If you’re looking for an exciting family holiday in the UK, Wales is the perfect destination!
There are numerous Wales attractions for families– from stunning beaches and mountains to historic castles and quaint villages. There are so many things to do that will keep children entertained, as well as plenty of activities suitable for all ages. Its proximity to London adds a further lure to the place. It is no wonder many visitors to London opt for one of the numerous day trips to Wales.
In this guide, I will help you explore some of the best places to visit in Wales for families. You will also, get tips on how to make the most of your family days out in Wales – from the best time to visit, where to stay and options for Wales trips from London. I will also, share the best way to get to the key attractions – keeping Cardiff as your center point. So, let’s get ready to start planning your unforgettable Welsh adventure!
- 1 Is Wales a separate country?
- 2 A brief history of Wales, UK
- 3 9 best places to visit in Wales for families
- 3.1 St Fagans National Museum Of History
- 3.2 Brecon Beacons National Park – one of the key Wales attractions for families
- 3.3 The National Showcaves Centre For Wales
- 3.4 Folly Farm- a great option for family days out in Wales
- 3.5 Snowdonia National Park
- 3.6 Cardiff Castle
- 3.7 Techniquest & Cardiff Bay
- 3.8 Freshwater West – the Harry Potter site in Wales
- 3.9 Aberystwyth
- 4 Common FAQs about Wales
- 5 Booking Resources
Is Wales a separate country?
Wales is one of the four countries (the other three being England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) that make the United Kingdom. Located in the western part of Great Britain, it has Cardiff as its capital city. Though English is widely spoken, its official language is Welsh. Wales is popular for its diverse landscapes, including mountains, beaches, and forests, and for its rich cultural heritage, including music, literature, and sports. The region is dotted with historic castles and is known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution.
A brief history of Wales, UK
The history of Wales dates back to the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century AD. Between the 5th and 13th centuries, Wales was divided into several kingdoms and was ruled by a series of native princes. These kingdoms were often in competition with each other, leading to wars and battles for control. In addition to internal conflict, Wales was also threatened by invading forces from England and Scotland.
Despite the challenges, the Welsh thrived as a distinct culture and language. The period saw a lot of literary achievement, with poets and bards producing important works in Welsh, including the epic poem “Y Gododdin.” Numerous Welsh saints and religious figures, such as the patron saint of Wales – St. David spread their faith around this time.
In the 13th century, King Edward I of England led the conquest of Wales and took over the region. Since then, the heir to the throne is deemed the “Prince of Wales”. The rule was met with several revolts but ultimately in the 16th century, King Henry VIII made Wales a part of the Kingdom of England by passing a law.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw a massive transformation of Wales from an agrarian society to an industrialized one. The Industrial Revolution led to an increase in coal mining, iron production, and other heavy industries in Wales. Wales continued to be a part of the UK and is today a popular holiday destination with numerous families taking weekend and day trips to Wales from London.
9 best places to visit in Wales for families
There are so many options for family days out in Wales. No matter how old your kids are, their likes, or your holiday budget, you will not struggle to find something to do!
To help you have the best time, these are my recommendations for the best Wales attractions for families. Remember, most of these can be an option for your Wales trip from London.
St Fagans National Museum Of History
If you’re looking for a family-friendly day out in Wales with a difference, St Fagans National Museum of History is a must-visit. What makes it convenient is that it is located close to Cardiff,which is one of the most popular day trips to Wales from London.
Set within the grounds of the beautiful St Fagans Castle, this open-air museum includes over forty buildings from different historical periods, allowing visitors to explore Welsh heritage in an interactive and engaging way.
From a sixteenth-century farmhouse to a 1940s cinema, St Fagans is sure to capture the imaginations of both young and old alike. The museum also hosts regular special events throughout the year, from costumed re-enactments to exciting workshops for kids.
There’s also a café on-site where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You will also find a treetops adventure course and plenty of play parks here to make the most of your day out. And the best part of your visit here is that it’s one of those free things to do in Wales, all you have to do is pay for parking!
You can easily get to this family-friendly spot even if you don’t drive from many parts of South Wales as it is so close to Cardiff.
- Best way to get to St Fagans: St. Fagans is around 6.5 km from Cardiff. There are numerous buses from Cardiff that take you here. Alternatively, you can opt for a self-drive or a cab.
- St. Fagan’s timings – 10 am to 5 pm. every day
Brecon Beacons National Park – one of the key Wales attractions for families
The Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is one of the best places to visit for families. With stunning landscapes, plenty of outdoor activities and a range of attractions, it’s an ideal destination for all ages.
One of the biggest draws of the park is its breathtaking scenery – you can explore standing stones, rolling hills, lakes and waterfalls. Whether you’re taking a hike or simply admiring the views from your car window, the Brecon Beacons have something for everyone.
The park is home to some fantastic outdoor activities too – kids can try their hand at hill walking, pony trekking or even climbing as you will find plenty of spots to try rock climbing or abseiling. Plus, there are plenty of spots for water sports in Brecon Beacons national park too – whether you’re looking to kayak, canoe or try your hand at fishing.
The Brecon Beacons is also home to a range of other attractions, from castles and stately homes to museums and galleries. You can also explore some of its many traditional Welsh pubs and restaurants. Make sure you sample some local delicacies such as laverbread or Welsh cakes.
All in all, the Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the best destinations for families looking to enjoy some time outdoors, while also exploring its rich cultural heritage. With plenty of activities and attractions on offer.
- Best way to get to Brecon Beacons national park: This national park is around 56 km from Cardiff and can be reached via a bus or a car.
- Best place to stay in Brecon Beacons national park: There are numerous stay options available at the Brecon National park. These range from glamping tents to B&Bs and even proper hotels. You also, have caravan spaces available here.
The National Showcaves Centre For Wales
Visiting The National Showcaves Centre For Wales is an unforgettable experience for all ages. With three stunning show caves, a museum, and over 40 acres of outdoor activities to explore, it’s the perfect day out for everyone!
Located in Brecon Beacons national park, the National Showcaves Centre For Wales offers a unique insight into the natural wonders of Wales. From the awe-inspiring Dan-yr-Ogof Cave, with its incredible illuminated chambers and amazing rock formations, to the spectacular Cathedral Cave, complete with a stunning waterfall cascading down the side of the cave walls – there’s something for everyone to explore. They even have an Iron age village and a dinosaur park.
I chose to separate this from the rest of the Brecon Beacon park as it is quite unique and needs some time by itself. The place has limited tickets and will have to be planned and booked well in advance through their website.
Folly Farm- a great option for family days out in Wales
Folly Farm is an ideal family-friendly destination and has been awarded numerous times for being the Best Day Out in Wales. Located in South Wales, this is around 4.5 hours drive from London.
With over 80 acres of attractions, there’s something for everyone at this adventure park. From adorable animals and classic fairground rides to thrilling zoos and adventure playgrounds, everyone can find something to do here! And when you’re ready for a break, the café and restaurants are the perfect places to sit back, relax, and enjoy some delicious food. This family day out in South Wales is really popular because no matter your age, you will not be bored here.
Plus, there’s a huge selection of gift shops for you to pick up some mementos from your day out.
- Best way to get to Folly Farm: You can get to Folly Farm from Cardiff by bus or car. It is around 84 km from the capital city of Wales. You can also, opt for a train ride to Kilgetty which is just a short ride from the farm.
- Folly Farm Timings: The farm is open from 10 am to 4 pm only on weekends.
- Best place to stay near Folly Farm: You cannot stay at the Farm but there are many options in the holiday park or Kilgetty near the farm for you to stay. These include glamping, tent sites and lodges.
Snowdonia National Park
This is another fantastic place in North Wales that is perfect for all the family! From breathtaking scenery to outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone. Set in the stunning Welsh countryside, Snowdonia is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking to explore north Wales with your family.
Snowdonia offers a wide range of experiences that all ages can enjoy. If you’re looking for a day of adventure, the park has plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, windsurfing, paddleboarding and mountain biking in some of the most stunning scenery in Wales.
If you’re looking for something more relaxed, Snowdonia has plenty to offer. Visit one of the many beautiful and historic castles in the area or take a stroll around the park’s numerous walking trails and discover some of its hidden gems. There are also lots of family-friendly attractions in the area, including Bounce Below, an underground trampoline experience. There is also Zip World Forest, a giant tree-top adventure course.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed holiday or just want to take in the scenery and enjoy some quality time with your family, visiting Snowdonia National Park is one of the best Wales attractions for families.
- Best way to get to Snowdonia national park: Located in North Wales, Snowdonia is a 2.5 hours drive from Cardiff. If you wish to get to this place from London, the drive time is 4 hours. There are trains to Snowdonia via the Conwy Valley Line.
- Best place to stay in Snowdonia national park: From luxury hotels to B&Bs, glamping sites & camps, you have the choicest of accommodations in Snowdonia. You can check out this link for the same and pick the one that suits you the most.
If you are just looking for a London to Wales day trip, then this attraction is definitely something that you can add to your list. Cardiff Castle is an iconic landmark in Wales. It’s an incredible structure with a unique history that spans over 2000 years – there’s so much to take in! The castle is home to beautiful gardens, ornate apartments, towers, and more. Plus, it’s located right in the heart of Cardiff, making it easy to get to.
Families will love exploring the castle’s grounds and uncovering its fascinating past. Kids will be enthralled by the tales of battles, sieges and executions that took place here over the centuries. I highly recommend visiting the Norman Keep which served as a prison for Duke Robert of Normandy and the hidden Roman Chariot corner. And you must, keep an eye out for the first signs of this fort built by the Romans – there is a wall in the visitor center.
If your whole family enjoys this visit to Cardiff Castle, make sure you book more Castle tours in Wales during your trip!
- Best way to get to Cardiff Castle: Cardiff castle is located right in the middle of the capital city of Wales.
- Cardiff Castle Timings: Cardiff castle is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all week days. On the weekends, it opens an hour earlier at 9 am.
- Best place to stay in Cardiff: The capital city of Wales naturally has tons of hotels and stays that you can book through this link.
Techniquest & Cardiff Bay
No family trip to South Wales is complete without a visit to Cardiff Bay and the fantastic museum Techniquest.
With its stunning waterfront and plenty of activities, it’s a great destination for both adults and children alike! The area has a wide variety of attractions from great places to eat to Wales Millennium Centre. No matter if you want to see a great show or just grab an ice cream, Cardiff Bay will not disappoint. There are several guided tours of Cardiff bay available for you to book online.
One of the best things for kids to do there is to visit the Techniquest science museum. With hands-on activities and interactive exhibits, it’s a great way to get kids interested in science. You can learn all sorts about the Earth’s atmosphere, explore how technology works, and even experiment with your own inventions!
Cardiff Bay is also home to The Doctor Who Experience, which is sure to be a hit with all fans!
- Best way to get to Techniquest Museum: This is yet another Wales attraction located in Cardiff city. You can hop onto any of the local buses to get here or rent a cab.
- Techniquest Museum Timings: The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. On the rest of the weekdays, it is open from 2 pm to 5 pm. On weekends, you can visit it from 10 am to 5 pm.
Freshwater West – the Harry Potter site in Wales
Freshwater West is an idyllic beach located in Pembrokeshire and it’s easily one of the best attractions for families in Wales. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or a peaceful getaway, Freshwater West has something for everyone.
The beach itself is great for swimming and splashing about in the salty sea, and there are plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. From rock pooling to bodyboarding and kayaking, they’ll never be bored. And if you are a harry potter fan, you will be delighted to know that some of the scenes from the movie were filmed here. One of the most popular places to visit is the site of Dobby’s grave.
The area around Freshwater West is also full of stunning scenery, including rolling green hills and breathtaking cliffs. There’s a great selection of cafes and restaurants close by offering delicious food and drinks. Plus, there are plenty of places to stay nearby for those who want to spend more time in this stunning area.
- Best way to get to Freshwater West: The nearest town to Freshwater West beach is Pembrokeshire, which is around 160 km from Cardiff. There are plenty of buses to get you here or you can hire a car to drive down yourself. There is a direct train from Cardiff to Pembroke – which gives you another option of getting to this attraction in West Wales
- Best place to stay in Freshwater West: Freshwater West has limited accommodation but you will find plenty of options in Pembrokeshire. Check out this link on Booking.com to know what is available.
Aberystwyth is a fantastic place to visit for families of all sizes. Not only is it full of history, culture and stunning scenery, but there are also plenty of fun activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained!
The town itself is full of things to do and see. Aberystwyth Castle offers an interesting insight into the past, plus there are plenty of independent shops and cafes to explore. The promenade is a popular spot for families as it’s home to all sorts of activities – from boat rides to crazy golf. And is the perfect place to grab some fish and chips!
If you want to see one of the most stunning coastal towns in Wales, make sure you add Aberystwyth to your list.
- Best way to get to Aberystwyth: It takes around 3 hours by road from Cardiff to Aberystwyth. There are direct buses from Cardiff. Your other option is a train from Cardiff, which takes around 4 hours.
- Best place to stay in Aberystwyth: Booking.com has several options for hotels in Aberystwyth that you can book using this link.
Wales is a land of hidden gems, and this guide has hopefully helped you uncover some of the best places to visit with your family. From castles and ruins to caves and beaches, there’s something for everyone in Wales. This beautiful part of the UK has something for everyone, no matter what age. And with this guide in hand, I am sure you will hit all of the best spots. Just don’t forget to pack your raincoat!
Common FAQs about Wales
What is the best way to get to Cardiff in Wales?
Cardiff has its own airport with a good connectivity to the rest of UK and Europe. You can opt for one of the low cost airlines. Alternatively, you will find trains a cheaper and an equally good option. There are regular ones from most of the key stations in UK.
If you are in London, Cardiff is just a 3 hours drive. You can opt for one of the many buses that take you directly here or rent a car.
What is the best time to visit Wales?
Any time between April to October is good to visit Wales. If you are looking for outdoor activities, try heading out from June to September when the weather is reasonably warm.
What is the currency used in Wales?
It is Pound Sterling, the same as the rest of United Kingdom.
Before you go, pin this
- You will find several good hotels in Wales through Booking.com. Consider using the given link to book the same.
- GetYourGuide has various local tours and car bookings available that you can use to book your trip to Wales. In fact, there are many London to Wales trip options on this site.
- For any of your travel needs or general shopping, consider using Amazon through this link.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
This guest post and its pictures have been contributed by Lowri who is the creator of the European road trip blog, Many Other Roads. Originally from Wales, you will now find Lowri exploring Europe with her border collie Scout, sharing in-depth knowledge and tips for those wanting to hit the road!