Top 10 things to do in Wales

February Half Term

top 10 things to do in Wales

Wales offers some of the most diverse activities and attractions in the UK, with majestic mountains in the north, tropical-esque beaches in the south and rolling countryside in the centre, not to mention its vibrant cities!

1. Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia

823 square miles of incredible landscapes captivate thousands of visitors each year, in fact, Snowdonia itself needs a top 10 in order to take everything in. Keen walkers can climb Snowdon, the highest mountain in the UK, or take the easy option and trundle up by train! There are many walking routes throughout the whole park, taking in the mountain scenery, rivers, lakes and valleys, including lots of options for families, pushchairs and wheelchair users.

<32>2. Visit a castle

Caerphilly Castle

There are reportedly over 600 castles in Wales, some mere ruins, others well-preserved reminders of a turbulent and dramatic past. Caerphilly Castle is hard to beat in terms of scale and foreboding appearance. Surrounded by water, it rises from the outskirts of town, boasting a maze of rooms, corridors and walls to explore. Caernarfon Castle offers a similarly impressive experience, while Cardiff Castle is conveniently located for an afternoon visit while exploring the city. For location, Carreg Cennen on the edge of the Brecon Beacons is beyond compare, offering 360-degree views of the Black Mountain and Welsh countryside.

3. Beach day on the Gower Peninsula

Rhossili Bay

The fact that the Gower was the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a testament to its breathtaking scenery, not least its first class beaches. Popular with surfers and sunbathers alike, Llangennith, Rhossili Bay, Three Cliffs and Caswell Bay are but a few of the stunning beaches on offer. Take the opportunity to hone your surfing skills, or simply enjoy a seaside sandcastle building and beach games session with the family. If your four-legged friend is in tow, take a look at our top dog-friendly beaches in Wales.

4. A day in Cardiff

Cardiff

Whether you’re a shop-til-you-dropper, or a sightseeing enthusiast, Cardiff has plenty to offer. Designer brands and high street stores rub shoulders with charming independent shops, with the shopping centres of St David’s, Royal Arcade, Capitol and Queens Arcade all offering the visitor something a little different. The iconic Millennium Stadium is not to be missed, neither is a visit to the city’s very own castle. Families and fans of ‘the Doctor’ will love the Doctor Who Experience, while history enthusiasts will find much of interest in the National Museum Cardiff and St Fagan’s National History Museum.

5. Go for a walk

Pembrokeshire Coast

We’re sorry for being vague here, but with three National Parks and a plethora of walking routes to choose from, it would be unfair to concentrate on just one in our top 10. For a fabulous countryside ramble, choose one of the sections of the 177 mile Offa’s Dyke Path which stretches the entire Wales/England border. For more breathtaking rural scenery, head for Llyn Fan Y Fach or Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons; both offer equally astonishing views. If you prefer a stroll along the coast, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is perfect, while those after a more challenging hike can tackle the peaks of Snowdonia in the north.

6. Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways

Ffestiniog Railway

Covering a combined total of over 40 miles, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways give a different perspective on the scenery of Snowdonia. Chug your way sedately through the countryside, past picturesque lakes and enchanting woodland and stop off at some of the pretty towns, including Beddgelert and Caernarfon.

Check timetables for winter services.

7. Llandudno and the Great Orme

Llandudno

The largest and arguably most popular seaside resort in Wales, Llandudno sprawls along a stretch of the north coast, with views out across the Irish Sea. Besides its attractive seafront and Victorian promenade, Llandudno’s iconic feature is the Great Orme, a hulking ‘mini-mountain’ accessible on foot, by car, or for the most memorable experience, by cable car. It is home to much wildlife and also the Great Orme Mines which are an attraction open to visitors.

8. Big Pit National Coal Museum

Big Pit National Coal Museum

One of Britain’s leading mine museums, the Big Pit National Coal Museum offers the unusual opportunity to descend 300 feet underground in the company of a former miner to find out what life was like working on the coal face. Broaden your knowledge with the help of the exhibitions in The Pithead Baths, including learning about the role children played in the mines. Leave time to explore the historic buildings on site which house machinery used in the mining operations.

9. Follow in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

One of Wales’ most famous people, Dylan Thomas, was a poet and writer born in Swansea. Today, his legacy can be explored throughout South Wales, starting at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea. The Centre houses an interactive exhibition telling the story of his life and work, as well as exploring the cultural context of his poems and writing. Once you’ve found out a bit more about him, you can visit the house where he was born, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea. A little further afield, the seaside town of Laugharne was the home of Dylan Thomas from 1949 and provided inspiration for his work. Visit the Boathouse where he lived with his family, and Browns Hotel one of the pubs he most frequented.

10. The National Showcaves Centre for Wales

Dan yr Ogof, National Showcaves Centre for Wales

Dan Yr Ogof is a fantastic collection of caves which has earnt it the title of the National Showcaves Centre for Wales. Enter the underground cave system where you’ll find stunning formations including the “Rasher of Bacon”, the heavenly “Angel” and the “Alabaster Pillar” and be awestruck by the waterfalls which cascade through the aptly named Cathedral Cave. In Bone Cave were found the remains of 42 human skeletons and their personal items.

Open 7 days a week from Saturday 1st April until Sunday 5th November 2017, and open during February half-term.

These are just a handful of experiences waiting for you in Wales, but luckily a cottage break offers you plenty of time to explore! Take a look at our holiday cottages in Wales and for more attractions and experiences, browse our list of things to do in Wales.

Posted by Clare Willcocks on 16th February 2017