Orme Tramway, the only cable-hauled tramway on a public road in Great Britain.
We stayed at Llandudno Bay Hotel and loved it. This boutique hotel is located on the Llandudno Promenade with sea views.
8. Conwy Castle
Wales is the fort capital of Europe and considered 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 many best fortresses in Europe and is a chosen 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 immediately. When you go inside Conwy Castle, you’ll witness the nice corridor, chambers, and kitchen, and a extra secluded interior ward with personal chambers and a royal chapel.
When visiting Conway, you should definitely 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 probably the most dramatic fortress from Edward I’s Thirteenth-century ‘iron ring’. and is a chosen UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated within the city of Harlech in west Wales, within the county of Gwynedd. Looking over Tremadog Bay from the highest of a sea cliff is a surprising view.
Harlech Castles is among the high 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 be taught all about lobster fishing.
This distinctive journey takes individuals out on this distinctive journey the place you board his fishing boat to test his lobster traps within the bays.
Not only do you learn how to catch a lobster, but to also understand the conservation of this popular seafood entrée known as the Black Gold of the Sea. For more information on fishing trips and lobster safaris to the Great Orme visit: Sea Fishing Trips North Wales
11. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
One of probably 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 very best canal aqueduct on the planet.
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 in search of one thing adventurous, attempt 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 solution 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 present the adrenaline journey of Coasteering a attempt anyplace, it might be right here. Check it out here.
Coasteering is a unique adventure sport or coastal exploration where you traverse along the coast of Wales by rock climbing, cliff jumping, and swimming into sea caves. It offers remarkable views and as much adventure as you desire. You can jump from 10 meters or you can simply slip easily into the sea. We went Coasteering with Preseliventure, book your adventure here.
13. Pembrokeshire Coast Path
If you don’t want to jump in the water, you can hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It covers a distance of 186 miles (299 km) along the west coast of Wales and offers some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the world. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you through rugged sea cliffs, sandy beaches, and churning waters of the Irish Sea.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is divided into 14 sections, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Some of the highlights include the dramatic cliffs at St. David’s Head, the secluded beaches at Barafundle Bay and Marloes Sands, and the picturesque harbor at Solva.
Hiking the entire path usually takes around two weeks, but there are plenty of shorter sections that can be completed in a day or two.
14. St. David’s Cathedral
While in Pembrokeshire ensure that to go to St. David’s Cathedral situated within the coronary heart of town of St. David’s. Within the cathedral is the Shrine of St. David, which is believed to comprise 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 a protracted wealthy historical past, relationship again to the sixth century when The Patron St. David based a monastery on the location. The authentic constructing was product of wooden and was later changed with a stone church within the twelfth century. Over the centuries, the cathedral was expanded and rebuilt a number of instances, ensuing within the construction that stands immediately.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral to be taught extra about Welsh historical past and structure, or just discover the various nooks and crannies of the constructing on their very own. St. David’s Cathedral is taken into account one of many holiest websites within 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 here while we visited. There is an excellent pub that you must stop in for a pint, the Slooth, and it is also a picturesque coastal walk that is so perfect, that the Red Bull Cliff Diving Event took place here in 2013.
You don’t have to jump off the massive cliffs, but walking along the coast offers extraordinary views of the coast of Wales. For hiking this is an excellent place in Wales.
16. Gower Peninsula
If you might be in search of 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 seashore 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 take a look at within the Gower Peninsula embody Llangennith Beach, Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Bay, and Rhossili Bay. Caswell Bay is standard 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 amazing place to make a base whereas exploring South Wales and there are many issues to see and do.
Book this Cardiff guided Walking Tour with a local guide to admire the Cardiff Castle, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, and the Cardiff Civic Centre which was built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
A good place to make a base is Hotel Indigo located in the heart of Cardiff near all the major attractions including the castle, St David’s Hall and principality stadium.
18. Cardiff Castle
One of the preferred issues to do in Wales is to go to Cardiff Castle. This medieval fort is situated within the coronary heart of town 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 because the residence of assorted 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 is to not be missed. The constructing incorporates a gorgeous atrium, a lovely rooftop backyard, and a spread of galleries and exhibition areas starting from historic artifacts to modern artwork.
There are everlasting and momentary displays which can be enjoyable for the entire household. Kids will love the interactive displays the place they will discover a duplicate Victorian schoolroom, attempt on medieval armor, and study Welsh historical past, myths and legends.
One of one of the best issues concerning 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 can be in wonderful situation and there are numerous extra ruins. We have been advised that if there’s one fort to go to, make it Carreg Cennen Castle simply north of Cardiff.
This dramatic fortress is a part of King Edward I’s Thirteenth-century ‘iron ring. They weren’t mendacity when somebody advised us that we will usually be the one individual there. We had all of it to ourselves. The fort’s partitions are nonetheless standing however what makes this fort so particular is the truth 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 many 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 adventure from Cardiff to Brecon Beacons. Start with a guided tour of world famous Rhondda Valley in Southeast Wales before beginning your adrenaline-fuelled adventure of canyoning, swimming, and jumping into crystal clear mountain streams
Llandeilo is one other picturesque fishing village within 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 variety of historic landmarks to discover within the city. One of probably the most notable is the ruined Llandeilo Castle, which dates again to the Thirteenth century and affords gorgeous views of the encompassing countryside.
Llandeilo is especially well-known for its meals scene, with various high-quality eating places and cafes serving up scrumptious Welsh delicacies and regionally sourced produce.
One of probably the most colourful locations in Wales is the beautiful seaside city of Aberaeron. Make positive to attempt its honey ice cream by which has been regionally made by the Holgate household for 35 years.
We stayed on the Harbour Master Hotel, a lovely hotel overlooking the sea with a great restaurant. Aberaeron is also known as the Lobster Capital of Wales, so be sure to enjoy locally caught lobster in the evening.
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 for the reason that 1700s. Devil’s Bridge is definitely a sequence of three bridges constructed on high of each other. The authentic dates again to medieval instances. Instead of demolishing the bridges after they grew to become unstable, they merely constructed one other atop them.
Legend has it that it received its identify after an previous girl misplaced her cow and noticed it grazing on the opposite facet of the river. The Devil appeared and agreed to construct a bridge in return for the soul of the primary 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 primary residing factor to cross the bridge.
Aberystwyth is a seaside town in West Wales, in the county of Ceredigion. One of the main attractions in Aberystwyth is its beach, which is a long stretch of golden sand that is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
The beach is backed by a promenade that offers stunning views of Cardigan Bay, and there are a range of cafes, restaurants, and bars nearby where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink.
Aberystwyth is also home to a number of historic landmarks and attractions, including Aberystwyth Castle, which dates back to the 13th century and offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
Other notable landmarks include the National Library of Wales, which houses a collection of Welsh books and manuscripts, and the Vale of Rheidol Railway, which takes visitors on a scenic journey through the Welsh countryside.
26. Caernarfon Castle
Located within 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 needed to make an announcement about his conquest of Wales and to strengthen the English Crown’s authority over the Welsh individuals.
The fort has a reference to the Prince of Wales started in 1911, the long run King Edward VIII was invested right here because the Prince of Wales. Since then, the investiture of every new Prince of Wales has taken place at Caernarfon Castle.
The fort incorporates a sequence of spectacular towers and ramparts. One of probably the most notable options of the fort is its polygonal towers that guests can climb to the highest for views of the encompassing Welsh countryside.
27. Hay on Wye
Hay on Wye is the nation’s nationwide ebook city situated in Powys close to the border with England. The city is known for its massive variety of second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, in addition to its annual literary pageant. The Hay Festival has been operating since 1988.
The pageant is a celebration of literature, arts, and tradition, and brings collectively a variety of writers, poets, artists, and musicians from world wide. 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 within the early nineteenth century as a market city, but it surely grew to become well-known within 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, lots of that are situated in historic buildings and supply a variety of uncommon and strange books.
28. Center of Alternative Technology
To step out of history for a bit, The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a great change of pace. Thie educational and research center located in Machynlleth, Wales was founded in 1973 by a group of activists and environmentalists who wanted to promote sustainable living and demonstrate practical solutions for a low-carbon future.
CAT is set on a 7-acre site and is home to a variety of educational exhibits and interactive displays. Visitors can learn about renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable building techniques, and many other topics related to sustainability and environmentalism.
Getting Around Wales
The best way to get around Wales is by rental car. We flew into Machester, England, and picked up our car at the airport before heading out to explore Wales in a counter-clockwise direction. It was a great route to see all the top Wales attractions over the course of 8 days in Wales. Check rental car prices at RentalCars.com
The Welsh Language can be a bit of a tongue twister to get your head around but don’t worry everyone speaks English in Wales. The hardest part of the trip is just trying to read some of the signs. But then again, isn’t learning another language part of the fun of traveling?
So there you have it! These are our recommendations for the best places in Wales. From its imposing castles to rugged coast, there are so many things to do in Wales, I’m surprised it isn’t on more people’s radar.
While writing this article, it made me want to go back. There is still so much more to see and do. What’s your favorite place in Wales?
Read More About Travel in Great Britain
Our journey to Wales was in partnership with Visit Britain and Visit Wales