Published: October 21, 2018
Wales is a land filled with mystical beauty, friendly locals and a variety of stunning landscapes just waiting for you to discover. Although this country may be compact, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to days out with the family. If you’ve got a National Trust pass then now’s the time to use it. From fantastic beaches to quaint gardens, craggy castles to peaks that need scaling, you'll definitely want to make the most of it!
This manor house offers you the chance to see the real above and below-stair relationship that would have thrived last century. An old family home, the property is filled with over 30,000 items which makes it the second biggest collection of any National Trust site. From fine furnishings to portraits of family and servants, the grand rooms are brimming with treasure for you to peek at.
Step foot outside and you’ll be enchanted by the superbly-kept garden and parkland. See if you can spot the fruit trees, ivy collection and tranquil water features.
Ticket prices: Adults £8, children £4
The ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey, Plas Newydd has a wonderfully regal air. The jewel in the crown of this stunning property is one of the largest and most famous landscape murals in Britain. Painted by Rex Whistler it sits in the dining room and one of the guides can talk you through the inspiration behind the 58-foot wonder. Many of the rooms are just as they would have been, so those with a keen interest in historic interior design and art will be pleased!
As well as the perfectly-kept landscape gardens, there’s so much to do with the little ones. An extensive adventure playground in the woods, frisbee golf course and a treehouse that used to be home to pirates make it a fantastic day out.
Ticket prices: Adults £11.60, children £5.80
Surrounded by incredibly impressive Italianate terraces, Powis Castle is nothing short of intriguing. From luscious borders to manicured hedgerows, it’s simply beautiful. Inside the castle itself you’ll find a myriad of historical pieces and artefacts – the 450-year-old Italian marble top is quite a sight and is inlaid with semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli.
In the site also sits the Clive Museum. With more than 300 items from the Far East and India, it brings a little taste of the exotic to Wales. The Clive family curated the collection that includes a bejewelled tiger head, a sultan’s throne and two canons.
Ticket prices: adults £13, children £6.50
If you prefer to see a castle that’s a little rougher around the edges then the ruins of Skenfrith Castle will be just the thing. Built in the early 13th-century beside the River Monnow, it's quite well-preserved and still has many original features including the iron door hinges and window bars.
The castle sits surrounded by a small village where you can take the time to wander and stop for a cup of tea too!
Ticket prices: free
Overlooked by an expansive Edwardian manor house, the Dyffren Gardens boast over 55 acres to explore. There’s a chance to let the little ones loose in the arboretum with a huge wild play area. Plonk them on big balance logs, watch them traverse stepping stones and top it all off with a picnic on hand-carved stumps.
If you’re after something a little calmer then the Pompeian Garden is a true oasis and will make you feel like you’re sat in the Mediterranean. Poke your head into the tropical rainforest and dry desert greenhouses to experience botanical treasures from around the globe.
Ticket price: adults £9.90, children £4.95
Tending to plants and trees from around the world, the gardeners at Bodnant Gardens have created an award-winning Welsh oasis. Established in 1874, the collection has developed and includes absolute wonders such as the fantastical laburnum arch, unique rhododendron hybrids, and a blue poppy that’s native to the Himalayas.
If you haven’t brought a picnic then there’s no need to worry, the tearooms offer you the chance to enjoy a leisurely meal in quaint surroundings. Serving local food, all the on-site tearooms also offer special culinary evenings too!
Ticket price: adults £13.20, children £6.60
Get back to basics with this unspoilt corner of the world. Only a few miles north of Cardigan town centre, it’s worth picking up some local delicacies to take with you and tuck into as you sit and keep an eye out for dolphins and seals! Walkers will not be disappointed as you explore the secluded beach and surrounding landscape.
Dogs are welcome on the beach, apart from between May and September.
Ticket prices: free
Head west and you’ll be met with the stunning views of the Marloes Peninsula. Refresh your mind and body with beautiful coastal walks, wildlife spotting and plenty of flora. There’s heathland restoration, sand for digging in toes and seal pups to spot – so don’t forget your binoculars!
Above the beach you’ll find the deer park. Listen to the rangers tell you more about the area, wildlife and conservation efforts before you head back to the gloriously golden beach for a paddle in the sea.
Ticket prices: free
There’s no denying that South Snowdonia has more than just a little hint of magic in the air. This remote area is home to babbling estuaries, ancient woodland and miles of rolling landscape. For those that want to get stuck into welsh history, this is the ideal place to do it. The birthplace of welsh culture, there’s an abundance of prehistoric and medieval archaeology waiting to be explored.
There really is such a variety of different landscapes to be discovered in the world-famous Brecon Beacons. From wide open spaces to deep glaciated valleys, crashing waterfalls to trickling streams, there’s walks to suit every level of hiker. Impressive views wherever you look, the area is free from light and noise pollution which makes sitting under the stars an absolute treat.
No matter which season you visit, you’ll be met with an ever-changing landscape of vivid colour, wildlife and of course, breath-taking sunrises.