While Wales may be the smallest country in Britain, it is epic in so many ways. Spectacular scenery and jagged seascapes make up the landscape of this beautiful country. But perhaps what Wales is most known for is its castles. In fact, Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe. When it comes to exploring the untouched countryside of Wales, we recommend customizing your own self-drive tour for an epic Wales road trip. You’ll pick up your rental car upon arrival and will have the flexibility to explore at your leisure!
To fully experience all that Wales has to offer, we recommend spending roughly 7 nights there. Let’s dive into one of our road trip ideas to show you what’s possible when you plan a Wales road trip with Tenon Tours!
North Wales (2 nights)
You will likely fly into nearby Manchester or Liverpool airport to start your Welsh journey, which makes North Wales an easy destination to start your Wales road trip. Here, you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Center of Conwy, where you can explore your first castle: Conwy Castle. The town of Conwy is actually the best-preserved medieval town in all of Britain!
You’ll also want to experience the blossoming beauty of Wales at nearby Bodnant Gardens. From lily ponds and Italian terraces to 180-foot arch flowers, this is sure to amaze and delight any traveler. What especially makes this garden a special attraction is its awe-inspiring background of the Snowdonia mountains. We know this will encourage you to explore Snowdonia as well, so next, we recommend traveling on the world-famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. This will take you on a beautifully guided tour of the mountains before you arrive in Caernarfon and its majestic castle.
Mid Wales (2 nights)
After exploring North Wales, you’ll want to head to the southern coast. But first, make an overnight stop in Mid Wales. You can tour the famous Menai Suspension Bridge or even explore the small island Penmon Point, where Prince William and Kate Middleton began their married life! Of course, your time here won’t be complete without seeing a castle. Harlech Castle is one castle that should be on your list for this stop along your Wales road trip!
Tenon Tip: Head south to Cardigan Bay to spend some time on the beach – depending on the time of year, you may even spot some bottlenose dolphins!
South Wales – Pembrokeshire (2 nights)
While you embark on your Wales road trip, we recommend staying at least one night in a castle hotel. In Pembrokeshire, one of your options may be the Roch Castle Hotel: a 5-star luxury property that offers 360-degree views of Pembrokeshire.
During your stay here, you can visit the Pentre Ifan megalithic site, St. David’s Cathedral and the Lovespoon Workshop. There’s also the Melin Tregwynt woolen mill. Stop here to see how they spin fleece from local sheep and weave it into blankets and cloth!
Brecon Beacons (2 nights)
Brecon Beacons National Park is great for any outdoor enthusiast! There are a variety of hiking trails in the area that are family-friendly and can be completed by most hikers. The views are definitely worthwhile! You can even explore a castle within the park’s boundaries: Carreg Cennen Castle.
No trip to Wales is complete without spending time in its capital city, Cardiff. In the 19th century, this city was primarily used as a coal-exporting port. The economic growth of the area allowed them to incorporate several pieces of Victorian architecture throughout the city which still stands today. As you may have guessed, Cardiff is also home to the famous Cardiff Castle, which you can tour along with the National Museum.
Tenon Tip: Ask your Travel Specialist about spending an evening at a Welsh banquet in Cardiff Castle!
After completing this epic Wales road trip, you can depart for England to head home or explore more of the British Isles!
This trip idea is inspired by our sample itinerary, Castles and Coastlines of Wales.
Ready to plan your Wales road trip?
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