Visit Wales / Croeso CymruAddress:
Things to see and do
Go to a rugby match
Wales remains a rugby nation at heart, so a visit to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on an international match day is generally a feisty occasion. The ground has the advantage of being right in the heart of the city, meaning a colourful pre-match atmosphere in the surrounding pubs.
Hike in the Brecon Beacons
Breathe in the fresh air of south Wales’ biggest inland draw: the green upland scenery of Brecon Beacons National Park. Hikers and mountain-bikers will be in their element, and it’s a great spot for star-gazing too, being officially recognised as a Dark Sky Reserve
Drink in some spectacular views and hike up Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, situated in Snowdonia National Park. At 1,085m (3,560ft) Snowdon is the UK’s highest peak outside the Scottish Highlands. There are various routes to reach the summit, ranging from the straightforward to the nerve-jangling.
Wales’ rocky landscapes and tumbling waters provide ideal settings for high-octane outdoor activities such as white-water rafting, abseiling and caving. A relatively recent attraction is Zip World, in Penrhyn quarry near Bangor – the zipline reaches speeds of up to 75mph (120kph), making it one for the thrill-seekers. And something a lot muddier? Try bog snorkelling.
Learn about mining
Experience Wales’ days as an industrial powerhouse by visiting the former coal-producing valleys located inland from Cardiff. Blaenafon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a superb heritage attraction in the form of the Big Pit National Coal Museum. It includes the possibility of taking an underground tour.
Spend time at the National History Museum
Get to grips with the roots of Welsh culture at St Fagans’ popular open-air National History Museum. Set in the grounds of a huge 16th-century manor house, the ‘living museum’ includes more than 40 original buildings, including a farm, a school and houses. Craftsmen still showcase traditional skills.
Go green at CAT
Located close to the market town of Machynlleth is the Centre for Alternative Technology, an educational attraction dedicated to environmental issues and sustainable energy use. Expect interactive displays and kid-friendly activities alongside a full programme of events and tours. The site actually generates renewable energy of its own.
Visit history at Chepstow Castle
The construction of Chepstow Castle began in 1066 just after the Battle of Hastings, and was the first castle in Britain to be built entirely of stone. It opened its doors to tourists for the first time in 1953 and today features life-size models of its former inhabitants and rulers.
Go for a paddle in Llandudno
Enjoy this popular seaside resort’s 19th century charms, where a huge sweeping bay looks out over the Irish Sea while the limestone headlands of Great Orme and Little Orme rise in the background. There’s still plenty in the way of traditional British seaside charm, as well as some stately Victorian architecture along the seafront.
Spend time in Cardiff
The Welsh capital is a lively place to spend time, with busy pubs, quality restaurants and first-rate cultural attractions (including the Doctor Who Experience, Time Lord fans). Be sure to take in Cardiff Castle and the revamped Cardiff Bay area.
Relax on the Gower Peninsula
This breathtaking stretch of land is one of Wales’ most prominent natural treasures. Stretching out next to less-than-pretty Swansea, the Gower Peninsula is a bevy of pretty coves, crashing waves and jagged cliffs. Head to the enormous Rhossili beach – often voted one of the UK’s best – for vast stretches of sand, glistening waters and surfing lessons.
Retrace the steps of Dylan Thomas
One of the greatest writers and poets ever to come out of Wales, Dylan Thomas still occupies a special place in national culture. Learn more about his life and legacy by visiting his Swansea birthplace and other significant locations such as Newquay and Laugharne.
Cross over to Anglesey
Cross the Menai Strait to the island of Anglesey, notable for its long stretches of wild coastline (most of which is officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and being home to the UK’s longest place name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. For reasons of practicality, the village is commonly called Llanfair PG.
See Wales by train
The Ffestiniog Railway passes through glorious scenery in the Snowdonia National Park, while the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway passes through gentler countryside close to the English border. Another scenic option, the Snowdon Mountain Railway, climbs to the summit of Wales’ highest peak.
Step back in time at Conwy Castle
Constructed between 1283 and 1289, the strikingly handsome Conwy Castle was one of a number of fortresses built in North Wales to subdue the Welsh Princes. Dominating the town of Conwy itself, it sits high on a rocky plateau above an estuary, backdropped by the dramatic scenery of Snowdonia.