From centuries-old castles to cosmopolitan cities, Wales is one of the top road trip destinations in the UK. Looking for inspiration? Don’t miss our countdown of the top 5 places to visit on a road trip to Wales. From castles and cocktails in Cardiff to beach hopping on the Gower Peninsula, we have amazing Wales road trips for every occasion.
Castles and cocktails in Cardiff
It’s hard to look past Cardiff when it comes to planning a road trip in Wales. The cosmopolitan capital is packed with attractions and experiences, ranging from fascinating museums and leafy public parks to world-class sporting venues. Brush up on local history at the National Museum, sip cocktails at trendy bars overlooking Mermaid Quay and shop at Victorian-era Cardiff Market.
Attending an event at Principality Stadium? From rugby matches to music concerts, the streets of Cardiff can get traffic-choked during big events. Best to look for a hotel with onsite parking if possible.
Of course, no city break is complete without visiting Cardiff Castle. A medieval keep anchors the enormous stronghold, which is best explored on a guided tour. You’ll go behind the scenes of the famous castle and into rooms like the cavernous banquet hall and storybook-inspired nursery.
Escape the crowds in Border Country
Dreaming of a road trip in Wales without the crowds? Set your sights on Border Country. This road trip route skirts the Welsh border and takes you to some of the country’s most underrated towns, villages and castles. Start in the friendly town of Chepstow and make your way through the Wye Valley. Pencil in a stop at the riverside ruins of Tintern Abbey, as well as medieval Skenfrith Castle. It’s one of three Norman strongholds in the area and was once besieged by legendary Welsh soldier, Owain Glyndŵr.
The delightful market town of Hay-on-Wye is a great lunch stop. It’s famous for its second-hand book shops and is a great place to pick up classics by Welsh authors like Roald Dahl, Dylan Thomas and Gillian Clarke. Next stop is Powis Castle, a magnificent redbrick stronghold set in beautiful Italianate gardens. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a spectacular World Heritage Site in the Vale of Llangollen, is another signature attraction for your Border County road trip.
Wrap up your road trip through Wales in Wrexham. Half-timbered houses and handsome Victorian viaducts aren’t the only draw in Wrexham. The town has special appeal for sports fans. Canadian celebrity Ryan Reynolds recently co-purchased Wrexham AFC, the Welsh professional football club based in the town. You can cheer them on at the famous Racecourse Ground stadium.
Beach hopping on the Gower Peninsula
The Gower Peninsula is a beach lover’s paradise. If you’re dreaming of sun, sand and salt water, it’s one of the top Wales road trip destinations. Load up your car with supplies and enjoy a sun-drenched day at the beach.
Wondering where to base yourself? The chocolate-box village of Mumbles welcomes you with beachfront houses painted in a rainbow of pastels. There’s no shortage of charming cafes and pubs in this lively coastal town. The 2.5-mile long beach is the highlight at Oxwich Bay. Sunbathe on the beach, make a splash with water sports or simply relax with a good book. Llangennith Beach feels a little more remote but is easy to access with a car. The dune-framed beach is perched on the western side of the Gower Peninsula and is popular with surfers.
Outdoor adventures on the Cambrian Way
Get ready for incredible mountain scenery on the Cambrian Way. Starting in mountain scenery and winding up in Conwy, this 185-mile road trip in Wales takes in some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. Expect to see a thousand shades of green, ranging from rolling hills to ancient forests.
You’ll spend most of your journey on the A470, though there are plenty of chances to get off the beaten track. Pencil in a night in the lively market town of Rhayader, the self-proclaimed Outdoor Capital of Wales. Lace up your boots for a hiking adventure or rent a mountain bike and hit the trails in Snowdonia National Park. After dark, head to the Elan Valley, an International Dark Sky Park with out-of-this-world stargazing.
The scenery changes drastically when you arrive in Blaenau Ffestiniog, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a proud mining heritage. Take a tour of Llechwedd Mine before heading to the north coast.
Puffin-spotting on the Pembrokeshire Coast
Nowhere captures the wild and rugged natural beauty of Wales like the Pembrokeshire Coast. Pull into scenic lookouts to spot dolphins splashing in the surf and puffins perched on the rocks. Got your heart set on seeing the adorable seabirds? Book a tour to Skomer Island, home to an entire colony of puffins.
Of all the strongholds scattered along the Pembrokeshire Coast, Carew Castle is one of the most evocative. It overlooks the River Carew and will enchant you with soaring limestone walls and towers. If you’re planning a road trip to Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast is an unmissable destination.
Get behind the wheel for a Wales road trip
Ready to plan your Wales road trip? All you need is a sense of adventure and a reliable set of wheels. Lacking in the second department? Not to worry. We have you covered with tailored car finance solutions.
Wondering “can I afford to buy a car?” Chances are, you have more spending power than you think. In our handy guide, you’ll learn about important factors like your credit score, budget and choosing the right vehicle. When you’re ready, we’ll help you connect with trusted lenders across the UK. Success rates are high, so why wait any longer to plan your road trip in Wales?
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