From the stunning Welsh coastline with its pretty coastal towns and beaches to soaring mountains and bustling cities, weekend breaks in Wales offer a chance of adventure for everyone
Why visit Wales?
Wales is a spectacular natural playground and provides endless opportunities for adventure. With 870 miles of uninterrupted coastal walking, the Wales Coast Path is the perfect destination for both walkers and families wishing to explore the country’s hundreds of lovely beaches and pretty seaside towns. Snowdonia is a great place for all the family to really stretch their legs, or for the more adventurous type to fully explore it’s impressive 3,560 foot height in all its glory. The coast offers the chance for water sports enthusiasts to try their hand at a wide range of activities, including surfing, sea kayaking and kitesurfing. Thrill-seekers can enjoy climbing, abseiling and caving, while cyclists can indulge themselves in over 1,400 miles of cycle networks and mountain bike trails. You’ll find many family-friendly activity centres across the country offering the chance for adventure breaks and equestrian activities. The great outdoors offers a wide range of options for cheap weekend breaks in Wales for those on a limited budget.
With its stunning scenery and dramatic mountain ranges, Wales provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic break. Portmeirion, the gorgeous, whimsical Italianate village opened by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1926, could be the perfect destination for a weekend away with your partner.
If you’re planning a visit with friends, the vibrant cities of Cardiff and Swansea make a great destination for short breaks in Wales. With fabulous shopping, great restaurants, a buzzing nightlife and some spectacular sporting events, you’ll never find yourself short of things to do.
A brief history
The arrival of the Romans in 48AD marks the start of recorded history in Wales. The people inhabiting the area at that time were of Celtic descent and spoke a language that would later develop into Welsh. In the 8th-century, Offa’s Dyke was constructed, providing the first permanent boundary between England and Wales.
The 15th-century saw Owain Glyndŵr lead a rebellion against King Henry IV of England to try to establish an independent Wales. Glyndŵr was eventually defeated and by 1536, the first Act of Union between England and Wales was passed and Wales became governed by English law. During the 19th-century, the Welsh copper, coal and iron industries grew rapidly and with exports from the docks at Cardiff booming, the town achieved city status in 1905.
Wales’ magnificent castles provide an excellent way to chart its history and the country’s many museums and heritage centres allow visitors to explore the country’s rich industrial and cultural heritage.
When is a good time to visit Wales?
Wales’ dramatic natural landscapes ensure a spectacular visit whatever the season, however, there are many major festivals and events taking place throughout the year which may influence the timing of your visit.
Rugby fans will want to see the Six Nations Rugby Internationals which take place in February and March at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. The passion and excitement as teams from Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy clash is unbeatable.
Gardening enthusiasts should put the RHS Flower Show Cardiff in their diary. It takes place in April, kicking off the gardening year in style, and is a wonderful way to celebrate spring. The Hay Festival takes place in Hay-on-Wye as we head into June. The annual gathering brings together writers from around the world in a celebration of great literature.
July sees the Royal Welsh Show taking place at Llanelwedd. It is the prime event in the Welsh agricultural calendar and features livestock competitions, vintage machinery, sheep-shearing, and many other attractions. Also taking place in July is the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen. It is one of the world’s greatest arts festivals and features performers from across the globe sharing their folk traditions in performances of music, dance and song, while in August, the National Eisteddfod is held. It’s an eight-day competition of music and performance performed in the Welsh language.
You’ll also find many food and drink festivals taking place across the country throughout the year.
Getting to Wales /Travelling to Wales
If travelling by train, a fast and frequent service runs from London Paddington via Bath and Bristol to Newport and Cardiff, with easy connections to Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Trains also run from London Euston, Manchester and Birmingham to North Wales. There are services from Portsmouth and Southampton to Cardiff, and from Shrewsbury and Crewe to the north Wales coast.
Long-distance intercity coach services run to key destinations. Once in Wales, local and cross-country buses link with the rail network to serve most towns, villages and rural areas.
Via car, the M4 takes you straight into the city itself, but you can also fly direct to Cardiff Airport from a range of UK airports.
If you like the look of what this beautiful country has to offer, then why not check out our hotels in Cardiff and see it for yourself.