The Best Day Trips From Cardiff, Wales

Rhossili Bay was voted the third-best beach in Europe
Rhossili Bay was voted the third-best beach in Europe | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Stephanie Andrews
31 July 2020

If the Welsh shores and lush countryside call to you, then the capital city of Cardiff is the perfect starting point to discover the country’s southern coast. Hugged by the mountains in the north and seaside in the south, Cardiff is a nature-lover’s dream. Now that you’ve soaked up the castle views, shopped the famous arcades and strolled down Europe’s largest waterfront, you may be itching for more. Our local insiders have shared with us their favourite day trips from the capital city that will give you an even further taste of Wales’s idyllic landscape.

Rhossili

Natural Feature
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Sunset and Heather at Rhossili Bay overlooking Worm's Head in the Gower, South Wales. UK
© Drew Buckley / Alamy Stock Photo
Looking for an ocean escape? Look no further than Rhossili Bay Beach, which was voted the third-best beach in Europe and the first area in the UK to be declared an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Nestled on the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili offers unspoiled terrain and sweeping seaside views. The best time to visit Rhossili is during the summer when over 250,000 sunflowers are in bloom. Soak in the beauty of the golden sunflower fields and stunning cliffside views overlooking the peninsula. Recommended by local insider Holly Brace

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park

Park
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Cosmeston Lakes Country Park offers a peaceful respite from the bustle of the city. This nature reserve, which is only a 15 to 20 minute drive from Cardiff, is perfect for walking along woodlands and lake shores while spotting local wildlife. A 14th-century Medieval village was discovered during the park’s construction and now visitors can tour a lifelike replica, as well as take a guided history tour of the museum. In the summer months, the reserve also provides barbecue equipment (permit required) for families to enjoy an outdoor picnic. Recommended by local insider Holly Brace

Waterfall Country

Natural Feature
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Sgwd yr Eira waterfall, Pontneddfechan, Waterfall country, Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom, Europe
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Lace up your hiking boots and take in the beauty and folklore of the Welsh woodlands at Brecon Beacons National Park. Here you’ll find Waterfall Country; aptly named for having the most waterfalls, caves and gorges in Britain. Follow the tree-lined footpaths around babbling brooks and cascading waters until you reach Sgwd yr Eira falls. If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, wander behind the falls for a real treat. Waterfall Country is the ideal spot for travellers looking to spend an enchanting day hiking or walking through serene, mystical forests. Recommended by local insider Holly Brace

Garth Mountain, Cardiff

Natural Feature
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If you’re longing for a peaceful hike without straying too far from the capital city, Garth Mountain is located just outside Cardiff between Llantwit Fardre and Pentyrch. Don’t let the name fool you, Garth Mountain offers easy walking trails for all fitness levels and rewards with a 360-degree vista of Cardiff and the Bristol Channel. The summit’s scenic view is an Instagrammable dream at any time of the day, but is particularly magical during sunrise and sunset. Recommended by local insider Annis Ince

Amelia Trust Farm, Barry

Farm Shop, British
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Amelia Trust Farm, Barry. 26th March 2019. Gerald the goat was sadly abandoned at the Amelia Trust Farm a few years ago. Sadly this is happening more
© Jennifer Dobie / Alamy Stock Photo
The Amelia Trust Farm is the ultimate family-friendly experience. Located in the town of Barry, this educational sanctuary offers 160 acres (65 hectares) of outdoor play for the little ones including a life-sized chess board that even adults will love. Feed the animals, take a mystical fairyland walk or try your hand at jewellery making and other crafts. If you work up an appetite, The Farm Kitchen café serves up some delicious cheese and chutney sandwiches. Recommended by local insider Annis Ince

Porthcawl

Architectural Landmark, Natural Feature
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Porthcawl, Wales, UK. 30th September 2018. Elvis fans and impersonators, of all ages, attend the 13th annual Porthcawl Elvis Festival, The Elvies.  Credit: Haydn Denman/Alamy Live News
© Haydn Denman / Alamy Stock Photo
With seven beaches and plenty of coastal walking paths, it’s no surprise that Porthcawl is a popular seaside haunt for couples and families. Along with local culture, quaint shopping and renowned golf courses, Porthcawl is also host to the world’s biggest Elvis festival every September. Make the beach your own backyard by staying a weekend at the popular Trecco Bay Holiday Park, which has tons of both sporty and relaxing activities and entertainment for the whole family. Recommended by local insider Holly Brace
These recommendations were updated on July 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.