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22 Enchanting Spots to Explore in Wales 

Often overlooked compared to England and Scotland, Wales packs much beauty into a relatively small mass of land with sprawling mountain ranges, lush green valleys, rugged coastlines, gorgeously preserved castles, and postcard-pretty market towns.

I feel Wales doesn’t receive half the attention it deserves, and once you’ve seen my list of its beauty spots, I think you’ll also agree…

1. Snowdonia National Park

Stunning Snowdonia National Park

Home to the most prominent mountain in Wales and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, Snowdonia National Park is a hugely popular holiday spot and a big draw for adventurous types.

Here, boulder-strewn summits, stark mountain ranges, and serene lakes make up much of the landscape, making it a popular destination for walkers, climbers, and mountain bikers.

I would highly recommend visiting one of my favourite spots, Llanberis Pass (where twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range), and if you’re fit enough, consider tackling all 3,560 feet of glorious Mount Snowdon! 

My must-do highlights…

  • Climb Mount Snowdon (if it’s your first time, it’s recommended that you climb the Llanberis path, which is 9 miles long and provides a more gradual climb). Alternatively, take a ride to the top on the Snowdon Mountain Railway .
  • Drive the incredible Llanberis Pass, where twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range. It is considered one of the best driving routes in the UK.
  • Visit the awe-inspiring Dolgoch Falls, which can be reached about 4km from the village of Bryncrug.
  • Hike Cader Idris is a stunning mountain reserve with various landscapes and terrains.
  • Take a trip to Llyn Padarn, one of Wales’s most beautiful and largest lakes.

2. Pembrokeshire Coast

Pembrokeshire Coast - places to go in Wales

The county of Pembrokeshire is one of my favourite places in the UK! Its craggy and dramatic coastline imprints itself in the hearts of anyone who goes there, and I love how uncrowded and untouched this place feels, even in high season.

Rugged cliffs, a naturally beautiful coastline, and more than seventy sweeping beaches call this place home.

My favourite highlights include the pretty towns and villages, the well-preserved conservation areas, and the excellent hiking trails, which will take you close to medieval castles and towns, secret coves, Napoleonic forts, and postcard-pretty ports.

  • Go on the Pembrokeshire Coast long-distance walk. It’s a pretty hefty 200-mile walk, but it’s often considered one of the world’s great walking trails. The family-run VIP Wales offers some great walking holidays in this area. 
  • Go on a Sea Safari to try and spot whales and dolphins.
  • Try mountain biking, surfing, paddleboarding, sailing, or kayaking (equipment can be hired in the area)
  • Spend a relaxing afternoon at Freshwater East Beach, a beautiful sandy beach where family and dog-friendly conditions are generally safe for swimming.
  • Eat at The Brewery Inn Cosheston , a fantastic dog-friendly pub in a pretty Pembrokeshire village.

3. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Tenby Wales - stunning places to visit in Wales

This picturesque seaside town is in Pembrokeshire, but it deserves a special mention. Perched atop a hill overlooking beautiful beaches and surrounded by the remains of the original medieval walls, it’s filled with pretty Victorian houses and cobbled streets lined with independent restaurants, historic buildings, traditional pubs, and independent shops.

The beautiful coastline has made Tenby a popular place to visit since the early 19th century. It still attracts many visitors today, and it’s popular for a reason!

I recommend trying a spot of kite surfing or just taking a stroll on the local beach.

  • Eat at stylish Salt Cellar . Just sit on the sun terrace, which looks towards St Catherine’s Island.
  • Just walk around and take in all the beautiful sights and atmosphere, including the Tudor’s Merchant House on your tour, a charming historic house that will give you an insight into the daily life of a family in 1500.
  • Spend an afternoon at the gorgeous sandy Tenby South beach, popular with families and visitors.
  • Take your camera and take a trip to Tenby Harbour, filled with gently bobbing boats.

4. Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons National Park Wales

This famously beautiful, heather-clad mountain range in South Wales has a protected status. A popular activity and holiday spot, it attracts visitors to its excellent walking, mountain biking, and riding trails.

The scenery includes thick forests, grassy hills, waterfalls, peaceful reservoirs, and South Wales’ highest mountain, Pen y Fan. I highly recommend exploring the characterful towns dotted with the odd Michelin-starred restaurant or a gourmet farmer’s market.

  • Take a hike around the beautiful rolling hills and include a trip to the iconic Four Waterfalls Valley, a particularly scenic walking trail around the park.
  • Explore the National Park on a bike.
  • Take a journey up to Llyn y Fan Fach, one of the park’s most ethereally beautiful lakes.

Mumbles Wales

Catherine Zeta-Jone’s hometown and one of Dylan Thomas’ many stomping grounds is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets!  It’s a super cute historic seaside retreat dotted with gourmet restaurants and quaint teashops, and it happens to be newly fashionable for travellers in the know.

The town stretches along the shoreline at the southern end of Swansea Bay, which has now been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. Expect award-winning beaches, spectacular sunsets, and miles of unspoiled countryside just waiting to be explored.

6. Llyn Peninsula

llyn peninsula Wales

Ll? n is the long stretch of land reaching westwards beyond Snowdonia’s craggy peaks. It’s a place where the Welsh language and a traditional way of life still flourish and is one of five areas in Wales designated an area of outstanding beauty.

With the Irish Sea on one side and Cardigan Bay on the other, its sunny southern coast is sprinkled with beautiful beaches, unspoiled countryside scenery, and some pretty towns.

It’s also renowned for watersports, including wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, powerboating, and windsurfing.

7. Gower Peninsula

Beautiful Gower Peninsula Wales

The first place to be declared an area of outstanding beauty in Britain was always going to make this list. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bristol Sea, the South Wales beauty spot is known for its unspoiled landscapes, critical historic features, and varied wildlife inhabitants.

Expect medieval churches, majestic castles, and prehistoric standing stones set against a backdrop of rolling hills, lush green valleys, and long stretches of wide sandy beaches framed by dramatic clifftops.

8. Conwy, Wales

Conwy Wales

This attractive market town is on the North Coast of Wales. Yes, it has its fair share of visitors, but the castle—which dominates part of the town with its vast battlements—is staggeringly beautiful! 

The world heritage-listed fortress dates from the 13th century and is excellently preserved. It offers scenic battlement views and a varied calendar of events.

I would also suggest visiting the 14th-century Aberconwy House , the most miniature house in Great Britain – but at only 72 inches wide – you might miss it!

9. Wye Valley

Wye Valley in Wales

I love this area! Yet another area of outstanding beauty, the unspoiled area straddles the border between England and Wales. It’s home to some of the most dramatic and scenic landscape areas in Southern Britain and has seduced many artists, writers, and poets over the centuries.

Even William Wordsworth swooned over its “steep woods, lofty cliffs, and green pastoral landscape.” Hikers, mountain bikers, and canoeists can’t get enough of the place – and with good reason! 

10. Anglesey

Anglesey - stunning places in Wales

This is yet another place declared an area of outstanding beauty, and the island has enjoyed recent fame for being the former home of Kate and Wills!

Located just off the northwest coast of Wales, Anglesey is a place to relax and lose yourself in the winding lanes that cut through wild, rugged landscapes.

It’s home to a spectacular coastal path with 125 miles of gorgeous scenery to explore on foot or by kayak. There’s plenty to do for the whole family, with attractions, events, and outdoor activities on offer, all set in beautiful, untouched scenery.

11. Devil’s Bridge Falls

Devils Bridge Falls

This famous attraction is located in the heart of the stunning Cambrian Mountains, around 12 miles from the famous seaside town of Aberystwyth.

This place even beguiled William Wordsworth, who wrote about the “Torrent at the Devil’s Bridge,” standing on the imposing high stone bridge for a spectacular view of the picturesque waterfall that plunges into a lush, deep, wooded gorge.

12. Betws y Coed

Betws y Coed Wales

This is the gateway village to Snowdonia National Park, and many others agree that it’s one of the prettiest villages in Wales. It is nestled snuggly in a valley near the River Llugwy, where the River Lledr meets the River Conwy.

It’s home to several independent shops selling crafts, clothing, gifts, and local homemade produce (which I highly recommend trying!)… Due to its pristine and unspoiled surroundings, it’s also a hub for mountain biking.

Just up the road is the Marin Route, a fabulous mountain bike trail that will take you through the stunning peaks and pines of Gwydir Forest.

13. Point of Ayr Lighthouse

Point of Ayr lighthouse

The ethereally beautiful Point of Ayr Lighthouse is a historic grade II listed building located on the unspoiled north coast of Wales, on the Point of Ayr.

Surrounded by myth and legend and keeping watch over the contentious Irish Sea, this beautiful Welsh attraction is surrounded by miles of golden sand and flanked by dunes, not too far from the pretty village of Talacr.

Built in 1776, it’s Wales’ oldest lighthouse but has been abandoned since the 1840s.

14. Castle Coch

Castle Coch Wales

Castle Coch is a dreamy romantic folly, sometimes called Cardiff’s Fairytale Castle or the ‘Red Castle.’ It is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle that sits majestically on a hill overlooking North Cardiff and the valley of River Taff.

I personally think it’s a charming spot, home to a striking interior of dazzling ceilings and opulent furnishings, but arguably, the castle’s surroundings are the biggest draw. The stunning structure spectacularly rises from the ancient woods of the Fforest Fawr like something out of a fairytale! 

15. Cardigan Bay

Cardigan wales

A gorgeous place for visitors to explore and a highly sought-after place to live in Wales, beautiful Cardigan Bay is a large inlet in the Irish Sea, set between the west coast of Wales and Strumble Head.

It’s a photogenic place where mountains sweep down to a clear blue sea. You’ll see a series of beautiful estuaries, large sandy beaches, and, if lucky, the resident bottlenose dolphins.

You’ll also find hidden beauty spots, stunning lakes, and plenty of places to walk and hike. If that’s not enough, the town provides a rich heritage and a thriving culture of arts and crafts, events, and music festivals, and I would highly recommend visiting! 

16. Llanrwst

llanrwst Wales - a beautiful place to visit in Wales

This pretty gem is a small market town once supported by the wool trade. Now, due to its proximity to Snowdonia, it is thriving mainly due to tourism, and I think it’s well worth a visit.

Enjoying a privileged position right on the River Conwy, in Conwy County Borough, Wales, the very easy-on-the-eye historic town is hailed as the ‘capital’ of the verdant Vale of Conwy.

Visit here for the postcard-pretty scenes, as well as the 17th-century three-arched bridge that straddles the river, Tu Hwnt i’r Bont, a beautifully restored 15th-century house now owned by the National Trust, and Gwydir Chapel, which is said to be where the remains of Llywelyn the Great, the revered 13th-century Prince of Gwynedd, are buried.

17. Llandudno

Llandudno Wales

This vibrant Victorian seaside gem has a long history and a rich maritime past. Located by the Irish Sea in the Conwy County Borough, on the Creuddyn peninsula, it’s a charming spot known for its North Shore Beach and 19th-century Llandudno Pier.

With shops galore and typical seaside fun like a games arcade and a lovely sandy beach, in my opinion, there’s plenty here to keep visitors and families happy.

The surroundings are also worth exploring – ancient tunnels lead to a cavern at Great Orme Mines, a historic tramway to the headland’s summit, and Little Orme, a beautiful nature reserve, is on the east! 

18. Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

With its fine array of shops and restaurants and historic castle as a central focal point, Cardiff is the fun, lively, and easy-on-the-eye Welsh capital. Being a handsome spot, there are plenty of great places to explore in the city, but Cardiff Bay is a fantastic stand-out area! 

It’s a diverse waterfront built around a 200-hectare freshwater lake called ‘the Bay.’ Created by the Cardiff Barrage, it offers a bountiful supply of things to do, including fantastic eateries, boat trips, cultural attractions, and outstanding nightlife.

19. Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon castle

One of the most loved castles in Wales, surrounded by myth and legend, is a royal fortress-palace built in the Middle Ages. Today, Caernarfon Castle is still beautifully preserved, and I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary. 

Located on the banks of the River Seiont, this fine historic castle is now a world heritage site and is unrivalled in sheer scale and architectural drama! I would suggest taking your camera!

20. Tresaith Beach

Tresaith Beach

Tresaith is a small village in Ceredigion surrounded by naturally stunning landscapes and wildlife (including seabirds, grey seals, and dolphins). It’s also home to a beautiful sandy beach famous on sunny days but never too overcrowded.

It’s an excellent spot for relaxing, dolphin spotting or soaking up the salty sea air at one of the local pub gardens. I would also recommend checking out the scenic Wales Coast Path, which is an easy walk from Aberporth to the south and Penbryn to the north.

21. Llangollen

Llangollen North Wales

This small town is steeped in a rich history and enjoys a privileged position in truly stunning riverside surroundings (Harrison Ford even took a canal boat holiday here).

Often known as the “Gateway to Wales,” it once drew influential visitors such as Welsh princes and abbots. Today, there are enough attractions to keep its many visitors happy.

Home to a fine collection of cafés, bars, hotels, and restaurants, and many accommodation options, including cottages and a campsite.

I would suggest taking an evening stroll along Victoria Promenade, riding on the steam railway, having a romantic picnic in Riverside Park, or trying one of the many outdoor activities here! 

22. Monknash Beach

Monknash Beach

Located in Cwm Nash, approximately 20 minutes from a car park, is this secluded and idyllic unspoiled beach of rocks, rock pools, and stunning golden sands in low tide.

It’s also known for the brook that overspills onto the rock platforms below, creating a gushing and unique waterfall.

Flanked by dramatic high cliffs, Monknash Beach is a scenic walk along a tree-lined track that follows Nash Brook to the beach. Its off-the-beaten-track location ensures it remains a peaceful retreat. Enjoy your trip to Wales! 

27 thoughts on “22 Enchanting Spots to Explore in Wales ”

they are look so stunning! how could you possibly choose one

My father’s family came from Wales/Scotland/Ireland. I plan a trip to England, Wales and Scotland next summer. This website was sent to me by a gentleman friend from Wales…what a gorgeous country! I will plan to spend more time there after seeing these wonderful pictures.

Wales hasn’t been on my list but I have NO IDEA why not! Stunning photos.

That photo at the very top is amazing!

Stunning images! I’m actually looking forward to visiting Wales within the next few years. Such beautiful landscapes!

Hope you make it over one day Dana!

This article makes me want to go to Wales so badly!! Love the photos!

Mumbles? What a cute name for a town :-). Yes, Wales certainly does look beautiful…

Very true! 🙂

Knew about some of these but not about Wye Valley!! That looks absolutely incredible! A few Welsh friends of mine have also highly recommended the pretty town of Portmerion – though I’ve only really seen Cardiff and very little else in Wales so I have most of these still to tick off!

Wye Valley emerald hills looks so spectacular! Perfect hiking spot for me!

These are some absolutely jaw dropping photographs. I need to make my way over to Wales so I can see all these gorgeous places. That is definitely going to be my next destination I go to whenever I plan my European vacation.

I’ve yet to make it to Wales. After this show of excellent images and descriptions I need to be there soon. Perhaps this fall.

Thanks Mary, let us know if you do make it!

how did we not know about any of these?? looks like we have a few destinations to add to the weekend getaway list when the romantic moves to london at the end of the summer!

Yes you definitely should, we promise you won’t regret it! 🙂

As a local business in Conwy, its always great when the town gets recognised. Great photos too!

Catherine Zeta-Jone’s home town? Wow, didn’t know that. I definitely need to pay this town a quick visit when making it to Wales.

Yes amazing huh? Her and Michael Douglas are sometimes spotted walking around there 🙂

Becky, I always pick one out of your groups that you post about. But, on this one, I would just start at the top and work my way down traveling to each one. Awesome selection! That picture of Tenby is a trip! Good post 🙂

Thanks Mike, definitely no shortage of beauty spots in Wales 😉

Wow, absolutely stunning pictures, as always! I have yet to visit Wales – so close but yet so far!!!

You should totally go Ana, you would love the scenery! 🙂

Wow what absolutely stunning places, love all your choices!

Thanks Lela!

I was chatting with friends about some of the beautiful beaches in South Wales over the weekend, and then your email arrived in my inbox! A great snapshot of what’s on offer. Living in Wiltshire it’s not that far away so better get planning a weekend visit. Such diversity too..

Glad to be of help! No not far from Wiltshire at all 🙂

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10 unmissable places to visit in Wales

Emma Sparks

Sep 25, 2021 • 5 min read

Pobbles Bay beach at the Three Cliffs Bay.

From the hills of Brecon to the dramatic coastlines the Gower, Wales has tons of beautiful places to visit © Roy JAMES Shakespeare / Getty Images

With three epic national parks , reams of beach-studded coastline, an underrated capital and more chocolate-box villages than you can shake a love spoon at, small but mighty Wales has a wealth of locations worth adding to your itinerary.

Planning a Welsh adventure but not sure where to start? Be inspired by our selection of the best places to visit in Wales .

The sun rises over a lake in a snowy mountain landscape, creating orange streaks that contrast with the grey clouds

Move over Bassey, forget it Tyler – with effortless beauty, an undeniable flair for the dramatic and the X factor that attracts devoted fans in their millions, you could call Snowdonia National Park the ultimate Welsh diva. Beyond its famous peaks, you’ll find ancient forests, sparkling waterfalls, historic mining towns and fairy-tale castles. Are you a thrill seeker? If so, there’s plenty to get your adrenaline pumping, from white water rafting to ziplining over the world’s largest slate quarry and surfing on an inland lagoon.

A small fishing harbor lined with pastel-colored cottages

Pembrokeshire

Popular Pembrokeshire – the most westerly county in Wales – is home to some of the country’s finest beaches, a plethora of pretty seaside towns and the UK’s smallest city, St Davids . The entire coast is a national park, best explored with a hike along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path or on a coasteering tour – the cliff-scrambling sport was born right here. Lovers of wildlife won't want to miss a trip to Skomer Island, where thousands of puffins gather to raise their young come summer, while Harry Potter fans will want to make a pilgrimage to Dobby’s final resting place, Freshwater West beach. If you’re an ancient history buff, don’t miss Pentre Ifan , a prehistoric tomb hewn from the same bluestone used at Stonehenge.

A hiker sits at a peak looking out over the rolling hills

Brecon Beacons 

The undulating hills and quaint villages of Brecon Beacons National Park are an irresistible draw for nature lovers and walking enthusiasts, not least because of the park’s proximity to the major towns and cities of South Wales – Cardiff, Swansea and Chepstow are all less than an hour away. Top hikes include Pen-y-Fan (come mid-week during school term time to beat the crowds) and Sugarloaf Mountain. The region is also an International Dark Sky Reserve – a dream for budding astronomers – so bring your binoculars for a spot of stargazing.

Italian-style buildings in pastel colors with palm trees and benches surrounding a large rectangular water feature

Portmeirion 

Is this Wales or the Italian Riviera? The brainchild of eccentric architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion is unlike anything else you’ll see in the UK , thanks to its hodgepodge of pastel-colored Mediterranean-style buildings and manicured gardens complete with giant chess board and golden Buddha shrine. But despite its commercial theme park-esque leanings, this curated “village” will soon win you over, especially if you stay to watch the sunset over the Dwyryd Estuary. 

A large curved building with a copper facade. A red-brick church-like building stands in the background

Cardiff has all the trappings you’d expect of a cosmopolitan city – great nightlife, vibrant culture and a burgeoning indie food scene – but it all comes in an unusually green and compact package. Wander along the River Taff in Bute Park , picking up a coffee and decadent orange brownie at the Secret Garden Cafe ; catch a musical at the Wales Millennium Centre (nicknamed “the armadillo” thanks to its copper-colored curves); browse for bargains in the capital’s Victorian shopping arcades; or tour the ornate rooms and grounds of Cardiff Castle . Whatever you do, you’ll be met with a warm Welsh welcome.

The facade of an old book store named Murder and Mayhem

Hay-on-Wye 

For a wholesome weekend away, look no further than Hay-on-Wye. This charming market town sits snugly between the River Wye and the English border, just north of the Brecon Beacons. It’s known for its annual Hay Festival , a literary extravaganza headlined by big-name authors featuring readings, writers’ workshops and book signings. But there’s still plenty to do year-round if you can’t make the festival. Peruse the abundant antique markets and secondhand book stores, hike to Hay Bluff via Offa’s Dyke Path or opt for a spot of wild swimming at The Warren, a pebble beach on the river bank. 

Slow travel comes with a historic twist in Llangollen, a compact, culture-packed town in North East Wales. A heritage steam train trundles between Llangollen and Corwen daily from February to October, and the town is a popular launchpad for hiking the ancient national trail, Offa’s Dyke Path. Don’t miss a trip to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct : towering 125ft (38m) above the River Dee, this spectacular World Heritage Site is the highest canal aqueduct ever built and can be traversed by foot, canal or even kayak. For a livelier time, visit in July, along with 120,000 other people, to attend the International Musical Eisteddfod and Fringe Festival.

A coastal scene, with purple heather plants lining the shore. Out at sea are long thin rocky outcrops popping above the surface of the sea

Gower Peninsula 

The UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), this 70-sq-mile (180 sq km) peninsula is renowned for its dramatic coastline and fabulous beaches. Following the south coast west from Swansea and the Mumbles , you’ll find a smattering of family-friendly bays (try Caswell and Langland for starters) backed by heather- and gorse-clad cliffs. Three-mile-long Rhossili Bay Beach dominates the peninsula’s west coast, spoiling visitors with broad golden sands, rolling surf and coastal walking trails peppered with ancient ruins. It’s worth saving time for a walk to Worms Head – the rocky promontory at the southern end of the beach – but keep an eye on the tides to avoid ending up stranded.

Two people ride on brown horses on an otherwise empty sandy beach

The Isle of Anglesey has two obvious claims to fame: it’s where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived in the early years of their marriage, and it’s here you’ll find the village with the longest place name in Europe: Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (a selfie next to the train station’s expansive sign is a tourist rite of passage). But the real magic is found along Anglesey’s coast (another AONB), whether you’re hiking the Wales Coast Path to bird-spotting heaven, South Stack Cliffs RSPB Reserve ; stand up paddleboarding on the Menai Strait; or lounging on Llanddwyn beach, a curve of pale sand backed by Corsican pines with views of Snowdonia. Beaumaris – with its Unesco-listed castle – makes a fine base from which to explore.

A town surrounded by green rolling hills

Machynlleth

This unassuming market town on the southern border of Snowdonia National Park is something of a cultural powerhouse. Once the capital of Wales (freedom fighter Owain Glyndŵr was crowned Prince of Wales here in 1404), today travelers come for the Museum of Modern Art and the increasingly popular Machynlleth Comedy Festival , which takes place each May. Save time for a day at the mostly open-air Centre for Alternative Technology , where you can learn about sustainable ways of living.

You might also like: The 10 most beautiful hikes in Wales The UK's longest mountain bike trail for beginners is now open How to spend a weekend in Anglesey, the eco-friendly island loved by William and Kate   

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Mid-Wales Travel Guide

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Mid-Wales is a huge, beautiful region, crisscrossed by mountain passes, dotted with characterful little towns and never far from water – whether sparkling rivers, great lakes or the sea of the Cambrian coast. This is the least-known part of Wales, and it’s here that you’ll find Welsh culture at its most natural, folded into the contours of the land as it has been for centuries. By far the most popular attraction is Brecon Beacons National Park , stretching from the dramatic limestone country of the Black Mountain (singular) in the west through to the English border beyond the Black Mountains . The best bases are the tiny city of Brecon or the market towns of Abergavenny and Hay-on-Wye , the former a foodie paradise, the latter a must for bibliophiles.

North of the Beacons lie the old spa towns of Radnorshire, the most enjoyable of which are Llanwrytd Wells , known throughout the land for its eccentric events, and twee Llandrindod Wells . The quiet countryside to the north, crossed by spectacular mountain roads such as the Abergwesyn Pass from Llanwrtyd , is barely populated, dotted with ancient churches and introspective villages. In the east, the border town of Knighton is the home of the flourishing Offa’s Dyke Path industry. Like many country towns in Mid-Wales, beautiful Llanidloes has a healthy stock of old hippies among its population, contributing to a thriving arts and crafts community and a relaxed atmosphere. Montgomeryshire is the northern portion of Powys, similarly underpopulated and remote. Its largest town, Welshpool , is home to Powis Castle , one of the country’s finest fortresses, and is also close to Lake Vyrnwy , a delightful spot for rambling and nature watching.

The enduringly popular Cambrian coast stretches from Cardigan up to Harlech , starting off with cliff-top paths and small sandy coves which give way to wide sandy beaches around higgledy-piggledy New Quay and neat Georgian Aberaeron . The beguiling “capital” of Mid-Wales, Aberystwyth , is a great mix of seaside resort, university city and market town backed by the Vale of Rheidol Railway to Devil’s Bridge. Further north, Machynlleth revels in beaches, mountains and the showpiece Centre for Alternative Technology . Beyond the great mountain massif of Cadair Idris , the beautiful Mawddach Estuary leads to Dolgellau , a base for mountain biking in Coed-y-Brenin and the first of the huge North Wales castles at Harlech .

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The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in Wales

A panoramic view of Snowdonia National Park with its spectacular mountains, lakes and valleys

Wales is a stunning country, home to sweeping valleys, sandy bays, Gothic castles and national parks. Plan your visit with Culture Trip’s guide to the most beautiful places to explore.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips , compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips .

Abereiddy and the Blue Lagoon

Abereiddy is a picturesque hamlet on Pembrokeshire’s rugged northwest coast, known for its remarkable blue lagoon and black sand beach. The watersports-friendly blue lagoon is set in a grey slate quarry, the same material that gives Abereiddy Beach its extraordinary dark hue. The area is popular with coasteering groups and kayakers, but equally lends itself to a relaxing coastal walk.

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Being the highest peak in South Wales at 886m (2,906ft), Pen y Fan’s trig point offers a stunning panoramic view of the Brecon Beacons and the rolling Welsh hills. Climbing this mountain and gazing over the Neuadd Valley and the reservoirs near Merthyr Tydfil will make you feel like you’re in the true heart of Wales.

people cheering on a mountain

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Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay is a small curved beach in Pembrokeshire, backed by dunes and pine trees. On a sunny day, the golden sands and azure waters look more like the Caribbean than Wales. The walk to the beach is spectacular, taking you along a stretch of the Pembrokeshire coastline where grassy hills meet the sea cliffs. In the same region are the Bosherston Lily Ponds, three flooded limestone valleys that, in the summer months, are covered in a carpet of lilies.

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Three Cliffs Bay

Another of Wales’s scenic coastal walks, Three Cliffs Bay is a stretch of sand and limestone cliffs in the Gower Peninsula. From the cliffs, you can take in incredible views over to Penmaen Burrows and beyond. On the beach itself, explore the sea cave that burrows underneath an outstretching cliff face, but do take care on the beach as tides sweep inwards very quickly.

Snowdonia National Park comprises massive mountains and great lakes in the northernmost region of Wales. The highest mountain there is Mount Snowdon , rising to 1,085m (3,560ft), from where you can take in sweeping, dramatic views of the Welsh countryside, all the way to Ireland and Scotland. If you do reach the summit, there’s the option to board a mountain railway service that can zip you back down again.

Fairy Glen, Conwy

A sheltered gorge along the river Conwy, Fairy Glen is a spellbinding combination of rapids and cascades channelled into a narrow ravine in North Wales. Wooded banks and mossy rock walls add to the charm of this dramatic scene.

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Waterfall Country

The valleys of South Wales are home to some spectacular waterfalls, and near the village of Pontneddfechan (or Pont Neath Vaughan) are some of Wales’s finest. In the heart of Brecon Beacons National Park, the aptly named Waterfall Country is home to waterfalls such as Sgwd Gwladys (Lady Falls), a 10m (33ft) high waterfall that spills into a natural pool popular with wild swimmers, as well as Henrhyd Falls – the highest in South Wales – and Sgwd Clun Gwyn (Fall of the White Meadow).

Lake Vyrnwy

This great expanse of water in Powys, Mid Wales, is in fact a reservoir propped up by a stone dam that dates back to the 1880s. The lake is surrounded by woodland and filled with a rustling abundance of wildlife, as well as a sculpture trail, cafés and crafts shops. A Gothic, castle-like water tower sits in the centre of the lake.

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Tenby and Caldey Island

Tenby is a picturesque, historic harbour town, enclosed in centuries-old stone walls and notable for its colourful harbourfront buildings and sandy beaches. From Tenby, take the ferry over to Caldey Island, a holy island with a 1,500-year-old history, with its Celtic monastery first established in the 6th century, and currently home to just 40 residents.

Castell Coch

Translated as the red castle, this Gothic building overlooks the village of Tongwynlais and the River Taff. It was first built in the 11th century, and after years of abandonment and destruction was revived in the late 19th century. The woods surrounding the castle are among the most westerly natural beech woodlands in the British Isles. They provide a spectacular backdrop to the castle, particularly during the autumn months.

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

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beautiful places to visit in mid wales

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See & Do

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Guides & Tips

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Places To Visit In Mid Wales

If you didn’t already know, we LOVE Wales and one day plan to live there surrounded by nature. But for now we just have to visit as often as we can! We’re going to show you some of the best places to visit in Mid Wales.

About Mid Wales

If you’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Mid Wales is definitely a good place to go.

Let’s quickly dive in to Mid Wales.

What’s There?

It’s made up of two main areas – Ceredigion and Powys.

All along the Mid Wales coastline of Cardigan Bay you’ll find plenty of beaches for those of you that love a stroll with the sand between your toes.

Nature lovers can head to the national park that is Brecon Beacons!

Hikers will be able to trek through the Cambrian Mountains and why not check out some of the internationally acclaimed dark sky reserves whilst you’re here too.

Where Is It?

As you probably guessed from the name, it’s the midsection of Wales sitting between north and south!

We’ve covered North Wales in a previous post because it’s full of wonderful things to do and see.

Some people refer to it as the green heart of Wales and it’s easy to see why.

Now it’s time to get to the good stuff and show you what you came for! Here’s our list of our favourite places to go when we’re in Mid Wales. We’ll start in:

Ceredigion, Mid Wales

Ceredigion is the western part of Mid Wales and home to the beautiful Cardigan Bay.

Adventure awaits you in the fresh air and freedom in this perfect destination for a getaway.

If the sea calls you you can head to Cardigan Bay and maybe try your hand at surfing, walk along the stunning coastal paths, go dolphin spotting on a boat or just have a chilled out day on one of the many Blue Flag beaches.

Further inland you’ll find waterfalls and mountain lakes, tranquil wilderness that stretches for miles and quaint market towns in which to grab a bite to eat.

So where’s best to go when you’re here?

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is a coastal university town that doubles as a popular holiday resort.

The welsh often refer to it as ‘Aber’ and it’s full name means the mouth of the river Ystwyth.

It sits in the middle of the coastline so can be used as a base to visit the surrounding area.

If you want to do a spot of shopping, you’re in the right place. It’s one of Mid Wales’ biggest towns so it’s not short on shops to pop in to!

Make sure you check out the Victorian promenade too – it’s a mile long and the oldest pier in Wales sits upon it.

At the end of promenade you can walk to the top of Constitution Hill (approximately 430 feet tall) for a stunning view over Aberystwyth.

History boffins will want to visit Aberystwyth Castle (originally built to keep the welsh out back in the 13th century would you believe) and also Pen Dinas Hill which is an Iron Age hillfort.

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Cardigan is a must visit due it’s wealth of ancient history, gorgeous landscapes and of course the nearby sea.

The River Teifi runs through Cardigan and the towns castle (Cardigan Castle) sits upon it.

There’s plenty of vintage and antique shops to browse through and plenty of places to eat too. Don’t miss the Cardigan Guildhall Market if you’re interested in the offerings from small Welsh businesses.

A short 10 minute drive out of town will take you to The Welsh Wildlife Centre.

As well as getting up close and personal with nature, from here you can get some jaw dropping views over the town of Cardigan.

Five minutes west of the town you’ll find the ruins of St Dogmaels and also the start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

Aberaeron has it all. From train rides and beach walks to country estates.

You’ll notice that the houses here are colourful which makes the town all the more charming.

It’s beautiful harbour is perfect for a spot of crabbing with the kids or just to sit next to with a cone of chips.

It lies on both the Wales Coast Path and The Coastal Way so it’s perfect if you love to walk.

We love the National Trust and it just so happens that they have a Georgian villa here named Llanerchaeron. The building and surrounding gardens are mostly unchanged since the 18th century.

As Aberaeron sits on the coastline of Cardigan Bay, you’re likely to see bottlenose dolphins if you sit by the sea long enough.

If fresh farm produce is your thing, Blaencamel Organic Farm deserves a visit. It’s an award wining family farm just outside of the town and is renowned for it’s organic produce.

Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Not to be confused with Newquay in Devon, this seaside town in Mid Wales is also call New Quay!

Everybody loves a picturesque seaside town and this one’s no different.

It has beautiful sandy golden beaches and a harbour making it a must visit at any time of the year.

Way back in the day, this town was a fishing port and a ship building centre.

Smugglers used to love it too due to the endless hiding places within the secluded coves found all around.

Bottlenose dolphins are spotted here regularly following mackerel into the bay.

The Dylan Thomas Trail shouldn’t be missed if you’d like to learn more about the history and discover all of New Quay.

There is a map made by Ceredigion County Council that’s available on line and clearly marks all the locations that you should see. Bear in mind that Llanina can only be visited during low tide.

From the town, take the Ceredigion Coast Path to reach Cwm Tydu.

Powys, Mid Wales

Now we can discover a little bit about the other side of Mid Wales – Powys .

It is the largest county to be found in Wales.

It’s definitely one for hikers with its vast mountains and rich green landscapes.

There’s no sea or coastline to be found in Powys but bodies of water are aplenty.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Our favourite place to visit when in Powys is Brecon Beacons.

It’s a beautiful National Park boasts huge green open spaces offering miles of beautiful walking destinations.

You could try one of many walks including the Keepers Pond to Blorenge walk and the Canal Basin to Brynich.

Adventure to your hearts content with all the activities on offer here including:

  • Horse Riding
  • Cycling Paths
  • Paragliding
  • Dark Sky Gazing (Brecon Beacons was the first Dark Sky Reserve in Wales and it covers the whole park)
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Cave Exploration
  • Rock Climbing

As you can see, there’s literally something for everyone!

Brecon Beacons National Park, Powys

Llandrindod Wells

Way back in the day, Llandrindod Wells started as a small farming community and then flourished into a popular resort and spa town.

Nowadays, there’s so much to do and see in the wonderful town.

Take a paddle boat out on Llandrindod Lake or walk the heritage trail to discover everything about the charming town.

For a perfect family or couples getaway, we recommend Bryn Thomas Lodges.

We stayed in the Woodside Lodge and it was the perfect base for us to explore the local area.

Not only this, but the lodge boasts a private hot tub too that looks over a field full of sheep – it’s especially relaxing under the stars. Bonus points if you’re in the 40 degree water when it’s snowing!

Hay-on-Wye sits on the River Wye (hence the name) and is well known around the world for it’s books and bookshops.

The bookshops keep mostly secondhand books and it became the World’s largest secondhand and aniquarian book centre (founded by Mr Richard Booth in 1961).

It sits within Mid Wales but right on the border of England.

Fancy a walk alongside the beautiful river? Bailey Walk is around 1 and a half miles long.

We stayed at Black Mountain View Caravan Park and walked part of the Offa’s Dyke Path. We started at the caravan park and ended up at the River Wye where we sat on a gorgeous pebble beach.

Welcome to the smallest town in Mid Wales. Rhayader is a perfect spot to start your explorations of it’s gorgeous surroundings.

It was the first town to be built upon the River Wye.

It’s main attraction has to be Elan Valley. This place has reservoirs, dams and miles and miles of aqueduct.

It was built over a hundred years ago to supply clean water to the area of Birmingham.

We’ve visited many time as there’s so many different parts to see.

Carngafallt Nature Reserve can be found here too (RSPB) which provides a decent 3 mile venture from Rhayader to Elan Village.

Places To Visit In Mid Wales

Go And Discover Mid Wales

Now we’ve given you some brilliant places to start, go out and see what Mid Wales has to offer.

Whether it’s a day out to one of the places on our list or a holiday week to spend in search of your own hidden gems.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to come back here and let us know what you find. Happy adventuring!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog

48 Places To Visit in Wales To See Beautiful Places in Wales!

Categories U.K , Wales

Looking for the best places in Wales to visit?? Here are my suggestions based on my lifetime living in and near many of these beautiful places in Wales!

Wales is such a great destination to visit and often so underrated ! I love writing about Wales on my travel blog because whether you want mountains, beaches, cities, family activities or historic sites , Wales really has it all!

I’ve also spent much of my life living in Wales or near Wales so I always have plenty to talk about and so many recommendations for places to visit in Wales!

Here is my ultimate round up of the BEST 48 Places to Visit in Wales in North Wales, South Wales and Mid Wales to help you plan your trip which include scenic places in Wales as well as the top activities in Wales and most beautiful beaches in Wales !

At the end of this post, I’ve given more details on how to get around Wales, how long to spend in Wales and what to do in Wales!

BEST Places to visit in Wales

Places to visit in Wales

Map of most beautiful places to visit in Wales

Here is a map of Wales which details all of the best places to go in Wales I have noted below. This will help you work out where all these Wales tourist attractions and natural beauty spots are so you can plan your trip to Wales.

Places To Visit in South Wales

1. cardiff city (cardiff), – best cities to visit in wales.

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and one of the best places to visit in Wales . It is a great city to visit and perfect for a city break with some added extras.

Cardiff is well known for its nightlife and things to do in Cardiff during the day include Cardiff Castle and walking around Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff is a good base to see more of South Wales from, you can do day trips from Cardiff to visit many places on this list of places to go in South Wales like the Brecon Beacons and Swansea Gower.

Related Posts: 1 Day Cardiff Itinerary & TOP 20 Things To Do In Cardiff, Cardiff Bay & Near Cardiff!

Places to visit in Wales, Cardiff Castle

2. Castle Coch (Cardiff)

– best castles in wales.

Another great stop on your way into or out of Cardiff is Castle Coch , one of the best castles in Europe , not only Wales!

Castle Coch is a really impressive castle and as you drive towards it, it looks like a fairytale castle sticking out of the woods! It’s a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built to protect Cardiff.

You can go inside the castle by purchasing a ticket however it is impressive to see from the outside and you can also go for a walk around the woods of Fforest Fawr where it’s located.

It’s one of the great things to do on a Wales trip with kids !

Best place to visit in Wales, Castle Coch

3. Tenby (Pembrokeshire)

– best seaside destination in wales.

Now we are onto Pembrokeshire and South West Wales on this list of best places to visit in Wales !

Pembrokeshire is the top holiday destination in Wales , and Tenby is the most popular beach and seaside town in Pembrokeshire.

This extremely colourful town has everything you need for a Welsh seaside holiday includes Tenby holiday cottages , 3 sand beaches, coastal walks, shops, restaurants and boat tours.

I really recommend visiting Tenby on your Wales holiday because it is such a popular place and so many people love it as one of the best places to visit in Wales .

Another reason Tenby and the places near Tenby are so good is because you can base yourself here to see more of Pembrokeshire from in an easy way.

Related Posts: 15 BEST Beaches in Pembrokeshire To Visit & A Map & 10 Best & Beautiful Campsites Near Tenby And Close to the Beach!

famous landmark in Wales, Tenby Harbour

4. Saundersfoot (Pembrokeshire)

– best beaches in pembrokeshire.

Saundersfoot has a beautiful, big, sandy beach with a pretty seaside village and it’s really close to Tenby. In fact, one of my favourite South Wales walks is walking from Saundersfoot to Tenby !

Saundersfoot is home to some amazing food and restaurants you should visit here when in Wales if you want a less touristic beach but still one with good holiday facilities around you.

Related Post: Things To Do in Saundersfoot & Things To Do Near Saundersfoot.

Wales visiting places, Saundersfoot Beach

CAR HIRE IN WALES

If you’re reading this post with future dreams of doing a Wales road trip but don’t have a car, visit Rentalcars to get a quote. They search all of the top rental companies like Budget and Hertz to get you the best price!

Search car rental prices for Wales here!

5. Manorbier (Pembrokeshire)

– best beaches to visit in wales.

Manorbier Beach is one of the beaches near Tenby and the one of the best beaches in Wales . It’s popular with locals and holidaymakers from nearby accommodation and holiday parks!

It’s a great beach for beginner surfing , and surfing for children because of its small waves. It has a rock and sand beach and is surrounded by a beautiful coastal path.

Whilst stopping in Manorbier on your Wales trip, you can also visit Manorbier Castle and get some cake at Beach Break Tearooms!

Best Attraction pf Wales, Manorbier Beach

6. Barafundle Bay (Pembrokeshire)

– best beaches in wales.

Voted one of the beaches in the world, Barafundle Bay is a must-visit for beautiful places in Wales .

The reason why this beach and bay is so nice is because you need to walk 10-15 minutes over a field and cliff top to get there and once you are there there are no beach facilities.

Related Post: How to Get to Barafundle Bay.

one of the beautiful places in Wales, Barafundle Bay

7. Bosherston Lilly Ponds (Pembrokeshire)

This is a lovely and surprising walking loop from the very small village of Bosherston. From the car park, you are a minute from a beautiful pond and footpath that takes between 1-2 hours to walk around.

Not many people know about the Bosherston Lilly Ponds because they are hidden, so they are definitely a hidden gem in Wales that you need to keep in mind when planning where to go in Wales !

Related Post: How To Visit the Bosherston Lilly Ponds in Pembrokeshire!

Best place to visit in wales, Bosherston lilly ponds

8. St Govan’s Chapel (Pembrokeshire)

– best hidden gems in wales.

If you want to visit more hidden gems in Wales , St Govan’s Chapel is another place to visit!

This is a chapel hidden down a set of steps that leads out onto a hidden bay!

It’s really close to Bosherston Lilly Ponds so you should plan to visit both at one time on your Wales itinerary.

Related Post: How to Visit St Govan’s Chapel in Pembrokeshire! A Hidden Place!

famous welsh places, St Govans Chapel

9. Freshwater West Beach (Pembrokeshire)

If you’re a Harry Potter fan you may know of this beach because it is where Dobby the house-elf is laid to rest after his battle!

There is a little memorial for Dobby with rocks and stones behind the dunes that you can visit which is a must-visit for Harry Potter fans in South Wales!

You should still visit this beach in Pembrokeshire even if you are not a Harry Potter fan because it is another one of Pembrokeshire’s best beaches . I visited at sunset and it was such an amazing sunset spot so try to include this on your itinerary for Wales too!

beautiful places in Wales, Freshwater west beach

10. Pembroke Castle (Pembrokeshire)

Pembroke town is not somewhere you need too spend much time but whilst travelling through Pembrokeshire in Wales, you may find yourself passing through Pembroke and Pembroke Castle is a nice place to stop.

There are so many castles in Wales and Pembroke Castle is one of the big castles that you can fully walk around so it’s one of the great things to do in Pembrokeshire with kids .

When in Pembroke town you can also take a walk along the river and get lunch or a drink in one of the many pubs close to the castle .

one of the beautiful places in Wales, Pembroke Castle

11. Oakwood Theme Park (Pembrokeshire)

– best family activities in wales.

This is Wales biggest theme park and therefore the biggest of the Wales tourist attractions . From my many experiences there as a teenager, a really good theme park too!

If you want to do something a bit different or it is not beach weather, you can have fun at Oakwood theme park !

12. Ramsey Island (Pembrokeshire)

– best islands to visit in wales.

Ramsey Island is one of the beauty spots in Wales . You can see and visit Ramsey Island on a boat trip. I booked this whilst in St David’s which is the small city nearby.

In the right season you can spot whales and dolphins from the boat and I believe all year round you’ll get to see seals which is what I saw. It’s a great day out in South Wales and Pembrokeshire for children and adults!

Related Post: 10 Things To Do In Broad Haven close to St David’s .

Wales visiting places,Ramsey Island boat trip

13. Blue Lagoon (Pembrokeshire)

– best places to swim in wales.

If you want somewhere cool to swim in Wales , especially in the summer, you have to add the Blue Lagoon to your list of top places to visit in South Wales!

It’s a former slate quarry and now features a big, and deep, lagoon that is popular for coasteering, kayaking and swimming!

To find it, you need to search and head to: National Trust – Abereiddi to Abermaw . You won’t find ‘Blue Lagoon Wales’ as a point on Google Maps.

The Blue Lagoon is now one of the South Wales Instagram spots you see a lot of online!

14. Pen Y Fan (Brecon Beacons National Park)

– best hikes in brecon beacons.

The Brecon Beacons National Park is definitely one of the top places to visit in Wales because of its stunning countryside, its activities and hikes!

The Brecon Beacons is the best place for hiking in South Wales , it has the second-highest peak in Wales called Pen Y Fan (the highest peak is Snowdon in North Wales).

Hiking Pen Y Fan makes for a brilliant day out in Wales and I really recommend taking on the challenge to tick this well known peak off and see South Wales from above!

Related Post: How To Do Pen Y Fan Walk in The Brecon Beacons!

Brecon beans, one of the beautiful places in Wales

15. Hay on Wye (Brecon Beacons National Park)

– prettiest towns in wales.

You’ll find the pretty market town of Hay on Wye in the Brecon Beacons National Park to the North on the edge of England and Wales.

Hay on Wye is a really unique place making it one of the places of interest in Wales because it is famous for its literature and books !

The town is full of book shops old and new along with other independent shops and lots of nice cafes . It’s a real gem in South Wales!

Hay on Wye outdoor donation based book shop, places to go in Wales

16. Brecon Beacons Waterfalls (Brecon Beacons National Park)

– best waterfalls in wales.

When looking for famous Welsh places to visit , how can you leave Brecon Beaons National Park. It is full of waterfalls and if you’re looking for where to visit in Wales , I recommend going to see some waterfalls in the National Park.

There is a 4 waterfall walk which is a popular walk and relatively easy walk to do taking just a few hours.

There are places to go wild swimming in the Brecon Beacons on the walk as well as walking behind a waterfall and seeing more of the beautiful landscape of the National Park in Wales.

Related Post: How To Do The Brecon Beacons Waterfalls Walk to 4 Waterfalls!

Waterfall wall Bracon Beacons, best places to go in Wales

17. Barry Island (Glamorgan)

– best beaches to visit in wales for families.

If you know of Gavin and Stacey , you’ll know Barry Island, and for some seaside fun and for one of the popular days out in Wales you can head to Barry Island for the day!

Barry Island is full of candy floss, fish & chips, arcade games, and rides, some people think it’s a bit tacky but if you go for the fun of it, you’ll have a good time!

Plus, there are a few different beaches in Barry Island and some are much quieter and relaxed than others so it’s still worth checking out, even if you are dubious!

Related Post: Barry Island Beaches Guide! 4 BEST Beaches in Barry To Visit!

Barry Island beach, attractions of Wales

18. Nash Point (Glamorgan)

– best walks in wales.

A hugely underrated part of Wales is the Glamorgan Heritage Coast ! This part of the Wales Coastal Path between Cardiff and Swansea is full of amazing beaches and Wales beauty spots .

Nash Point is my favourite area on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast in South Wales.

It has a towering cliff edge and the rocks down at the beach are one of the best places in ways for fossil hunting in Wales! If you have children who are into dinosaurs, this is a great stop in Wales !

beautiful place in Wales, Nash point

19. Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes (Glamorgan)

– best hidden places in wales.

For a super unique walk in Wales, check out the Merthyr Mawr Nature Reserve featuring huge sand dunes.. yes sand dunes!

My sister goes walking here with her dogs all the time and I only recently found out about it because it is a spot only locals know !

Head to Merthyr Mawr Nature Reserve on Google Maps here . As you reach this point, you’ll get to the car park and from there you’ll see the big sand dunes you need to climb!

You can choose the steep dunes or some easier sand dunes and once at the top you’ll be rewarded with an incredible coastline view over Merthyr Mawr Beach and you can keep walking around the nature reserve from here which is easier to walk since you’ve already passed the sand dunes!

Things to do in Wales, Sand dunes

20. Cowbridge (Glamorgan)

– most beautiful towns in wales.

Cowbridge is a lovely market town between Cardiff and Bridgend so if you’re driving from Cardiff to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast I suggest you take the scenic route rather than the M4 and drive through Cowbridge.

It’s full of independent shops in colourful buildings. There’s a pretty garden called the Physic Garden you can stretch your legs in and I recommend getting ice cream from Fablas Ice Cream Parlour .

It’s a hidden gem in Wales for sure!

Cowbridge, Wales Road Trip

21. Rhossili Bay (Swansea Gower)

The Swansea Gower feels like an Island off of the coast of Swansea and South Wales but it is actually joined to the mainland making it easy to visit from the M4.

Rhossili Bay is the most famous place to visit on the Gower because this beach has been voted as one of the best beaches in Wales (and maybe the world?). It’s not hard to see why so it should be on your list of places to visit in Wales !

The beach is huge and you get an amazing view of it whilst taking a coastal walk down Worms Head.

famous places in Wales, Rhossili Bay

22. Three Cliffs Bay (Swansea Gower)

– best beach walks in wales.

Another one of the best beaches in Swansea Gower is the Three Cliffs Bay which offers you a wild beach experience with sand dunes, a salt marsh and limestone cliffs , plus an amazing sand beach.

You can base yourself here for a few days on your Wales trip, the Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park is a well known and popular place to stay in Wales or you can stop by whilst visiting the other places to go in South Wales on this list.

Related Post: How To Visit Three Cliffs Bay & Three Cliffs Bay Walks!

Three Cliffs Bay Beach, best places in Wales

23. National Botanic Gardens of Wales (Carmarthenshire)

– best gardens to visit in wales.

When planning your Wales trip, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales outside Carmarthen is a good place to stop all year round and definitely one of the good things to do in Wales when it rains because much of it is inside!

At this Wales tourist attraction you can visit the Great Glasshouse and Tropical House indoors and get a ticket for the   British Bird of Prey Centre !

If the weather is good you can stretch your legs in the 400 acre Waun Las National Nature Reserve which is an enchanting mosaic of flower-rich meadows, evocative woodlands, waterfalls and cascades.

When stopping in Carmarthen, there are many nice villages near by like Llansteffan near by so be sure to plan in a few hours to see the near-by area!

24. Pembrey Country Park and Beach (Carmarthenshire)

If you’re doing this Wales trip with kids and want to wear them out, or you want a really good walk yourself, Pembrey Country Park is where you need to visit.

With an 8 mile long beach and a huge woodland area there is plenty of space to walk! You can also do activities here like horse riding, Wales longest toboggan run, dry ski slopes, crazy golf and more!

If you are looking for caravan sites and camping in Wales sites, I really recommend Pembrey Campsite because of how many facilities are within the County Park.

25. Wye Valley (England Wales Border)

– best places to visit in wales near england.

On the very edge of Wales is the Wye Valley so if you’re driving from Southern England to Wales, you should pass through the Wye Valley on the way.

One of the main places to visit in the Wye Valley is Tintern Abbey . The historic Abbey ruins of Tintern Abbey and the village of Tintern are a good place to stretch your legs at the start or end of your Wales road trip as these are the famous landmark in Wales .

If you want a bit of a hike you can hike up to Devils Pulpit which is nearby and a great introduction to Wales hikes!

tintern abbey

26. Cardigan

For places to visit in Wales, Cardigan has to be on the list! Despite Cardigan’s small size, this ancient market town is a great place to base yourself in South West Wales because there are plenty of things to do in Cardigan and Cardigan Bay.

The Cardigan Bay coastline is by far the top attraction, it’s actually where the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path starts so if you enjoy hiking, this is a great place to go.

Cardigan is surrounded by amazing beaches which are much less touristy than many of those further South in Pembrokeshire and you’re bound to see more of Welsh local life in this part of Wales.

Best Places to Visit in Mid-Wales

27. the elan valley (powys).

The Powys region is technically in Mid-Wales but when looking at a map of Wales, it is closer to the South and easier to reach from South Wales, that’s why this impressive place area is ending my list of places to visit in Wales!

Elan Valley and the Elan Valley Dams and Reservoirs are one of the top places to visit in Powys. They were built a hundred years ago to supply desperately needed clean water to Birmingham. Today, they are perfect for walking around and they are impressive to see with gushing water travelling from one dam to another!

If you are coming from the Midlands into South Wales, going via the Elan Valley is a good way to enter or exit Wales and see this stunning beauty spot in Wales!

Powys region, beautiful places in Wales

Places to Visit in North Wales

28. yr wyddfa (mount snowdon) (snowdonia national park), – best hikes in wales.

If the weather is on your side, climbing Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) should be on top of the list on your Wales itinerary! Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) is the highest peak in Wales and although climbing it is hard work, it is do-able for many people and such a great achievement!

There are a few routes to the top, I have done it from Pen Y Pass a few times which I recommend, and if you don’t fancy the walk you can use the Snowdon Mountain Railway train to help you which is especially good if you’re in North Wales with children.

Related Post: Climbing Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!

attractive place in Wales, View from Mount Snowdon

29. Llanberis Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park)

– best places for families to visit in wales.

Llanberis is the town most people will pass through on the way to Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) and many people park in Llanberis and start the hike up Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) from here too.

Therefore if you are looking for things to do near Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon), Llanberis is a good place to visit.

Llanberis has a huge lake which is popular for watersports and many families come to relax on the grassy bank along the lake which has play areas too.

Tourist attractions in Llanberis include the Llanberis Lake Railway , National Slate Museum and Dolbadarn Castle . Overall it’s a perfect place for families to visit in Wales.

places to visit in Wales, Llanberis Lake

30. Dinorwig Quarry (Snowdonia National Park)

Also in Llanberis is Dinorwig Quarry but I’m adding this as it’s own place to visit in Wales because it’s a full day out on it’s own.

We had a great afternoon hiking here last year. We parked up in Llanberis main car park and headed straight into the forest between the two lakes here. If you search for Dinorwig Quarry on Google maps, you’ll find it easily.

We were so surprised by what we saw here. There are lots of old mining buildings within the forest, also known as the Anglesey Barracks as workers from Angelesey used to stay here. Dali’s Hole is a lake right at the top of the mountain and forest which you can walk to and then you can head over into the footpaths through the old Quarry.

On google it’s hard to see where to go, but trust me when you are there there are many places for walking here, with amazing views of the Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) in front.

things to do in Wales, Angsley Barracks ruins

31. Watkins Path Waterfalls (Snowdonia National Park)

– best waterfalls in wales.

Now wild swimming is all the range, one of the super unique and cool places for wild swimming in Wales and in Snowdonia is the Watkin Path Waterfalls!

The Watkins Path is another route to the top of Mount Snowdon but close-ish to the start of the walk you’ll find lots of pools one after each other than run down the mountain. They’re basically natural infinity pools in North Wales and the best places for swimming in Snowdonia .

32. Cwmorthin Lake, (Eryri National Park – Snowdonia National Park)

– best lakes in wales.

Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park) is made up of so many lakes and it will be hard to drive past them on your North Wales trip without wanting to stop! One of the good lakes to stop at is Cwmorthin Lake because of its history.

This used to be a slate mine so when you visit the lake you can see the former Cwmorthin Slate Mine, there is also Cwmorthin Waterfall down the river from the lake so it makes a great place to stop for a walk in nature.

If you fancy some wild swimming in North Wales , this place is for you too!

33. Zip-Line (Eryri National Park – Snowdonia National Park)

– best activities in wales.

One of the top places to visit in Wales for a lot of fun is Zip World in North Wales.

Zip World have 4 locations in North Wales 3 of which are in Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park).

The activities in each of them change from a roller coaster through the forest, sky rides, velocity ziplines and so much more, so pick which ones sound most appealing to you and book in because this will give your Wales road trip a huge adrenaline hit!

Zip World have revamped their North Wales activities quite a lot recently and now, in their Slate Cavern location in Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park) you can play underground golf and go on trampolines inside the cavern!

It’s best to book all Zip-World activities in Wales online in advance so you don’t miss out, especially for weekends and school holidays!

famous landmark in wales, Zip World

34. Adventure Parc Snowdonia (Snowdonia National Park)

– best attractions in wales.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia has something for everyone in the family and you don’t have to have children to enjoy it! It’s an adults adventure playground too!

For high class, adrenaline activities in Wales like surfing on a man-made surfing pool , rock climbing walls, high ropes, indoor caves, soft play, paddle boarding , zip lines, biking and coasteering, check Adventure Parc Snowdonia out for all of the best water activities in North Wales !

Best places to visit in Wales, Adventure Parc Snowdonia

35. Mount Tryfan (Snowdonia National Park)

– best hike in snowdon national park.

If you are up for an intense hike, be sure to add Mount Tryfan to your list of places to go in Wales and places for hiking in North Wales .

In fact, it’s not a hike, it’s a scramble to the top! It took me 5 hours and although it was hard and scary at times, it was so rewarding!

My Related Post: A Guide to Climbing Tryfan & Hiking Tryfan for Non-Climbers in North Wales!

top attraction in wales, view from Mount Tryfan over lake and mountains

36. Conway City (Conwy)

– best cities in wales to visit.

Conway is a walled market town and worth visiting a few reasons. The main reason being Conwy Castle . There are many Castles in North Wales but this one is hugely impressive and if you only visit one castle in Wales it should be this one!

Conway is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain and still has it’s town walls intact so it’s a great place to visit for history in Wales if you don’t fancy a beach day or the weather is not on your side for exploring the wild outdoors.

famous welsh place, Conway Castle in Wales

37. LLandudno (Conwy)

– best seaside resorts in wales.

Llandudno is an old British seaside resort but it is still thriving today and is clean and tidy to visit.

I love the old victorian buildings that line the huge promenade and beach. Llandudno pier is easily the top of the list of Llandudno tourist attractions is a good place for some typical seaside fun!

It is a resort town so there are lots of activities near Llandudno like a ski slope and one of the popular things to do in Llandudno is to drive up to and around the Great Orme rock that stands out beside the town. Be sure to look for seals in the ocean below too!

For one of the great places to visit near Llandudno you can go to Conwy city or one of the many nearby beaches like Colwyn Bay Beach.

We have some paddle boards and recently took them out onto the sea from Llandudno beach. We found it easy to park right by the beach and get to the water carrying the boards. The water was a bit choppy for us but if it was a nice still day, this is a great paddle boarding spot in North Wales .

Beautiful places in Wales, Llandudno Boardwalk on sunny day

38. Gwrych Castle (Conwy)

– best castles in wales to visit.

Another one of the top Castles to visit in Wales is Gwrych Castle. This is one of the beautiful places in Wales to visit anyway, however it has now become even more popular due to it being where “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” was filmed for two consecutive years.

You need to purchase tickets to enter Gwrych Castle and if you want to know what it’s like to stay overnight in a castle, you can book to stay in one of their lodges !

39. Portmeirion Tourist Village (Gwynedd)

Aside from Snowdon, I’d say this is the top of the list in tourist attractions in Wales .

For a slice of Italy in Wales, you can visit Portmeirion . It is a pretty iconic place so you may have seen photos of it before online and it’s definitely one of the most iconic places to visit in North Wales .

It is a tourist village and it does get very busy so don’t go expecting a quaint village, it also costs £12.00 per adult to enter but for a unique experience to see some nice buildings and gardens it’s worth going.

Porthmadog is the closest town to Portmeirion which is quite a popular tourist town, so this place works as one of the great places to visit near Porthmadog .

Places to go in wales, view of Portmeirion village

40. Harlech Beach (Gwynedd)

– best beaches in wales to visit.

For one of the best beaches in Wales with a beautiful stretch of white sand and clear blue water head to Harlech Beach ! It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales I have seen and I love that it has the sand dunes behind it.

Whilst you’re in Harlech you can check out the local town and definitely take a visit to Harlech Castle which stands prominently on the hill and another great North Wales attractions .

Harlech is a good place to visit before or after Portmeirion as they are quite close together.

things to do in, Harlech beach with white sand and blue sky

41. Black Rock Sands Beach (Gwynedd)

– biggest beaches in wales.

Black Rock Sands Beach is a really cool and different beach to visit because you can drive onto it !! It’s so amazing and fun, especially if you have always wanted to experience driving on a huge beach !

It costs £5.00 to enter the beach and after that, you have the whole beach to decide where to drive and park up. There is a chance you could get stuck in wet sand but there are people there to help pull you out!

This is another one of the good places to visit near Porthmadog as it isn’t far away at all.

Places to go in wales, Black rock sands beach is tyre marks on sand

42. Aber Falls (Gwynedd)

Wales is all about waterfalls and one of the most visited waterfalls in Wales is Aber Falls! It’s a great place to stop as you are leaving Snowdon to go into North England or Conwy or Llandudno because it’s just off the main North Wales Expressway.

Aber Falls is popular because it is fairly easily accessible so it’s good for kids to walk with an impressive waterfall at the end so get this on your list of things to see in Wales !

place to visit in Wales, Aber falls

43. Abersoch Beach (Llyn Peninsula)

– best beaches for families in wales.

The beaches in North Wales are some of the top places to visit in North Wales all year round.

For a calm and sandy beach , Abersoch is the beach for you. You can head here in all seasons for a sunny day on the beach and a winters walk.

If you have children this is a good beach to add to your places to visit in Wales with kids as it is family friendly and safe.

Best place to visit in wales, Abersoch beach

44. Ty Coch Inn (Llyn Peninsula)

– best pubs in wales.

A Beach Bar might not be what you expect to see in Wales, but this is why this part of the UK is so great because it offers surprise after surprise.

Ty Coch Inn has been voted in the  top ten beach bars in the world because this typical Welsh pub is located on a beautiful stretch of beach.

It’s definitely one of the unique places to visit in Wales because there are not many other places you find a pub in such an incredible location.

Attractions of wales, Visit Manchester

45. Pen-Llyn Riding Centre (Llyn Peninsula)

If you want to add some horse riding in Wales to your list of things to do in Wales, I went out on a hack with Pen-Llyn Riding Centre last year and it was such a great way to see see this part of the Llyn Peninsula which is called Pwllheli.

Best places to visit in Wales, Horse riding on Lynn Peninsula

46. Beaumaris (Anglesey Island)

– best islands in wales to visit.

Anglesey is an island off of the North-West coast of Wales connected by a bridge in Bangor, and if there is one place you should visit in Anglesey it’s Beaumaris.

Beaumaris is a charming seaside town with a mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture and lots of them are painted in bright colours!

For tourist attractions in Anglesey, you can visit Beaumaris Castle , take a Puffin Island boat trip , walk along the seafront and get some fish and chips from one of the many shops!

famous place in wales, Beaumaris colorful houses

47. Newborough Beach (Anglesey Island)

– best sandy beaches in wales.

This is one of my favourite beaches in Wales! To get there you drive through Newborough National Nature Reserve, followed by a quick walk over sand dunes before getting to a long stretch of white sand !

The Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park) Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to this beach. It’s perfect for water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding and you can do a great walk to the end of the peninsula to see the lighthouses.

one of the Best places to visit in Wales, Newborough beach forest and sea

48. South Stack Lighthouse (Anglesey Island)

– best lighthouses in wales.

This is one of my husbands top places to visit in Wales. He just loves seeing South Stack Lighthouse perched right on the last edge of the West Coast of Wales so remotely and it’s amazing that it was built in 1809 .

We also love the drive to South Stack Lighthouse , it’s so scenic and totally worth the extra time it takes you get here as it’s a one of the best places to see in Anglesey .

Once here, you can visit inside the lighthouse with a ticket , there are walking paths along the coast and you can check out Elin’s Tower.

one of the beautiful places in Wales, South stack lighthouse

How to get to Wales?

The best way to get to Wales is by car and it depends whether you plan to visit South Wales, North Wales or Mid Wales.

For access into South Wales, go via the M4 into Cardiff which is an easy route for getting to Wales.

For access into North Wales, go via the North Wales Express which is an easy route for getting to Wales.

How to get around Wales?

Wales is best travelled by car because many of the best places to visit in Wales are remote and a car is needed to access them.

However, the train and bus system in Wales is good too. Here’s my post on visiting Wales by train and some ideas of where to go in Wales by train.

Best Time of Year to Visit Wales

I say that late spring, summer and early autumn is the best time to visit Wales for the best opportunity of good weather!

But, the weather in Wales is unpredictable, just like the rest of the UK, therefore as long as you have the right clothing for the weather, any time is the best time to visit Wales!

I have a more detailed post here on the best time of year to visit Wales which goes through the weather each month.

Where to Stay in Wales

There is a range of accommodation available in Wales for all budget types which can be booked on Booking.com , Airbnb , Hostelworld , Cool Stays etc.

Budget: For budget accommodation in Wales, look for hostels . YHA is a great hostel chain offering many locations throughout Wales!

Mid-Range: For hotels and guest houses, have a look on Airbnb and Booking.com . You’ll also find many glamping in Wales options in the mid-range price category.

Splurge: If you want some really unique accommodation in Wales like some luxury glamping in Wales, you’ll need to pay more but it will be worth it! You can find places like this on Cool Stays , Booking.com & Airbnb !

glamping tent in north Wales, best places to visit in Wales

Wales FAQ’s

What is the most beautiful part of wales.

I’d say that the most beautiful part of Wales is Pembrokeshire in South Wales! Pembrokeshire has a huge coastline with so many amazing beaches to visit. There are many seaside towns here and many of the family attractions in Wales here so it is not only beautiful but easy to see and stay here.

Is South Wales or North Wales better?

Both South Wales and North Wales have their highlights. If you enjoy hiking, North Wales is best. Both sides have top beaches in Wales though and many of the top attractions in Wales.

If you are struggling to decide where to visit in Wales, it’s best to visit the closest part to you. If you live in South England or the Midlands, South Wales will be better for you. If you live in North England or Scotland, North Wales will be better for you!

Where should I go in Wales?

The top areas to go in Wales are Eryri National Park (Snowdonia National Park), Pembrokeshire, Brecon Beacons and Cardiff.

Is Wales worth it?

Yes! Wales is definitely worth it! So many people are so surprised by Wales and how beautiful it is. Whether you go on a day trip or spend a 1 week holiday in Wales there is so much to see and do!

I hope this list of the places to visit in Wales has helped you plan your Wales trip and Wales itinerary!

  • More of my Wales posts to help you plan your trip:
  • How To Spend 3 Days in Wales! Perfect 3 Day Wales Itinerary!
  • How To Spend 1 Week in Wales!
  • 20 Things To Do In Cardiff, Cardiff Bay & Near Cardiff!
  • 16 Beaches Near Cardiff To Visit. All 1 Hour From Cardiff!
  • How To Climb Snowdon From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!
  • 16 Beautiful Staycations in Wales To Feel Like You’re Abroad!

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beautiful places to visit in mid wales

20 Beautiful (& Unique) Places To Visit In Wales: 2024 Guide

Wales is the smallest country on the Isle of Great Britain. It’s so small you can travel the length of this mountainous land in under five hours!

However, despite its small size Wales definitely packs a big punch and a visit to this culturally rich country should not be rushed.

With over 600 castles, Wales is referred to as the castle capital of Europe. There are nearly 33,000km of walking paths to wander and 3 national parks explore. There are award winning beaches, the fastest zipline in the world, a language as old as the Britons, oh and we have a dragon as our national flag!

Have I sold you on it yet?

Despite spending the last decade travelling the world, I always look forward to coming home and exploring more of what my Welsh homeland has to offer.

So, as a proud Welsh woman born and bred in the valleys of South Wales, I want to share my thoughts on the best places to visit in Wales.

Castles rank as one of the top places to visit in Wales

Disclaimer:  Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps cover the cost of running this blog. Thanks for your support!

Map Of The Top Places To Visit In Wales

The 20 Best Places To Visit In Wales

1.  yr wyddfa (mount snowdon) – visit wales’ highest peak.

As a country carved by glaciers in the last ice age, many of the top attractions in Wales involve our most plentiful asset – mountains. It’s quite fitting therefore, that the top thing to do in Wales is to visit the country’s highest mountain, Mount Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa as it is now officially known. 

Yr Wyddfa is found in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park , which offers spectacular vistas around every corner and has recently been added to the UNESO World Heritage List. It’s the first of 3 National Parks in this list.

Yr Wyddfa is 1085m and is the only major peak in the UK to have a train that runs to the summit. For this quirky uniqueness alone, it’s worth taking a ride on the Snowdon Mountain railway .  

Alternatively, for the full mountain experience I recommend hiking to the top. There are several hiking routes to the summit of Snowdon, which I describe in detail in this handy guide .  If you’re a mountain lover who wants to enjoy a quieter hike in Snowdonia National Park, take a look at this guide .

Prefer not to walk alone? If you’re looking for a Mountain Leader to guide you on a mountain adventure, please contact me here to discuss rates and availability.

Mount Snowdon is a must visit on a trip to Wales

Related Reading

  • Top spots for winter camping in Wales
  • Beautiful Landscape Photographs of Wales
  • The 50 highest mountains in Wales

2. Bike Park Wales – Hit world leading mountain bike trails in the South Wales Valleys

Wales has a great network of cycle routes to enjoy but for more adventurous mountain biking, I highly recommend a trip to Bike Park Wales on the outskirts of my home town, Merthyr Tydfil.

Situated on a forested hillside, Bike Park Wales is the only mountain biking centre in the UK that provides an uplift service. That means you get all the fun of the downhill without all the effort of the uphill. Winner!

At Bike Park Wales there are 40 colour graded trails for all abilities. They offer bike rental, coaching sessions and have a cafe which even serves bottles of their locally brewed ale. Popularity here has soared in recent years so be sure to book your passes in advance .

For more things to do in Merthyr Tydfil, take a look at this guide .

3. Anglesey – Hike the coast and relax on the beaches

Anglesey or Ynys Mon is Wales’ largest island and offers visitors an array of activities to enjoy. Much of the coastline around Anglesey has been declared An Area of Outstanding Beauty, making it a beautiful place to visit in Wales. The coastline is ideal for walkers and many of the beaches are Award Winning.

In the south west you can visit a town with the longest place name in Europe: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

If you buy me a pint I’ll say it for you 😉

The town was given this name by a local man as a marketing ploy and you have to admit it works! In the south east you can visit the moated castle of Beaumaris, which was the last of Edward I’s castles.

However, my personal favourite thing to do in Angelsey is to visit the tidal island of Ynys Llanddwyn. With it’s picturesque lighthouse and the 16th century chapel St Dwynwen (the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers), it’s surly one of the top places to go in Wales.

Discover Anglesey at your own pace with this self guided audio tour!

Ynys Llanddwyn Lighthouse on Anglesey

4.  Zipworld – Experience the worlds fastest zipline

ZIpworld has helped transform some of Wales’ old quarries and mines into fun outdoor adventure playgrounds. Zipworld has several sites in North Wales and a newly opened site in South Wales.

At Bounce Below you can jump around on trampolines in a dimly lit slate cavern which is a serious amount of fun, although massively exhausting! At Penrhyn Quarry you can race around on go-karts or if you’re brave enough try out Velocity 2 – the world’s fastest zipline.

Other activities include roller coasters, tree top wires and even plummeting 100ft from a trap door!

Discover an epic 2 week Welsh road trip itinerary in this guide!

5. St David’s: Visit the smallest city in Wales

St David’s is a charming little city in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. In fact, it is the smallest city in the UK and about as far west as you can go in Wales. The city is built on the site of a monastery founded by the patron saint of Wales, St David ( Dewi Sant )

Given the history of this city your trip should, of course, include a visit to St David’s Cathedral. Also pay a visit to the adjacent medieval ruins of Bishops Palace.

After the history fix is complete be sure to wander around the pretty narrow streets, peeking your head into the numerous art galleries, cafes and it’s one and only pub! Then head out to the stunning Whitesands Bay.

From this sandy beach you can enjoy some of the best surfing Wales has to offer. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to keep your feet dry, visit St Davids Head for a breath taking walk around the peninsula. Keep your eyes open for dolphins and seals!

For your perfect stay in St Davids, try the gorgeous LLety Farm .

Check out the video below to see if you can spot seals hanging out at St davids Head!

6.  Cardiff – Explore Wales’ capital city

Not all capital cities are worth a visit but Cardiff most certainly is. Cardiff is a vibrant city which has a little something for everyone and makes it one of the best places to go in Wales.

At the centre of the city there is (of course!) a castle. Opposite Cardiff Castle you can find the Victorian Arcades which are filled with boutique shops. Join this Alleyways and Avenue Tour to find the best spots. The nearby streets are filled with restaurants and bars which offer a great night out, especially after a Welsh rugby match! 

For an exploration of the seafront head out to Cardiff Bay Barrage, which is Europe’s largest waterfront. If you’re looking for adventure here, try white water rafting or indoor surfing at Cardiff International White Water. The Bay is also home to the Senedd and is therefore the beating heart of Welsh Politics.

If you’re a Doctor Who fan you’ll know Cardiff is where this series is filmed and you can embark on your very own Doctor Who tour ! Or for the Gavin and Stacey fans, go behind the scenes at Barry Island in this half day tour . 

Extend your time in Cardiff with one of the top accommodation options below.

  • Future Inn Cardiff Bay (⭐4, 📈8.3, Cardiff Bay, top location: 1.2 miles from city centre, £)
  • The Parkgate Hotel (📈8.6, situated in the heart of Cardiff, 0.2 miles from city centre, ££)
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff (⭐4, 📈7.6, situated in the heart of Cardiff, 0.3 miles from city centre, £)

Cardiff is one of the best places to visit in Wales

7.  Portmeirion – Experience a slice of Italy

Portmeirion is a quaint, Italian-inspired seaside town on the coast of Northwest Wales. I’ll be honest and say I found the visit a little strange as it’s sort of a themed city. Kinda like visiting Disneyland. However, it is very pretty and definitely one of the must-see places in Wales.

After exploring the small streets and giant chess board (yup!), allow some time to wander down to the waterfront for a stroll around the coast. You could even spend the night in the village at the beautiful Portmeirion Hotel .

What is the best way to explore Portmeirion?

The best way to explore any location/sightseeing is a guided tour, undoubtedly. Portmeirion is not an exception. With “Portmeirion, Castles and Snowdonia Tour” with a dedicated driver and expert local guide you will see so much more of Wales than you could cover independently (11 locations are included on this tour).

BOOK YOUR GUIDED TOUR HERE

Portmeirion is a top place to visit in Wales

8. Hay-on-Wye – Rediscover literature at this market town

Hay-on-Wye is a small market town in the County of Powys, close to the English border. As a child my mum and I would take regular visits to Hay-on-Wye on the hunt for interesting or unusual books.

Today Hay-on-Wye has over twenty bookstores to keep literary lovers enthralled. But a visit to Hay-on-Wye is as much about the buildings that house the books, as it is about the books themselves. The book stores vary from castles to boutique stores, to simple book shelves on the streets. Hay-on-Wye is a delightful place to visit in Wales.

Every year Hay-on-Wye hosts the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, aka the Hay Festival. This festival lasts for 10 days and was described by Bill Clinton as the “Woodstock of the mind.”

If you plan your visit for a Thursday you can also enjoy Market Day, a tradition that has been running in the town for hundreds of years. In the market you can find books (of course), antiques and locally produced food.

Discover all the best things to do in Hay-on-Wye in this guide !

Need somewhere to stay? For a delightful glamping experience, try Golden Valley Shepherds Huts .

Hay-on-Wye is the book capital of Wales

9. Govan’s Chapel and the Green Bridge of Wales – Enjoy a beautiful coastal walk

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the gem of West Wales and is a paradise for walkers and nature lovers.

Founded in the 6th century, St Govan’s is a remarkable little chapel built into the side of a limestone cliff in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. I first discovered St Govan’s purely by accident, whilst doing a hike from Bosherton.

Access to the chapel is a via a steep set of stairs. Legend has it that if you count the stairs on the way down and then again on the way back up, the number is never the same! Surely it’s well worth a visit just to find out?!

5km further around on the Wales Coastal path from St Govan’s you can find another highlight of the Pembrokeshire coast, the Green Bridge of Wales. This is a natural rock arch which has been carved away from the mainland by erosion. You can also find the Elegug sea stacks nearby which were once arches similar to the Green Bridge.

Did you know? The Wales Coastal Path is 870 miles long and is the first path in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety. It has also been voted the second prettiest coastal path in the world!

The Green Bridge is a top Wales visiting place

10. Tenby – Visit Wales’ Prettiest Seaside Town

Wales has many pretty seaside towns which are contenders for this list however my personal favourite is Tenby. I spent many a childhood holiday playing on Tenby’s famous beaches but this seaside town is also packed with charm and history.

Tenby is a historic fishing village in South Wales with gorgeous colourful houses dotted around its harbour. These are best enjoyed with a relaxing stroll during the soft golden tones just before sunset.

In 2019 Castle Beach in Tenby was voted the UK’s best beach by the Sunday Times. This beach is the smallest of Tenby’s beaches. From Castle Beach at low tide you can access St Catherine’s island and fort. To the north of the beach climb the steps to Castle Hill which houses the remains of Tenby Castle. 

To learn all about the best things to do in Tenby, take a look at this guide.

BEST ACCOMMODATION IN TENBY

  • Giltar Hotel (⭐3, 📈8.4, Tenby, beachfront, £)
  • The Park Hotel (⭐3, 📈8.9, Tenby, beachfront, ££)
  • Heywood Spa Hotel (⭐4, 📈8.8, Tenby, 0.7 miles from North Tenby Beach, £££)

Tenby is one of the best places to see in Wales

11. Bannau Brycheiniog (The Brecon Beacons) – Cool off in Waterfall Country

Wales has an abundance of waterfalls and since the country receives so much rain every year they are often flowing at full pace. Many of Wales’ most beautiful waterfalls are spread out around the country, however there is one area in South Wales which has more waterfalls per square mile than anywhere else in the country. This area is known as Waterfall Country .

In Waterfall Country there are several waterfall trails to enjoy , however the most popular is the Four Falls Trail. On this walk you can visit four waterfalls and at the final fall, Sgwd yr Eira, there is the option to walk behind the powerful cascade.

For more information on the 4 falls trail, take a look at this guide or for more things to do in the Brecon Beacons see this post.

Waterfall country is one of the best places to go in Wales

12. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Llangollen – Venture along this impressive structure

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen is definitely one of the top things to see in Wales . This 18 arched bridge is the longest aqueduct in Britain and carries the Llangollen canal over the River Dee.

You will need a head for heights if you want to walk over the 306.9m bridge but there are also walking trails which lead both upstream and downstream from the bridge itself. Both of these trails offer fine views of this impressive structure.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

13. Conwy Castle – Travel back in time at Conwy

Wales has so many castles you could visit one every day for a year and still not see them all. I even went to school in a castle (very Harry Potter I know!), so deciding which castle to put on this list was a difficult task. However, Conwy Castle is surly one of Wales’ top places to visit and makes it to the top of my Welsh castles list.

Conwy Castle is set on the banks of the river Conwy and has Snowdonia National Park looming in the distance. Conwy castle is arguably the most impressive of Edward I Welsh castles, which UNESCO considers one of the finest examples of 13/14th century military architecture in Europe. Edward’s Welsh castles are another of Wales’ World Heritage sites.

Explore the battlements on your visit and be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds. For a self guided audio guide tour of Conwy’s highlights, click here .

Discover more about castles in North Wales in this guide .

Conwy Castle is a top tourist destination in Wales

14. Elan valley – See epic Victorian dams 

The Elan Valley showcases an epic feat of civil engineering as well as outstanding natural beauty, all in one hit.

Over one hundred years ago the Elan Valley was partly flooded with six dams and reservoirs in order to provide safe drinking water for Birmingham. But this once contentious project built out of necessity, has since become an area for visitors to revel in.

On the Estate there are 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the Claerwen National Nature Reserve. It is the most important area for land birds in Wales and has been awarded International Dark Sky Status.

Try and visit Elan Valley after heavy rain so you can see the dams in full flow. For me, Graig Goch and Pen y Garreg are the most impressive dams on the Elan river but they are all impressive in their own right. Elan valley can be explored on foot but also has great cycle trails, so bring your bike and enjoy cycling through this special part of mid-Wales.

The best part about the Elan Valley is it’s much quieter than some of the other tourist sites in Wales. So make sure you add Elan Valley to your Wales bucket list.

Craig Goch Dam in Elan Valley is a must see in Wales

15. Gower Peninsula – Hike the rugged Peninsula 

The Gower was the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on a visit to this rugged peninsula you’ll quickly discover why. There are cliff-edged hikes to explore, beautiful beaches to relax on and multiple water sports to enjoy.

Located at the far end of the peninsula, Rhossili beach has been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world and I’d certainly recommend a visit. If the tide is right, venture out onto the tidal island of Worm’s Head. This part of the Gower is also popular with surfers and coasteerers. Both super fun activities but brace yourself for the cold waters!

Experience more beautiful Gower beaches at 3 Cliffs bay, Port Eynon and Oxwich or for a pebble beach try Pwll Du. If you’re in need of a castle fix try Woebley, Pennard or Oxwich.

For more information about walks in the Gower, take a look at this guide.

The Gower Peninsula is a beautiful place in Wales to visit

16. Pentre Ifan – See the Stonehenge of Wales

Found in an unassuming field on the Preseli Hills is Wales’ most famous ancient site – Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber. Constructed over 5000 years ago, the remains of this ancient ruin provide a glimpse as to what must have been quite an incredible burial chamber.

Any archaeological buffs out there will also know that the Preseli Hills are also home to Spotted Dolerite – the rocks that form the inner sanctum of Stonehenge. Yes, those world famous rocks were dragged all the way from West Wales to the Salisbury Plain!

Even if you have no interest in Neolithic monuments, it’s very impressive to see a 20 ton capstone precariously balancing on the tips of 3 standing stones. You can push it as much as you like, I promise it doesn’t budge! 

Pentre Ifan is the Stonehenge of Wales

17. Pen y Fan – Hike Southern Britains highest peak

The Brecon Beacons has many great hikes to enjoy from the Sugarloaf in the east to Llyn y Fan Fach in the west. However, the highest and most famous peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park is Pen y Fan.

At 886m Pen y Fan is big enough to warrant a decent workout and there are several routes that lead to the top of this famed peak. The easiest of these trails will take little over an hour but for more experienced hikers there are trails that involve full mountain days.

See my complete guide to hiking Pen y Fan to discover what you can expect on a day spent exploring the Central Beacons. However, if you’d prefer someone else to lead the way up this famous mountain, please get in touch and we can discuss rates and availability.

Pen y Fan is a popular hike in Wales

18. The Blue Lagoon – Paddle boarding, coasteering and more

For an adventurous exploration of Wales’ more modern history, head to the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy. There is a cove near Abereiddy which was once a slate quarry and was active until the early 20th century. When a channel connecting the quarry to the sea was blasted, the Blue Lagoon was formed.

Abandoned quarries and slate mines all around Wales are being given a new lease of life as adventurous destinations (such as those at Zipworld) and the Blue Lagoon is no different. The Blue Lagoon is a popular spot for adventure sports such as coasteering and cliff jumping and has become a tourist hot spot.

Ruined quarry buildings around the lagoon provides evidence of its’ industrial past and add an eerie element to this otherwise beautiful Welsh tourist attraction.

The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy

19. Tintern Abbey – Explore Wales’ most famous Abbey

Located next to the village of Tintern, in the lower Wye Valley is Tintern Abbey, another of Wales’ top visitor locations. This British Gothic masterpiece was originally founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks, but was abandoned after the dissolution by Henry VIII.

This majestic ruin found new life as a tourist attraction thanks in part to poets like Wordsworth and was a source of inspiration for artists like Turner. Today the Abbey is managed by Cadw and is well worth the small entrance fee.

For more distant views of Tintern, try walking a section of Offa’s Dyke trail to a viewpoint known as the Devil’s Pulpit. Located just 6 miles from Tintern is the charming town of Chepstow. Known as the gateway to Wales, Chepstow has many sites to see and well-worth including on your Welsh itinerary.

Tintern Abbey

20. Llandudno – Visit Wales longest pier

Built in the 1950s by the Mostyn family, Llandudno is Wales’ largest seaside resort. Llandudno is famed for its extensive pier. It’s also the town where Alice Pleasance Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, holidayed as a child.

Walk or take the tram to the nearby summit of Great Orme for incredible views and then kick back on one of Llandudnos’ beaches. Enjoy a Punch and Judy show, explore the prehistoric copper mines or simply stroll the promenade with an ice cream in hand.

Having barely changed in over a century, this charming Victorian town is jam-packed with activities to enjoy on your visit to Wales.

With Wales' longest pier, llandudno should be of your list of places to go in Wales

Getting To These Top Tourist Attractions In Wales

The towns and cities on this list can be easily accessed by trains and/or buses from other major cities such as Cardiff and London. For the best deals on cars and trains check out Busbud .

However, the more rural tourist attractions are often poorly serviced by public transport and require the use of a car.

For the best deals on car rental in Wales, I recommend Discover Cars .

Final Thoughts On The Top Places To Go In Wales

Wales is a small country with a lot to offer. If you love the outdoors, history or culture, a trip to this hilly land should definitely make it onto your UK bucket list.

Nature lovers can enjoy a hike in the mountains of Snowdonia, relax on the beaches in Anglesey, get wet behind waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons and spot dolphins off the Pembrokeshire coast. And those wanting to soak up the culture can get lost in the literature of Hay on Wye, delve into the history of Wales’ great castles and admire the Cathedral in UK’s smallest city.

I look forward to welcoming you on your trip to Wales. Iechyd da! (Cheers!)

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Louise is a Mountain Leader and Snowboard Instructor from South Wales. As a former Adventure Tour Leader she has spent the last 15 years travelling Asia, Africa and the Americas. Louise is a published photographer and is currently based in the UK.

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10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Wales

We round up the most beautiful places in Wales to consider for your next holiday. From Snowdonia’s snow-capped mountains in the north to the wild southern valleys, Wales is a diverse landscape steeped in folklore and mystery. There’s plenty for intrepid explorers to see, including the famous Brecon Beacons National Park and Pembrokeshire Coastal Path . Thanks to the countless Blue Flag beaches, you can spend balmy afternoons enjoying the country’s spectacular sun, sea and surf.

The only downside? There are so many must-visit hotspots that it’s hard to choose just one.

Prettiest villages in Wales

1. beddgelert.

One of the prettiest places in Wales is Beddgelert. It’s a quaint village tucked away in Snowdonia National Park . The bustling market town of Caernarfon is only a 30-minute drive away, enticing history buffs with castles and ruins. Adventure seekers should travel south to the Aberglaslyn Pass . The hair-raising gorge walks, old copper mines and rocky crags aren’t for the faint-hearted!

The stone-built village is named after the legendary hound, Gelert – a symbol of loyalty and protection in Welsh mythology. Gelert’s grave is a popular tourist attraction alongside the picturesque River Colwyn crossing. In the evening, head to one of the many local inns. Menus showcase iconic Welsh fare and locally sourced vegetarian dishes.

Best of all, Beddgelert is an excellent base to explore Snowdonia. It’s ideal for hikers who want to scale Snowdon’s frosty summit, while beginners might prefer the Dinas Emrys trail . This leisurely hour-long route zig-zags through oak woodlands, waterfalls and a centuries-old fortress.

2. Portmeirion

What is the most beautiful part of Wales? Well, Portmeirion is certainly up there. It pops up time and time again on holiday destination lists and people often choose it above the more metropolitan towns and cities.

The curiously designed village in Gwynedd is the brainchild of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. The Welsh architect drew inspiration from the Italian Riviera. He introduced a grand central piazza and colour-washed buildings in charming seaside shades. Palm trees and exotic plants flank the terracotta-roofed houses, adding to the Mediterranean vibe.

Keen horticulturists might like to visit Gwyllt Gardens. The subtropical forest boasts fascinating species and flowers, including a collection of colourful rhododendrons. The Dwyryd Estuary is a private sandy beach reserved for guests. Drink in the panoramic ocean views while savouring an ice cream or late afternoon tipple.

A wealth of accommodation providers promise to make your stay extra comfortable. The luxurious Portmeirion Hotel has rave reviews and overlooks the dramatic coastal scenery. Or choose a self-catering cottage with a hot tub for a romantic couples getaway. Bathing in the warm water is bliss after a long day’s adventuring!

Tintern sits close to the English-Welsh border in the rolling Wye Valley . It’s one of the prettiest villages in Wales, showcasing monastic ruins, curving river banks and sweeping pine woods. Its ethereal, fairy-tale feel has fuelled many masterpieces. Wordsworth scribbled “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”, while Turner memorialised the River Wye in whimsical watercolours.

It’s clear to see why Tintern held such power over the greats. The surrounding Wye Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, home to wild boar, beavers and otters. In the sky above, you might catch a glimpse of nature’s top aerodynamic predator – the peregrine falcon. But the fun doesn’t stop there for twitchers. Summer attracts elusive nightjars, only identifiable by their unique churring call.

You can’t visit Tintern without a trip to Tintern Abbey . The imposing gothic peaks cut through the landscape in exquisite detail, making this one of the most beautiful places in Wales. Roam through the ruins on a guided tour before finding a grassy picnic spot to refuel.

Browse holiday cottages in the Wye Valley

Most beautiful towns in Wales

4. chepstow.

If you’re searching for a lively town, Chepstow ticks all the boxes. It offers the best of both worlds. There’s a combination of historic castles, museums, restaurants and shops. Bringing the kids? The Cute Farm Experience is only a stone’s throw away. Spend the afternoon walking alpacas, cuddling donkeys and feeding the sheep.

Chepstow Castle is another highlight, earning the town its reputation as one of the prettiest places in Wales. Although built in 1067, it’s retained much of its former splendour. The preserved fortress stretches along the limestone cliff, reminding passers-by of the region’s rich medieval history. Afterwards, absorb more knowledge at the Chepstow Museum . They run numerous exhibitions and workshops to celebrate the town and Wye Valley.

Outside, ramblers have a buffet of hikes to sink their teeth into, including the Offa’s Dyke National Trail . This 177-mile route passes through eight counties and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Remember to bring your sturdiest walking boots!

5. Caernarfon

Caernarfon is home to the country’s most famous castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Caernarfon Castle . The old royal palace proudly stands on the River Seiont, enveloped by multi-coloured sails. Exploring the waterfront on a boat tour is one of the best ways to experience the castle. Thrill-seekers should head further down the river where they’ll find hair-raising rapids for kayaking.

Prefer to keep your feet on dry land? You’ll love the Welsh Highland Railway , which runs 25 miles to Porthmadog. Established in 1832, it’s a love letter to the Industrial Revolution, passing through popular tourist destinations like Beddgelert and the Aberglaslyn Pass. Or challenge the kids to laser tag and go-karting at the brilliant Hwylfan Fun Centre . The giant play area features ball pits, slides and tumble towers.

If all that sounds like hungry work, there’s no need to worry. Caernarfon is a culinary delight. Restaurants serve a smorgasbord of global cuisine to placate every taste. Savour traditional Welsh seafood or turn up the heat with Indian or Thai. Once sated, wash it all down at a trendy waterfront cocktail bar.

Expansive green spaces, conservation sites and star-studded night skies make Brecon one of the most beautiful towns in Wales. The lively atmosphere attracts city-dwellers looking for a pretty pastoral escape with a thread of continuity. The town was originally a Roman military base constructed along the River Usk. You can still see echoes of its past in the cobbled, narrow streets and ye-olde architecture.

Above all else, you’ll be in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Covering 519 square miles of waterfalls, reservoirs and hamlets, you could spend all day exploring the magical landscape – surely one of the most beautiful places in Wales.

One of the best times to visit is at night. The park is an International Dark Sky Reserve (there are only 20 in the world). Once the mist has cleared, you can spot faraway galaxies and even the swirling Milky Way!

As Brecon is an epicentre of activity, there’s always something going on. The town helps host some of Wales’ most exciting events. The summer Royal Welsh Agricultural Show takes place nearby at Llanelwedd. The jam-packed schedule includes livestock competitions, outdoor sports and craft activities.

Explore holiday cottages in the Brecon Beacons

Looking for a weekend break ? Spend 72 hours in Wrexham. On one side, there’s the lower Dee Valley and iconic Welsh mountain ranges. Further afield, you’ll reach the English border. Chester is only a 30-minute drive away and it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in Roman architecture, amphitheatres and cathedrals.

However, there’s no need to travel far and wide. Wrexham has everything you need for a one-of-a-kind stay. The Grade II listed St. Giles Parish Church dazzles guests with stained-glass windows and grand stone structures. Weather permitting, ramble around Erddig . The house and gardens are a blast from the past, providing valuable insight into the lives of 18th to 20th-century servants.

Come rain or shine, you’ll never get bored in Wrexham. There are numerous indoor activities for grey days, like the Xplore! Science Discovery Centre . Meanwhile, aspiring thespians are sure to adore a play or comedy show at the Grove Park Theatre .

Most beautiful cities in Wales

Cardiff is one of the most beautiful cities in Wales. The Welsh capital is a melting pot of different cultures, cuisines and influences, which attracts people from around the globe. The sprawling metropolis has a vibrant creative underbelly. The burgeoning music scene on Womanby Street tempts revellers with neon-lit nightclubs and bars. For a quieter but equally memorable experience, feast your eyes upon exhilarating exhibitions at the National Museum Cardiff or Chapter Arts Centre .

Culture aside, there’s also a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. When you need a break from the brilliant city lights, book a boat trip to Flat Holm Island. Five miles off the coast, the remote retreat is a haven of tranquillity. Despite its compact size, the island is a crucial Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve. You’ll find an eclectic mix of rare seabird colonies, ancient Victorian barracks and desolate wartime bunkers.

Of course, you can’t come to Cardiff without seeing Cardiff Castle . Walking through the gates transports you to another world. Roman, Norman and Victorian design features mark the stone walls, paying homage to the castle’s venerable history. Don’t forget to look up. Fierce stone animals flank the South Gate, keeping a watchful eye over sightseers.

When thinking about the prettiest places in Wales, you probably imagine waterfront views with bucket loads of maritime charm. That’s where Swansea shines. Sunbathe or paddle at the award-winning Blue Flag beaches in Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower. Oxwich Bay and Llangennith Beach make a great family day out, with calm waters for water sports.

Back on land, there are myriad attractions to peruse. Take tiny zoologists to Plantasia – a tropical microcosm with unusual animals. The unmissable animal experiences let kids creep closer to caiman crocodiles, tortoises and monkeys. Want to burn off the holiday treats? The Ninja Warrior Park is a unique jungle gym that tests the bravest individuals. Tackle gravity-defying climbs and jumps before scaling the famous Warped Wall!

Like any city, Swansea is a foodie’s paradise. The harbour produces some of the country’s freshest fish and seafood. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, drive to the Michelin-starred Beach House, Oxwich . It’s only 30 minutes away from the city centre. The relaxed ambience, impeccable service and innovative menu are well worth the journey. Dishes change seasonally, so there’s always an excuse to come back.

Browse holiday cottages in Swansea

Bangor is a small but vibrant university city that packs a punch. It offers a curious mish-mash of activities for tourists. On the one hand, it’s the oldest city in Wales. On the other hand, it’s wonderfully contemporary with performing arts venues, restaurants and shops.

We suggest visiting the Grade II listed Bangor Garth Pier – one of the finest surviving Victorian piers in the country. As you walk towards the Isle of Anglesey , the beautiful waters of the Menai Strait are on either side. Turn around, and you’ll see Snowdonia’s peaks on the horizon. Penrhyn Castle is on the outskirts of Bangor, infamous for its colonial past. Originally built on the back of the sugar and slate trade, it’s also a haunting reminder of how slavery shaped modern-day Wales.

Nearby, GreenWood Family Park and Zip World beckon. GreenWood is suitable for younger children with soft play, slides and tunnels. Zip World appeals to adults and teens. The bravest can fly 500m above the blue quarry lake on the world’s fastest aerial runway. Miniature Hamiltons can tackle chicanes and banked corners on three-wheeled quarry karts.

Discover the most beautiful places in Wales

The most beautiful places in Wales offer fun for the whole family. Wherever you go, you’re bound to have a fantastic time. Explore the striking landscapes, feast on traditional cuisine and visit the award-winning attractions. You’re never far from five-star accommodation, including wild campsites and holiday cottages.

The villages offer a quiet haven away from life’s to-dos, while the towns are a little livelier for young adults. Partygoers looking to sow their wild oats might prefer the cosmopolitan cities. Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor bristle with exciting nightlife.

And if you still can’t decide? Simply browse our blog for more information. Our knowledgeable team has curated a library of helpful guides to make your decision easier. We also review accommodation to ensure your stay is extra comfortable.

Nick, your trusted guide to Wales travel and exploration, shares a deep passion for this enchanting land. With years of exploration, Nick offers expert insights into the best of Wales. Join him on a journey through its captivating history, culture, and hidden gems, as he inspires you to create unforgettable Wales travel experiences.

Guide to Eco-Tourism in Wales

The best boutique hotels in north, south & west wales, related posts, reasons to book a cottage with a hot tub in north wales, saddle up for horse riding in the brecon beacons, guide to the best dog friendly beaches in wales: north, south & west, unleash the fun: 8 awesome things to do in cardiff.

  • National Trust
  • Historic buildings
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© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

The Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

10 great gardens around Wales

The natural landscape in Wales is something special, but our gardeners have been busy enhancing the countryside by creating some amazing gardens. Here's our guide to some of the great gardens you can visit.

Many of the most famous gardens across Wales are run by the National Trust . With exotic plants, friendly animals, picnic spots and more, don’t miss these 10 horticultural highlights.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire

The National Botanic Garden of Wales  is the most visited garden in Wales and has more than 6,000 different plant varieties spread across 560 acres (227ha) of beautiful countryside.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Wales (@visitwales)

There’s an inspiring range of themed gardens, the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, the British Bird of Prey Centre , a tropical Butterfly House, play areas and a national nature reserve, all set in a Regency landscape. They run a packed programme of events and courses throughout the year.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Golden Eagle

The British Bird of Prey Centre

Aberglasney gardens, carmarthenshire.

A 15th century poet praised the ‘nine green gardens’ of  Aberglasney , but this medieval gem had almost vanished until the gardens, and the mansion at their centre, were saved in the 1990s. They’ve been beautifully restored and planted into a dozen themed areas, which are offset by cloisters, pools, parapets, arches and the surrounding woodlands.

Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen, West Wales

Dyffryn Fernant, Pembrokeshire

The superb location gives  Dyffryn Fernant  a head start, tucked away in the folds of north Pembrokeshire , with the coast on one side, and the Gwaun Valley and Preseli Hills on the other. It’s taken the best part of 25 years for this imaginative six-acre (2.5ha) garden to emerge from the wild landscape, but it’s described by The Times as ‘the best domestic garden in Wales’.

Dyffryn Fernant, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

© Claire Takacs

Aberglasney Mansion

Aberglasney Mansion & Gardens

Modern Welsh country garden

Dyffryn Fernant

Hilton court, pembrokeshire.

A series of tiered ponds, thick with waterlilies, are the centrepiece of  Hilton Court , which lies in a wooded valley just inland from St Brides Bay. The warm microclimate helps to support a rich array of plant (and animal) life, while the solar dome is a tropical refuge for more exotic inhabitants.

I love my morning walks in the gardens and the showers and sunshine created a lovely rainbow. Posted by Hilton Court Gardens, campsite, event & wedding venue, Pembrokeshire on  Thursday, October 1, 2020

Picton Castle and Gardens, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

Flanked by the Daugleddau Estuary , the 40 acres (16ha) surrounding 13th century  Picton Castle  include ancient trees, mazes, ferns, wild flowers and rare species. Children are made especially welcome: a kids trail through the gardens stops off at an adventure playground, herb garden and pond. The  Welsh Owl Garden  is open all year round but from Easter there are daily flying displays, in both a dedicated glade in the woodland and on the lawn in front of the Castle.

Picton Castle and Gardens, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Clyne Gardens, Swansea

Japanese gardens, lakes, wildflower meadows, bluebell woods, towers, chapels and gazebos are among the eye-catching features at this 19th century idyll.  Clyne Gardens  has a nationally important collection of rhododendrons, pieris and enkianthus, which produce a blaze of early summer colour. The gardens were created by the Vivian family of industrialists/barons.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Clyne Gardens (@friendsofclyne)

Treborth Botanic Garden, Bangor

Conceived as a pleasure garden more than 160 years ago, Sir Joseph Paxton’s original design for Treborth was thwarted by funding problems, and the site only re-emerged during the 1960s when it was bought by Bangor University. Shaped by academic experts,  Treborth Botanic Garden  is now both a research institute for honing horticultural skills and a thoroughly pleasant place to visit. Its six glasshouses come in varying temperatures to support amazing plants from Wales and across the world. As a bonus, the Wales Coast Path runs through its woodland. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Treborth Botanic Garden (@treborthgarden)

Dewstow Gardens, Monmouthshire

Dewstow Gardens  are a remarkable tale of lost-and-found. The original Edwardian gardens were buried in the 1940s and returned to farmland, and only rediscovered in 2000. The excavations revealed ponds, rills, rock gardens, and an entire labyrinth of underground grottoes , tunnels and sunken ferneries – all painstakingly restored to their former glory.

Dewstow Gardens, Monmouthshire, South Wales

©  John Harris

Picton Castle

Picton Castle & Gardens

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Clyne Gardens

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Treborth Botanic Garden

beautiful places to visit in mid wales

Dewstow Gardens and Grottoes

Plas brondanw, eryri (snowdonia).

Sir Clough Williams-Ellis is famous for creating the Italianate fantasy village of  Portmeirion , but his real passion was closer to home.  Plas Brondanw  is the property he inherited more than a century ago. Its gardens are the legacy of a man who spent much of his life and every penny he had on them. These days their magnificent landscaping – part of a site built in the mid-16th century – offers yews, an orangery and splendid mountain views.

Plas Brondanw, North Wales

Portmeirion Gardens

Portmeirion Village Gardens

Holm Oak and Cnicht

Plas Brondanw Gardens & Café

Wye valley sculpture garden, monmouthshire.

The tranquil  Wye Valley Sculpture Garden  lies among the ancient wooded slopes of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s been managed organically for 40 years, and has abundant herbaceous borders, a pond, woodland areas, an orchard and meadows, all providing a rich habitat for wildlife. Sculptures by local artist  Gemma Wood  are placed harmoniously around the garden.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden, Monmouthshire, South Wales

©  Wye Valley Sculpture Garden, Tintern

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beautiful places to visit in mid wales

10 most beautiful places you’ll be surprised are in the UK, from waterfalls to secluded beaches

W hen the weather disappoints or the workload is heavy, we often find ourselves wanderlusting for far-flung places across the globe.

However, you don't have to venture outside of the UK to enjoy azure waters, golden sand and palm trees. In fact, for those who only look to airports, cross-Channel trains and ferries to get their holiday fill, the sheer beauty that can be found across Britain is somewhat surprising. But it's certainly a pleasant surprise, as this guide will show you.

The UK is home to Bali -esque flowing waterfalls, jungle settings that look like something from Central America , a slice of Sydney in  Devon and even an Italianate villages in Wales . What’s more, some of our beaches can compete with the best around the world (for their natural setting, if not their weather).

So when those blues are getting to you but you can’t go abroad, fear not; below are some of the best places in the UK to enjoy some strikingly exotic scenery.

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula

A half-hour drive from Swansea, in south Wales , Three Cliffs Bay is a spectacular shoreline of sand dunes, salt marshes and the bay’s signature three limestone cliffs.

A photogenic part of the Gower Coast Path, it’s an ideal spot for picnics, and is popular for caravaning, glamping and cottage retreats.

Tinside Lido, Plymouth

Part of an Art Deco hotel that first opened in 1935, Tinside Lido closed in 1992 but returned after a successful local campaign and attained Grade II-listed status in 1998.

Its poolside views are not dissimilar to Sydney's Bondi Beach, while the salt water swimming pool is a great place to splash and sunbathe in the summer months. It currently opens every summer, from late July to late September.

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Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Designed and built in the style of an Italian village by Sir Clough William-Ellis between 1925 and 1973, Portmeirion is one of the most unique villages in Wales.

While it may be located in North Wales, rather than the Mediterranean, Portmeirion still attracts visitors in their droves due to its scenic beauty, boutique hotels and excellent restaurants . The main village, subtropical gardens and section of beach remain the most popular attractions.

High Force, Durham

Verdant scenery and fast-flowing waterfalls give High Force the air of a Costa Rican jungle, but it can be found in County Durham. One of England ’s most spectacular waterfalls, it has a 21m drop into the beautiful plunge pool below.

A variety of wildlife and fauna can be seen at High Force throughout the seasons from wildflowers, ferns and towering trees to roe deer and rabbits.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Near to the village of Stackpole in Pembrokeshire , Barafundle Bay is nestled between cliffs and is reminiscent of a secluded bay on a Greek island. Once owned by the Cawdor family of Stackpole Court, the beach is now open to the public and has previously made the list of the top beaches in the world, while the Good Holiday Guide also named it the best beach in Britain.

With sand dunes and pine trees, the beach is accessible by a half-mile walk from the nearest car park and offers a secluded, scenic retreat.

West Bay, Dorset, England

With towering orange cliffs and beautiful clear waters, West Bay in Dorset is reminiscent of the Algarve.

With its seaside location, it's ideal for family holidays and coastal walks, while the nearby market town of Bridport has long had a stellar reputation for culture and food.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall, England

Kynance Cove is situated in southern Cornwall , not far from Lizard Point, the most southerly point in the UK. it is one of the most photographed and painted locations in the county, with beautiful white sand and blue sea, and certainly wouldn't look out of place on a Sardinian postcard.

A landscape painter's dream, the contrast between the cove’s white sand beach, emerald waters and the dark red and green serpentine rock is breathtaking.

At low tide there are plenty of sea caves and islands to explore, and its rock-towers were even featured in BBC One's Poldark.

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

On the right day, Tenby can feel like you’ve transported to Bali , with its palm trees, golden sands, blue seas and colourful buildings.

A seaside tourist town for over 200 years, Tenby is steeped in history and surrounded by a medieval wall. It's also home to four beaches; North, South, Harbour and Castle. North is popular for watersports, Castle its spectacular views and South beach for its almost two-mile stretch of golden sand. Harbour is the smallest of the four, but is ideally located on the harbour itself.

Sgwd Yr Eira, Brecon Beacons

Sgwd Yr Eira waterfall may look like a selfie spot in Thailand , but is actually found in the Melte Valley, in Wales's Brecon Beacons National Park.

Translated literally as “fall of snow”, visitors can walk behind the curtain of water on a path forged by sheep farmers, which makes for the perfect photo opportunity. The waterfall forms part of the national park’s ‘four waterfalls walk’, a six-mile loop that takes around three hours.

Langamull Beach, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Described as one of Mull’s best kept secrets, Langamull Beach is often heralded as the Mull Caribbean thanks to its white sand.

The 20-minute walk to the beach is secluded, with spectacular views justifying the journey, and there are several other walking routes along grassy dunes and low-lying cliffs. On a clear day, visitors may be able to see other small islands and Skye.

Read more on the best hotels in Scotland

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  4. Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Wales

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COMMENTS

  1. 19 BEST Things To Do in Mid-Wales [2024 Guide]

    5. Visit the Elan Valley for walking, cycling, and waterfalls. The Elan Valley is a beautiful area just outside of Rhayader in Mid-Wales, best known for its six dams and reservoirs. Around the reservoirs, you'll find plenty of waymarked trails for walking or cycling.

  2. Explore places in Mid Wales

    Big skies and big adventures in rural Mid Wales. Immerse yourself in the outdoors around Llanidloes and Clywedog in the Cambrian Mountains. The green heart of Wales: discover coastal beauty, scenic landscapes and charming market towns. Start planning your next visit to places in Mid Wales.

  3. 22 Enchanting Spots To Explore In Wales

    1. Snowdonia National Park. Home to the most prominent mountain in Wales and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, Snowdonia National Park is a hugely popular holiday spot and a big draw for adventurous types. Here, boulder-strewn summits, stark mountain ranges, and serene lakes make up much of the landscape, making it a popular ...

  4. Destinations

    Destinations | Places to Visit in Mid & West Coast Wales. MId Wales is a region just waiting to be discovered. Explore our stunning beaches on the Mid Wales Coast, two National Parks; Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons; the Cambrian Mountains, internationally acclaimed dark sky reserves, Wales' only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Dyfi), 'Walkers are ...

  5. Must-see attractions Mid-Wales, Wales

    Pembrokeshire. Anglesey & the North Coast. Swansea, The Gower & Carmarthenshire. Discover the best attractions in Mid-Wales including Centre for Alternative Technology, Powis Castle, and Cardigan Castle.

  6. The 12 best things to see and do in Mid Wales

    If I could recommend one place to visit in Mid Wales, it would be the extraordinary Elan Valley. ... Ceredigion's 60 miles (96km) of Coastal Path is some of the most rugged, beautiful, and impressive in all of Wales. As well as great views north towards Snowdonia and south towards Pembrokeshire, the Ceredigion Coast path has a wealth of ...

  7. Best places to visit in Wales

    Pembrokeshire. Popular Pembrokeshire - the most westerly county in Wales - is home to some of the country's finest beaches, a plethora of pretty seaside towns and the UK's smallest city, St Davids. The entire coast is a national park, best explored with a hike along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path or on a coasteering tour - the cliff ...

  8. Experience the Best of Mid Wales

    Welcome to Mid Wales - from the foothills of Southern Snowdonia, to the western coast of Ceredigion, the stunning landscapes of the Brecon Beacons and everywhere in between; Mid Wales is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences and natural beauty at every turn. Whether you're a returning visitor or discovering our region for the first time, spring is an ideal time to experience ...

  9. Visit Mid Wales

    There is so much to see and do in Mid & West Coast Wales. Days out with the kids; castles & historic houses; wildlife and nature reserves; theatres and arts centres; adventure activities; walking; cycling; sport & leisure. Or simply relax and explore market towns & villages, National Parks, stunning Mid Wales coastline and our Mid Wales lakes ...

  10. 9 BEST Castles in Mid-Wales [With Map]

    Best Castles in Mid-Wales. 1. Powis Castle. Powis Castle is my favourite castle to visit in Mid-Wales as it's one of the few castles in Wales that isn't fully or partially ruined. The castle was built in the 13th century by Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn, the Prince of Powys, to protect against Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the Prince of Gwynedd to the north.

  11. History and heritage in Mid Wales

    Head to Mid Wales and you'll be following in the footsteps of some of our first ancestors. This is a place full of Iron and Bronze Age hillforts, with landmarks such as Pen Dinas on the on the edge of Aberystwyth. At the top of the hill are the remains of a fort dating back to around 400BC. Take in the panoramic views over the Ceredigion ...

  12. Mid-Wales Travel Guide

    Plan your visit to Mid-Wales, Wales: find out where to go and what to do in Mid-Wales with Rough Guides. ... Like many country towns in Mid-Wales, beautiful Llanidloes has a healthy stock of old hippies among its population, ... Best places to visit in June. 6 of the best road trips in the UK. 11 of the best weekend breaks in the UK. Beyond ...

  13. The Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Wales

    Lake Vyrnwy. This great expanse of water in Powys, Mid Wales, is in fact a reservoir propped up by a stone dam that dates back to the 1880s. The lake is surrounded by woodland and filled with a rustling abundance of wildlife, as well as a sculpture trail, cafés and crafts shops. A Gothic, castle-like water tower sits in the centre of the lake.

  14. Places To Visit In Mid Wales

    Welcome to the smallest town in Mid Wales. Rhayader is a perfect spot to start your explorations of it's gorgeous surroundings. It was the first town to be built upon the River Wye. It's main attraction has to be Elan Valley. This place has reservoirs, dams and miles and miles of aqueduct.

  15. 23 Best Places to Visit in Wales (By a Local)

    Hay-on-Wye has a lovely selection of independent cafes, such as The Electric Coffee Shop. As well as being a leisurely place to visit, Hay-on-Wye is surrounded by beautiful countryside to explore. The National Showcaves Centre for Wales. A perfect family day out in Mid Wales with caves, alpacas, and dinosaurs!

  16. 48 Places To Visit in Wales To See Beautiful Places in Wales!

    Voted one of the beaches in the world, Barafundle Bay is a must-visit for beautiful places in Wales. ... Best Places to Visit in Mid-Wales 27. The Elan Valley (Powys) The Powys region is technically in Mid-Wales but when looking at a map of Wales, it is closer to the South and easier to reach from South Wales, that's why this impressive place ...

  17. 20 Beautiful (& Unique) Places To Visit In Wales: 2024 Guide

    3. Anglesey - Hike the coast and relax on the beaches. Anglesey or Ynys Mon is Wales' largest island and offers visitors an array of activities to enjoy. Much of the coastline around Anglesey has been declared An Area of Outstanding Beauty, making it a beautiful place to visit in Wales.

  18. Most Beautiful Places in Wales to visit

    1. Beddgelert. One of the prettiest places in Wales is Beddgelert. It's a quaint village tucked away in Snowdonia National Park. The bustling market town of Caernarfon is only a 30-minute drive away, enticing history buffs with castles and ruins. Adventure seekers should travel south to the Aberglaslyn Pass.

  19. Top 10 Places To See In Wales (Travel Video)

    Wales is a country rich in history and culture, with a beautiful landscape that ranges from the rugged mountains of Snowdonia to the golden beaches of the Go...

  20. 10 great gardens around Wales

    Clyne Gardens, Swansea. Japanese gardens, lakes, wildflower meadows, bluebell woods, towers, chapels and gazebos are among the eye-catching features at this 19th century idyll. Clyne Gardens has a nationally important collection of rhododendrons, pieris and enkianthus, which produce a blaze of early summer colour.

  21. 10 most beautiful places you'll be surprised are in the UK ...

    Story by Ronan J. O'Shea. • 3w • 4 min read. 10 most beautiful places you'll be surprised are in the UK, from waterfalls to secluded beaches - There are some exceptionally scenic ...

  22. 11 Best Seaside Towns to Visit in Wales

    8. Colwyn Bay. Colwyn Bay is a seaside resort town located in North Wales. It's known for its sandy beaches, scenic views, and active lifestyle. The town is home to a number of attractions such as the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, the Colwyn Bay Pier, and the Welsh Mountain Zoo. Colwyn Bay is also a great place to visit for watersports ...