Wales is a beautiful country that has so many incredible places to see. That being said, there’s a whole treasure trove of the best things to do in West Wales that you might not have considered.
Much more than just fluffy sheep and Tom Jones, Wales is a country that is perfect to explore regardless of what type of holiday you’re looking for. This is especially true when thinking of West Wales and the stunning coastline.
If you’re visiting the UK for the first time, or indeed, if you live close by, Wales is pretty easy to reach by car or train, with the West Wales coast reached from London in about 4.5 hours. This all means that’s it’s a relatively quick trip to somewhere completely different from the hustle of London or other big cities like Birmingham or Cardiff.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the very best things to do in West Wales on your next trip. Some will be nature-based, others will be little towns, but whatever the case I hope to show you a few you might like.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in West Wales. Have the best trip.
1.) Explore Pembrokeshire National Park
Pembrokeshire National Park is perched right on the coast of south-west Wales and the perfect place to explore the country’s rugged, natural, coastline. It’s one of the only national parks in West Wales and is easily up there as one of the best things to do in West Wales if you love nature.
Keep your eyes peeled for Dolphins, explore the beautiful landscapes and walk the coastal paths that criss-cross this area.
2.) Visit Aberystwyth
West Wales is a relatively rural region of the United Kingdom, with very little in terms of big cities and glimmering city lights. That being said, there’s one town that should definitely be on your radar – Aberystwyth.
Take a tour of the National Library of Wales, ramble up Constitution Hill (or take the cliff railway) and walk the far-stretching promenade. It really is one of the best things to do in West Wales.
3.) Take the steam train to Devil’s Bridge
Leaving from Aberystwyth, hop on the steam train that departs almost every day in the summer for the glistening waterfalls of Devil’s Bridge. It’s a totally unique experience and one of the best things to do in West Wales for a little nostalgia.
The train itself slowly climbs the mountain edges of this gorgeous region and chugs along to Devils Bridge itself.
Once in Devil’s Bridge, make sure to take a ramble in and around the Waterfalls that are much less devilish than you might think.
4.) Ride the Cambrian Coastal Route
One of the best ways to see the north-west of Wales is to explore the coastline by train.
Take the train from Machynlleth (the ancient Capital of Wales, pronounced, mack-un-thhh-leth) and discover the historic fishing villages of Aberdyfi, the impressive castles that are a stone’s throw from the shores and the landforms of the Cambrian coastline that date back millions of years.
Plus, after a storm or strong tidal flows, you can even spot the prehistoric forest on the seabed at Ynyslas. It really is a sight to behold.
5.) Try some Welsh cuisine
Wales has a great deal of delicious food to try but here are a few favourites that I think you have to try on your visit. Welsh cakes are a must! These flat cakes are baked on a griddle and filled with currents which I could eat all day! Grab yourself a cup of tea, a freshly baked Welsh cake and I guarantee you’ll fall in love (or at least your tummy will).
If Welsh cakes aren’t your thing, maybe try bara brith – a fruit loaf with lashings of salted butter, Welsh rarebit – a little like cheese on toast, or even a big bowl of piping hot cawl – a lamb based broth that is filled with seasonal vegetables and plenty of leeks.
Now, technically, you can gorge in any part of Wales, but it’s certainly one of the best things to do in West Wales on your trip.
6.) Hike Up Snowdon
Snowdonia National Park stretches for quite some distance in the north-west of Wales, encompassing the highest mountain in Wales and England, Snowdonia.
Grab your hiking boots, plan your trip and enjoy the stunning views from the top. If you’re an experienced hiker, you’ll find the hike up Snowdon pretty enjoyable, on the other hand, if you’re a novice (like me) you may well want to take it slow with lots of little breaks for water and cheeky chocolate (or two).
The whole park is stunning and easily up there as one of the best things to do in West Wales.
7.) Explore Portmeirion
If you’ve ever seen Portmeirion, you’ll quickly realise why I said you should visit. This gorgeous Italian village is nestled on the north-west coast of Wales and is perfect to see a unique a different perspective of Wales (or do I mean Italy?).
Think picturesque gardens, beautiful architecture and views across the beautiful Welsh countryside. It really is one of the best things to do in West Wales.
8.) Discover Tenby
On the south-west coast of Wales, Tenby is a small fishing village which is totally idyllic to explore. Already a firm favourite for us Welsh Folk to spend a relaxing Sunday, Tenby is just beautiful and certainly one of the best things to do in West Wales.
Wander around the cobbled streets, enjoy the town’s sandy beaches and even take a trip over to Caldey Island, one of the last remaining island monasteries in the whole of the UK.
9.) Try Learning some Welsh
Now, this has to be done – no excuses! 🙊 To a non-Welsh speaker, our language can sound very different and a little peculiar. Although almost all of the population speak English as well as Welsh, west Wales is a predominantly Welsh-speaking area, so I’ve included a few phrases to get you started:
“Bore da” (say: Boar ey da), which means “good morning. 🌅
“Iechyd da” (say: yaki dar) which loosely translates to “cheers” 🍻
“Hwyl fawr” (say: hue-el vawer) which means “goodbye” 👋
“Cariad” (say: car-e-add) which means “love” (you’ll get lots of attention with this one) Ha! ❤️