The Most Beautiful Places To Visit in Wales

A panoramic view of Snowdonia National Park with its spectacular mountains, lakes and valleys
A panoramic view of Snowdonia National Park with its spectacular mountains, lakes and valleys | © Alan Novelli / Getty Images
Photo of Nicholas Witts
19 May 2021

Wales is a stunning country, home to sweeping valleys, sandy bays, Gothic castles and national parks. Plan your visit with Culture Trip’s guide to the most beautiful places to explore.

Abereiddy and the Blue Lagoon

Natural Feature
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The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi
© Russell Brown / Alamy Stock Photo

Abereiddy is a picturesque hamlet on Pembrokeshire’s rugged northwest coast, known for its remarkable blue lagoon and black sand beach. The watersports-friendly blue lagoon is set in a grey slate quarry, the same material that gives Abereiddy Beach its extraordinary dark hue. The area is popular with coasteering groups and kayakers, but equally lends itself to a relaxing coastal walk.

Barafundle Bay

Natural Feature
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Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South Wales, UK.
© BANANA PANCAKE / Alamy Stock Photo

Barafundle Bay is a small curved beach in Pembrokeshire, backed by dunes and pine trees. On a sunny day, the golden sands and azure waters look more like the Caribbean than Wales. The walk to the beach is spectacular, taking you along a stretch of the Pembrokeshire coastline where grassy hills meet the sea cliffs. In the same region are the Bosherston Lily Ponds, three flooded limestone valleys that, in the summer months, are covered in a carpet of lilies.

Three Cliffs Bay

Natural Feature
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Another of Wales’s scenic coastal walks, Three Cliffs Bay is a stretch of sand and limestone cliffs in the Gower Peninsula. From the cliffs, you can take in incredible views over to Penmaen Burrows and beyond. On the beach itself, explore the sea cave that burrows underneath an outstretching cliff face, but do take care on the beach as tides sweep inwards very quickly.

Snowdonia

Natural Feature
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Snowdonia National Park comprises massive mountains and great lakes in the northernmost region of Wales. The highest mountain there is Mount Snowdon, rising to 1,085m (3,560ft), from where you can take in sweeping, dramatic views of the Welsh countryside, all the way to Ireland and Scotland. If you do reach the summit, there’s the option to board a mountain railway service that can zip you back down again.

Waterfall Country

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The valleys of South Wales are home to some spectacular waterfalls, and near the village of Pontneddfechan (or Pont Neath Vaughan) are some of Wales’s finest. In the heart of Brecon Beacons National Park, the aptly named Waterfall Country is home to waterfalls such as Sgwd Gwladys (Lady Falls), a 10m (33ft) high waterfall that spills into a natural pool popular with wild swimmers, as well as Henrhyd Falls – the highest in South Wales – and Sgwd Clun Gwyn (Fall of the White Meadow).

Lake Vyrnwy

Natural Feature
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Mirror reflection, Lake Vrynwy,Wales,UK.
© John Mole Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

This great expanse of water in Powys, Mid Wales, is in fact a reservoir propped up by a stone dam that dates back to the 1880s. The lake is surrounded by woodland and filled with a rustling abundance of wildlife, as well as a sculpture trail, cafés and crafts shops. A Gothic, castle-like water tower sits in the centre of the lake.

Tenby and Caldey Island

Architectural Landmark
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Tenby is a picturesque, historic harbour town, enclosed in centuries-old stone walls and notable for its colourful harbourfront buildings and sandy beaches. From Tenby, take the ferry over to Caldey Island, a holy island with a 1,500-year-old history, with its Celtic monastery first established in the 6th century, and currently home to just 40 residents.

Castell Coch

Architectural Landmark
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Castell Coch (Castle Coch) (The Red Castle), Tongwynlais, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, Europe
© Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo

Translated as the red castle, this Gothic building overlooks the village of Tongwynlais and the River Taff. It was first built in the 11th century, and after years of abandonment and destruction was revived in the late 19th century. The woods surrounding the castle are among the most westerly natural beech woodlands in the British Isles. They provide a spectacular backdrop to the castle, particularly during the autumn months.

These recommendations were updated on May 19, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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