Want to vist Wales but aren’t sure where you should visit? Why not take a look at the 10 places that our Welsh guides have recommended? Listed in no particular order, you could follow the list from North to South Wales and explore the whole country if you wanted to!
The Snowdonia National Park
This beautiful park in north Wales is home to Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It’s a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities. The Snowdonia National Park is also home to some rare and endangered species such as Red Squirrels and Pine Martens, these rare animals, and the abundance of birds make the Snowdonia National Park a perfect place to visit if you happen to love animals. One of the best ways to see the national park, and the nature that it has to offer, is on one of the many scenic railways. Not only can you get the train up to the summit of Snowdon (known in Welsh as Y Wyddfa and is pronounced as “er with-va”) but you can also explore the beautiful countryside of North Wales by taking a trip on one of the many steam trains. Why not take the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway from the famous Norman fort of Caernarfon, through the mythical town of Beddgelert, and down to the wettest town in Wales Blaenau Ffestiniog
Conwy is a small walled town located on the north coast of Wales. It is a popular destination for tourists due to its rich history, stunning architecture, and scenic location. Visitors can explore Conwy Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built in the 13th century and offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. The town is also home to several other historic buildings, including the medieval walls and gates, the smallest house in Britain, and Plas Mawr, a beautifully preserved Elizabethan townhouse. Conwy is located on the shores of the Conwy estuary, which offers stunning views and a range of activities from Water sports to birdwatching. The town is also a great base for exploring the nearby Snowdonia National Park, which is renowned for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning natural surroundings.
Llandudno is a popular seaside resort town located on the north coast of Wales, at the foot of the Great Orme headland. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, Victorian architecture, and scenic location. Visitors can take a ride on the Great Orme Tramway, a cable-hauled tramway that takes passengers to the top of the Great Orme headland, which offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. Llandudno is also home to several historic buildings, including the 19th-century pier, the neo-gothic St. Tudno’s Church, and the Llandudno Museum, which houses artifacts and exhibits relating to the town’s history. The town’s shopping district, Mostyn Street, offers a range of independent and high-street shops, as well as several cafes and restaurants serving locally sourced produce. Close to the island of Anglesey, the city of Bangor, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Caernarfon, Llandudno is the perfect place to stay, if you fancy exploring the north Wales countryside and coastline by car.
Aberystwyth is a charming seaside town located on the west coast of Wales, known for its stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. Once suggested to be the capital of Wales, thanks to institutions such as Aberystwyth University and the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth could be seen as the Welsh Oxford. Founded in the 13th-century with the building of Aberystwyth Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the town today Aberystwyth is also known for historical buildings such as the University’s Old College which was built in the style of the Gothic revival, its 1920’s Train Station, and its range of old, traditional pubs. Aberystwyth is also home to several museums and galleries, including the Ceredigion Museum, which tells the story of the region’s history and culture, and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which showcases a range of exhibitions, performances, and events. The nearby Ynyslas National Nature Reserve is home to a range of wildlife, including rare birds and seals, and the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway provides easy access to the famous Constitution Hill. The Rheidol Railway also has a terminal in the town. This small railway (which was once used to transport Lead to Aberystwyth Harbour) takes travellers up the Rheidol Valley on a scenic steam train ride through the picturesque countryside. Our advice is take an early train, sit in the last carriage and enjoy the view as you travel to Devil’s Bridge. Once there explore the waterfalls, learn the myths and the legends of the Devil’s Bridge and take an afternoon train back to Aberystwyth and once again sit in the last carriage as you get some exceptional views of the train snaking round the mountains!
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
This beautiful coastal park in west Wales is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country, as well as a number of charming towns and villages including Tenby and St David’s. The Pembrokeshire town of Fishguard was the last place in mainland Britain to be invaded back in 1797 when the French invaded, only to be stopped by the local Welsh women! If you like to walk, the coastal path, which runs around the whole of Wales making it the only country in the world where you can walk the whole length of the country’s coast, offers some exceptional views. You may even see a Dolphin or two if you’re lucky!
Tenby is a charming coastal town located in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in West Wales. It is a popular destination for tourists due to its stunning scenery, sandy beaches, and picturesque harbour. The town is famous for its pastel-coloured Georgian houses, which line the narrow streets of the old town. Visitors can explore the historic town walls, which date back to the 13th century, and the ruins of Tenby Castle, which offer stunning views of the town and surrounding coastline. Tenby is also a great destination for water sports enthusiasts, with a range of activities on offer, including surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The town has a thriving arts scene, with several galleries and art shops, and hosts the annual Tenby Arts Festival. With its relaxed, friendly atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and rich history, Tenby is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Wales.
St David’s is a small city located on the far western coast of Wales, in Pembrokeshire County. It is named after the patron saint of Wales, Saint David, and is the smallest city in the UK. Despite its size, St David’s is a popular destination for tourists due to its beautiful architecture, rich history, and stunning natural surroundings. Visitors can explore the 12th-century St David’s Cathedral, which contains the shrine of Saint David, as well as several other historic buildings, including the medieval Bishop’s Palace and St Non’s Chapel, which is said to be the birthplace of Saint David. The city is located in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is surrounded by some of the most breath taking scenery in the UK, including rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and hidden coves.
The Brecon Beacons National Park
This national park in south Wales is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, including waterfalls, mountains, and valleys. It’s also a great place for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horse riding. Famous for being the training centre for the British Army (the Infantry Training Centre is nearby in the town of Brecon, and the British Special Air Service also train in the area) some of its paths and walks are not for the fait hearted. That said the views from Pen Y Fan, the tallest mountain in South Wales can reach, on a clear day, all the way to Bristol! Take your time and a packed lunch, and you won’t be disappointed by the views.
Hay-on-Wye is a small market town located on the Welsh-English border that has gained worldwide recognition for its vast collection of bookshops. It is home to over 20 bookshops, making it a haven for book lovers worldwide. The town also hosts the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, a world-renowned cultural event that attracts famous authors, artists, and musicians. This festival has been running for over 30 years and has helped to cement Hay-on-Wye’s reputation as a cultural hub. Additionally, the town’s stunning location, surrounded by the Black Mountains and the River Wye, adds to its allure, making it a popular tourist destination for those seeking to explore the beauty of the Welsh countryside. Even if you don’t love books the town is still worth a visit as its cosy cafés, restaurants selling local produce, and pubs make it an excellent place to stop whilst exploring Wales.
Wales’ capital city is a vibrant and cosmopolitan place with plenty of cultural attractions, including the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Castle, and the National Museum Cardiff. A Vibrant city with a rich cultural scene, we highly recommend the National Museum Cardiff which houses an enviable collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir. Looking for somewhere to eat in Cardiff? Why not try Y Dosbarth/The Classroom? This restaurant is a hidden gem and is part of the local college which the food critic Jay Rayner described as ‘really excellent’. Serving Modern European Food, it is really not to be missed… even if the entrance (which is the main entrance to the college) may be difficult to find.
From Cardiff you could explore some of the old Norman castles which the area is known for. If you wanted to take the easy option you could always book our Private Day Tour of Cardiff, including Cardiff Castle and Caerphilly Castle. Or if you wanted to take a trip back in time why not visit the 2019 Museum of the year on our Private Day Tour of Cardiff, including Cardiff Castle, St Fagan’s and Cardiff Bay which visits the famous St Fagan’s Museum where numerous ancient buildings from across Wales have been lovingly restored.
Did you know that the hit BBC TV series Doctor Who has been filmed in Wales since 2004? Cardiff has been a big part of Doctor Who, but so have many of the other locations we’ve listed here. Want to learn more about the filming of Doctor Who in Cardiff? Why not check out our Doctor Who tours on our tours page?