I’ve holidayed a few times in Wales – from camping in Barmouth with Woodcraft Folk, to GCSE and A level field trips to the Gower with different schools – I swear we studied the same river each visit. I’ve camped in Beddgelert post university with my best friend (never again, it was February), and camped in 3 Cliff’s Bay with our camping group. Most recently N and I visited Tenby. So I’ve decided it’s time to pull together some of our recommended family days out in South Wales, with a few places of interest from other bloggers thrown in.
Family days out in South Wales
Culture and history
Caerleon Roman sites including amphitheatre, Roman Legionary Museum, Roman baths and Caerleon Barracks ruins – great for those who love Roman history, and pretty unique remains to see.
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea – museum all about the lives, work and history of Swansea. Great interactivity with lots of videos and recordings of Swansea people brings the history to life.
Pembroke Castle – great to walk around the castle walls and lovely views from the towers. We loved the ground map of all the welsh castles. Lots of fun for children, and look out for events in school holidays.
Oystermouth Castle, The Mumbles – small castle, but lots of information about the history. Fine for an house’s historical break while in the area.
Cardiff Castle – in the centre of Cardiff, climb the towers and walls .Do check in advance for events and activities being held there.
Neath Abbey – ruins of the Cisterian monastery, free to enter.
Tintern Abbey, near Newport – ruins of the 12th century abbey, with a visitor centre.
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenarvon – bringing mining life and work to life. You can tour the mining village and workshops for free. To do the underground tour, children must be over 1 metre tall.
Cardiff Museum, Cardiff – natural history museum with dinosaur skeletons and more.
St Fagan’s National Museum of History, Cardiff – open air museum celebrating life, culture and architecture of Wales.
Castell Henllys Iron Age village, near Newport. There’s a self guided trail, find the village, and do some interactive activities.
St Davids, UK’s smallest city
Tredegar House – the staff bring the story of the house to life, and there are beautiful grounds to explore.
Aberdulais, Neath – currently closed for maintenance. Check out the waterfalls, water wheel and how it was used in the industrial revolution.
Colby Woodland Garden, nr Amroth – woodland garden with some great history during coalmining years
Animals and nature
Manor Wildlife Park, Tenby – a small wildlife park but has lots of walk through areas and soft play for little ones inside dome structures.
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Pembrokeshire – as well as meeting the animals up close and personal, there’s a play area, vintage fairground, and restaurant.
Plantasia Tropical Zoo, Swansea – randomly on a retail park, but good for an hour if you’re trying to persuade the kids to go shopping! Tropical animals and plants. The best section is the killer plants.
Sports and Activities
Heatherton World of Activities – great for all ages, pick and choose your activities and pay with your card of credits.
LC, Swansea – large leisure centre swimming pool waterpark, with an interactive area for younger children and non swimmers. In the main area there’s a wave machine, numerous slides, a lazy river. Do book in advance.
Bunkers! Indoor golf, Swansea – choice of 2 different courses, neon lights, and optional extras for laser darts or table tennis. No children in the evenings.
Principality Stadium tours, Cardiff – for rugby fans, there are different types of tours around the stadium.
The Pier, the Mumbles – lots of activities based at the pier in the Mumbles. Currently undergoing some renovation work, so check before visiting.
Blackpill Lido, Swansea – shallow lido with paddling pool, play area, picnic facilities and climbing rock.
Outdoors and beaches
Caswell Beach – small but lovely bay for body boarding, rock pooling and sandcastle building. Reasonable cafe. Check tide times, but get there early as the car park is small and there’s very little parking nearby.
3 Cliffs Bay – meet cattle grazing on the walk down to this beautiful bay from the cliff top walk. Or walk in from further along inland for a flatter walk past ruins. Great for body boarding, and enjoying the beach. Watch out for tides, and keep to going in the sea with kids when there are lifeguards as there can be riptides.
Tenby beaches – with the backdrop of the pretty pastel houses on the top of the harbour walls, walk across to the island at low tide, and enjoy the beaches
Saundersfoot – sandy beach, with plenty of seaside cheer and places to eat in the village.
Rhossili Bay (National Trust) – stunning coastal walks overlooking the bay, expanse of sand, and if you’re there at the right time, sunflower fields. Car park is National Trust, arrive early as it gets busy.
Barafundle Bay – you can walk there at low tide, or walk down from the cliff top via the path and then steep steps.
Singleton Park, Swansea – children’s adventure playground, gardens, and a lake you can hire pedal boats. There’s also the Egypt Centre for those wanting to know more about the ancient Eygptians.
Bryngarw House and Country Park, Bridgend – just pay for parking, then enjoy the walking trails, cycle paths and play area around the country park
Margam Country Park, Port Talbot – plenty to see and do including a deer park, castle, gardens, and rare breeds farm trail.
Clyne Gardens, Swansea – botanic gardens with over 2000 plants including its famous rhododendrons, Japanese and Italian bridges plus gazebo.
Dan-yr-Ogof / National Showcaves Centre, Abercraf – I remember going here years ago as part of my GCSE Geography field trip to Wales. See famous caves and a replica iron age village. There’s also 200 dinosaurs in the dinosaur park, a Shire Horse Centre and play centre.
Brecon Beacons – for beautiful walks and exploration, there’s plenty to see in this area including beautiful waterfalls.
Hay on Wye – for book lovers everywhere, the town is full of second hand bookshops. Watch out for the festival each year too.
Where to stay
- 3 Cliffs Bay Camp site
- Heywood Spa Hotel
- Celtic Manor, Newport
- St Brides spa hotel, Saundersfoot
- Oak Retreat, Glanusk Estate – stay in this lovely wooden hideaway.
Where would you add to the list for family days out in South Wales?
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