15 Best Things To Do In Wales

15 Best Things To Do In Wales

By will

Visiting Wales is an amazing experience. It’s a country full of beautiful landscapes, historical sites, and plenty of activities. From climbing the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdon, to visiting the oldest castles, there is something for everyone.

I’m excited to share with you 15 of the best things to do in Wales. Whether you’re looking for an active outdoor adventure or a relaxing day exploring the countryside, you’ll find something that fits the bill.

So grab your walking shoes and let’s get started!

Visit the Welsh National Botanic Garden

A path in the Great Glasshouse, National Botanic Garden of Wales
Photo by Humphrey Bolton

Exploring the Welsh National Botanic Garden is an opportunity to reconnect with nature and yourself.

Set in the heart of Wales, this botanic garden offers a unique opportunity to explore a stunning variety of flora and fauna.

With over 5,000 species of plants from all around the world, the garden is home to some of the most exotic plants and trees.

Admire the magnificence of the Japanese cherry blossom, ponder over the delicate beauty of the Chinese magnolias, or marvel at the rare and beautiful plants of the Mediterranean.

The Welsh National Botanic Garden is also home to a wide range of wildlife.

Spot the rare red kites soaring in the sky, marvel at the majestic herons, and listen for the call of the kingfisher.

Take a stroll through the woodlands and discover the hidden beauty of the wildflowers and grasses.

The Welsh National Botanic Garden also offers a variety of educational programs and activities.

Learn about the history of Wales, explore the science of botany, or take part in a number of hands-on workshops.

No matter your interests, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Welsh National Botanic Garden.

Walk Along the Wales Coast Path

Wales Coast Path near Byrlip Farm
Photo by Eirian Evans

Take a stroll along the Wales Coast Path and discover stunning scenery and hidden gems! The Wales Coast Path is an 870-mile long path along the country’s entire coastline, from the Dee Estuary in the north to Chepstow in the south.

Along the way, the path passes through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, from coastal cliffs to breathtaking beaches and tranquil estuaries. You’ll also discover hidden gems like ancient castles, chapels, and remote fishing villages.

The path is well-marked, so you can easily find your way. It also includes plenty of rest stops and picnic areas, so you can take a break and enjoy the beautiful views.

Whether you’re walking the entire path or just exploring parts of it, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

Climb Mount Snowdon

A View of Mount Snowdon
Photo by David Bremner

Climbing Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, offers spectacular views of the Welsh countryside, as well as a challenging hike that will leave you feeling accomplished.

The mountain stands at 3,560 feet, and is the highest point in the British Isles outside of Scotland. It’s a popular spot to take in the scenery and to get a sense of the Welsh landscape.

The hike is not especially difficult, but it’s a great way to get some exercise and see the Welsh countryside from a different perspective. The summit offers breathtaking views, with a 360-degree panorama that includes Snowdonia, the surrounding mountains, and the Irish Sea.

The hike is a great way to spend a day or two, especially if you want to explore the area further. The surrounding area has plenty of interesting sights to see, including lakes, forests, and other trails to explore.

So if you’re looking for a way to explore Wales, climbing Mount Snowdon is definitely a great option.

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Explore the Castles of Wales

This photo shows the Upper Ward inside the castle where in 1301, King Edward I proclaimed his baby son Prince of Wales. Subsequent ceremonies took place elsewhere until 1911 when Prince Edward, later Edward VIII, was invested as Prince of Wales on the raised platform seen in this photo. The last such investiture took place in 1969 when Prince Charles became Prince of Wales, and this was watched on television throughout the world. The Queen's Gate and North-East Tower can be seen behind the raised platform.
Photo by David Hillas

Discover the castles of Wales, a captivating journey through majestic fortresses and grand ruins that will leave you in awe.

From the magnificent walls of Caernarfon Castle to the iconic Conwy Castle, a visit to the castles of Wales is a must for any traveler.

Take in the breathtaking views from the lofty battlements of Beaumaris Castle and explore the mysterious underground tunnels of Carreg Cennen Castle.

Immerse yourself in the history of Wales and discover the ruins of the once-mighty castles that date back to the medieval period.

For the history buffs, there are plenty of opportunities to dig deeper into the fascinating stories of the castles of Wales.

From the siege of Harlech Castle to the daring escape of Edward I from Conwy Castle, you can explore the remarkable stories behind the castles.

As you explore the ruins, you’ll be inspired by the grandeur of the past and captivated by the tales of bravery and courage.

From the medieval to the modern-day, the castles of Wales offer something for everyone.

Tour the Caernarfon Castle

Experience the majestic walls of Caernarfon Castle, an iconic fortress that dates back to the medieval period. Built in 1283 by Edward I, the castle is an impressive sight, with its massive stone walls and eight towers standing tall.

The castle has a deep and fascinating history, having been the site of numerous battles and sieges over the centuries. Today, it houses a museum, open to the public, that tells the story of its past.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, why not take a guided tour around the castle walls? You’ll get an opportunity to learn about the construction of the castle and the history of the Welsh people who defended it against the invading English forces. You’ll also get to explore the interior of the castle, including the royal chambers, and the impressive Great Hall.

Be sure to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the Menai Strait. Caernarfon Castle is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the history of Wales.

Enjoy the Beaches of Wales

Kick back and relax at some of Wales’ stunning beaches! From the golden sands of the Gower Peninsula to the sheltered bays of the Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales is home to a variety of beautiful beaches.

Whether you’re looking for a place to soak up the sun or take a dip in the ocean, Wales has something for everyone.

One of the best-known beaches in Wales is Barmouth, located on the west coast. It’s a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing, and its two-mile-long shoreline makes it a popular spot for families.

If you’re looking for a quieter spot, head to the sheltered beaches of the Llŷn Peninsula. With rocky cliffs, rolling hills, and plenty of wildlife, this area is perfect for a peaceful stroll.

No matter where you go, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes. Wales’ stunning beaches are some of the best in the world, so make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy them!

Visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum

Immerse yourself in Welsh history at the Big Pit National Coal Museum – a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the industrial heritage of Wales. Located in Blaenavon, Wales, the Big Pit National Coal Museum is a former coal mine that’s been restored and turned into a museum.

Here, visitors can take a tour of the coal mine and discover the history of coal mining in Wales. Guests can also take part in interactive activities such as a miners’ trial, go on an underground tour with a former miner, and learn about the lives of miners from the past.

The museum also houses a variety of artifacts that tell the story of the industrial history of Wales.

The Big Pit National Coal Museum is an educational and immersive experience that provides a unique insight into the history of the coal industry in Wales. The museum also has a number of interactive exhibits and activities, which make it a great day out for the whole family.

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If you’re looking to explore the industrial heritage of Wales, the Big Pit National Coal Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Take a Trip to St. Davids Cathedral

I’m excited to explore the beauty and history of St. Davids Cathedral, the resting place of Wales’ patron saint – St. David – and one of the most important religious sites in the country.

St. Davids Cathedral is a historic, Grade I listed building that stands in the city of St. Davids, Pembrokeshire. It was built in the 12th century and is the final resting place of St. David and his successor, Bishop Bernard. The cathedral is a magnificent example of Norman architecture, with a distinctive hollow tower and many ornate carvings.

Inside, visitors can admire the intricate stained glass windows, the ancient stone altar, and the beautifully preserved tombs of the famous Welsh bishops.

St. Davids Cathedral is also an important spiritual and cultural center. Guided tours are available, and exploring the grounds is a great way to learn about the history and culture of Wales.

The Cathedral also hosts a range of events and concerts throughout the year, allowing visitors to enjoy a unique experience. Whether you’re visiting for the history, architecture, or spiritual significance, a trip to St. Davids Cathedral is an unmissable experience.

Explore the Brecon Beacons National Park

Soak in the breathtaking beauty of Brecon Beacons National Park, a stunning landscape of rolling hills, lush valleys, and rugged mountain peaks in Wales.

With over 600 square miles of protected landscape, the Brecon Beacons National Park is an incredible place to explore. It’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities, from walking and cycling to rock climbing and caving.

There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, with a variety of birds, bats, and other animals to discover.

For those looking for a more relaxed excursion, the Brecon Beacons offer a range of scenic drives, along with picturesque towns and villages to explore. Visitors can also visit historic sites, such as the remains of the Iron Age hill fort of Pen y Fan, or take a boat trip along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

With so much to see and do, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a memorable trip to Wales.

Take a Ride on the Welsh Highland Railway

Take a scenic ride on the Welsh Highland Railway and journey through the stunning Welsh countryside in style! The Welsh Highland Railway is a 25 mile long heritage railway that runs from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, with stops at various stops along the way.

This incredible journey takes passengers through some of the most breathtaking views in Wales, with highlights including the majestic Snowdonia National Park and the tranquil Llyn Peninsula. Along the route, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular landscapes of the Welsh countryside, with lush green fields, rolling hills, and beautiful rivers.

The Welsh Highland Railway also offers a variety of special events and experiences, such as the popular ‘Santa Special’ and the ‘Cheese and Wine Train’ experiences. Whether you’re a railway enthusiast, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique way to explore Wales, a ride on the Welsh Highland Railway is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Enjoy a Night Out in Cardiff

Experience a vibrant nightlife in Cardiff and explore the city’s diverse range of bars, clubs, and restaurants!

From traditional pubs to rooftop bars, Cardiff is the perfect place to spend an evening out. Whether you’re looking for a quiet night out with friends or a wild night of clubbing, there’s something for everyone in the Welsh capital.

Cardiff has a wide variety of bars to choose from, including traditional pubs and beer halls, cocktail lounges, and craft breweries. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of rooftop bars with stunning views of the city skyline.

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If you’re looking for a lively night out, Cardiff also has a thriving nightlife with plenty of clubs and bars playing all kinds of music. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in Cardiff.

Go Shopping in Swansea

Discover the unique shopping opportunities in Swansea – from independent boutiques to large department stores – and experience the city’s dynamic atmosphere for yourself!

From the bustling Oxford Street to the chic St. Mary’s Square, Swansea offers a variety of retail experiences.

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or a statement piece, you’re sure to find something special in Swansea.

Explore the city’s numerous antique shops and independent stores to find one-of-a-kind items, or browse the shelves of the city centre’s department stores for fashion, jewellery and homeware.

Swansea also boasts a vibrant market, where you can pick up fresh produce, crafts, and vintage goods.

With a selection of cafes and restaurants, you can take a break from shopping to rest and refuel.

Enjoy a unique shopping experience in Swansea and take home something special to remember your visit.

Take a Trip to the National Waterfront Museum

After a great shopping experience in Swansea, I’m heading to the National Waterfront Museum. Located in the heart of Swansea, this museum is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the history and culture of Wales.

The museum is home to a wealth of interactive exhibits and displays. It tells the story of Wales throughout the Industrial Revolution and beyond. These exhibits include the stories of the people, the industry, and the environment of Wales.

Visitors can explore the history of Welsh industries, such as coal and steel. They can also discover the heritage of the Welsh language. The museum offers interactive activities, including a virtual reality experience and a range of games.

Additionally, the museum provides talks and workshops, giving visitors the chance to learn more about the history of Wales.

Visit the Tintern Abbey

Heading to Tintern Abbey gives visitors the chance to marvel at the stunning ruins of a Cistercian Abbey that was founded in 1131 and is located in the stunning Wye Valley.

Situated in Monmouthshire, Wales, the Abbey is surrounded by picturesque countryside and is one of the most visited sites in the country.

One of the most unique aspects of Tintern Abbey is its remarkable state of preservation.

The ruins are in such good condition that many of the walls still stand and the monastic buildings are easily recognizable.

Visitors can explore the grounds and surrounding area to get a full appreciation of the Abbey’s beauty.

There are plenty of trails to explore, offering some spectacular views of the River Wye.

Many of the trails lead to nearby points of interest, such as the nearby Devil’s Pulpit, which is a limestone rock formation, and the Devil’s Kitchen, a steep gorge near the river.

Tintern Abbey is a great place to explore and take in the stunning historic architecture and beautiful nature of Wales.

Go Surfing at Gower Peninsula

Head to the Gower Peninsula in Wales for an unforgettable surfing experience! Located just outside of Swansea, this is one of the most popular surfing spots in the world.

The Gower Peninsula is home to over 40 miles of stunning coastline, with waves for all levels of surfers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you’ll be able to enjoy an amazing day riding the waves.

The Gower Peninsula is also a great place to learn, with experienced instructors available to help you get the most out of your surfing experience.

With beautiful sights, amazing waves, and a great atmosphere, the Gower Peninsula is the perfect place to spend an unforgettable day of surfing.

Conclusion

It’s been an incredible journey exploring all the top things to do in Wales.

From the Welsh National Botanic Garden to the Tintern Abbey, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Caernarfon Castle is a must-see, and Gower Peninsula is great for surfing.

The National Waterfront Museum and Swansea are both great places to go shopping.

But the best experience of all is climbing Mount Snowdon and walking along the Wales Coast Path.

I’m so glad I got to experience this amazing country and all it has to offer.

I’m sure I’ll be back again soon to explore some more.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.