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Complete South Wales Itinerary For A Lush 1 Week in South Wales!

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South Wales offers everything! On your South Wales itinerary, you can visit cities, villages, beaches, mountains, cliff edges, waterfalls, waterparks and so much more!

South Wales is the best place to explore if you are travelling from London or South & Central England and it’s perfect for families, friends, couples and a solo trip!

Whether you are spending 1 week in Wales exploring South Wales or perhaps you only have 3 days in Wales or 5 Days in Wales. In this Wales travel blog, I give you a 1 week South Wales itinerary which you can adapt depending on how long you have to spend in Wales!

I grew up between England and South Wales and now I live in Cardiff so I know exactly just how much this amazing part of the UK has to offer and I’m going to help you with where to go in South Wales, places to visit in South Wales and how to plan your Wales travel itinerary!

South Wales Itinerary

South Wales itinerary
Keep reading for my complete South Wales itinerary!

South Wales Itinerary Map

I have pinned all of the places I recommend visiting in this South Wales 1 week itinerary so you can use my itinerary or amend it and create your own South Wales travel itinerary!

Best time to visit South Wales

Wales is good to visit all year round… as long as you are prepared for the weather that comes with it!

However, for the very best time to visit Wales and South Wales, I recommend the Spring, Summer and Autumn months so you will have more pleasant weather and there are more activities on and open!

Although note that school holidays do get considerably busier in Wales so if you can avoid them then I would!

Here’s my full post on the best time to visit Wales!

South Wales itinerary, weather in Wales
I got this beautiful sunny and warm day during Easter in April!

How to get around South Wales

Driving is the best way to get around South Wales, and all of Wales in fact. Although there are public buses and a train line that runs throughout South Wales, it can take a lot of time to get to each place using public transport.

If you have a car then great! If you don’t, I recommend hiring a car! Cardiff has a few car hire places and Bristol Airport is a popular place to hire cars from. You could get the train to Cardiff or Bristol Airport and hire a car from there, or you can hire a car from where you start.

For example, it would be quicker to hire a car in London and drive to South Wales rather than get the train.

I recommend Rental Cars for car hire in Wales as they search all the top car rental companies! Search for car rental in Wales here!

The roads in Wales are very good but they can seem scary to some as they are very small.

This South Wales travel itinerary will take you to places where you need to drive on country lanes which look like they are one-way roads but they are actually for two cars! But drive slowly and you will be ok! This is how you get to the best spots in Wales, especially in Pembrokeshire!

Here are my driving in Wales tips!

1 Week in South Wales

Day 1 – Cardiff

Start your first day in Wales getting to Cardiff. If you are travelling from London to Wales or South England to Wales you can stop off at a few places like Bath, the Cotswolds and the Wye Valley on the way into Wales, even though they are all in England they will start off your Wales trip well, especially the Wye Valley which borders England and Wales!

Spend late afternoon and early evening seeing Cardiff City, you can park in the city centre and head to see Cardiff Castle which will take you through the main shopping area of the city.

South Wales itinerary, Cardiff Castle
Visiting Cardiff Castle is a must when you arrive in Cardiff City.

Click here for my full 1 day in Cardiff itinerary!

Afterwards, drive down to Mermaid Quay and have dinner at one of the restaurants overlooking the water on Cardiff Bay which shows off a cosmopolitan side of the city and check out the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve if it’s a nice evening. This will be a great first look at Wales on your 1 week in South Wales.

Stay overnight in – Cardiff

South Wales itinerary, Mermaid Quay Cardiff Bay
I recommend having dinner on day 1 of your South Wales itinerary in Cardiff Bay!

Day 2 – Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons National Park is a must-visit in Wales and because you spent the night in Cardiff they are practically on the doorstop, well, not quite but they are only 1 hour away which is a good driving distance in Wales!

There are a few options for seeing the best of the Brecon Beacons on this South Wales itinerary and you will have time to do a mixture of these options!

If you like hiking then you have to hike up Pen Y Fan! It’s the highest peak in the South of the UK and it will take you a few hours to hike!

If you like adventure then you can check out some of the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons. You can do a full waterfall walk seeing up to 4 waterfalls or you can see some smaller ones individually which will be easier if you have children or don’t enjoy walking.

South Wales itinerary, Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons is full of waterfalls!

If you prefer culture and pretty villages then you can visit some of the villages in the Brecon Beacons. Hay on Wye is one of the best and most popular villages to visit because it is full of book shops and perfect for literature lovers or people who like to see quirky places!

South Wales itinerary, Hay on Wye
The book village of Hay on Wye!

Lastly, if you love driving and appreciate scenic roads then make sure you drive along Black Mountain Road which is known as the Top Gear road in the Brecon Beacons, it takes you right through the middle of the National Park and is an incredible drive!

Stay overnight in – Cardiff again or near the Brecon Beacons

South Wales itinerary, Brecon Beacons Lakes
There’s so many lakes to stop at in the Brecon Beacons!

Day 3 – Gower Penninsula

Check out of your accommodation and head towards Pembrokeshire in the South Western side of Wales!

However, because you have plenty of time in Pembrokeshire on this South Wales itinerary and 1 week in South Wales, I recommend you spend most of the day on the Gower Penninsula by Swansea!

The Gower is packed full of beaches and places to go walking and it is just off the M4 and on your way to Pembrokeshire!

Stop in the seaside town of The Mumbles first and walk along the beach to The Mumbles Pier, then continue driving along the country roads of The Gower and visit popular beaches like Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Bay, Rhossili Bay and Llangennith!

There are lots of small villages in the Gower where you can get lunch and relax. When you are finished then continue driving to your accommodation in Pembrokeshire.

Now you’ve spent 3 days in South Wales, see if you can notice and recognise these phrases you hear in Wales!

Stay overnight in – Pembrokeshire

South Wales itinerary, Three Cliff Bay Beach
Three Cliff Bay Beach

There are so many places to visit in Wales and too many to mention in just this 1 week Wales itinerary, to see even more places to visit read my post with 36 Stunning Places to Visit on Your Wales Road Trip Itinerary!

Day 4 – Pembrokeshire

There is so so much to see in Pembrokeshire and it is easily my favourite part of South Wales.

There are beaches here that you couldn’t imagine belong in Wales, there are seaside towns and pretty villages, a theme park and there is a coastal path running all the way along it so there are plenty of places to walk.

The best way to see Pembrokeshire and to plan your Pembrokeshire itinerary is to break it down into areas which is what I have done below in this South Wales itinerary for you because you do not want to be driving from corner to corner every day!

Start off your first day in Pembrokeshire on the South Coast. Drive to St Govan’s Chapel first which is a hidden chapel in the rocks and you will be amazed at what Wales has to offer!

Afterwards, stop in Bosherston and talk a walk to the Bosherston Lilly Ponds. Nearby is Barafundle Bay which has been voted as one of the best beaches in Wales!

Spend late afternoon and the evening in the popular seaside town of Tenby and Saundesfoot.

Stay overnight in – Pembrokeshire

South Wales itinerary, St Govan's Chapel Pembrokeshire
St Govan’s Chapel
South Wales itinerary, Barafundle Bay
Barafundle Bay
South Wales itinerary, Tenby at Sunset
Tenby Beach is lovely at sunset.

Day 5 – Pembrokeshire

Today on your 1 week in South Wales , head to the West side of Pembrokeshire to explore. Start the day in St David’s which is the only city in the area and the smallest city I have ever seen!

St David’s is very pretty though and nice to walk around and to get some food in. St David’s Cathedral is the most popular place to visit here and is a must-see!

From St David’s, if the weather is good I recommend booking a boat trip to Ramsey Island to see local seals and get out onto the water!

Later on in the day, drive along St Brides Bay which is full of amazing beaches. Newgale Beach is huge and brilliant for a big walk and you can end the day in the seaside towns of Broad Haven and Little Haven.

If you are all beached out then head to Pembroke Castle instead! This is one of the top Castles in Wales!

Stay overnight in – Pembrokeshire

South Wales itinerary, St Davids Cathedral
St David’s Cathedral
South Wales itinerary, Newgale Beach Pembrokeshire
Newgale Beach

Day 6 – Pembrokeshire

If you have children and need a break from beaches in this Pembrokshire itinerary then look into places for children in Pembrokeshire like Oakwood Theme Park, Folly Farm, Manor Wildlife Park, West Wales Karting.

If you are happy to see more beaches and more countryside then head to the North Western side of Pembrokeshire!

I recommend starting the day in the quirky village of Narberth which is full of independent shops and colourful buildings, then head to the Blue Lagoon near Abereiddy and up the coast to Fishguard and Newport if you have time.

Stay overnight in – Pembrokeshire

South Wales itinerary, Narberth

Day 7 – Back to Cardiff

Use today to drive back home, if you want a few stops on the way from Pembrokeshire back to Cardiff you can stop at Pembrey Country Park, Aberavon Beach in Port Talbot or Margam Country Park in Port Talbot.

These places will help break up the journey back to Cardiff and beyond.

South Wales itinerary, Aberavon Beach
Aberavon Beach in Port Talbot

Looking for more places to visit in Wales?? Here are 36 places in Wales to visit on a Wales road trip throughout the country!!

South Wales FAQ

Is South Wales worth visiting?

Yes! There is so much to see in South Wales from beaches, mountains, villages, waterfalls and more and you can spend from 2 days in South Wales to 2 weeks in South Wales trying to see all of the beautiful natural sights!

Which is better North or South Wales?

Both North Wales and South Wales offer a lot in terms of beautiful places to visit, holiday amenities, hotels, shops and restaurants. The best area will depend on where you are travelling from.

If you live in London, South Wales is easiest to get to. If you live in Manchester, North Wales is easiest to get to and therefore best.

What is the most beautiful place in South Wales?

I think Pembrokeshire is full of the most beautiful places in South Wales. It has award winning beaches, seaside towns and villages and a coastal track that takes weeks to walk!

How many days do you need to see Wales?

3 days in Wales is enough to see a few places in Wales but 5 days in Wales or 1 week in Wales is best to see the most varied side of the country because Wales is small but it takes a while to drive from place to place.

I hope this South Wales itinerary has helped you plan your 1 week in Wales!

Clare Harrison

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Thank you so much for your guide. I am planning a trip from France with my family. I will be sure to get the most of my visit.