Here are some of the best things to do in Wales, a country in Great Britain known for its rugged coastline and mountainous national parks.
1. Horshoe Falls
Located on the River Dee, Horseshoe Falls is a 460ft (140m) weir. It was designed to draw water from the River Dee into the Llangollen canal.
It’s not what you’d picture as a traditional ‘waterfall’ but more of a flat river bed with some tiers. If you’re looking for something a bit taller and more powerful we recommend visiting Aber Falls.
The setting at Horseshoe Falls is very pretty. The lovely grassy banks are a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic whilst taking in the beautiful scenery.
If you like being more active, you could spend some time here swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding. There are also many picturesque trails to choose from.
A visit to the historical and popular town of nearby Llangollen is also recommended whilst in the area.
Llandudno is a pretty seaside town located in north Wales. Famous for its North Shore beach, Victorian pier, promenade and the Great Orme, there is plenty to see and do.
Sheltering between two headlands, North Shore Beach is a golden sand and pebble beach. With its stunning views, including the Snowdonia mountains, this beautiful beach is well worth a visit.
Stretching for just under 2 miles (3.2km) along the back of the beach, Llandudno promenade is a flat, wide walkway.
On one side of the promenade there are pretty shops, hotels and cafes and on the other side views across the Irish sea. This is a great place for walking or sitting and enjoying the views.
On the promenade, you will find the award winning Victorian Llandudno Pier. This traditional pier has all the usual gift shops, cafes, amusement arcades, rides and of course the traditional Punch and Judy Show.
With lots to offer everyone, I would recommend a day in Llandudno as one of the best things to do in Wales.
3. Great Orme
Just north west of Llandudno you will find the Great Orme, a spectacular limestone headland that is 2 miles (3.2km) long and 1 mile (1.6km) wide.
Looking like it rises up from the sea, this popular headland attracts over half a million visitors every year.
This incredible feature, as well as being steeped in history, boasts breathtaking views. These views stretch out across Llandudno, areas of Snowdonia National Park, the Isle of Anglesey and the Irish Sea.
You can reach the summit of Great Orme by foot, car, tram or cable car. Once there you will find a cafe, a gift shop, a children’s playground, mini-golf and a visitor centre.
So, whether you love bird watching, natural history or simply walking and enjoying spectacular views, Great Orme has something for everyone.
Highly recommended as one of the best things to do in Wales.
4. Aber Falls
Aber Falls is a stunning waterfall located two miles south of Abergwyngregyn, in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park.
It is formed as the Afon Goch plunges 120 feet (37 m) over a sill of igneous rock in the foothills of the Carneddau range.
On the walk up to Aber Falls, you are surrounded by beautiful lush green countryside and there are some lovely spots to stop for a picnic.
Swimming is permitted at Aber Falls, although there are just a couple of small pools at the bottom if you fancy a dip.
This waterfall is at its best after some prolonged rain, when it become truly spectacular.
A visit to Aber Falls definitely deserves to be on the list of best things to do in Wales.
5. Dinorwic Quarry
Dinorwic Quarry is located between the villages of Llanberis and Dinorwig. A large former slate quarry, it is now home to the Welsh National Slate Museum.
The National Slate Museum is a living working museum housed in the industrial Victorian workshops that once serviced Dinorwic Quarry.
When the quarry shut in 1969 all the equipment was auctioned off. The small steam locomotives were all sold but there was little interest in the rest of the machinery or buildings.
Consequently, there is plenty to see around the 700 acre site including old miners cottages, rail tracks and rusted machinery.
On one of the many trails around the quarry you will find Dinorwig viewing point. From here you will have spectacular views over Anglesey and Llanberis and up to Snowdon.
A visit to Dinorwic Quarry would be one of the best things to do in Wales if you have an interest in history and like something a little different.
Located in Snowdonia National Park and at 1,085 metres above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales.
There are six different routes you can take to walk up to the top of Snowdon. They are all classed as strenuous walks and you should allow at least 6-8 hours to get there and back.
Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for the Snowdon Mountain Railway. This scenic railway journey takes an hour to wind its way up to the summit, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the stunning views.
On arrival at the Summit, railway passengers and walkers are welcomed into the Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre.
This unique building, with its panoramic views that stretch as far as Ireland, was built to blend in with its natural surroundings. You will be amazed by this stunning feat of engineering completed on the top of a mountain.
As well as the spectacular views, the visitor centre has a cafe and gift shop. Here you can purchase hot and cold drinks, tasty snacks and souvenirs unique to Snowdon, before your return journey.
However you climb Snowdon, it has to be one of the best things to do in Wales.
7. Llangrannog Beach
Llangrannog beach is a beautiful sandy, Blue Flag beach situated near the town of Cardigan on the stunning West Wales coast.
As well as all the usual beach activities, Llangrannog beach is popular for water sports including surfing, kayaking, sailing and especially body boarding.
On the eastern side of the beach there are smugglers caves and rock pools to explore. Also the river Hawen gently flows across the beach, providing some extra hours of fun for the children.
Llangrannog beach is a beautiful little gem that is well worth visiting if you fancy a beach day whilst visiting this area.
8. Blue Lagoon & Abereiddy Beach
Blue Lagoon is a former slate quarry, located just north of Abereiddy beach on the stunning Pembrokeshire coast.
A popular tourist spot, the Blue Lagoon is now a natural adventure playground. You can swim, jump, dive, paddle board, kayak or just sit with a picnic and admire the stunning scenery in the area.
The beautiful green and blue colours of this 25m deep pool, set against the grey slate cliffs make for a spectacular sight. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series have used this beautiful setting for their competition.
Abereiddy Beach is a pebble and unusually dark sand beach made of pounded grey slate. It’s the same sediment from the slate stone that turned the water blue and created the name ‘Blue Lagoon’.
One of the most popular activities at the Blue Lagoon and Abereiddy Beach is coasteering (moving along the coastline on foot or by swimming). You can even go on a coasteering tour.
With so much to do and see at Blue Lagoon and Abereiddy Beach this is definitely one of the best things to do in Wales. Especially if you are looking for some adrenaline fuelled activities!
9. St Govan’s Chapel
St Govan’s Chapel is a small chapel built into the side of a limestone cliff at St Govan’s Head, on the Pembrokeshire coast.
Located at the bottom of quite a long flight of steps, this picturesque little building is one of the most unusual and uniquely situated chapels you will ever see.
The building itself is tiny, just 20 feet by 12 feet (6m by 3.7m), and consists of two rooms with an altar at the east. It definitely feels like a magical place and has an air of mystery to it.
St Govan, who died in 586, is said to be buried under the altar in the chapel which bears his name.
Steeped in some really interesting history, this unusual little chapel is definitely worth a visit if in the area.
10. Barafundle Bay Beach
Barafundle Bay Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located on the south coast of Pembrokeshire.
A truly natural wonder, this beach has soft golden sand and crystal clear waters. Furthermore, it is regularly listed as one of the top beaches in Britain and the world.
Sandwiched between two cliffs and backed by dunes and pine trees, Barafundle Bay Beach is quite sheltered. Consequently this makes it a bit of a sun trap and ideal for beach activities like sunbathing and swimming.
There are no pebbles on this beach, so it’s perfect for children who can enjoy running around and making sandcastles.
Come summer, Barafundle Bay Beach on a warm day, has even been likened to being in the Caribbean!
11. Freshwater West Beach
Freshwater West beach is close to the village of Castlemartin and part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
This spectacular, wide sand and rock beach is backed by natural sand dunes that weave along the edge of the beach.
Along with all the normal beach activities you will also find rock pools full of marine creatures and mysterious old caves to explore. (Interestingly, Freshwater West beach was once used by smugglers as a place to stash their booty!)
This south westerly facing beach has some of the the best waves in the county and is therefore known as one of the top surfing locations in Wales. It regularly hosts surfing tournaments that attract competitors from all over the world.
We would recommend a visit to Freshwater West beach as one of the best things to do in Wales. Especially if you are a keen surfer!
12. Rotherslade Bay Beach
Rotherslade Bay beach is a small, sand and shingle beach located close to the pretty seaside village of Mumbles.
Backed by cliffs and rocky outcrops, this family friendly beach has lots of sand for the children to play on. It’s also a great beach for water sports enthusiasts and especially loved by keen surfers.
Additionally, when the tide goes out, you will find great little rock pools to explore and search for marine life.
At the back of the beach you will find a series of landscaped terraces and steps that were built to replace a derelict dance hall.
This a great place to take a seat and enjoy the views across the bay, moreover, you may even spot a seal or two!
13. The Mumbles
The Mumbles is a headland situated on the western edge of Swansea Bay and home to the picturesque village of Mumbles.
Often called ‘The Jewel in Swansea’s Crown’, Mumbles is a bustling little fishing village that is popular with tourists of all ages.
Offering a great choice of cafes, ice cream parlours, pubs and restaurants you can understand why it is so popular. In addition it has a pretty Victorian pier and small sand and rock beach.
Mumbles Pier is located on the western side of the bay and has something for everyone. From arcade machines to bowling alleys, as well as afternoon tea in the Beach Hut Cafe and gift shops.
The small beach is a mix of sand and rocks and is renowned for its rock pools, which teem with crabs and tiny fish at low tide.
Sitting majestically on the hillside behind Mumbles is Oystermouth Castle, a Norman stone castle. Here you can explore the medieval maze of deep vaults as well as secret staircases and see ancient graffiti art from the 14th century.
Popular with water sports enthusiasts, roller-bladers, cyclists as well as those who prefer a quiet stroll or to simply sit and take in the stunning views across the bay, Mumbles has it all.
Where To Stay In South Wales
Luxury – Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages
Just 2 miles from Pontardawe, Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages feature family-run, self-catering accommodation on a farm, 10 miles from Gower Peninsula and 8 miles from Brecon Beacons National Park.
Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are provided.
Set in traditional stone buildings, the cottages sit in a 100-acre property offering panoramic views of the Welsh countryside.
They all come with a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor dining area with BBQ facilities and a living room.
Some cottages also offer a washing machine and tumble dryer. They either have river views or courtyard views. One also has a private garden.
Mid-Budget – Morgans Hotel
In Swansea’s historic Maritime Quarter, Morgans Hotel provides luxurious rooms with free Wi-Fi, 5 minutes’ walk from the city centre.
This grade II listed building also has a relaxed restaurant and a stylish bar.
Equipped with a flat-screen TV and a sleek private bathroom with toiletries, each air-conditioned room also has Egyptian cotton bedding. Rooms in the separate Townhouse all boast elegant hardwood floors and some rooms are air-conditioned.
Guests dine in the boardroom of this former home of the Port Authority. A modern European menu is on offer, whilst Morgans Bar has sofas, cocktails, chilled beers and wines from around the globe.
This property is 10 minutes walk from the beach.
Budget – Neon 160
Neon 160 is set in Swansea, 0.6 miles from Swansea Marina and 1.1 miles from Cathedral Church of St Joseph.
Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property.
The property is close to popular attractions like Loughor Castle, Gower College Swansea and Swansea Crown Court.
Selected rooms also offer a kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and an oven.
For more places to stay in Wales, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
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