The Best Places to Visit in South Wales
We’re not exaggerating when we say that South Wales is bursting with scenic views. Check out the places you shouldn’t miss.
Simple fact: South Wales is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. The landscape is incredibly varied, from mountains and coastline, to towns and cities. It’s no wonder that South Wales is such an appealing holiday destination.
At Plum Guide, we’re always one step ahead when it comes to knowing where to go, what to do and where to stay. Our choice of vacation rentals have been meticulously considered by our experts, so you’re always guaranteed a good night’s sleep. Don’t believe us? Check out our range of homes in South Wales today.
If you’ve already Googled South Wales and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the choice of things to do, don’t worry. We’ve highlighted the best places to visit in South Wales.
Brecon Beacons National Park
Brecon Beacons is one of three National Parks in Wales (yes, three). Spread over 1,344 km², the Park offers a multitude of things to do. There’s all the usual spiel like cycling, mountain biking, horse riding and walking. In case you fancy a challenge, the Park is home to Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. You’ll also find activities for the more adventurous folk, such as watersports, underground adventures and rock climbing and abseiling.
Looking for something unique? The Park has that too, with some unusual activities like stargazing, bushcraft and foraging (we did say unusual).
Rather indulge in food than burn it off? The Brecon Beacons doesn’t disappoint. It’s one of the best places to visit in South Wales if you’re a foodie. With fertile valleys, fresh water and clear countryside air, there’s an abundance of fresh produce in the region. You’ll find gourmet restaurants with kitchen gardens, cosy pubs and traditional tea rooms. There’s even the Penderyn Distillery if you want to knock yourself out.
You can combine your love for food with shopping at the many farmers’ markets, food festivals and delis that are dotted around the National Park. It’s also a great place to browse for handmade gifts, arts and crafts inspired by the countryside. Different towns in the region have a great selection of outdoor shops, boutiques, antique shops and bookstores.
Glamorgan Heritage Coast
If the coast is more your scene, then the Glamorgan Heritage Coast should definitely be on your list of places to visit in South Wales. It’s a feast for the eyes that stretches for 14 miles from Porthcawl to Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan. It’s like an all you can eat buffet of scenery - choose from rolling hills, country lanes, sand dunes, bustling markets, vibrant towns, ancient castles. Would you like a side of cliffs and limestone formations with that?
There are many ways you can explore the coastline, whether it’s walking, cycling or on horseback. Some great beaches include Rest Bay, Dunraven Bay and Coney Beach, as well as the beaches around the villages of Macross and Monknash. Nash Point is one of the most popular attractions along the coast - an iconic 19th century lighthouse with panoramic views.
Often described as the capital of the Vale of Glamorgan, Cowbridge is a market town with plenty of historic buildings. Dating back to Roman times, you’ll find the remains of a 14th century castle, 12th century church and most importantly, the nearby Llanerch Vineyard which is the largest vineyard in Wales. Enjoy.
If you're visiting the other end of the country, there's plenty of beaches in North Wales, too. Read our guide on things to do in North Wales if you don't believe us.
If cities aren’t really on your agenda when it comes to places to visit in South Wales, make Cardiff the exception. The capital of Wales is a dynamic, vibrant city and makes the perfect base for travelling around South Wales. Visiting Cardiff is a must when it comes to things to do in Wales.
Once one of the busiest ports in the UK, a large part of Cardiff Bay has been redeveloped and is packed with luxury housing, offices, restaurants, shops and a marina. There are also cultural and entertainment facilities including a theatre and science centre, as well as sporting facilities including a white water rafting centre, parks and a nature reserve.
If you love a little retail therapy (who doesn’t), you’ll be pleased to know that Cardiff is a popular shopping destination. It has pretty much everything you need, from designer brands and high street stores, to independent boutiques and markets. New blends with the old, and you’ll find the 18th century Cardiff Market in addition to several Victorian-era shopping arcades.
A must-see in the city is the famous Cardiff Castle. Looking over the city since the 11th century, this great stone fortress is open to the public to have a nose around the extensive grounds, interactive exhibits, the Battlement walk, a Norman keep, bomb shelters and the extravagant rooftop garden.
Speaking of extravagance, our home Strawberry Wood is one of our favourites in Wales. This luxurious six bedroom house is situated in a peaceful spot in the Welsh Borders, with surrounding views of the rolling hills. Plus, it’s under an hour’s drive from Cardiff.
After some much needed R&R? We’re prescribing you with a break at a seaside resort. Tenby is one of the best coastal towns in Wales. It’s brimming with beaches, fun attractions, and good food and drink - all the right ingredients for a classic seaside holiday.
One of the first stops in town should definitely be the beaches. You’ll find a wide selection of them, from the safe Harbour Beach to the placid waters at Castle Beach. For attractions and amenities, head to Tenby North Beach which is backed by a promenade and the town itself. Meanwhile, Tenby South Beach is much less commercialised and perfect for boisterous beach activities such as water sports and whatever else you can think of to get the adrenaline pumping.
For culture vultures, there’s the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, the Tudor Merchant’s House, St Mary’s Church, St Julian’s Church. If you’re visiting with kids, the Tenby Ghost Walk is also great evening entertainment.
Most importantly, no visit to Tenby is complete without a boat trip over to Caldey Island. Owned by reformed Cistercian monks, you can explore the ancient priory and indulge in Caldey chocolate, fudge and perfume.
Sold? Only an hour’s drive from Tenby is Oud. This stunning property has five bedrooms, so there’s (oud)les of space for everyone. Enjoy the elegantly decorated rooms, outdoor cooking and dining area. Furthermore, if the ample space still isn’t enough for the kids to run around and burn off energy, there’s even a treehouse.