Often overlooked in comparison to England and Scotland, Wales actually packs a hell of a lot of beauty into a relatively small mass of land with sprawling mountain ranges, lush green valleys, ragged coastline, gorgeously preserved castles and postcard-pretty market towns. We feel Wales doesn’t receive half the amount of attention it deserves, and once you’ve seen our list for the most beautiful places to visit in Wales, we think you’ll also agree…
Home to the biggest mountain in Wales and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, Snowdonia National Park is a hugely popular holiday spot and a big draw for adventurous types. Boulder-strewn summits, stark mountain ranges and serene lakes make up much of the landscape, making it a popular destination for walkers, climbers and mountain bikers. Make sure you include a visit to one of our favourite spots, Llanberis Pass (where twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range) and if you’re fit enough, also consider tackling all 3,560 feet of glorious Mount Snowdon.
Llŷn is the long stretch of land that reaches out westwards beyond Snowdonia’s craggy peaks. It’s a place where the Welsh language and a traditional way of life still flourish and is one of five areas in Wales designated an area of outstanding beauty. With the Irish Sea on one side and Cardigan Bay on the other, it has a sunny southern coast strewn with beautiful beaches, unspolit countryside scenery and some very pretty towns. It’s also an area renowned for watersports including wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, powerboating and windsurfing.
Catherine Zeta-Jone’s home town is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. It’s a historic seaside retreat dotted with gourmet restaurants and quaint teashops and just happens to be newly fashionable with travellers-in-the know. The town stretches along the shoreline at the southern end of Swansea Bay – a place which has now been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Expect award-winning beaches, spectacular sunsets and miles of unspoilt countryside just aching to be explored.
The first place to be declared an area of outstanding beauty in Britain was always going to make this list. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bristol Sea, the South Wales beauty spot is known for its unspoilt landscapes, its important historic features and its varied wildlife inhabitants. Expect medieval churches, majestic castles and prehistoric standing stones set against a backdrop of rolling hills, lush green valleys and long stretches of wide sandy beaches framed by dramatic clifftops.
This attractive market town can be found on the North Coast of Wales. Yes it does have it’s fair share of visitors but the castle – which dominates part of the town with its vast battlements – is staggeringly beautiful. The world heritage listed fortress dates from the 13th century and is excellently preserved with scenic battlement views and a varied calendar of events. Also pay a visit to the 14th century Aberconwy House and the smallest house in Great Britain – but at only 72 inches wide – you might miss it!
The county of Pembrokeshire is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Wales. Its craggy and dramatic coastline imprints itself in the hearts of anyone who goes there and we love how uncrowded this places feels, even at high season. Rugged cliffs, a naturally beautiful coastline and more than seventy sweeping beaches calling this place home. Highlights include gorgeously preserved conservation areas, a National Park and excellent hiking trails which will take you close to medieval castles and towns, secret coves, Napoleonic forts and postcard-pretty ports.
Yet another area of outstanding beauty, the unspoilt area straddles the border between England and Wales. It’s home to arguably some most dramatic and scenic landscapes areas in Southern Britain and has seduced many artists, writers and poets over the centuries. Even William Wordsworth swooned over its “steep woods, lofty cliffs and green pastoral landscape.” Hikers, mountain bikers and canoeists can’t get enough of the place – and with good reason.
This picturesque seaside town deserves is located in Pembrokeshire but we feel it deserves a special mention of its own. Perched atop a hill overlooking beautiful beaches and surrounded by the remains of the original medieval walls, it’s filled with cobbled streets lined with independent restaurants, historic buildings, traditional pubs and independent shops. The beautiful coastline has made Tenby the place to visit since the early 19th century and still pulls plenty of visitors today. Make sure you try a spot of kite-surfing or horse riding on the local beach.
This is a famously beautiful, heather-clad mountain range in South Wales which has a protected status. A popular activity and holiday spot, it attracts plenty of visitors to its excellent walking, mountain biking and horse riding trails. Scenery includes thick forests, grassy hills, waterfalls, peaceful reservoirs and South Wales’ highest mountain – Pen y Fan. Also expect a handful of characterful towns dotted with the odd Michelin-starred restaurant or a gourmet farmer’s market.
This is yet another place declared an area of outstanding beauty and the island has enjoyed recent fame for being the former home of Kate and Wills. Located just off the north west coast of Wales, Anglesey is a place to relax and lose yourself in the winding lanes which cut through wild rugged landscapes. It’s home to a spectacular coastal path which has 125 miles of gorgeous scenery to explore, on foot or by kayak. There’s also plenty to do for all the family with attractions, events and outdoor activities on offer, all set in beautiful untouched scenery.