Updated November 2019
The Wales Way is a family of national routes which lead you on great journeys through our country. The Coastal Way 180-mile / 290km) travels the west coast around Cardigan Bay, a road-trip between the sea and mountains. The Cambrian Way (185 miles / 300km) journeys between Llandudno and Cardiff, through National Parks and big spaces. The North Wales Way (75 miles / 120km) leads past mighty 13th century castles into the Isle of Anglesey. Travel Trade friendly itineraries highlighting these routes are available.
2020 will be Wales’ Year of Outdoors, encouraging visitors to celebrate and explore Wales’ outstanding natural landscapes, alive with world-leading adventure and a distinctive, contemporary culture. Wales boasts an 870 mile Coast Path; three National Parks; 600 castles; five Outstanding Areas of Natural Beauty and Dark Sky Reserves, making it the perfect playground for outdoor adventure. Its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and unique outdoor experiences are just waiting to be discovered.
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It’s another award-winning year for Wales with accolades from The Sunday Times which named Castle Beach in Tenby Britain’s Best Beach, Rough Guides listing Wales as one of the most beautiful places in the world and TripAdvisor listing three Welsh beaches (Barafundle, Rhossili and Newborough) within its Top 10 UK Beaches listicle.
Making the most of its world-class stadium and exciting capital city, Wales will host the first Nitro World Games to be held outside of the USA on 23 & 24 May 2020. The event is a two day festival of high octane extreme sports and stunts on almost anything involving wheels: bikes, skateboards, scooters and more. Travel trade rates yet to be confirmed.
Museum ExplorAR is a new experience at National Museum Cardiff allowing the visitor to explore self-led experiences by hiring a hand held state-of-the-art device from the shop. Watch sea creatures and dinosaurs come to life and explore Monet’s waterlily garden. There is also an exciting array of new exhibitions launched for 2019-2020.
St Fagans National Museum of History is one of seven across Wales and the museum has recently seen the biggest redevelopment in its history – an exciting £30 million project transforming this much-loved museum into a gateway introducing Wales for all visitors. It was awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2019, the most prestigious museum prize in the world. Visitors can explore life in Wales from the earliest humans to the present day at St Fagans through the national collections of history and archaeology.
Portmeirion Village has been named one of the top 500 unmissable experiences in the Lonely Planet’s ultimate UK travel hit list for 2019. It has been selected as one of the most memorable, beautiful, and compelling experiences to be had across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. 47 sites in Wales were included in the list with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park coming as number 10.
Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia has been awarded an AA rosette following a recent refurbishment of all 104 bedrooms. Eryri Bar and Lounge, and Padarn Brasserie led by head chef Aron Davies, were praised for producing unique dishes using ingredients from farms and producers in north west Wales.
The Royal Mint Experience is now offering twice-weekly VIP tours (available at other times for groups on request) including a guided tour taking in over 1,100 years of history with the chance to meet the experts, see a world-famous collection, discover how coins are made on the factory floor and experience the magic of the tool room. Also, their new Mint, Mine & Vine bespoke experience includes a visit to The Royal Mint Experience, the Welsh Mining Experience and Llanerch Vineyard.
New Welsh Adventure Travel Business Wins Award - Adventure Tours UK launched in 2018 with the aim of inspiring and enabling travellers to discover adventure in Wales’ wild spaces whilst creating a positive impact within the communities and environments they visit. Adventure Tours UK have already won the Tourism & Leisure Wales Startup Award and they are finalists in several Rural Business Awards’ categories, including Best Rural Tourism Business in the Wales & NI region.
Loving Welsh Food offers a variety of food tours, cookery workshops and demonstrations in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Tours can be offered in English, Welsh, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
Penderyn Distillery plans to open two new sites - the Llandudno distillery is hoped to be open by 2021 and the new Swansea distillery in 2022 which will be housed in the historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks site, opposite the Liberty Stadium and home to Swansea City football club. There will be a Penderyn Whisky exhibition area, shop, a tasting bar, conference suite and an exhibition covering the history of the old Copperworks.
Aber Falls Distillery is now open and is the first of its kind in north Wales for more than 100 years. It offers a range of award-winning, premium gins and liqueurs. Their single-malt whisky will be available from 2020. Distillery tours are offered and include master classes, lab experiences, and an opportunity to sample and purchase from the range of premium quality spirits. A new visitor centre and restaurant will open in March 2020.
A craft spirit distillery, gin school, visitor experience, bonded warehouse and bottling plant is coming to Hensol Castle at the Vale Resort early 2020.
Wales Coast Path has created a range of themed short and longer walking itineraries including cultural and family friendly walks.
Surf Snowdonia has rebranded as Adventure Parc Snowdonia and has launched a new weather-proof facility Adrenaline Indoors. The new 106 bedroom Hilton Garden Inn on site is due to open in 2020.
Thrill-seekers can now experience UK’s only mountain cart experience at Zip World’s ‘Quarry Karts’, at Zip World Velocity. This is the latest attraction from Zip World which has 13 adventures across three locations in North Wales and has plans to expand into the South Wales valleys with three new zip lines.
Professional mountain biker, Dan Atherton, opens Dyfi Bike Park in the heart of the Esgair Forest near Machynlleth. The 650 acre site initially offers four black hand-crafted trails - 50 hits, Original DH, Race Track and Slab Track.
Antur Stiniog Bike Park in Blaenau Ffestiniog have added 4 new trails to their existing 7 trails for all styles and abilities with a new ‘less steep Green flow trail’ suitable for beginners and families. The bike park is situated by Llechwedd Slate Cavern and Zip World Titan.
New cycling routes around Carmarthenshire have been launched and are available on the website with distances, directions and places to stop en-route.
Twr y Felin in St Davids is a restored and extended windmill and Wales’ first contemporary art hotel with 21 bedrooms and a two Rosette Blas Restaurant. It is passionate about its environmental impact and has recently been awarded a Green Key Award. 20 additional bedrooms are due to open in 2020. It has been shortlisted for Best Small and Exclusive Property at the 2020 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence. Being part of the Retreats Group they also offer unique breaks including, foraging, wildlife and adventure breaks. Exclusive stays are possible at Penrhiw Priory and Roch Castle and helicopter landing is an option too.
The 4 star, family owned, Llechwen Hall Hotel has opened a new wing, now offering 44 bedrooms. A spa, treatment rooms and gym will open early 2020. The original building and 20 bedrooms will also undergo a refurbishment.
Llanerch Hotel, UK’s first vineyard hotel, has opened with 26 rooms and suites. It also has an award-winning restaurant, cookery school and offers wine tasting and vineyard tours. The vineyard’s existing courtyard rooms have also been refurbished.
Plas Weunydd Hotel, a new 24 bedroom hotel at Llechwedd Slate Mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog will be opening June 2020. It has spectacular views over the historic Llechwedd site and the Moelwyn mountain range.
The International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor Resort is now open. It includes a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 square meters, providing the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner. In addition, The Celtic Collection offers 5 hotels and lodges nearby.