Family weekend breaks

Whether you want a family weekend getaway in the remote countryside or a city-based family short break over four days, there are so many places in Wales that will keep everyone happy. Here are seven ideas on places to go on your next break with the kids.

Cardigan

Cilgerran Castle, a 13th Century castle in Pembrokeshire

Cilgerran Castle, Pembrokeshire

 by Visit Pembrokeshire
At the gateway to the Teifi Valley in Mid Wales, Cardigan is a petite town with enough to do for a few days, plus lots of relaxing areas to chill out in.

For a spot of culture and history, visit Cilgerran Castle, perched above the Teifi Gorge. Also, go on a sealife spotting trip that you’ll always remember with A Bay To Remember boats. You may see dolphins, porpoises, rare birds or seals.

There are a few nice eateries around, prioritising local ingredients where they can. The Bara Menyn Bakehouse and café serves fresh sourdough bread that you simply have to try, while the Pizzatipi offer delicious wood-fired pizzas.

Brecon Beacons

Henrhyd waterfall

Sgwd Henrhyd / Henrhyd Waterfall, Brecon Beacons
Book your family into one of Brecon Cottages’ charming accommodation options and experience this lovely patch of Mid Wales. By day, it’s a hilly area with lush green stretches and rocky peaks, and by night it’s one of the best stargazing spots in the UK.

The pretty towns of Abergavenny and Usk have lots of shops, cafes and cultural attractions to fill at least few hours with. So-called Waterfall Country lies in the southern part of the national park, where you’ll find amazing waterfall walks including Henrhyd Falls and Sgwd yr Eira.

Snowdonia

View from the summit of Snowdon.

View from the summit, Snowdon
Sure, it’s a stunningly beautiful national park, but it’s also an epic playpark where nature provides the thrills. From mountain climbs up our highest mountain, Snowdon, to cycling through Coed Y Brenin forest, everything on offer here makes the most of the great outdoors.

If you’re okay with heights, make sure you go to Zip World Velocity, a 100mph zip wire over a quarry lake at Bethesda. Or, head over to Zip World Titan, the largest zip zone in the world set among the Llechwedd slate quarries at Blaenau Ffestiniog. With four lines on each run, the whole family can experience the thrill at once.

Anglesey

Beaumaris Castle with Snowdonia Mountain Range in background
Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
Over the glorious Menai Strait lies the island of Anglesey, and despite it being separated from the mainland it’s something not to be missed. Anglesey Outdoors Centre in Holyhead works perfectly as a base for exploring the area, plus you can arrange coasteering, snorkelling, paddle boarding and more with them. Visit Llynnon Mill, the only working windmill in Wales that produces stoneground wholemeal flour, spot sea creatures at Anglesey Sea Zoo or check out Beaumaris Castle, built in the 1300s.

Cardiff

View from 1st floor of Castle Arcade, Cardiff

Castle Arcade, Cardiff
There’s so much to do in the capital of Wales, and with it being such a compact city you don’t have to travel far to get around it. Start in the centre with a walk through the arcades, seven historic walkways with shops, cafes and independent businesses throughout. Pop into Rules of Play to pick up a board game then treat yourself to some liquid nitrogen ice cream from Science Cream.

Bute Park, beside Cardiff Castle, is a fantastic picnic spot on a sunny day. Grab some treats in Cardiff Central Market (including Welsh cakes from Bakestones) and enjoy the greenery. There are a few boats that go to Cardiff Bay from just inside the park (the entrance by Pettigrew Tearooms), a fine option if you want to soak up culture at Wales Millennium Centre, visit the Norwegian church where Roald Dahl was christened or walk the barrage.

The city centre boasts lots of entertainment venues, from St David’s Hall and New Theatre for touring productions to Chapter Arts Centre and Sherman Theatre for smaller shows. There’s also the National Museum Cardiff, with one of Europe’s largest collections of Impressionist art and the world’s largest leatherback turtle.

There are many cute towns and villages nearby to check out, too, such as the market town of Cowbridge, the epitome of British seasides that is Barry Island and the untamed beaches of Southerndown and Ogmore.

St Davids

Whitesands Bay near St Davids in Pembrokeshire

Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire
Famed and named after its former inhabitant, the patron saint of Wales, the UK’s smallest city has a magnificent cathedral, a quaint high street and stunning beaches nearby. Whitesands is great for surfing and rockpooling, while the Blue Lagoon, a former slate quarry that’s now filled with bright blue water, is an ideal location for coasteering with a guide.

Pop into The Bug Farm – a tropical bug zoo focused on sustainable farming – to sample creepy-crawly culinary compositions. If you need more animals, the rhinos, giraffes, monkeys and lions at Folly Farm are less than an hour away.

Llangrannog

The waterfall pouring down on to the beach at Tresaith beach in Ceredigion

A waterfall at Tresaith beach, Ceredigion by David Stephens
Immerse yourself in nature with a few days in a campsite or holiday cottage near Llangrannog. Explore the Wales Coast Path to discover the gorgeous Penbryn beach or Tresaith beach which boasts a dramatic cliffside waterfall. The nearby Urdd Centre has a dry ski slope, horse-riding and go-karts if you want a more adventurous family day out. Wildlife spotters will love looking out for the Cardigan Bay dolphins and porpoises. You can often see them from the beach or for a memorable day out try a boat trip into the bay.

History fans will enjoy Castell Henllys, a group of Iron Age roundhouses that have been rebuilt on the foundations of a hill fort. The dog friendly beach at Poppit Sands has plenty of room to let off steam, lots of rockpools and tearooms.