Famous places in Wales to visit
When it comes to Wales, there is lots to see and do across the country, but where to visit first? We’ve put together a list of the top 6 famous places in Wales to visit.
Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park
This beautiful stretch of land consists of a range of mountains and hills in North Wales, in the county of Gwynedd. The most famous mountain, of course, is Snowdon, which if you can’t access by walking or you don’t want to drag the children up the hike, you can actually get to the summit by train.
There are also loads of trails in the area, popular with hiking, mountain biking and some horse riding. There are 13 other mountains to explore as well and plenty of things to do in the area, like the particularly famous zip wire in the area.
This magnificent castle is certainly a must-see in Wales, right in the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you can get a guided tour or an audio guide to take you through this castle with sections that were constructed 1,000+ years ago.
Explore through the banqueting hall and see the murals that brighten up the walls and tell you a bit of its history.
The hotel-come-spa offers close proximity to Wales’ cosmopolitan capital, but away from the hustle and bustle of city life!
Devils Bridge and the Hafod Estate
Another famous place with lots of history is the Devil’s bridge. It’s located in Mid Wales, just outside of Aberystwyth and the bridge itself is quite a site – there are three bridges attacked atop one another and you can get some great photographs from the base. The other side of the bridge is a nature trail that is sure to give some inspiring views of the waterfalls in the gorge.
This isn’t for the faint-hearted or those with less mobility though as Jacob’s Ladder is halfway through the train. These steps are incredibly steep but it’s all worth it to cross the little bridge and climb back up to see the views of the waterfalls on your way to the top.
Pack a picnic as there’s plenty of benches to use along the way and it proves a lovely day out – especially when using the old steam train that has a station nearby!
Then you can visit the Hafod estate, enjoy pleasant hikes on trails past more waterfalls and the estate’s walled formal gardens.
The Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park
Spanning a magnificent 520 square miles across the flora and fauna of South and Mid Wales, The Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park is not one to be missed by outdoors enthusiasts. The intrepid adventurer taking on this trekking challenge will get to experience the breadth of grassy moorlands and the peaceful serenity of flowing waterfalls and tranquil reservoirs. Hikers who dare to ascend to the very top of Pen y Fan can look forward to sipping on a warming cup of coffee whilst gazing at the breathtaking views from the highest mountain peak in South Britain.
Be warned, though, it’s not for the fainthearted! It’s widely circulated that the famous mountain range is often used by the British Army’s SAS unit as a training ground, given it’s unpredictable climate and remote location.
If the heart-pumping hike doesn’t quite take your fancy, there’s a multitude of attractions and lighter strolls to be explored within the expansive boundaries of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons). Pile the family into a canal boat, kayak or canoe and drift beneath the botanical canopies of the Brecon Canal or grab a coffee and mooch around the characterful market towns surrounding the national park.
With so much to explore, you won’t want to stray too far away from this magnificent mountain range.
When discussing Wales’ most famous attractions, rare is the occasion that the enchanting Portmeirion village doesn’t crop up in conversation. Stepping into Portmeirion Village is as though to walk into your very own fairytale, given its towering turrets, rainbow façades and fanciful piazza. A truly unique experience of mesmerising architecture, the Italianate village is privy to its own peninsula with breathtaking views of sand, sea and mountain.
A stay at either the waterfront Hotel Portmeirion or its older sister hotel, the Grade II listed Castell Deudraeth, blurs the boundaries and make-believe and reality. Whilst both accommodations boast 4-star luxury ratings, many guests choose to stay for the magical atmosphere and fascinating quality first and foremost. The charming creations behind the vision of inoculant and architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the otherworldly village is a must-see location, with many a famous artist, writer, and Albanian royalty choosing to grace its presence.
Just two miles from Porthmadog along the A497, the quirky village benefits from magnificent surroundings in lush verdant gardens with spectacular sea views.
The Isle of Anglesey
Holiday-goers departing the much-loved Isle of Anglesey are often met with the same saddening feeling: their stay simply wasn’t long enough! An island littered with the relics of ancient burial chambers, striking castles, never-ending coastlines and inspiring walking paths, you’ll never be short of a thing or two to do during your Anglesey adventure.
Take a stroll around the quaint seaside town of Beaumaris, and you’ll happen across the greatest castle that was never built: Beaumaris Castle was the last of the royal strongholds created by Edward I in Wales. We recommend grabbing a delicious ice cream on your way through the town, and ascending one of the castle’s spiralling staircases to take in the views across the picturesque Beaumaris pier. On a clear day, you might be able to spot the towering peaks of the Snowdonia mountain range and the majestic Menai Strait bridge!
With a 125 mile long coastline, the island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches Wales has to offer. The unique setting of dense forestry backing onto sweeping golden sands makes Newborough Beach a favourite amongst the locals and visiting tourists. Nature lovers often flock to the beach to see if they can catch a glimpse of the endangered Red Squirrel that is native to Anglesey; and if they can’t, there’s always the spectacular view of the marooned lighthouse at the south-east tip of the beach to make up for it!
For lovers of lighthouses, however, there is nothing that quite compares to the stretch of dramatic sea cliffs leading down to Anglesey’s South Stack Lighthouse. Located just 2-3 miles west of Holyhead amidst a reserve of heathland and farmland, South Stack Lighthouse can be reached by journeying down the 400 steps on to the island. Don’t forget to add this impressive structure to your must-visit list!