Nestled into the heart of the UK, South Wales beckons with promises of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and a tapestry of vibrant cultures. As you embark on your journey, prepare to be captivated by stunning views, sounds of rolling waves along the beautiful coastlines and echoes of castles that have stood throughout history. Beyond the postcard-perfect scenes, this land is alive with the spirit of adventure, inviting you to step off the beaten path and into a world of adventure. Home to many a literary, music and sporting great, Wales is clearly an inspiration to many of the world’s greatest men and women.
South Wales has some must visit attractions, ranging from amazing museums to the famous home of Welsh rugby in Cardiff, and even some quaint little theatres that have been around for over 100 years… Go and experience the beauty of nature and the warmth of the Welsh people on your next trip to the UK!
Discover the map of Wales with all these locations on, plus a few more by clicking this link.
Where better to start your trip than the capital?
Go and discover over 2000 years of history in the heart of the city at Cardiff Castle. Its construction dates back to 1AD and has been a crucial structure ever since, including acting as an air raid shelter during WWII, keeping many thousands of Cardiff citizens safe. Nowadays the venue is used for a multitude of events such as tours, banquets, medieval reenactments, winter wonderland and can even be used as a wedding venue. The castle is open 7 days a week to tour around as well as having a gift shop and one of Cardiff’s best cafes located on its spacious terrace.
If you are looking for more of a culturally enriching experience then take a visit to the National Museum in Cardiff. Witness one of Europe’s finest art collections, with over five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from across Wales and the world. The museum also has galleries displaying the rich history and evolution of Wales, dating all the way back to the Jurassic period.
If museums and castles aren’t your thing and you’re craving a traditional Welsh experience then it wouldn’t be a trip to Wales without visiting the famous home of Welsh Rugby. Widely regarded as one of the best stadium atmospheres in the world, the Principality is located in the Nation’s capital, Cardiff. Boasting 74,000 seats, you are able to take a tour of the amazing venue throughout the week. It has the first fully retractable roof in the UK making it the perfect venue for large sporting occasions as well as concert performances. It has been host to stars such as Madonna, U2 as well as numerous Rugby World Cup and Olympic events.
After Cardiff, take a short trip North and experience the magic of Monmouth
Monnow Bridge, situated in Monmouth, Wales, is the only remaining fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower standing on the bridge. The historical and architectural significance of the bridge, alongside the rarity of its design, has given the bridge Grade I listing. The bridge crosses over the River Monnow and is made of Old Red Sandstone.
The Wye Valley has so much to offer so whilst you’re in South Wales, so why not take a trip to the Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre for an exciting family day out. They have an abundance of canoes available for hire by the hour and whether you are a beginner in a canoe or a seasoned pro, this is a great way to take in the sights along the River Wye. Alongside canoeing the site also offers a number of exciting activities such as archery, raft building and even a high and low ropes course.
The Wye Valley is full of excellent activities, and none more so than a visit to the Butterfly Zoo. The zoo allows you to walk amongst free flying tropical butterflies in the indoor hot house. The site prides itself on being able to show butterflies at every stage of their life, from an egg all the way to a fully grown butterfly. The zoo also boasts an excellent gift shop and if the butterflies weren’t enough there is traditional English Hedge maze of a decent size and difficulty!
If you’re looking for great food and drink and some entertainment in Monmouth then look no further. A famous story turned into a famous pub; the Robin Hood Inn lies a short distance from Monnow Bridge. It is thought to have been built in the late medieval period, dating back to the 14th century. It is the site of a famous blue plaque, commemorating its controversial religious history. Nowadays, it remains a traditional style pub, keeping its olde world charm. Inside is a cozy setting with historic timber and stonework features alongside references to Robin Hood and Little John. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a pint or a meal and if the sun is shining, the beer garden is the perfect spot to be!
The Savoy is believed to be the oldest working theatre in Wales, it shows a regular nightly program of cinema films, whilst also being a venue for concerts, drama and comedy shows. The theatre was first granted its entertainment license in 1832 and has been ever present in Monmouth since. In 2004 the interior was restored, including its famous red velvet curtains, elaborate gilded plasterwork and glass chandeliers, all of which contribute the excellent acoustics.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip to Wales without visiting Swansea and then onto the Brecon Beacons!
Located in Gower, Swansea, Three Cliffs Bay is a scenic, sandy beach that is backed by three limestone cliffs. The Bay offers a particularly photogenic part of the Wales Coast Path and as such is a great location for a walk and a picnic. If you are a keen walker, then you can take the trip from Penmaen to Three Cliffs Bay. An enjoyable, relatively easy walk, allows you to take in long stretches of sandy beach as well as a few rock scrambles if you wish.
Less than an hour’s drive north of Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and is one of the most famous National Parks in Wales and indeed the UK. The area is rich with a diverse natural landscape, featuring native deciduous trees and North American conifers. The Beacons are also famous for its wild pony population which span across all 519 square miles. The most popular activity to take enjoy is hiking, with some fantastic trail routes that also double as biking routes, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the land. You can even brave conditions and camp within the park!