South Wales

Charming coastal towns, stunning National Park, lively city centres

In South Wales you're never far from a mountain or the sea - so it's no wonder it's a favorite holiday destination for walkers, cyclists, surfers and sailors! Gower, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay all have wonderful clean beaches and some surprising marine life.

The shores of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion will please wildlife enthusiasts with species such as dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks, Atlantic grey seals and leatherback turtles all a sight to be seen. The beautiful Wye Valley & the Vale of Usk forms the border with Herefordshire & the Forest of Dean and provides endless opportunities for walking.

Pembrokeshire on the south west coast is perhaps most well known because of its National Park. The park is almost entirely coastal, underlying just how spectacular and important the coastline is. There are 12 blue flag beaches, 32 Seaside award beaches, 39 recommended by the Marine Conservation Society and 14 green coast award beaches making Pembrokeshire one of the best spots in the UK for surfing, sailing or just building a sand castle! You can also get the chance to spot whales, dolphins and porpoise April to October being the best time to spot them. Or perhaps you could go on a hunt for one of the rare and unusual birds thriving on the islands of Skomer, Skokholm, Grassholm and Ramsey. The best way to spot wildlife is on foot and Pembrokeshire with 187 miles of coastal footpaths should serve the purpose!

Carmarthenshire's unspoilt landscape is what attracts visitors to this area. You can visit wild rocky mountain ranges, gentle lakes and rivers or relax along the many beaches on the coastline. Golf, watersports and fishing can all be found around the area as well as historic castles in the most wonderful locations.

Carmarthenshire's coastal towns have buckets of charm and character and among the most popular is the town of Laugharne where the Welsh literary legend Dylan Thomas lived for the last years of his life enjoying the sea views from his boathouse. To the east is the town of Kidwelly where the beautiful Kidwelly Castle can be found and the Pembrey forest nearby offers many activities for the whole family.

Walking trails are abundant in this area and the four and a half miles of coastal path from Pendine and Amroth enjoys some of the most exciting and scenic views around. Enjoy the full sweep of Carmarthen Bay with Tenby and Pembrokeshire's craggy coastline with Worms Head and the Gower peninsula to the east. If this seems a little short for a good walk why not get stuck in to the 146 miles of the Celtic Trail or the Millennium Coastal Path occupying approximately 10 miles of coastline on the Burry Estuary.

Swansea, Wales' city by the sea, is home to innovative visitor attractions and renowned for its awesome nightlife, it's a vibrant cultural centre, and a regional shopping hub. However just a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city the charismatic seaside village of Mumbles offers galleries and boutiques, snug caf�s and fine dining for when you want to slow down and relax a little.

The Gower Peninsula, west of Mumbles includes miles of unspoilt coastal panoramas, award-winning golden beaches, and lush, rolling countryside. Visit one of the best beaches in Wales, Rhossili within this area which is all within the first named `Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' in the whole of the UK.

On the eastern edge of Swansea Bay, there's the Waterfall Country of Afan and the Vale of Neath: a must-see for walkers and cyclists alike. These steep-sided, wooded valleys are home to world-class mountain-biking, stately country parks, and the UK's second-largest forest south of the Scottish border.

Cardiff, the capital of Wales offers an array of attractions and sporting venues to enjoy. Add to that the excellent shopping diverse restaurants and all the culture Cardiff is an ideal destination to keep all of the family entertained. Be sure to visit `the big 3' attractions, Cardiff Castle, The Millennium Stadium and the National Museum. But don't forget to visit Cardiff Bay where there are a whole host of other attractions to enjoy. And when the hustle and bustle of city gets a little too much escape to the Valleys of South Wales where the unexpected beauty, country parks and forest can be found and enjoyed.

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Destinations in South Wales

Cardiff and Valleys of South Wales

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, Europe's youngest capital and one of the fastest-growing cities in Britain


Carmarthenshire is the largest County in Wales, situated in the south west.

Swansea and Gower Peninsula

Lodged in the spine of a half-moon bay, the maritime city of Swansea nestles in the shadow of seven hills, between parklands and the tides of an inspirational shoreline.