Family adventure and activity holidays
With miles of rugged coastline, tall mountains and rolling hills to its name, Wales is a great place for activity or adventure family holidays. Nature is a playground, so whether you want to climb high, swim deep or learn something new, get out there and have fun! Here are some ideas to get you excited.
Go stargazing in the mountains
Snowdonia by Alyn WallaceThe Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks are among only a few Dark Sky Reserves in the world. With the reduced light pollution, it’s common to see constellations, planets, nebulas and meteor showers by night. Locals run regular stargazing nights to help you identify things.
Spend a day as a miner
Big Pit, National Coal MuseumThe Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon is a remarkable insight into the industrial history of Wales. It’s also great fun; don a miner’s helmet and descending underground to see what life at the coalface was really like.
Take to the lakes of Nant Gwynant
Llyn Gwynant, SnowdoniaThis valley's waters beg you to jump in. Llynnau Cwm Silyn on Garnedd Goch mountain is a heart-shaped lake that's great for a dip, while Llyn Gwynant is ideal for canoeists (it also featured in Hollywood blockbusters including Tomb Raider). Hire canoes and kayaks from Nant Gwynant campsite, which has a wood-fired pizza tent.
Visit a green theme park
Greenwood Forest ParkIt’s environmentally friendly, but it packs a punch when it comes to thrills! Greenwood Forest Park in Snowdonia has lots of active adventures for all the family, including the people-powered Green Dragon Roller Coaster.
Puffin on Skomer Island, PembrokeshireTake a boat ride in search of seals, dolphins, whales or rare birds along parts of the Wales Coast Path. Trips around Skomer and Skokholm islands offer puffins, porpoises, gannets and more!
Climb up or slide down the second highest sand dunes in Europe
Merthyr Mawr, Bridgend, is a designated site of Special Scientific Interest bursting with rare flora and fauna. Vast and hilly expanses of sand provide a natural adventure playground. Keep an eye out for local operators offering horse rides, fat bikes and walking tours.
Coasteering, St Davids, PembrokeshireCoasteering was invented in Wales, so there’s no better place to try it. The adventure sport involves swimming, scrambling and occasionally jumping into water from a lofty ledge. It’s suitable for confident swimmers over eight years old, but always go with a trained guide. Celtic Quest and TYF in Pembrokeshire provide excellent tuition and lots of fun.
Hill-walk to the top of the world
Clwydian Range, North East WalesMoel Famau is the highest point along the rolling beauty of the Clwydian Range in North East Wales, but it’s pretty easy to walk to. It offers great views and plenty of intrigue, from Iron Age forts to the Jubilee Tower of 1810 at its peak.
Bryn Eryr, St Fagans by St Fagans: National History MuseumSt Fagans National History Museum on the outskirts of Cardiff is one of Europe’s leading open-air museums. It charts the history of Wales through its buildings, set beside a 16th-century manor house. There are traditional craft workshops and the bara brith from the Derwen Bake House is sensational.
Explore a 13th-century clifftop castle and its spooky underground cave
Wales has hundreds of castles, but Castell Carreg Cennen is one of the most spectacular. It’s near the market town of Llandeilo and is set on a working farm. You may get to meet some of the local four-legged friends!
Join the Bear Grylls Survival Academy
The ex-SAS man runs all kinds of hardcore bush-craft malarkey in Wales, from the Snowdon 2 Day Challenge to the 24-Hour Family Course in the Brecon Beacons. Learn every conceivable survival skill from river-crossing to knifework to shelter building.
White water rafting on Afon Tryweryn, SnowdoniaThere are white-water hotspots all over Wales, including the man-made rapids at Cardiff International White Water. Up north, there’s the National White Water Centre on River Tryweryn. The waters are controlled by releases from a dam, meaning rapids are available all year.
Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda
At Zip World in Bethesda, there’s a zipline experience like no other. Start with Little Zipper, which has a maximum speed of 45mph and takes riders into a quarry. If you’re brave enough, go on Big Zipper – a mile-long 100mph zipline with birds-eye views over the quarry, the North Wales coastline and beyond.
Cwm Llwch from the summit of Corn Du, Brecon BeaconsThe highest point in southern Britain is easy enough to reach from the car park at Storey Arms in Brecon Beacons. It takes around 70 minutes to climb, and while it isn’t easy it rewards you with wonderful views.
Hide behind a waterfall
Upper Ddwli Falls, Brecon BeaconsBritain’s greatest concentration of cascades is in the Waterfall Country at the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Some are easily accessible; others are at the end of a long, glorious walk through deep wooded gorges. Sgwd yr Eira is a beauty.