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A Wales Road Trip is the best way to explore Wales because although there is a train line within the country and there are buses too, to get to the top places to visit in Wales you need a car, there’s no doubt about that!
Whether you’re planning a short Wales road trip for a few days, perhaps a London to Wales Road Trip, or you have longer to explore Wales, you could easily spend 2 weeks on a road trip around Wales, I have written this post to give you lots of ideas for where to visit in Wales which will help you plan your Wales road trip itinerary or staycation in Wales!
I don’t recommend visiting ALL of these places in Wales because there are so many but you can use the below map of Wales and the way I have categorised the places into areas to help plan your Wales travel itinerary depending on how much time you have.
The best thing about doing a Wales road trip is that you can see a lot in just one day, especially in Pembrokeshire where many of the best Pembrokeshire beaches are fairly close together.
I’ve spent nearly all my life back and forth between England and Wales and now I live in Cardiff so I can’t wait to share these gems in Wales with you!
Wales Road Trip
Wales Road Trip Map
Use this Wales road trip map to see all of the places I have detailed in this post easily to plan where to visit on a Wales road trip:
Wales Road Trip Itinerary
I haven’t detailed an exact Welsh Road trip itinerary here because the itinerary will change depending on what you want from your trip to Wales, how long you have and also the weather!
If you have limited time, my advice for your itinerary for Wales is to stick to a certain area and explore it well. If you have 4 days in Wales, don’t visit the North and the South as you will miss so much in both places and spend most of your days driving between them.
Wales is a relatively small country and the South Coast is easy to travel along using the M4 and A roads, however once off these roads the roads do become very small and windy and more time is needed to drive along them. This is especially the case in North Wales.
I would recommend that you visit up to 3 places in a similar area in one day and base yourself in a location for 1-3 nights to explore the local area and beyond to get the most out of your Wales road trip!
Best Time to Road Trip Around Wales
One of the reasons Wales isn’t as visited is definitely because of the weather! As with the rest of the UK the weather in Wales can change a lot each day and dramatically throughout the year!
Generally, there’s never a bad time to visit Wales as long as you are prepared for the weather. I’d say that late Spring and early Autumn is the best time for a Wales Road Trip.
For more information on the weather in Wales each month see this detailed post I wrote – the best time to visit Wales!
South Wales Road Trip
1. Wye Valley – Tintern Abbey
On the very edge of Wales is the Wye Valley so if you’re driving from England to Wales, especially if you’re on a London to Wales road trip, you should pass through the Wye Valley on the route.
One of the main places to visit in the Wye Valley is Tintern Abbey. The historic Abbey ruins of Tintern Abbey and the village of Tintern are a good place to stretch your legs at the start or end of your Wales road trip. If you want a bit of a hike you can hike up to Devils Pulpit which is nearby.
2. Cardiff City
Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. You may be coming to Wales for nature on your Welsh road trip but if you fancy a good night out, Cardiff is well known for its weekend nightlife and things to do in Cardiff during the day include Cardiff Castle and walking around Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff is a good base to see more of South Wales from but I suggest you book accommodation in the places to visit in South Wales below rather than basing yourself in Cardiff and doing day trips out because even on a Wales road trip for 4 days you can still see a lot of the South of Wales!
Related Post: 16 Day Trips From Cardiff!
3. Barry Island
If you know of Gavin and Stacey, you’ll know of Barry Island and for some seaside fun, head here! If you are a big fan of Gavin and Stacey you can go on a Gavin and Stacey Tour.
You won’t get the best beach in wales here but you will get candy floss, arcade games and colourful beach huts and it is a good place to visit on your Wales road trip itinerary for half a day.
4. Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons is where can go hiking in South Wales, it has the second-highest peak in Wales with the first being Snowdonia in North Wales and therefore it is easily one of the best places to visit in Wales.
There are hiking trails, waterfalls and pretty villages to be found here. The most popular hike in the Brecon Beacons is Pen Y Fan which takes you to the highest point.
Related Post: How To Do Pen Y Fan Walk in The Brecon Beacons!
5. Brecon Beacons – Hay on Wye
You’ll find this pretty market town in the Brecon Beacons in the North of the National Park on the edge of England and Wales.
It is famous for it’s literary and books and most of the town is book themed which makes it a historic and pretty town for visitors to visit and you’ll find some good food there too!
After you’ve read this post, check out my post for 7 Tip For Driving in Wales on a Road Trip so you have money for parking, don’t panic on the narrow lanes and don’t get lost!
6. Port Talbot – Brombil Reservoir
The town of Port Talbot isn’t somewhere you need to stop on your road trip around wales however somewhere I recently discovered is Brombil Reservoir where you can swim and walk around.
It is just minutes from the M4 so it acts as the perfect place to stop on your South Wales road trip to stretch your legs whilst going along the M4 because you’ll only need 30-60 minutes here to see it.
Related Post: How To Visit Brombil Reservoir in Port Talbot!
6. Gower – Rhossili Bay
The Swansea Gower feels like an Island off of the coast of South Wales but it is actually joined to the mainland.
Rhossili Bay is the most famous place to visit in the Gower because this beach has been noted one of the best beaches in Wales (and maybe the world?) and it’s not hard to see why so it should be on your list of places to visit in Wales!
The beach is huge and you get an amazing view of it whilst taking a coastal walk down Worms Head.
7. Gower – Three Cliffs Bay
Another one of the best beaches in Swansea Gower is the Three Cliffs Bay which offers you a wild beach experience with an sand dunes, a salt marsh and limestone cliffs, plus an amazing sand beach.
The Gower is wild and wonderful. You can base yourself here for a few days on your Wales road trip or pass by for a day and this is one of the beaches you should visit!
8. Gower – The Mumbles
For a Welsh seaside town, you can stop off at The Mumbles whilst on the Gower. The Mumbles has it’s own beach and colourful shops and cafes in town.
It’s a good place to get some lunch on the Gower before carrying on with the rest of your Wales road trip.
9. Llanelli – Burry Port
This is a charming harbour town where you will get a good feel of local life in Wales, but a town isn’t all it has, it also has 2 beaches beside it’s iconic harbour which are perfect to take a coastal walk in wales along.
The Harbour Light Tearoom is a great place to get some scones in before you leave.
10. Llanelli – Pembrey Country Park and Beach
If you’re doing this Wales road trip with kids and want to wear them out, or you want a really good walk yourself, Pembrey Country Park is where you need to visit because it is easily one of the best places in Wales.
With an 8 mile long beach and a huge woodland area there is plenty of space to walk! You can also do activities here like horse riding, Wales longest toboggan run, dry ski slopes, crazy golf and more!
Do you want a unique stay in Pembrokeshire?? Check out these Places to go Glamping in Pembrokeshire! Stay in tiny houses, pods and caravans, most of them are good to stay in all year round too, not just in summer!
11. Pembrokeshire – Tenby Beach
Tenby beach is the most popular beach and seaside town in Pembrokeshire, and maybe even in Wales. This extremely colourful town has everything you need for a Welsh seaside holiday include holiday cottages, 3 sand beaches, coastal walks, shops, restaurants and boat tours.
I really recommend visiting Tenby on your Wales coastal road trip because it is such a popular place and one of the best places to visit in Wales. You can base yourself here to see more of Pembrokeshire from or you can stay nearby and visit for the day.
12. Pembrokeshire – Saundersfoot Beach
This is a beautiful, big, sand beach with a pretty seaside village next to it. Home to some amazing food and restaurants you should stop here on your Pembrokeshire road trip if you want a less touristic beach but still one with facilities around you.
13. Pembrokeshire – Barafundle Bay
Voted one of the beaches in the world, Barafundle Bay is a must visit on your Wales self drive itinerary. The reason why it is so nice is because you need to walk 10-15 minutes over a field and cliff top to get there and once you are there there are no beach facilities.
Even if you are doing this Wales road trip in the winter or on a non-beach day, the coastal walk here is nice and you’ll be surprised by what you see at the end!
Related Post: How to Get to Barafundle Bay.
14. Pembrokeshire – Bosherston Lilly Ponds
This is a lovely and surprising walking loop from the very small village of Bosherston. From the car park, you are a minute from a beautiful pond and footpath that takes between 1-2 hours to walk around.
This is definitely one of the places you should visit on your Pembrokeshire road trip as part of your wider Wales road trip and it is easy to access from Tenby.
15. Pembrokeshire – Broad Haven South Beach
Half way through the Bosherston Lilly Ponds walk you will come out at Broad Haven Beach which is a huge, beautiful sand beach and no matter the weather deserves a visit during one of your days in Pembrokeshire.
16. Pembrokeshire – Freshwater West Beach
If you’re a Harry Potter fan you may know of this beach because it is where Dobby the house-elf is laid to rest after his battle! There is a little memorial with rocks and stones behind the dunes that you can visit which is ver quirky and unique.
You should still visit this beach as part of your Wales road trip even if you are not a Harry Potter fan because it is another one of Pembrokeshire’s best beaches. I visited at sunset once and it was such an amazing sunset spot to try to include this on your itinerary for a wales road trip!
17. Pembrokeshire – Pembroke Castle
Pembroke town is not somewhere you need too spend much time but whilst on your Wales scenic drive, beach hopping through Pembrokeshire, you may find yourself passing through and Pembroke Castle is a nice place to stop.
Wales has many castles and Pembroke Castle is one of the big castles that you can fully walk around so it’s one of the great things to do in Pembrokeshire with kids.
When in Pembroke town you can also take a walk along the river and get lunch or a drink in one of the many pubs close to the castle.
18. Pembrokeshire – Oakwood Theme Park
This is Wales biggest theme park and from my many experiences there as a teenager, a really good theme park too!
If you want to do something a bit different or it is not beach weather, you can have fun here at Oakwood theme park!
After you’ve read this post, check out my post for 7 Tip For Driving in Wales on a Road Trip so you have money for parking, don’t panic on the narrow lanes and don’t get lost!
19. Pembrokeshire – Narberth Town
Narberth is inland in Pembrokeshire rather than on the coast like many of the places to visit in Pembrokeshire I have noted on this Wales road trip itinerary.
It is a pretty market town full of colourful houses and shops inside Georgian and Edwardian buildings and most of the shops are all independent and boutique shops which make it extra special.
If it’s not beach whether when you’re in Pembrokeshire then spend a few hours here instead and get warm in one of the cafes!
20. Pembrokeshire – St Davids
St Davids is a city in Southern Pembrokeshire and is well worth a visit. St Davids Cathedral is stunning and people come all the way to the city just to see it.
Aside from this, although a city, St Davids is very walkable and from the Cathedral, you can walk its small streets which have independent shops running along them. From here you can also book onto tours to the nearby islands like Ramsey Island.
21. Pembrokeshire – Ramsey Island
From St Davids I booked onto a Ramsey Island tour which I thoroughly enjoyed and I recommend it as one of your Wales road trip ideas! We were driven from the city to the coast which was handy so we didn’t have to drive ourselves, we got onto a small but comfy boat and were out on the search for seals before we knew it.
In the right season you can also spot whales and dolphins from here. It’s a great day trip activity in Pembrokeshire for children and adults!
22. Pembrokeshire – Newgale Beach
Close to St David’s and worth stopping at on the way is Newgale Beach. It’s a huge beach at 3km long and when the tide is out it’s incredibly wide too, I’ve never seen a beach like it. It’s a great beach for a good walk or for a beach day if the weather is nice!
23. Pembrokeshire – Fishguard
Fishguard is a coastal town on the West Coast of Wales with a traditional Welsh harbour. If you’re just passing by you can stop at the harbour and take in the views or you can head into Fishguard town. You’ll find plenty of cafes in the town too to enjoy.
If you want some adventure you can go out on a kayak tour in search of marine life in all of the caves along the coast and you might spot seals too! In the right season, you can also do whale and dolphin boat tours from Fishguard which will add some excitement to your road trip through wales!
24. Pembrokeshire – Aberfforest Beach
Close to Fishguard is a hidden beach you should make the effort to visit. There is no parking but as you go down the track you’ll see a small place to park on the edge of the lane and then it’s a 10-minute walk down a footpath.
You’ll be greeted with a small cove beach with calm water, it’s not a golden sand beach but still a nice one to sit on and great for dogs. Nearby there is Aberforrest Waterfall which you can walk to from the beach.
25. Pembrokeshire – Preseli Hills
The Preseli Hills or Preseli Mountains as they are also known are a great place for a day of hiking in Wales on your Wales road trip. A lot of people go hiking in the Brecon Beacons but this is a great and alternate place to go hiking, you’ll likely see fewer people and it’s more of a wild Wales experience!
If you’re looking to go horse riding in Wales on your Wales road trip, the Preseli Hills are a good place to go riding!
26. Cardigan – Aberaeron
If your wales road trip includes visiting both South and North Wales you’ll use the West Coast of Wales to get between them and you’re lucky because this Wales scenic drive along the West Coast is beautiful!
There are a few places to stop to break up your journey and Aberaeron charming and colourful Georgian harbour town on the Cardigan Bay is one of the places you can stop. You can stretch your legs on Aberaeron Beach or stop in one of its many cafes for a drink.
27. Cardigan – Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is an ancient market town but these day’s it is much more developed and the town centre isn’t so attractive. However on your scenic drive in Wales along the West Coast, if you need to stop somewhere to pick up supplies, go shopping or have lunch, this is a good place to stop.
Glamping in Wales!
Did you know Glamping in Wales is so popular with so many glamping pods, rents, little houses and more on offer?? If you fancy staying in some unique accommodation on your Wales Road Trip, check these posts out:
North Wales Road Trip
28. Mount Snowdon
If the weather is on your side, climbing Mount Snowdon should be on your North Wales itinerary! Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and although climbing it is hard work, it is do-able!
There are a few routes to the top, I did it from Pen Y Pass which I recommend, and if you don’t fancy the walk you can get the Snowdon Mountain Railway train to the top which is especially good if you’re touring Wales by car with children.
Related Post: Climbing Snowdon From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!
29. Snowdonia National Park – Fairy Falls Waterfall
There are so many places to visit in on your North Wales road trip and the Fairy Falls is a waterfall that has been recommended to me a few times.
The Fairy Falls are located in the village of Trefriw which is located on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. Trefriw is a good place for a walk around and you can continue walking further down the river that make the falls.
30. Snowdonia National Park – Zip World
One of the top places to visit in Wales for a lot of fun is Zip World in North Wales. They have 3 locations in North Wales and the activities in each of them change from a roller coaster through the forest, sky rides, velocity ziplines and so much more, so pick which ones sound most appealing to you and book in because this will give your Wales road trip a huge adrenaline hit!
31. Gwynedd – Portmeirion
For a slice of Italy in Wales, you can visit Portmeirion. It is a pretty iconic place so you may have seen photos of it before online and it’s definitely one of the most iconic places to visit in North Wales.
It is a tourist village and it does get very busy so don’t go expecting a quaint village, it also costs £12.00 per adult to enter but for a unique experience to see some nice buildings and gardens it’s worth going!
32. Gwynedd – Abersoch Beach
North Wales has plenty of beaches too, for a calm and sandy beach, Abersoch is the beach for you. You can head here in all seasons for a sunny day on the beach and a winters walk. If you have children this is a good beach to add to your North Wales road trip.
33. Gwynedd – Conway
Conway is a walled market town and worth visiting for a few reasons. The main reason being Conwy Castle which is a hugely impressive Castle and if you only visit one castle in Wales it should be this one!
Conway is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain and still has it’s town walls intact so it’s a great place to visit for history in North Wales if you don’t fancy a beach day.
34. Gwynedd – Bangor
Bangor is the biggest and main city in North Wales so if you fancy somewhere a bit more lively on your Wales road trip than small towns and villages you can stay overnight here or visit for a few hours.
Bangor has the longest High Street in Wales at 1.265 km and plenty of shops in the city. Bangor is a good place to base yourself in North Wales if you want to stay somewhere overnight with more going on and then you can do day trips around North Wales from there.
35. Anglesey Island – Beaumaris
Anglesey is an island off of the North-West coast of Wales and if there is one place you should visit here it is Beaumaris.
Beaumaris is a charming seaside town with a mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture and lots of them are painted in bright colours! You can visit Beaumaris Castle, take a Puffin Island boat trip, walk along the seafront and get some fish and chips from one of the many shops!
36. Anglesey Island – Holyhead
Holyhead is the harbour port where you get the boat over to Ireland. It is the biggest town on Angelesey Island and a great place to base yourself on this Wales road trip if you want to see a lot of Angelsey.
It has a bustling town with nearby beaches and activities like cycling, golf, a lighthouse walk and a Maritime Museum!
Wales Road Trip FAQ
How long does it take to drive around Wales?
To drive around the outer edge of Wales and therefore drive all the way around Wales it will take about 6-7 hours without stopping. This could take longer if you get stuck behind traffic on the small A roads.
How long does it take to drive from one end of Wales to the other?
4 hours. There is not a motorway connecting North and South Wales. To drive from one end of Wales to the other you can drive through the middle of Wales along the A470 in 4 hours, or the A49 which is mostly in England for 4 hours, or along the A487 on the West Coast in 4 hours. However, if you get stuck in traffic or behind tractors, the journey can take longer.
What is the best month to visit Wales?
Generally, there’s never a bad time to visit Wales as long as you are prepared for the weather. I’d say that late Spring in May and June and early Autumn in September and October is the best time for a Wales Road Trip and the best month to visit Wales.
How many days do you need to see Wales?
At least 3 days in Wales is a good amount of time to see a lot of the Country. However if you have 7 days or more, this will enable you to see both the North and South of Wales in one trip, or get to know one area really well.
I hope this has helped you plan your Wales road trip.
To SEE wales you can watch some of my Wales YouTube videos here!
- For more mosts on Wales to help plan your trip see:
- 12 Places To Go Glamping in Pembrokeshire All Year Round!
- 16 Day Trip From Cardiff Ideas in South Wales & England!
- A 2 Day North Wales Itinerary To Explore The Best of North Wales!