Wales is a wonderful place for a weekend break with an incredible amount of history, culture and beautiful scenery crammed into a country smaller than the state of New Jersey. Here are 7 destinations worth an overnight stay, including some insight from UK-based travel bloggers who’ve enjoyed them too.
1. PEMBROKESHIRE | WEEKEND BREAK IN WALES
Home to Britain’s only coastal national park and the smallest city (St. David’s), Pembrokeshire is where the green grass of Wales meets miles of golden sands. Dotted across this region are tonnes of pretty towns and villages to explore, including Narberth and Pembroke where you’ll find Henry VII’s Medieval Castle.
For a weekend thick with beaches, great people, fascinating culture and incredible food, South West Wales delivers! Last year, I followed in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas – poet, playwright, author – visiting the places that inspired his genius. From Thomas’ home town of Laugharne to the cockle-shell bay of Llansteffan beach, I discovered fascinating towns, beautiful landscapes and wonderful people – and all within two days. – Claire, author of Weekend Candy
2. CAERLEON, NEWPORT
This small village in North Newport was once a thriving Roman Fortress under the name of ‘Isca’. Stop off in Bar Piazza for a coffee or one of the many characterful pubs like The Ship Inn before exploring the Museum and the Amphitheatre, Barracks and Baths remains.
The nearby Newbridge on Usk is a wonderful weekend retreat with a small number of cosy lodges and highly praised riverside Inn serving cream teas and exquisite dinners. The Celtic Manor Resort facilities adds to the appeal with a golf course and health spa on your doorstep.
3. PORTMEIRION & SNOWDONIA | WEEKEND BREAK IN WALES
This is a weekend break that has all the charm and colour of a village on the Italian Riviera, including the Alpine-like mountains of Snowdonia as a backdrop. Portmeirion is home to the annual Festival No. 6 and has caught the eye of many film producers.
I had an amazing stay in Portmeirion, not least because the whimsical architecture and extensive walking paths satisfied both my curiosity and my inner photography lover. It’s a great destination for a weekend break because the surroundings feel magical and it’s easy to explore in two days – Julie, author of A Lady In London
View A Lady In London’s Magical 2 Days in Portmeirion for further inspiration.
4. THE BRECON BEACONS
The Brecon Beacons has a steep and dramatic landscape, carved out by countless rivers and jaw dropping waterfalls. My favourites are Henrhyd and Sgwd yr Eira as you can get up close and walk behind them. One challenge undertaken by most locals at least once is the ascent to Pen-Y-Fan, the highest mountain in Southern Britain.
5. THE WYE VALLEY | WEEKEND BREAK IN WALES
Featuring in a recent BBC series, The Wye Valley’s beauty is obvious from the first mile of the A466 that hugs the winding river. You can head to The Kymin for one of the best viewpoints in the area, explore the amazing Tintern Abbey remains or hire a canoe and enjoy the river valley at your own pace.
Further reading: Exploring the Wye Valley with Real Wales Tours
6. LLANDUDNO & CONWY
Spending a day in Llandudno and the other in Conwy was one of my favourite trips of 2017 where I had chance to visit Britain’s smallest house and ascend to the top of The Great Orme.
Llandudno has a stunning pier and gives you the chance to ride the Great Orme Tramway, while Conwy has a breathtaking castle and cute little cobbled streets to wander. I had a fabulous time visiting and I am really looking forward to returning someday – Hannah, author of Miss Nicklin.
I stayed in the grand Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, conveniently located between the two towns. If, however, you’d prefer to be within walking distance of Llandudno’s attractions check out Miss Nicklin’s overnight stay at the Llandudno Bay Hotel.
7. CARDIFF | WEEKEND BREAK IN WALES
As the nations vibrant and cultural capital, you’re not short of things to do in Cardiff. A weekend may not be enough, but first timers will quickly fall for the Victorian Arcades, grand castle and impressive Principality Stadium all within minutes of each other.
Cardiff has also hosted many huge events recently, including the 2017 Champions League Final, Rugby World Cup games and the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race in the Bay.
If you’re visiting the city for a special event or celebration, stay in the central based Hotel Indigo, Park Plaza Cardiff or St David’s Hotel (in Cardiff Bay) and give yourself at least a day to explore some of the sights.