Wales Road Trip – the ONLY Itinerary (with Route Map) you Need!

Wales Road Trips- the best welsh road trip itineraries and ideas

Planning a tour of Wales? Want to know the best places to visit on a Wales road trip? Here are some of the best routes and places to visit to create an incredible Welsh road trip itinerary, plus a map to help you see where everything is!

Don’t forget to grab your free downloadable Wales road trip guide to help you plan your trip.

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Wales road trip ideas

I love touring and exploring Wales. It’s one of my favourite places to road trip in the UK and every time I visit I find something new to enjoy, whether it’s a coastal walk, cute independent shops, medieval castles or the never-ending natural beauty.

From my very first trip there, I’ve always found the people friendly, the roads fun and the scenery jawdropping. On that first trip with the motorhome I visited a couple of the best motorhome sites in Wales and it started a love of the country that’s never faded.

I’ve now visited numerous times and can’t wait to go back again. Indeed, I’ve been back several times on my own and recently spent some time exploring the Gower peninsula with my dog and had a great time.

Like many places where there’s so much to do outdoors, the weather can make or break a trip, but the advantage of a road trip around Wales is you can always drive to a different area where the weather might be better!

Wales road trip – most scenic drives

The Welsh tourist board have created 3 national driving routes called the Wales Way and they are all fantastic. One explores the fabulous north coast, one the wilder middle section and one the breathtaking south.

But those driving routes can take longer than you might have for your trip, so we’ve put together some alternative Wales road trip itinerary ideas for you.

If you’ve only got 2 or 3 days, or a long weekend, stick to one area. If you have a week or longer to explore, you could easily do several places on these itineraries or explore one of them in more depth. However you plan your Welsh road trip, you’ll have a fabulous time. 

Planning a trip to Wales?

Grab your FREE guide to the Wales Way road trip routes, including:

  • suggested routes around Wales
  • best places to see on your trip
  • campsites to stay at along the way
  • and other tips for touring Wales

When is the best time to road trip around Wales?

One of the reasons we love Wales so much is all the outdoor activities it offers. For that reason, we recommend visiting Wales anytime between Easter and mid-October, to really take advantage of the highlights. 

Having said that, Wales is not as seasonal as somewhere like Cornwall, and many tourist attractions and historical sites do not shut for the winter, so you could go out of season and enjoy the lack of tourists. It’s entirely up to you! 

Wales Road Trip Map- plan of our Welsh itinerary

This is a map of our suggested Wales road trip itinerary in full. I find it so frustrating when people mention all the best places to go… and you have no idea where any of them are! I hope this Wales road trip map helps you get more familiar with the places we share in this post.

How long to do a Wales Road Trip?

We recommend at least 10-14 days to do the entire route. If you have a shorter time, just pick an element of it – one of many good reasons to come back for the rest later!!

Doing it ALL in a week might be a struggle, although you can if you drive a lot and don’t stop often during the day. 

The problem with doing this is you will miss some beautiful places- after all, part of the joy of a road trip is getting out and experiencing the place you’ve just driven to.

Brecon Beacons National Park- the Perfect South Wales Road Trip

Wales Road Trips- the best welsh road trip itineraries and ideas
Brecon Beacons- one of our favourite Wales Road trips

Suggested by Pauline | BeeLoved City

The Brecon Beacons National Park is perfect for road trippers looking for an adventure. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK and yet so underrated. You will find beautiful wild camping spots where you can enjoy these wide-open spaces, beautiful landscapes and a sky full of stars!

The Brecon Beacons is one of three national parks in Wales. They all offer breath-taking landscapes and amazing hiking opportunities for nature lovers. 

Brecon Beacon road trip- driving the highest mountain road in Wales

The highest driving road in Wales is called the Gospel Pass- snaking over the Black Mountains from Abergavenny to Hay-on-wye on the east of the Beacons

How to get to the Gospel Pass

From Abergavenny, turn off the A465 at Llanvihangel Crucorney and follow signs for the ruins of Llanthony Priory. From Hay-on-Wye, the Gospel pass is sign-posted.

CAUTION- The Pass is 22 miles of often single track, very steep (1/4) and is rarely cleared in winter. Motorhomes might find it tough and snow chains are essential in winter. 

Driving the Top Gear Road

You can also drive another of the best driving roads in Wales- the A4069 (to the west of the Brecon Beacons.) This road was made famous by Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear (no, this is NOT the same road as the Gospel Pass!)

The road runs from Brynamman to Llangadog (I swear I’m not making these names up!) This is another incredibly scenic road- and most of it is 2-way you’ll be pleased to know. We did it on a motorbike- it was spectacular.

What else is there to do on a Brecon Beacons road trip? 

  • Hiking. Lots and lots and lots of hiking
  • Pen-Y-Fan- the highest peak in South Wales (on the road from Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon) Try a Beacons Horseshoe ridge walk which will take you up to the summit of Pen Y Fan- a popular spot with 360-degree views on the Cwm Llwch valley. This 3 to 4 hours walk is the perfect way to experience the true beauty of the Beacons.
  • Waterfalls! There are some incredible waterfalls all over the Brecon Beacon National Park. One of the most popular waterfalls is Sgwd Gwladys. On some there is a small commission for entry and some can be a long walk to get there!
  • Kayaking, rafting and bouldering are also popular
  • Show Caves- visit some of the largest showcases in the UK
  • Visit amazing castles such as Carreg Cennen or Brecon Castle. The area has a rich history and guided tours are a great way to discover amazing Welsh local legends and stories.
  • Visit cute towns like Brecon, Crickhowell or Hye-on-Wye. 

If you have time before you start your Brecon Beacons National Park road trip, be sure to visit the capital city of Cardiff, Castell Coch, Cardiff Castle and nearby Barry Island.

Gower Peninsula – Wales Road Trip highlight

Gower Peninsula- Wales Road Trips- the best welsh road trip itineraries and ideas
Gower Peninsula- our first ever Wales road trip destination!

Recommended by Clemens | Travellers Archive

The Gower peninsula is a perfect stop on a Wales Road Trip. It’s a small peninsula on the south coast, just west of Swansea. Did you know, it was the first region in Great Britain to be recognised as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.

Why should I include Gower in a Welsh Road Trip itinerary?

“The Gower”, as the peninsula is also called, is a perfect place for outdoor/ nature enthusiasts and is super popular with:

  • hikers
  • bird watchers
  • sun worshippers
  • surfers
  • watersports enthusiasts
  • campers and motorhomers

It’s a short but scenic drive from the main motorway down to Gower Island, where you’ll find an idyllic scene of sandy beaches, fine dining, unique shops and traditional pubs. Above all, it’s topped with the relaxed vibe of a surfing village – the ocean is near and so is the fresh air. It’s the perfect place to relax and have a good time.

Ok, so it’s pretty- but what is there to DO? 

You can easily spend a whole week on the Gower Peninsula.

  • Worm’s Head is a good starting point; a bizarre tidal island on the southwest tip of the peninsula in Rhossili Bay. This is one of the Gower’s most famous attractions- although it’s not entirely clear why!
  • Definitely put in a stop at the small town of Rhossili, where you can rent a surfboard at PJ’s Surfshop and also enjoy delicious fish and chips at the ‘The King’s Head’ pub.
  • Gower also has several of the best beaches in Wales where you can spend relaxed days in the sun. Our favourites are Caswell and Landland, the perfect base for everything you need for a day on the beach: ice cream, parking and shops.
  • Also, don’t forget to go on a proper coastal hike.  The easiest of them all is actually the hike between the two aforementioned beaches. 
  • The Mumbles is where we spent our very first night ‘off-grid’ in our motorhome in late spring. DEFINITELY worth a visit.

Pembrokeshire Road Trip

Pembrokeshire Road trip- Wales Road Trips- the best welsh road trip itineraries and ideas
Pembrokeshire Coast- a perfect Welsh road trip idea

Recommended by Suzanne | Meandering Wild

The Pembrokeshire Coast is located in the far south-west of Wales.  It is easily accessible from the end of the M4 at Swansea.  The road follows the coastal way with numerous little beaches, beautiful castles and small towns.  Further around the west Wales coast, the roads become smaller and the landscape more rugged.

Highlights of Pembrokeshire- what to include on your Wales road trip?

  • Seaside town of Tenby
  • Caldey Island
  • Pembroke and Pembroke Castle
  • Pembrokeshire coast national park
  • Manobier Castle
  • Skomer Island (puffins!)
  • St Davids- the smallest city in the UK

Pembrokeshire road trip itinerary

Tenby is one of the small seaside towns in Pembrokeshire and has beautiful golden beaches.  In the summer months you can take a short boat ride to the monastic island of Caldey Island.  This is the perfect escape and you can walk to the lighthouse as well as try the chocolate made by the monks.

A short distance from Tenby is Pembroke.  This is one of the larger towns and has a spectacular castle that sits overlooking the river that flows through the town.  Pembroke Castle is impressive, but even more impressive is the nearby Manobier Castle that looks over a small bay perfect for surfing.

If seeing puffins is on your bucket list then don’t miss the nature reserve of Skomer Island. In the summer months this small island is home to thousands of puffins and it’s practically guaranteed to see them.  There are day trips to the island via a boat which runs in good weather (not in the winter months sadly) and cannot be booked in advance.  You will need to arrive in St Martins Haven car park very early to get a ticket for the boat trip. 

The final place to visit in Pembrokeshire is St David’s.  This is the smallest city in the UK but is a great place to visit. Don’t miss the beautiful cathedral and small winding streets- as well as one of the best pasty shops we’ve ever found!

How long should you plan for a Pembrokeshire road trip?

A road trip around Pembrokeshire needs at least three days to really explore, but the longer you can spend there the more you can see.  In the summer months it is busy but the weather is better- especially for the beaches.  In the winter it is wild and desolate but attractions are empty.

You can also grab our interactive map and online guide filled with places to visit in Wales- check it out here

Everything you need to help plan an amazing Welsh Road trip!

Wales Road Trip- driving the coast from south Wales to North

As with most countries, there are plenty of routes to head north through Wales from south to North. You could choose the Cambrian Way however, in this instance we highly recommend the coastal route around the west coast of Wales.

Head up from Anglesey, you can enjoy the magnificent views of

  • Cardigan Bay- famous for clear water and frequent sightings of bottlenose dolphins
  • Fishguard- a pretty harbour and village
  • Strumble Head lighthouse
  • The coastal town of Aberystwyth- an ancient market town and home of the National Library of Wales. If you have time, detour inland and visit the visitor centre of Elan Valley.
  • Menai Straits- infamous stretch of water and very dangerous!
  • Snowdonia National Park- this requires at least 3 days to do it justice, but if nothing else be sure to visit Mt Snowdon- Wales’ highest peak. You can take a trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway or choose a walking trail and explore the region.
  • Whilst in Snowdonia, be sure to visit Swallow Falls near Betws-y-coed. It’s the single highest continuous waterfall in Wales, just a short walk from the car park. While you’re here, Capel Curig is also worth a visit.

Isle of Anglesey, North Wales Road Trip

Anglesey Beaumaris Castle- Wales Road Trip- the best welsh road trip itineraries and ideas
Anglesey – Beaumaris Castle- Wales Road Trip ideas

Recommended by Sophia | The Wanderful Me

Featuring unbelievable hikes, gorgeous green rolling hills, endless seaside coastlines, cool castles, beautiful beaches and cute little Welsh villages (filled with delicious food!), you should definitely include Anglesey on your Wales road trip itinerary.

Best Things to do in Anglesey 

Across the Menai Strait in North West Wales you’ll find Anglesey- regularly mentioned as one of the best places to visit in Wales. Here are some of the highlights you can include in your driving itinerary:

  • Coastal hikes — there are SO many to choose from and all will deliver incredible views over the sea.
  • Parys Mountain — an abandoned copper mine that now looks like the surface of Mars. 
  • Beaumaris Castle — A Unesco World Heritage site built during the late 13th century and considered to be the most technically perfect castle (its symmetry is incredibly accurate)
  • Visit a lighthouse — dotted all across the coastline of Anglesey, you’ll find a number of beautiful lighthouses. You can even enjoy an overnight stay in one!

How long should an Anglesey road trip take?

Since Anglesey is pretty small, a road trip shouldn’t take too long! It could easily be done in 1-2 days (especially if you’re not a big hiking fan). Of course, you could slow down and take a few days to see all this island has to offer.

Does it cost money to get to Anglesey if it’s an island?

No- there’s a suspension bridge (the Menai bridge – although sometimes called the Telford Bridge by locals), and it’s free to cross. Cars and motorhomes can get across no problem- just follow the road signs.

When is the best time to plan a road trip to Anglesey?

Wondering what time of the year is best for a visit? Though summers are blissful on Anglesey, it’s incredible packed at this time with UK vacationers and families. Thus, I recommend either doing an Anglesey road trip in the fall or spring, when it’s not too cold or overrun with visitors! 

Want more places to visit in Europe in Autumn? Here are some of the best!

On your way back from Anglesey, there are plenty of incredible places to visit:

  • Caernarfon Castle (right up near Anglesey)
  • Llangollen Canal – we hired a narrowboat from here for a few days to go over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct- which is the best way to experience it! You can do this as a day trip too.
  • Dinas Bran Castle (near Llangollen)
  • Chester- one of my favourite cities in the United Kingdom; right on the border between England and Wales- we visited as part of our epic England Road trip
  • Chirk Castle- a National Trust property well worth a visit
  • Conwy- we stayed here for several nights on a yacht MANY years ago and it was beautiful- a great stop.
  • Wye Valley – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Planning a trip to Wales?

Grab your FREE guide to the Wales Way road trip routes, including:

  • suggested routes around Wales
  • best places to see on your trip
  • campsites to stay at along the way
  • and other tips for touring Wales

Useful things to know for your Wales Road Trip planning

Do they really speak Welsh?

Yep. All signs will be in Welsh, then English. The Welsh are a small nation but fiercely proud of their heritage and language. However, nearly every person in Wales speaks at least some English, and certainly everyone who deals with tourists.

Do they take £/ GBP?

Yes, Wales does NOT have its own currency. They use pound sterling, just like the rest of the UK.

Do they drive on the left or the right?

In the UK, we drive on the left everywhere.

If you’re hiring a rental car, Cardiff city or Swansea is a good base to collect it from in the south, or Chester in the north.

Is it easy to find camping spots for motorhomes/ campervans?

Yes- if you don’t go in high summer. We went in the Easter holidays a few years ago and had no problems finding a campsite, but I’ve heard in the summer they get VERY booked- especially near the sea and Cardiff city.

Books to help your Wales Road Trip

If you prefer a physical book, you might find these helpful:

It’s tolerated, as much as wild camping is anywhere in the UK. Stay away from the main tourist areas and you should be fine. You might be able to use services at campsites for an extra cost.

Having said that, we were in Wales when it all went a little wrong- watch the video below:

If you want a free wild camping checklist, grab it here.

You can also grab our interactive map and online guide filled with places to visit in Wales- check it out here

Everything you need to help plan an amazing Welsh Road trip!

I hope this post has helped you find incredible places to visit and enjoy. Been already? Where’s your favourite Wales Road trip? Let us know!

Wales Road Trip Itinerary and Travel tips

Places to visit in Wales- Wales Road Trip and Travel Tips

Wales road trip and Wales Travel tips

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. david richards says:

    Langland bay on the Gower I assume. I used to surf there as a nipper. PJs surf shop is still there, wow. Pete was a world class surfer back in the day, bought my surf boards and “sex wax” (look it up, it’s for your surfboard) from him when it was just a small shed/garage. I camped there for a summer back in the late seventies, early eighties( the year of the fast net disaster(that was windy), beautiful place. Thanks for the wonderful trip back in time

  2. Robert Williams says:

    As someone who was born and brought up in Usk, Monmouthshire (now called Gwent) I would also suggest:
    1 the Wye Valley from Chepstow to Monmouth en route to Abergavenny and the Black Mountains
    2 Lougharne and the Taff estuary which is not only very beautiful but is a place of pilgrimage for anyone interested in Dylan Thomas
    3 Portmeirion on the Mawddach estuary with Barmouth at it’s mouth. Another beautiful spot.
    4 There are also number of National Trust houses and gardens that are well worth visiting. Just get on the National Trust website/app. to find out where.

  3. Gerald Cole says:

    Can I suggest that a trip via Pembrey to visit Wales longest beach (there’s also a very nice caravan park at Pembrey Country Park), Burry Port and North Dock are all worth a visit. It’s then only 30 mins to the Gower peninsular to pick up the remainder of the trip.

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