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8 beautiful places to visit in Wales

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Vikki Measures
Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

Wales is home to some of the UK’s most picturesque destinations thanks to the acres of beautiful scenery and sandy beaches. It’s the perfect place for family breaks, weekend getaways, and walking holidays.

Read on to find out what’s on our list of Welsh favourites to give you inspiration for your next staycation. 

1. Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia

View across Llynau Mymbyr Lake to Snowdon

Snowdonia is Wales’ largest National Park covering 823 square miles which includes the highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon. Snowdonia attracts millions of visitors each year and it’s easy to see why – the breathtaking peaks and scenic lakes make it an unforgettable experience. 

If you intend on hiking up to the famous Mount Snowdon summit, make sure you stick to one of the six walking routes and follow safety advice*.

Alternatively you can ride the Snowdon Mountain Railway which has been described as one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. If you are lucky enough to have good weather on your side, you’ll get to witness the breathtaking views from the top of Snowdon down to the lakes of Glaslyn and Llydaw.

2. Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed

"Swallow

Betws-y-Coed is a quaint village nestled in the foothills of Snowdonia surrounded by the Gwydyr Forest. The nearby Swallow Falls are a must see – this spectacular waterfall is thought by many as one of the most beautiful places in Wales. 

Betws-y-Coed is a hidden gem with a range of cafés, restaurants and pubs to choose from, alongside various boutiques and independent shops selling local produce. You can also enjoy walking or cycling along one of the many trails around the village. 

3. Great Orme Tramway, Llandudno

View of the Great Orme Tramway near the summit

The Great Orme Tramway in Llandudno is the only cable-hauled tramway in use on a public road in Great Britain. You begin your journey in the vibrant coastal town of Llandudno – a popular seaside resort known for its sandy beaches and elegant Victorian architecture. 

Upon departing Victoria Station the beautifully restored tramcar climbs 1500m up the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve. The views from Great Orme’s summit are breathtaking. You can see from Snowdonia and Anglesey, all the way to the Isle of Man, Blackpool and even the Lake District on a clear day!

4. Benllech Beach, Anglesey

 Benllech beach on the island of Anglesey in North Wales

The island of Anglesey is known for its award-winning beaches and beautiful coastal landscapes.

Benllech is one of the most popular beaches on the island, with golden sand and clear blue waters. This family-friendly Blue Flag beach has plenty of rock pools to explore. Perfect for getting up close with crabs, starfish and tiny fish.

The beach falls within the Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which has a mixture of limestone cliffs with hidden coves, stretches of sand dunes, and sandy beaches.

You’ll feel like you’re on holiday abroad! 

5. Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Coloured buildings and clocktower at Portmeirion, North Wales

Portmeirion is a unique and quirky tourist village in North Wales that was built by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village. 

The colourful Central Piazza is the centrepiece of Portmeirion, with its Riviera inspired houses, curated ornamental gardens, and bell tower. In addition to its architectural heritage, the enchanting village has a small selection of shops, cafes and restaurants and an authentic Italian style gelateria.

The Mediterranean-style village also has a secluded sandy cove if the weather is nice enough for a beach day!

6. Tenby Harbour, Tenby

Tenby Harbour with colourful houses and boats

The colourful harbour town of Tenby on the southwest coast is one of Wales’ top seaside towns. It was once named as the second prettiest town in the UK, only beaten by Keswick in the Lake District.

The charming harbour is edged by rows of terraced houses painted in pretty pastel colours overlooking the seafront. The narrow cobbled streets are full of charm, and lead you to the town’s local restaurants, shops, cafes and pubs. Stop off for a drink at The Coach and Horses – a cosy, classic pub, and reputedly the oldest in Tenby.

7. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Pembrokeshire

View over the sea at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

A must see for wildlife lovers, the Pembrokeshire coast is home to around 5,000 Atlantic grey seals, making it one of the best places in Europe to spot marine wildlife.

The glorious beaches offer panoramic views of the coast and seals can be seen swimming at any time of year. Their fluffy white pups are often found sunbathing on undisturbed beaches between August and November. 

If you’re really lucky you may even see a pod of bottlenose dolphins. So make sure you bring your binoculars for the best views! 

While you’re there, take the boat trip to Ramsey Island (it’s best from April to October). The island is an RSPB Nature Reserve and the best place to spot the hundreds of ravens, peregrines and buzzards that call the island home.

8. Tintern Abbey, Chepstow

The ruins of Tintern Abbey church in Wales

The pretty market town of Chepstow forms the border between England and Wales and is worth a visit if you’re a history buff.

The wonderfully preserved Chepstow Castle overlooks the River Wye and is Britain’s oldest surviving post-Roman stone castle. Less than six miles away is the Gothic Tintern Abbey, which is famous for inspiring the poet William Wordsworth. This roofless, ruined Cistercian Abbey is a magical place with views across the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Planning your UK staycation

Before you set off to explore these beautiful places in Wales, make sure you do the following:

  • Check the current opening times of attractions.
  • Consider pre-booking activities and restaurants if you’re visiting at peak times.
  • Buy UK travel insurance if you have two or more nights away booked in pre-paid accommodation to cover you for cancellations and more.

If you’ve already checked Wales off your list, have a look at our top beautiful places to visit in EnglandScotland and Ireland too. 

*Please refer to our policy wording for terms and conditions regarding sports and activities.