Tourist Attractions in Wales

The 12 most popular tourist attractions in the city of Wales

The smallest of mainland Britain, Wales offers many wonderful reasons to visit. The south includes cosmopolitan Cardiff, a good base from which to start exploring the rest of the country. With its magnificent castle, arcades and historic buildings, it’s a city with plenty of places to visit and things to do. When you’re ready to go further, you’ll find many attractions, including more than 400 castles and fortifications, gardens, breathtaking scenery and heritage railroads. However you choose to spend time in Wales, rest assured that you’re in good hands; the Welsh are some of the most interesting, laid-back people you’ll find anywhere.

1 Snowdonia.

Think of Wales, and you’ll probably think of Snowdonia, a beautiful range of mountains and hills located in the county of Gwynedd. Consisting of 14 majestic peaks over 3,000 feet high – the most famous of which is the 3,546-foot Snowdon, the top of which can be reached by train – Snowdonia can be seen as far away as Porthmadog on the west coast. When you’re here, it’s easy to see why the area is so different from local legends, including those based on King Arthur , which locals will insist are Welsh. Snowdonia National Park is also one of the most popular tourist and climbing destinations in the UK, and stretches from the coast all the way to Bala Lake .

Accommodations: Where to stay in Snowdonia

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  • Exploring Snowdonia: A Visitor’s Guide

2 Brecon Beacon National Park.

Brecon Beacon National Park

Brecon Beacon National Park encompasses one of the most beautiful parts of Wales. This traveler’s paradise is bounded by two very different sets of Black Mountains , The first, to the west, is the source of the River Usk , and to the east is famous for its wild ponies. Most of the mountains in this 520-square-mile park are over 1,000 feet high, many over 2,000 feet, and are named for the red sandstone that makes them resemble beacons of light that were once warned of invaders. Be sure to explore the park’s many caves and waterfalls, especially Henrhyd Falls in Coelbren , In the vicinity of the park, near Abergavenny, you can go to the Great Coal Museum coal mine .

Accommodation: Where to stay near Brecon Beacons National Park

3 Devil’s Bridge and Hafon Manor

Devil’s Bridge and Hafon Manor

Located 12 miles from the seaside town of Aberystwyth , “Devil’s Bridge” is actually three bridges, spectacularly stacked on top of each other, with the oldest dating to the 11th century and the newest, built in 1901. They span the Reidol Gorge , where the Mynach River plunges 300 feet into the valley far below. Follow the Falls Nature Trail to the bottom. It’s a bit of a climb – especially those steep, slippery steps of Jacob’s Ladder , the segment leading to the oldest bridge – but the views are incredible.

Afterward, visit the Hafod Estate , 200 acres of lovingly restored 18th-century woodlands and gardens that were considered Britain’s finest. While the estate is long gone, visitors can enjoy pleasant hikes along well-marked trails past waterfalls, ancient trees and old, walled formal gardens. And if you’re looking for an idyllic cottage vacation, the wonderful Old Hawthorne Cottage allows guests an unforgettable experience.

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Address: Hafod Estate, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad-Meurig, Ceredigion

Official website: www.hafod.org

Accommodation: Where to stay in Aberystwyth

4 Wales by train

Wales by Rail

Wales was once known for its mining operations, particularly the extraction of the slate used for roofing, still so common here. While most of these mines and quarries have closed, the narrow-gauge railroads used to transport goods (and then Victorian tourists) across the country have been restored and now provide scenic tours. More than 10 heritage railroad lines reach some of the most popular landmarks, including mountains, seaside towns and castles, simply by hopping on a steam train. Many of the larger lines, such as the 14-mile Ffestiniog Railway running through Snowdonia National Park, offer unique train driving courses and volunteer opportunities to add to the experience.

Official website: www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk

5 Caernarfon Castle.

Built by King Edward I in the 13th century as the seat of the first Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle is one of the largest castles in the country. With its 13 towers and two gates, this massive castle is recognized as one of the most impressive and best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. Taking the place of an even older Norman castle, Caernarfon Castle dominates the waters of the Seiont River and the Menai Straits on one side and is protected by a moat on the other. Its royal legacy continues to this day, with the scene of Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.

Accommodations: Where to stay in Caernarfon

6 Conwy.

On the north coast of Wales, near Manchester, Conwy offers something for everyone: a stunning castle, medieval architecture and plenty of shopping. The best views are of Conwy Castle and also of the River Conwy, with its suspension bridge designed by Thomas Telford, from the 13th-century city walls built by King Edward I to keep the Welsh in fear. The Aberconwy House National Trust is the only surviving 14th-century Conwy merchant’s house and one of the first buildings built inside the city walls. Other interesting houses are the Elizabethan Plas Mawr , and the Smallest House in Britain .

Official website: www.visitconwy.com/homesub.php

Accommodation: Where to stay in Conwy

7 Pembrokeshire Coast

Surrounded by water on three sides, Wales has more than its share of dramatic coastlines. Some of the most spectacular can be found along the coast of the Pembrokeshire Peninsula, which juts out into the Irish Sea. You can explore it on foot along the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, finding villages like the picturesque little resort of Tenby, still partially surrounded by its medieval walls. Other Pembrokeshire coastal attractions include Pembroke Castle, St. David’s Cathedral (in the town of the same name), and idyllic fishing ports such as Laugharne, where the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas lived most of his life; his elfin house above the bay is now a museum. As elsewhere in Wales, adventurous travelers can find unique places to stay, including classic old farms, gypsy caravans, or vintage wagons.

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Accommodations: Where to stay on the Pembrokeshire coast

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8 Portmeirion.

Portmeirion is a beautiful resort and tourist attraction on the coast of Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd , North Wales , Built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, Portmeirion was like a quaint Italian fishing village. Visitors who stay overnight come to the whole place when the gates are closed, when they can explore its beautiful gardens, fountains, church and coastal trails of the lower village. It’s the setting for numerous movies and television programs, including the iconic 1960s show, The Prisoner .

Address: Minfordd, Penryngyddrayet, Gwynedd

Official website: www.portmeirion-village.com

Accommodation: Where to stay in Portmeirion

9 Bodny Garden.

The Weeping Lab in Bodnant Garden

National Trust, Bodnant Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Britain, created over the years by generations of the McLaren family and brought to its current heights by the 2nd Lord Aberconway. The main impressive gardens are the majestic formal terraces , overlooking the River Conwy on Snowdonia and the famous Labnum Arch , This curved walk of about 50 yards is covered with labia whose abundant long flowers cover it in cascades of yellow in late May and early June. It’s also springtime when Dell, a deep valley where trees rise above streams, adorns rhododendrons. But a wide variety of flowering plants ensures that the gardens are filled with color throughout the season. Among the trees 40 British champions , rated the best examples of its kind in Britain. From Gloucestershire has moved a graceful Georgian mill.

Address: Bodnant Rd, Tal-y-cafn, Colwyn Bay

Official website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

10 Ponzysilthe Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal

Ponzysilthe Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal

It took 10 years to design and build the aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the broad valley of the River Dee in northeast Wales, and it remains even today a feat of civil engineering, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site , the 18-shaped bridge is made of stone and cast iron, its arches soaring 100 feet above the river and over 1000 feet in length. In 1801, when the aqueduct was built, canals were an important means of transportation for manufactured goods and raw materials, and aqueducts were a more efficient means of transporting them across deep valleys than the stairs of canal locks. It is the longest navigable aqueduct in Britain and the tallest in the world. A narrow walkway with railings allows pedestrians to cross the bridge, but it is much more interesting to cross it on the canal , It is not for those with acrophobia, as the boat sits high on the shallow canal and it is a long way to the river. For a less vertigo-inducing ride, horse-drawn boats take tourists on tree-shaded sections of the canal from nearby Llangollen Wharf.

Location: Llangollen Wharf

Official website: www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk

11 Anglesey.

Separated from mainland Wales by the wide Menai Strait in the Mile, Menai Suspension Bridge (1818) – Anglesey Island is home to several quaint little fishing villages sprinkled along more than 100 miles of attractive coastline. Along with sandy beaches and attractions like South Stack Lighthouse , the island’s mild climate makes it popular with day-trippers and tourists. The smaller Holy Island, connected to Anglesey Bridge, is a popular resort with two promenades (one of them 1.5 miles long), and the tiny Salt Island offers great views and birdwatching. Finally, one of the world’s most famous photographers is on the train platforms of the city with the world’s longest name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllandysiliogogogogoch.

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Accommodation: Where to stay in Anglesey

12 Llandudno.

Called the “Queen of Welsh Resorts,” Llandudno is the largest seaside resort town in Wales.Situated on the north coast overlooking the Irish Sea, this ideal tourist destination lies between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme, a peninsula inhabited since the Stone Age. The unique city walk lacks the usual seaside stores and cafes, which have been intelligently placed behind the waterfront to provide visitors with a more peaceful Victorian architecture experience. The best views of the city and its surroundings are from Great Orme , easily reached by the heritage tramway. Well planned by rail and road, Llandudno is a good starting point for tours of the Great North Coast of Wales.

Official website: www.visitllandudno.org.uk

Accommodation: Where to stay in Llandudno

More must-see destinations in and around Wales

The vibrant capital city of Cardiff is a good place to start your journey and a good base for exploring South Wales. Cardiff is close to the interesting port city of Bristol, just across the border in England. As you explore the beautiful mountains and countryside of North Wales, consider crossing the border again to visit Chester, a charming walled city on the canal.

Going to Wales: 7 places that mesmerize

Surrounded on three sides by the sea, Wales is a land of rich history, cozy towns and gorgeous scenery. Zagranica has found 7 of the most beautiful places in the Principality, where you can have a great time and appreciate the main treasure of this beautiful corner of the UK – nature. Pack your bags!

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia, a land of emerald greenery against a backdrop of severe gray cliffs, is visited by more than 500,000 sightseers and climbers annually. The reserve covers 2,142 km and the landscape is dominated by heathland and mountains. A trip here will leave the most vivid and pleasant impressions.

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What to do at Snowdonia NP? The park offers great opportunities for most types of tourist activities. Here you can walk endless trails surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, get lost in the narrow streets of medieval Conwy, touch history at the ruins of Carnarvon and Harlech castles, ride the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top of Mount Snowdon or try to get your biggest catch on the shores of Llyn Tegid (or Bala Lake).

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You can find all the ideas for outdoor activities in Snowdonia on the park’s official website.

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Anglesey.

The largest island in Wales and the fifth largest in Britain, Anglesey inspires and gives you a taste of all the colors of life. Once you’re here you can’t help but marvel at the beautiful coastline and quaint towns and villages. Unspoiled nature invites you to hike, trails and coastal roads invite you to ride a bike, and sandy beaches are great for scuba diving, surfing, and sailing in the warmer months.

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Lovers of historical monuments will discover the rich past of the castle-fortress Beaumaris, preserved since the 13th century and seen more than one siege.

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How about an unusual vacation? In Anglesey, you can swap a standard hotel room or apartment for a cozy yurt .

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

The Pembrokeshire Coast is one of the areas of outstanding natural beauty in Wales, along with Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons (discussed below). It’s a wild, beautiful coastline with mind-blowing scenery and impregnable shores.

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What is there to do here? The best way to get to know the national park is on a hike. Every bay, hill or beach along Pembrokeshire’s rugged coastline is the backdrop for a beautiful photograph or a moment to admire and be inspired by Welsh nature. In 2012, National Geographic magazine named Pembrokeshire the second most beautiful coastline in the world for a reason.

But it’s not just coastal promenades and beach holidays that interest Pembrokshire National Park. How about a refreshing dip in the cool sea water? Adrenaline-seekers will appreciate coasteering – climbing coastal cliffs and jumping into the water.

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Aberystwyth.

A small town on the shores of Cardigan Bay is a great place for lovers of beautiful nature and outdoor activities.

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What’s there to see? Firstly, it’s fun to walk around Aberystwyth itself, the economic and cultural heart of Wales. Here you’ll find the ruins of an ancient castle, a working university from 1872, and the National Library. On a clear day, the waterfront and pier and the cable car that runs up and down the slopes of Constitution Hill offer beautiful seascapes.

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And of course, Aberystwyth is famous for Devil’s Bridge or Pontarfynach. The unique waterfalls are located 20 km from the city and have been popular with tourists and travelers since the 18th century. They are beautiful and open to the public at any time of year. You can get there by car or by steam train from Aberystwyth.

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There is a fee to enter the walk to the waterfalls for those over the age of 5. Tickets range from £1 to £3.75 depending on season and age.

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Parking is free. You can find detailed information about opening hours and rates on the official website . It also details 2 tour options: a short 10-minute walk and a thrilling 45-minute hike up steep staircases to some of Wales’ most “juicy” views. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

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If you stop at Gigrin Farm (about an hour’s drive from Aberystwyth) you can watch red kites feeding as flocks of birds hover over the lake, momentarily descending for another tidbit. Read more about the farm and the services provided on the official website .

Bog Snorkelling Competition

Diving into a bog in a diving mask is probably not the most pleasant of activities. But the bog snorkelling competitions in muddy ditches do have a few fans in Wales. This unusual event has been taking place on the outskirts of Llanwrtyd Wells since 1976 and gathers a lot of spectators.

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According to the rules, participants must wear masks with a snorkel and flippers. It is allowed to develop speed only by moving the flippers (hand movements are prohibited). The length of the trench is 55 meters. It must be passed in one heat twice. The current world record belongs to Kirsty Johnson, who covered the distance of 120 meters in 1 minute and 22.56 seconds in 2014.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Formed during the Ice Age, the grass-covered hills, carved mountainsides and spring-fed valleys of 1,345-square-meter Brecon Beacons National Park are a great place to hike, bike or horseback ride.

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These are amazing corners in south Wales, with a cute little town with pubs, farmers’ markets and Michelin restaurants, Brecon, right next door.

The Offa’s Dyke Trail, which winds along the park’s eastern boundary, is popular with visitors to Brecon Beacons, overlooking some of the park’s most spectacular scenery and natural features.

And Brecon Beacons NP is also home to the amazing Dark Sky Preserve . Arriving here late at night on clear weather, you can admire the beauty of the star dome, its vastness, the bright neon light of the Milky Way and major constellations until morning.

Photo: farawaythings.blogspot.com

The entire palette of activities that park guests can take advantage of is presented here .

Pistyll Rhaeadr Falls in Powys

The 80-meter waterfall is located near the village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant. You can admire the waterfall at any time of the year and it is absolutely free. The ascent to the top of the precipice takes about 20 minutes. There is also a bridge here, which you can walk deeper into the forest. It is best to walk the forest trails on a nice day.

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At the foot of Pistyll Rhaeadr is Tan-y-Pistyll, a small tea house that serves delicious snacks and drinks and invites you to warm up by the warm fireplace when it’s cold. There are gorgeous views of the waterfall from the windows.

If you find yourself in the area, check out the chic pink Powys Castle in Welshpool as well. A stroll through the medieval Powis Castle and its adjoining manicured garden will be informative and interesting.

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What parts of majestic and unique Wales appeal to you? Share your travel finds and experiences in the comments!

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