Wondering what to do in Wales?
What to do in Wales? A question that I wanted to be able to answer. So I went on an epic road trip from north to south. Wales is a country known for its mountain peaks, ranging waterfalls and rich sporting history. The country has two national languages, Welsh and English. Wales is also a place that 98% of the towns and villages I cannot pronounce.
Introduction to Wales
Wales is part of the United Kingdom and boarders England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west and Bristol Channel to the south. It has a small population of just over 3 million and has 2,700km of coastline. Wales is also famous for being the home of the legend of King Arthur, Merlin and his knights of the round table. From castles that they slept in, to lands that they fought Wales is certainly a place soaked in legend and history. The country has three national parks, Pembrokeshire Coast, Brecon Beacons and the largest national park in the country, Snowdonia. Snowdonia National Park is home to the highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon. It was the 3rd official park named in Britain becoming the first National Park of Wales.
On this trip, I wanted to see and do as much as I could so decided to spend a few days in the north of Wales. I stayed in Snowdonia National Park which is pretty close to most things and made for a fantastic backdrop to my stay in this beautiful country. After a few days checking out all the sights in the north I travelled south and stayed near the Pembrokeshire coast. In total I was in Wales for 7 nights but could have stayed many more.
Of course all the information about my trip is below. As always I have broken down the trip into 4 sections (things to do, food and drink, transport and costs) just scroll down and take a look. Maybe you just want to spend some time in the North of Wales, so hopefully I have made it a little easier to inspire you on your next trip.
SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK (NORTH WALES)
As I mentioned above, my first stop on this epic Wales road trip was to Snowdonia National Park. This would be my first time in the area so I was keen to see and do as much as I could in the 4 nights that I had. I stayed in a little local B&B (more on that a little later) but it made for the perfect location in the heart of the national park and situated in the shadow of Mount Snowdon.
The little town I stayed in is called Llanberis. The town has a world-renowned claim to fame (more on that a little later). Llanberis was named a world UNESCO Heritage site in May 2021 brining Wales total to four. On arriving, the first thing that came to mind was just how beautiful and scenic the place was, with mountains, lakes and rivers in every view. I knew straight away I was going to enjoy my time here from the get go.
THINGS TO DO
As far as things to do there are plenty of them in the area and indeed the national park, it really does depend on what YOU want to do. I had a little interinary of things I wanted to see and do while I was here but I quickly learned on arrival, sometimes even with the best laid out plans – mother nature can change it all.
Being a national park, most of the activities are outdoors. I was relying on the weather to be acceptable for the activities I had planned. On the first day, I had to change all my plans around. But, if you have read my (top tips blog – LINK HERE) you will know that this is why I always have a little interinary so I can change things around if needed. Here is what I got up to during my 4 night stay in Snowdonia National Park.
Llanberis Lake and Waterfall
The first thing you will notice about this small little town is the huge lake that it lies next too. It creates a stunning backdrop and a scenic setting and reminds us how beautiful the natural world can be. On day one, I needed to slightly change my interinary and move a few things around. So, I headed for the lake.
HOW TO GET THERE
The lake which is part of the Padarn Country Park covers an area of 800 acres and has a huge array of activities and things to do from walking trails around the lake itself or up into the mountains like I did (all signposted and easy to follow). The Welsh Slate Museum (UNESCO World Heritage Site, since May 2021), a railway that circles the lake and loads of water sports like Kayaking, Paddle boarding and swimming. You could spend a few days just here and still NOT get to see and do everything. I did take a wonder into the Slate Museum and completed one of the trails (yellow slate trial) all of which were brilliant and extremely enjoyable. The weather improved a little by late morning so I deicide to rent out a Kayak for 1 hour and got a very different view of the area.
By mid-afternoon, the sun had come out and I wanted to check out the local waterfall that I heard about the evening before. It is in the town and a stone throw away from the B&B and it is NOT to be missed. For such an impressive waterfall, I was surprised it was not advertised so much in the town. As I got closer to it there was a sign for the falls so don’t be put off by it – it’s a stunning waterfall that you can stand right next to and feel the spray from the thundering water. I later found out, the falls name “Ceunant Mawr Waterfall”. Check it out, I promise you will not be disappointed.
A few Tips:
- There is plenty of parking if you are staying out of the area and want to visit for the day. The country park has loads of spaces and all car parks are pay and display. They range from £1 for 1 hour to £6 for a day parking.
- I totally recommend the slate museum, it was great to hear how important this place was/is for Wales and that slate from that very mountain has gone on to be used around in the world in some of the most famous buildings like The White House! Its free entry so no excuses.
- The waterfall can be a little tricky to find, I have posted a little map below which I hope you find useful if wanting to visit. You are able to visit the bottom and walk up to the top. However, the road up to the top is steep in places and might not be suitable for everyone. You can drive there but the roads are small (single traffic only) and the parking at the top is extremely limited.
Holyhead and South Stack Lighthouse
I had heard many good things about the lighthouse so was keen to check it out. The South Stack lighthouse is situated on the island of Anglesey which his approx. 35 miles away from where I was staying in Llanberis. Holyhead is a coastal town closest to the lighthouse.
HOW TO GET THERE
It was easy to get too, just follow the A55 most of the way, straight forward. As you get closer its signposted (follow the signs and NOT the SAT NAV). The lighthouse is also part of the North Wales Coastal Path from start to finish is around 60 miles long but I picked it up just outside the town of Holyhead as I wanted to walk some of it. I am glad I did, the coastline was amazing. It was windy when I went but that made it even more exciting.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There were hundreds of sea birds on the cliffs and at some points the path took you right along the cliff edge for some stunning views across the Irish Sea. The path continued and I was soon approaching the lighthouse and little welcome centre. Its here you can grab a little drink and some food as I did and get your ticket for a tour of the lighthouse. Getting to the lighthouse was an amazing walk down the cliff edge over a cast iron bridge, the views were great and even more sea birds.
The tour itself did not last that long, but my guide was brilliant. He talked about the lighthouse and how important this little lighthouse is in the area to inform passing ships of their location in the old days. We got to see pictures of the old times were people lived in the lighthouse to keep it working and how they were able to sustain themselves on the island, growing their own foods. I loved it and want to thank my guide for a great tour.
A few Tips:
- The car park in the main visitor centre is pay and display. They only accept change however; you can pay by card in the main shop at the visitor centre, which will cost £5 for all day.
- The tour of the lighthouse costs £4 per adult and was available to book on the day of arrival.
- I was told by the tour guide the best time of year to visit is March or April. There are thousands of nesting sea birds along the cliffs at South Stack and it is special to see.
Surf Snowdonia (Adventure Parc)
An adventure park in the heart of Snowdonia. This place has everything you need for some action and adventure, from zip wires, indoor rock climbing, BMX tracks and skate boarding. It also offers kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing.
They have a manmade wave pool which has been designed to encourage everyone to have a go at trying to surf. From beginner to intermediate level, all are welcome. I had booked up a surfing lesson, having only ever done it before once. I had so much fun.
HOW TO GET THERE
The adventure park is easy to reach, just of the main A470 a short distance from the A55 and has Snowdonia National Park as its backdrop. From the A470 the park is signposted to make it even easier.
The entire process from start to finish was brilliant, from arriving to check in. Getting all your gear on and ready, there are plenty of changing rooms. As part of the lesson, wetsuits and boots are supplied. If needed you can also request life jackets. You need to watch a little safety video before your lesson begins. (a kind of do and don’ts) and then we meet our instructor. Sam, who was brilliant.
WHAT TO EXPECT
First, it was on dry land, learning the technique of surfing. I did not know it was such an art form and so much goes into it. We spent about 20mins learning how to get from laying on the board to standing up on dry land and then it was time to hit the waves. We went into the pool in our little group and tried to surf. It’s safe to say surfing isn’t one of my strong points but I had a load of fun. I did manage to ride a wave a few times on my stomach without being swept off so for me, that was a huge win! After the lesson, we got changed and I stayed around watching the professionals while having a coffee. I even enjoyed that, it was such a thrill to watch them surf the huge waves.
A few Tips:
- Pre booking is essential. This gets booked up weeks, sometimes months in advance. You can just google “Surf Snowdonia” or visit the link (in summary section below) to plan your day out.
- This place is packed with things to do and activities to enjoy; you can also eat and stay overnight here to really make the most of it. Check out the website
- I booked for the 1hr 30min lesson and for me that was more than enough time to enjoy the waves and practice my skills. However, there are many different options to choose to suit all.
Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall
Although not technically in Snowdonia national park the Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall for me was a must visit. It was one of the places on my list.
This waterfall is considered the tallest in Wales and the highest single drop Waterfall in the United Kingdom, although this has never been confirmed officially. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the United Kingdom and one of the seven natural wonders of Wales. At 240ft high (73 meters) it is certainly an impressive waterfall.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There is a car park onsite at £5 for the day. There is a little café for snacks and drinks. You are able to walk right up to the bottom of the waterfall and you can hike to the top of the falls for an impressive view of the local area. I stayed at the top for a while, there are a number of stones and rocks to sit on as the falls thunder past you and on the lovely sunny day it was the perfect place to site and relax for a while taking it all in. You can see a full video below:
A few Tips:
- This waterfall is tricky to get too. It is literally in the middle of no-where in a tiny little village. Even when I got to the village I found it wasn’t the easiest to find. I recommend using the postcode from their website, this will get you pretty close. I will warn you the roads coming in are tiny and in places there is only room for one vehicle at a time. Once you get to Waterfall Lane, just follow it, all the way to the end where you will come to the car park.
- There are two routes up to the summit of the waterfall. An easy route and a harder but quicker route. The quicker, harder route is very steep as shown in the video.
Portmeririon is another place I wanted to visit while spending some time in Snowdonia national park.
It is a taste of Italy in Wales. Portmeirion is a big tourist village on the edge of Snowdonia on the estuary and was built by Sir Clough William-Ellis. He believed that nature should be persevered and anything added by man needs to work with the local environmental and be accessible for all.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The village has everything, shops, cafes, restaurants and hotel. It has plenty of walking trails, the two most popular are the lakeside walk and the forest walk which I completed both. Each will take approx. 30/40mins to complete. I also recommend spending some time on the beach (if the tide is out).
Portmeririon was built on the estuary of the river Dwyryd. It is easy accessible by car, bus or train. It is situated just 1.2 miles from the A487 which runs through Snowdonia National Park, although the village is technically NOT in the national park it only took me 1hr 20mins to get to by car.
Zip World UK – Penrhym Quarry
What an unbelievable place! This was another activity that I had planned and pre-booked before I set off on my trip to Wales. I had always wanted to do this and I was excited to be able to give it a go finally.
HOW TO GET THERE
Zip World own 4 sites across Snowdonia National Park and offer a huge array of activities so I highly recommend spending some time on their website and checking out everything they can offer. I wanted the Zip Wire which is the fastest Zip Wire in the World. When you check out the website you need to look for “velocity2” Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda. Getting there is easy, they are situated right next to the A5 which is off the main A55 so could not be easier to reach by car. I did not use public transport for this activity so I cannot comment I am afraid.
On arrival just follow the signs for the car park, its massive you will not have any trouble parking. This place is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wales so it can get busy. You will need to “check in” at the desk and they will tell you what time you head into reception to start your adventure (normally around 30mins before your start time). You need to be weighted, get your kit sorted out and on. Do not worry all the staff are on hand to help you out all the way. Then you start your adventure.
WHAT TO EXPECT
There are two Zip Wires at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry. The first is a smaller version, over the Quarry and gives you a little taste of what the bigger, fastest and higher zip wire has in store. Well, that is what they tell you. NOT TRUE! The first Zip Wire is nothing like the second so do not be fooled, but not in a bad way. It is not as long, it is not as high and it is nowhere near as fast. However, it is still a whole load of fun, after this Zip Wire you are taken on a 15min journey up to the top of Quarry (YES it takes 15mins to get there – that is how high it is).
Once at the top the views across Wales are just incredible. You are brought to the observation deck which is directly next to the zip wire house so now you can really get a feel as you see the people go before you and it’s here we were told many people back out, NOT A CHANCE I WAS DOING THAT! We were able to take some photos and enjoy the amazing views before it was our turn to ride the zipper.
We queued up, were fitted with my camera. Got attached to the line and it was off…now just before they send you on your way down the zip line you are lying face down staring into the Quarry. They count you down from three and let you go…In under 90 seconds, I was already on the other side and the line is 1.5km long. That is how fast you travel along the wire.
Is it worth the price tag?
YES, it is worth every penny. It was a brilliant feeling and I absolutely loved it. I would do it again in a heartbeat and when I return to Wales, I will certainly be doing it again. At least I can now say I have rode the fastest zip wire in the world. You can see my video of the entire ride below:
A few Tips:
- I would highly recommend when pre booking this event in advance. Like I said, it is one of the most popular things to do in Wales and gets booked up quickly.
- This event is outdoors. Remember that and wear appreciate clothes, I saw people in shorts and t-shirts and the day I went it was drizzle and not very warm at all. They looked so cold. There is a small little café onsite but it is not big. From the small zip to the large one, you will be outside for nearly 1hr 30mins and nothing is worse than feeling cold and wet. You will not enjoy the experience as much.
- When you book the experience, you will be offered the chance to opt in and pay extra for the video package. If you watched my video above, that is what you will get plus 30 photos to keep of your adventure.
Hike Mount Snowdon
Standing at 1085m, (3560ft) Mount Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and the second highest peak in the United Kingdom. Snowdon is one of the top tourist destinations in Wales and in 2019 over half million people hiked up at least one of the trails.
Mount Snowdon dominates the skyline in the heart of Snowdonia National Park and if you were to google “Snowdonia National Park”, the first thing you will see will be pictures of Mt. Snowdon. There are 6 main hiking routes to the summit and a train taking visitors to the summit and back, but the train only runs at certain times of year and it is weather dependant (you cannot EVER reply on this). Another quick note I wanted to share, Snowdon gets extremely busy during the summer months with Pen Y Pass car park and the park and ride getting full up by 9am with people hiking the mountain so you have to plan your journey. The closest town to Mount Snowdon is Llanberis (where I stayed) this is also, where the station is for the train and the park and ride scheme.
HOW TO GET THERE
As I mentioned, I was staying in the town so getting to and from the mountain for me was easy. I used the bus service from Llanberis, the S2 bus to Pen Y Pass, which cost just £2 for one adult one way. The bus journey took about 20 mins but dropped you off right outside the two hiking trails – the PYG and Miners Trails.
I was not able to climb the mountain until the afternoon, as the weather conditions were horrible in the morning. I was so thankful I did wait for the right moment (more on that a little later). However, what I wanted to say was by lunchtime when I arrived at Pen Y Pass the car park was full and closed to any more traffic. I choose to start on the miners trail to take me up to the summit and so at 13:55 I set off for my first hike up Mt. Snowdon.
It was not long before I saw some stunning views and some of the most amazing natural wonders I had seen as I walked the trail, seeing many people coming down from the mountain looking tired, even saw a few people crying! I continued and the trail started to get steeper and steeper, harder and harder and before long I was actually climbing on hands and knees over boulders and rocks and I could certainly understand why this route is called the miners trail.
WHAT TO EXPECT
As I started the climb, I could also feel the air temperature starting to drop and the top of the mountain was still in the clouds. The problem I was also facing was, the trail was also now going into the clouds and I could hardly see where the trail was going. The blessing here is so many people are coming down and going up, you kind of just have to put faith in the people ahead of you that you are going in the right direction!
In any event, at 15:48 I had reached the summit of Mt. Snowdon, which I was happy with. At the top, it is another 500/600 yards to the summit itself to see the famous dial. It was cold up the top of the mountain, it was approx. 5C at the summit with a biting wind and in the clouds, so I could not see the view unfortunately which I am told are breath taking.
On the way down from Snowdon I wanted to try a different route. As I was staying in Llanberis and I had heard it was the easiest route to take I wanted to find out if it was as easy as people said and the path would take me straight back to my B&B back in the town. Therefore, I left the summit and started my hike back down the Llanberis route. This was an easier route, but is also a longer route then some of the others. It was a little easier on the feet but it was still pretty steep in places so care is still required. I arrived back in the town at 18:50 so in total the hike took me 4hrs 55mins approx.
WATCH THE CLIMB
I have posted a complete video of my hike up and down Mt. Snowdon which you can see here.
A few Tips:
- My first and most important TIP – be prepared. You are climbing a mountain not going for a walk in a park. Make sure you have the correct gear with you – I am not talking about climbing Everest but a good pair of walking boots with ankle support, waterproof and windproof clothing. Maybe even a hat for the summit – I was so grateful for mine. Make sure you have plenty to drink for your hike; you will be in the elements for anything up to 5/6hrs. I took a few bottles of water and some food with me, all of which I used and needed.
- Make sure you plan your routes. This includes getting to and from the mountain itself. Like I said it can get extremely busy in peak times. Try and mix the routes up and down, each one provides something a little different and they all have pros and cons.
- Try to enjoy it. Once you get to the top you can say you have climbed the second highest peak in the UK
Climbing Mt. Snowdon was certainly a highlight of this trip, but the trip was not over. Far from, I would now make my way south into south Wales and check out the southern part of the country to see what joys I could find.
CARDIGAN (SOUTH WALES)
From Snowdonia I drove the 3hrs down to Cardigan, which would be my next resting place for the rest of the trip. I wanted to see what the coast had in store and Cardigan was the perfect little fishing town right next to the sea where I could enjoy my final few days.
THINGS TO DO
There are plenty of things to do in Cardigan itself; it is one of the reasons I picked it as my accommodation for the next few nights. A beautiful tradional little fishing town with a brilliant market that is well worth checking out. There is a good medieval castle in the town and a beautiful beach, which become one of my favourite places!
Cardigan Bay Wildlife Boat Trip
If I am at the seaside, there is nothing better than a good old-fashioned boat trip, especially when you get to see some of the resident wildlife along the coast of Wales.
HOW TO GET THERE
“A bay to remember” is the name of the company and they were excellent. It was an early morning start, our boat would set sail at 8am so needed to be there for 07:30am. It was a stunning morning, not a cloud in the sky and the sun was pretty warm too already. I drove to the viewpoint car park and walked down to the beach to catch the team ready for the boat trip.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We had our safety briefing and they set out a picture on what the day might look like. There were 10 people on our trip and at 8am on dot we set off on our boat, out the harbour.
It was really cool to be on the water, we zipped past some cliffs and mountains and it all seemed to be the perfect start. We made our first stop at “Cardigan Island” a piece of rock that is un-inhabited but is home to over 80 different species of sea birds. We saw loads of them, the noise was pretty something. So much activity all in what seemed to be such a little place.
We moved around the island slowly as the our guide Madalyn told us about the birds and answered any questions we might have. As we moved around the island, we came across some seals. Grey Seals in fact. They looked extremely chilled on the little bit of beach they called home, it was an excellent start to our wildlife trip. We pressed on further up the coast, we made our way into a little bay in search of the dolphins but they were not around at this point. I saw some more see birds, little Gannets and was told it’s a good sign they are here because they follow the dolphins for food.
Viewing the Dolphins
In Autumn they migrate back to Africa to escape our cold winters. We then reached the point where we needed to start returning toward Cardigan Town. Then on our way back, the Gannets lead us to the dolphins and we finally caught up with one of the pods that make up the approx. 300 bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay.
The only place in the UK to have wild resident dolphins. Our pod we discovered was about 12/15 strong and they were making their way back from the open ocean, they had been out fishing at dawn and now heading back into the bay to rest and play before heading back out again later this evening. It was great to see the dolphins, they always make brilliant viewing pleasure. After staying with the dolphins a little while we headed back toward Cardigan Island and back into the river Teifi to our drop off point. It was a morning well spent on the sea and I loved it – highly recommended activity for sure
A few Tips:
- Make sure you wrap up warm. I made sure I did, I had my waterproof and windproof coat, a hat and warm waterproof hiking boats but I still got cold. Wrap up warm. Make sure you wear the correct clothes you are exposed on the open ocean. EVEN in summer
- Parking was super easy at the viewpoint car park. It is free parking and a short 8min walk from the pick-up/drop off point. It also gives you some amazing views across the estuary and out to the sea.
Poppin Sands Beach
After the boat trip I had nothing planned for the rest of the day, as this trip had been non-stop the past few days since I got to Wales I wanted a little rest and to chill. After the boat trip, I made my way to Poppin Sands Beach, which was 10mins from my B&B. It was a perfect little beach, sand for miles and plenty of room for people to enjoy the outdoors. I parked the car, went straight to the café, and got a coffee and bite to eat. I chilled out, eating some food and having a drink. Even got to sunbath a little bit, it was so nice to just a take some time out and chill out on the beach. I guess you could say it is one of those hidden beauty spots as it was not extremely busy either.
A few Tips:
- Parking was £2 for 2 hours or £5 for all day, the machines only take change although they do have the parking App. The problem was I did not have any phone signal at all the entire I was there. I finally paid parking, I manged to locate £2 from bits and pieces I found in the car.
- As I mentioned there is a little café onsite. Hot and cold drinks and small snacks can be purchased (card payments are accepted in the café)
British Bird of Prey Centre
The bird of prey centre is located in the National Botanic Gardens. I booked a half-day flying experience and it was brilliant. I had never done anything like this before and it would be the first time I would be so close to these amazing types of birds.
HOW TO GET THERE
The British Bird of Prey Centre was easy to get to from Cardigan, it took me about 1hr to drive and all the roads this time were enjoyable. The centre is just off the main A48 which can be access from the M4 motorway. If you’ve booked the experience like I have then you need to follow the directions that they will send you in your conformation email – you will need them!
Falconer for the day
I arrived with 10mins to spare and at 9am exactly, James (my Falconer for the morning) arrived with a little friend. Boomerang the Kestral. Boomerang was only one year old. He was born in the centre and was raised and trained by James. He was great, although he could fly off at any minute he did not, he flew up into trees and stuff but came back as soon as James whistled for him.
I was able to hold him on my arm for some time and feed him, which was awesome. Boomerang although still in training is going to be a fantastic addition to the centre and hats off to James for the work he does.
After Boomerang, I meet another local, a Great Grey Owl. She was amazing, such beautiful feathers, markings, and much bigger then boomerang. I was able to fly her around, feed her, and hold her on my hand. It was great and again James did a brilliant job at talking me through her species and the types of things she would be getting up to in the wild.
Meeting the Team
After the Owl, it was time for another local, this time James told me he was going to get his star pupil. Manuka was next, the Honey Buzzard. She was great, so friendly and I could tell she enjoyed James Company because at one point she did not want to fly anywhere. I was able to hold her, feed her and even got her to go a few tricks for me. She was a star.
Next up it was Alice. The black Kite. As soon as she came out she loved flying around. She flew all over and it was lovely to watch her. She was so gracious and made it seem so effortless gliding around like it was nothing. I was able to feed her and got her to grab food in mid-flight as she would in the wild – catching other small birds or hatchlings.
After spending time with the birds in the flying arena, I was able to head back to the centre with James who took me around all the different birds at the centre explaining all about them and answering any questions I had. He made me a lovely cup of tea and it was so nice to talk with him and spend time with him. I could tell he loved his job but I could tell he loved the birds a whole lot more, James was a total joy and I can’t thank him enough for an unforgettable morning with some amazing birds.
Bird of Prey Show
I booked a private session so it was just James and me. I was allowed entry into the centre before it opened to the public. So had the entire place to ourselves. It really made a difference. I believe the private sessions are well worth the money and time. Highly recommended.
After the birds and my private session, I got to sit in on one of the bird shows. This was impressive, as I got to see some of the other birds I didn’t see with James. We saw the Snowy Owl, the Tawny Owl, Gyrfalcon and the star of the show, the huge White-tailed sea eagle called Atlantis. She had a huge wingspan of 8ft from tip to tip and gave us a brilliant show. Flying all over our heads and coming down for food. She was a stunning bird and the talk about her was extremely good. Finding out that their populations here in the UK were wiped out but they are slowly making a comeback. Great news for us. I loved the bird show. I had a brilliant day at the bird of prey centre and cannot recommend it enough.
A few Tips:
- Make sure you check out the bird shows. There is an extra charge for the show unless like me you have booked the experience. The first one is at 11:30am and they run every 2 hours until 15:30 (the last of the day)
- I believe the private experience was well worth the money. To have the entire centre to yourself and one-on-one time with the birds and staff was brilliant. But I understand it’s not cheap for large families.
Pembrokeshire National Park Day Trip (Barafundle Bay)
I had heard that there was a beach near that had been voted the No.1 beach in Wales. A TripAdvisor poll had the beach at the No.1 spot so I had to check this out for myself.
HOW TO GET THERE
Barafundle Bay Beach is a popular Wales beauty spot and can get extremely busy during hot summer days. It took me 1hr 10mins to get to the beach – Barafundle Bay Beach.
Getting to the bay was easier enough. I used this postcode: SA71 5LS, which will take you to the Stackpole Quay Car Park. As you get closer you will start to see the signs (brown). You just need to follow them, but this postcode got me straight to the car park no problem.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Beach is a half-mile walk to the Bay. The Bay was lovely, the beach is pure white sand and the waves were calm and gentle. The only issue was, the day I picked the weather wasn’t the best. It was raining so not many people around and not the greatest time to be at the beach. It was the only time I had left so I made sure to be checking this beauty spot out.
I enjoyed the beach, the views are amazing but as far as No.1 in Wales goes….I’m not too sure on that! It really was a beautiful spot, which I will agree. I could see why it was voted No.1 in the country. From the car park there is approx. 0.5mile walk to the bay itself, it is very secluded and not pushchair or wheelchair friendly at all. It is also worth noting although there are toilets and café they at back at the car park. Which is a half a mile away from the beach itself.
A few Tips:
- If you planning a day at this beach I would take food and drink with you, otherwise you will have a half-mile walk each time.
- The car park is big so you will not have any trouble parking but the machines only take CASH – its £6 for the day or £3 for 3hrs parking.
FOOD & DRINK
Food and drink in Wales is very similar to that of the entire United Kingdom.
In all the different parts I visited the choice of food was great. From pub food, to private bistros to fast food takeaway Wales had everything you could need to enjoy your time.
I eat at a few places during this trip, “Petes Eats” a lovely little eating place in Llanberis about 3 minute walk from the B&B. I also had fish and chips one evening down by the lake (that was really nice) and I thought I would “posh” it up a little bit and went and had dinner one night in a fancy hotel restaurant so as I said, the choice is yours.
In Cardigan, it was pretty much the same. I had dinner one evening at the “Ferry Inn” a lovely little pub right on the river, with amazing views while you eat some good food. I also had a takeaway one evening that I took down to the main viewing place in the town centre watching the boats and the river and people moving about, it was lovely. The only downside to this was the seagulls wanting my chips, they were stalking me! I felt like about twenty thousand eyes were watching my every move.
I do not believe you will have any issues with any of the food and drink in Wales.
Some pictures of just some of the food I ate on this trip:
As you may have guessed, I did not use any public transport in Wales.
That is not because I do not rate it, I just never used it. I believe the rail and bus network across Wales is good. I did not use it because I had a car and for me it was easier and quicker, loads quicker to drive to the places I needed to get too.
For example, the Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall is literally in the middle of no-where. To get public transport would have taken nearly 6hrs! I managed to drive there in just over 1hr 40mins. It’s the same for Snowdonia to Cardigan, public transport would have taken me 8hrs. Driving took me 3hrs so half the time.
The road network in Wales is certainly interesting in places. Generally, the roads are great and make for an excellent road trip. However, there were certain times I did not even think I would get my car down the road; well I am not even going to call them roads. If you are not that confident about driving around Wales I would recommend sticking to A roads as best as you can.
During this trip, I drove 977.70 miles. That includes all the attractions, getting to Wales and back and travelling from North to South during my trip.
This is the reason I post the actual costs of my trips so you can make the right decisions in planning yours.
There is NO question that I have had a brilliant week away in Wales. I hope by looking at the below you can see the activities did not really costs all that much. Now, you do need to remember I am just one adult. Therefore, these costs only reflect my costs for this trip. It is why I also try to give you money saving tips for all the activities I try out.
PLEASE NOTE: All the activities mentioned above were for one adult. Accommodation was booked for 2 adults with breakfast included each morning.
Here is breakdown of all the costs for this trip:
The total cost for this trip was £1,022 for 7 nights. Four nights in Snowdonia and three nights in Cardigan. I tried my hardest to get the costs down to below £1k but unfortunately, I could not do it. I think due to the amount of driving I did meaning I needed to top up with petrol 3 times in the week and the fact that I paid for two adults accommodation this pushed the price over the £1k.
You can tell from what I have said above that Wales was certainly a brilliant place to take a holiday with loads of things to do for all the family to enjoy. I loved my time in Wales and would certainly go back given the chance (maybe a trip next year will be on the cards).
I totally recommend visiting if you wanted to stay a little closer to home over the coming months/years. The price of this trip is still something I struggle with a little.
The price tag of just over £1,000 for one adult is maybe a little too much. I could get an all-inclusive holiday to Spain or Turkey for less than that. It would also grantee me sunny weather and I can safely say, I did not see too much of the sun in Wales. Although it was not cold, it was actually muggy. It stayed overcast most of the time, which is a risk you take on a good old British summer.
I do not want this to put you off. I do strongly recommend visiting Wales, the country is stunning with mountains, lakes, rivers and waterfalls in every direction. The Country offers so much to see and do and the people and food are also great, there is nothing about any of the trip I did not like or would change.
Map of Places I visited and Stayed
Yellow is accommodation. Places I visited in blue.
I stayed in two perfect B&B’s while I was travelling around Wales. The first was Erw Fair Guest House in Snowdonia National Park. Right beside Mt. Snowdon.
Click here to read my full review on TripAdvisor.
The second B&B I stayed in was also perfection. That was the Teifi Netpool Inn B&B in Cardigan. Again, for a full review on this accommodation please see my TripAdvisor page. (link above)
Both places were flawless from the welcome at check inn to saying goodbye at check out. They offered great size rooms, spotlessly clean, brilliant choice for breakfast and great locations. I strongly recommend staying at both if you are thinking about a trip to Wales or the surrounding area.
To check prices and availability for Erw Guest House and Teifi Netpool Inn then click this links below:
As promised here are a few links you may find useful. These are for the “surf Snowdonia” adventure parc and for Zip World UK.
Surf Splash Page – Adventure Parc Snowdonia – Surf Snowdonia
Outdoor Adventure Activity | Days Out for Kids & Adults | Zip World – ZIP World UK
A few Tips:
- Make sure you visit in the British summer months but NOT during peak times (JUN/JUL/AUG) prices will always be higher in these months. Try to book either side of the peak season in May or September. You could still enjoy some fine weather and everything is open without massive price rises.
- If you are planning to use public transport just be aware your days will be much longer so I would advise to plan ahead. My recommended mode of transport is by car, it is quicker and easier but is not cheaper.
- Book some of your activities in advance before you travel. Some places do offer “early bird” booking discounts so it will be certainly worth looking at those; I managed to save £25 on the Zip Wire because I booked so far in advance.
Yes, Wales was a little pricy and yes, it’s in the United Kingdom and you can’t always rely on the weather. HOWEVER, I loved my visit to Wales. I did not know what to expect, as I had never been before but now having been I can say… it’s not goodbye, it is until we meet again.
Nid yw’n hwyl fawe, mae’n eich gweld yn fuan
Until next time…