Options for the best day trips from Cardiff extend well into South West Wales and into South England thanks to great motorways and trains from Cardiff.
Day Trips from Cardiff include hiking in the Brecon Beacons and Malvern Hills. Getting some fresh sea air on the Gower and West Coast of Wales, having some seaside fun in Tenby and Weston-Super-Mare and learning about history in Bath and the Wye Valley.
Whether you live in or near Cardiff, or you are visiting Cardiff as a tourist, here are the top Cardiff day trips and Cardiff days out you can go on all year round!
Having a car is the best way to do a day trip from Cardiff, however I have noted many day trips from Cardiff by train below, and tours from Cardiff you can book onto with a guide and coach!
Day Trips From Cardiff
Cardiff Day Tours
There are also many Cardiff day tours on offer, especially for South Wales which are perfect if you do not have a car and when public transport is limited so I have noted the best day tours from Cardiff within the options below.
Cardiff Day Trips
1. Gower Peninsula
For some fresh Welsh air the Gower Peninsula very close to Swansea is one of the best day trips from Cardiff you can go on!
Rhossili Bay in the South is now a really famous spot in wales thanks to the view of the beach becoming so iconic. You can head down to the beach for a long walk or walk up to Worms Head Causeway.
The Mumbles is another place to visit on the Gower Peninsula on this Cardiff day trip which is a pretty seaside town complete with a seaside pier full of entertainment.
Three Cliffs Bay is a popular beach to go to because of the Three Cliffs rock formation and there is a great coastal walk to nearby beaches!
As you drive around the Gower Peninsula from Cardiff you’ll see wild ponies and incredible views the whole way. It’s like being on an island but in an easy location close to Swansea and Cardiff making it one of the best day trips from Cardiff.
How to do a Gower day trip from Cardiff?
You’ll need a car to do this day trip from Cardiff to the Gower Peninsula easily due to its location, although there are buses from Swansea City onto the Gower too.
However, if you don’t have a car and perhaps you are visiting Cardiff as a tourist, there are Cardiff day tours from Cardiff to the Gower Peninsula.
This 8 hour Gower Peninsula Day Tour will show you the best of the Gower with a stop in Swansea on the way and is full of hiking and incredible views!
2. Barry Island
Even though Barry Island is not actually an Island (anymore) it is the closest you’ll get to Cardiff to an island on a day trip from Cardiff. Head to Barry Island for some seaside fun on the fairground, playing crazy golf and eating rock and candy floss as you do on a British holiday.
If you’re a tourist in Wales you may be drawn to Barry Island because of Gavin and Stacey and yes, you can do a Gavin and Stacey tour to see the filming locations! This 3 hour Gavin and Stacey Tour in Barry Island is the best one to book and it must be booked online!
How to do a Barry Island day trip from Cardiff?
Cardiff to Barry Island takes just over 30 minutes by car and also 30 minutes by train from Cardiff Central Station making it one of the easy day trips from Cardiff by train.
You can also get a ticket for as little as £3.80 each way and from Barry Island Station you can walk to see everything you’d want to see!
3. Wye Valley
On the edge of Wales and England is the Wye Valley. This is one of the best day trips from Cardiff if you want to visit a few different places in one day but in one small area. The Wye Valley is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and here you can visit small villages and woodland.
Head to Tintern Abbey to explore the famous ghostly ruins of the Abbey and enjoy one of the nice cafes close by. For some history head to the nearby towns of Monmouth and Chepstow and some a little walk head to Symonds Yat viewpoint.
How to do a Wye Valley day trip from Cardiff?
The Wye Valley is just a 40 minute drive from Cardiff along the M4, with a car you will be able to drive to all of the places noted above for a great day out from Cardiff.
If you want to really get to know the history behind these villages, towns and ruins, and they do hold a lot of history, there are day tours from Cardiff to the Wye Valley. I recommend this Wye Valley tour which are reasonable in price and offer you a full 8-hour tour from Cardiff!
4. Brecon Beacons
For some fresh air, nature and to do some hiking, head to the Brecon Beacons to climb the highest mountain in South Wales.
I have a full blog post here on how to do Pen Y Fan Walk in the Brecon Beacons in just a few hours. There is a really good circular walk you can do from the car park, it’s hard but worth it!
If you want an easier walk but still an adventurous walk in nature, I recommend the Brecon Four Waterfalls Walk which you can do in a few hours!
Hay on Wye is a lovely village in the Brecon Beacons close to Cardiff if you love literature and don’t want to be out hiking.
How to do a Brecon Beacons day trip from Cardiff?
There are a few ways you can do day trips from Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons. By car, it is around 1 hour 15 minutes from Cardiff via Merthyr Tydfil.
It is one of the harder day trips from Cardiff public transport because you can get a train from Cardiff Central to Merthyr Tydfil which takes 1 hour but from there you will need to get a taxi for about 20 minutes into the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is still do-able though.
Alternatively there are Wales tours from Cardiff which include the Brecon Beacons and stops in other places like Caerphilly Castle so you will get to see more of South Wales on a tour like this.
5. Caerphilly Castle & Caerphilly Mountain
Talking of Caerphilly Castle, for a really close and easy day trip from Cardiff or for somewhere to add into your day trip from Cardiff itinerary you can head to this 13th Century Fortress. Caerphilly Castle is a great place to visit with children from Cardiff.
Caerphilly Castle pairs well with visiting the Gower Peninsula, the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley.
You can also walk up and around Caerphilly Castle which is an easy walk to do but offers amazing views! See my post: Caerphilly Mountain Walk for more info.
How to get to Caerphilly Castle from Cardiff:
Caerphilly Castle from Cardiff is just a 30 minute drive. It’s also a day trip from Cardiff by train you can do because there is a train from Cardiff Central to Caerphilly with a short journey time of 15 minutes.
Pembrokeshire is the prettiest county in Wales in my opinion and in many others opinion.
There are so many beaches in Pembrokeshire and seaside towns. When visiting Pembrokeshire for 1 day from Cardiff on a day trip from Cardiff it will be best to visit the most Eastern side of Pembrokeshire to keep the journey time down and make sure you leave early in the morning to avoid the traffic.
The pretty and colourful town of Tenby is a good place to visit on a day trip from Cardiff to Pembrokeshire and from here you can also visit the nearby beach of Saundersfoot, you can also do a brilliant walk along part of the Pembrokeshire coast walking from Tenby to Saundersfoot.
How to do a Pembrokeshire day trip from Cardiff?
Cardiff to Tenby is a 1 hour 50-minute drive. Driving is the best option but there is a train from Cardiff to Tenby, usually with a change in Carmarthen so with a full day out from Cardiff, it is possible to do!
Also see: Things to do in Saundersfoot!, How To Visit the Bosherston Lilly Ponds!, How to Get to Barafundle Bay!
7. Oakwood Theme Park
For a family fun day out from Cardiff head to Oakwood Theme Park, Wales biggest theme park!
Oakwood is located in Pembrokeshire very close to Tenby mentioned above but you can easily spend a whole day in Oakwood on its rides so I wouldn’t plan to visit many other places on this day trip from Cardiff.
How to do a Oakwood Theme Park day trip from Cardiff?
Cardiff to Oakwood is a 1 hour 45-minute drive and driving is the best way due to there not being a train station near Oakwood. However, this could be a day trip from Cardiff by coach if you look into arranged Cardiff tours to Oakwood which include coach travel.
Aberporth is a lovely big beach and seaside town close to Cardigan. It’s the perfect beach to visit on a sunny day but also nice for a winter beach walk and to visit one of the cafes in town afterwards.
How to get to Aberporth from Cardiff:
This day trip from Cardiff is best to do if you have a car as it is just over 2 hours from Cardiff via Carmarthen.
Day Trips from Cardiff to England
For a really easy day trip from Cardiff into England, head to Bristol. Bristol city has become really cool in the last few years.
It’s become really famous for its street art, including pieces by Banksy which are great pieces to find on your day trip from Cardiff to Bristol.
The Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a living museum and one of the top attractions in Bristol to visit.
How to do a Bristol day trip from Cardiff?
Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads Station is just 45 minutes by train and you’ll be in the centre of Bristol and tickets can be purchased for just £6.00 each way.
For an even cheaper option for £3.00 each way this is one of the day trips to Cardiff by coach as the coach from Cardiff to Bristol takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
Yes you can do a day trip to Cardiff from London thanks to the quick 2 hour train journey from Cardiff Central to London Paddington Station. I recommend people to do a day trip from London to Cardiff, so you can definitely spend one day in London from Cardiff too!
Once in London, you can visit all of the top sights including walking along the River Thames to see Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Big Ben. If you want markets and street food on your day trip from Cardiff to London, head to Camden Market or Shoreditch.
How to do a London day trip from Cardiff?
Train is the best way to get from Cardiff to London so you can avoid parking and driving in London.
Although there are many trains from Cardiff to London, getting the train that is just 2 hours is going to be best to give you more time to spend in London.
Related: How To Do A Cardiff Day Trip from London With Things To Do in Cardiff!
11. Malvern Hills
For more hiking options on your day trips from Cardiff, head into England into the Malvern Hills.
Located across 3 counties- Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire there are many Malvern Hills walks that you can do including walking along the Malvern Ridge and British Camp.
How to get to the Malvern Hills from Cardiff?
Car is the best way to do this day trip from Cardiff and you can drive from Cardiff to the Malvern Hills in 1 hour 30 minutes via Ross on Wye.
To make this a day trip from Cardiff by public transport you can get to Malvern Link Station in 2 hours from Cardiff on the train and from there do one of the many Malvern Hill walks.
Directly opposite Cardiff on the Bristol Channel is Weston-Super-Mare, a popular English seaside town.
Not everyone loves Weston-Super-Mare and if you’re looking for a pretty beachside town for your day trip from Cardiff, this isn’t it. But if you are willing to take it for what it is and experience a real English seaside experience with a tacky side, this is a good place to visit.
Go to the Pier, play some games, eat Fish and Chips at the beach and you’ll be in for a good day out from Cardiff.
How to get to Western Super Mare from Cardiff?
Although close to Cardiff across the water, you do need to go all the way around Bristol Bay to drive there so it takes around 1 hour from Cardiff by car. There is also a direct train from Cardiff Central to Weston-Super-Mare which takes 1 hour 20 minutes making this one of the good day trips from Cardiff by train.
The historic and iconic city of Bath is a great day trip from Cardiff because of how close it is just past Bristol from Cardiff and once you are in Bath the city is very walkable.
There are many things to do on a day trip to Bath including visiting the Roman Baths Museum, Bath Abbey, going on a River Boat Cruise and going to find the popular Royal Circle.
How to do a Bath day trip from Cardiff?
Cardiff Central to Bath Spa Station by train is just over 1 hour and Cardiff to Bath by car is 1 hour 10 minutes using the M4 making it an easy day trip from Cardiff to do.
The Cotswolds has to be one of the prettiest areas in England and is a very popular place to be, luckily it’s not far from Cardiff at all.
Castle Combe Village is a good place to visit in the Cotswolds from Cardiff because it is further South and therefore closer to Cardiff.
Castle Combe has had no new houses built in it since the 1600s and its well-preserved cottages are there for you to see along with St Andrews Church which is another popular place to visit in Castle Combe.
How to do a Cotswolds day trip from Cardiff?
How to get to the Cotswolds from Cardiff: Castle Combe in Cardiff is just a 1 hour drive from Cardiff along the M4.
The Cotswolds is not the ideal place to visit using public transport so visiting the Cotswolds by car from Cardiff is best.
If you’re from Cardiff you may be bad for not seeing all of the tourist sights in your Country and this often means that many people from the UK have not been to Stonehenge and if this is the case, it’s time to change that as Stonehenge is a possible day trip from Cardiff.
Head to Stonehenge Visitor Centre and from here you can walk up a path to the Stone Circle or catch a regular bus organised by the visitor centre. You don’t need that much time at Stonehenge but it is a must-see UK attraction.
Stonehenge is very close to Bath and the Cotswolds so you can pair these days out from Cardiff together for the perfect family fun Cardiff day trips!
How to get to Stonehenge from Cardiff?
Cardiff to Stonehenge is just less than 2 hours by car and if you stop off in Bath or the Cotswolds on the way back you can help break up the trip. Stonehenge isn’t possible to visit by train due to the lack of station nearby.
Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK and is often overlooked for tourism but it is a great place to visit and you can see a lot of Birmingham in one day!
Birmingham is home to the Bull Ring which is a huge shopping centre, but aside from this it’s full of history in the Jewelery Quarter, nice walks along the Canal which in the centre of the city and good Asian food.
There are many day trips from Birmingham that also suit a day trip to Birmingham, for example, attractions close to Birmingham are Cadbury World and The Black Living County Museum.
How to do a Birmingham day trip from Cardiff?
Birmingham is surprisingly just a 2-hour drive from Cardiff up the M5. There is also a 2-hour train from Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street.
And there you have it, plenty of options for day trips from Cardiff to go on in Wales and England!
- For more of my Wales Posts see:
- Hiking Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons.
- How to Climb Snowdon from Pen Y Pass!
- 16 Beautiful Staycations in Wales!
- 2 Day North Wales Itinerary!
- Places to visit on a Wales Road Trip!
- Best Time to Visit Wales!
- Amazing Glamping Pods in Wales with a Hot Tub!
- Amazing Glamping Pods in North Wales!