Long summer days at the beach, the thrill of exploring an ancient castle or the magic of camping out under the stars. Family holidays in West Wales are the stuff that childhood memories are made of. Add to that a whole raft of exciting outdoor activities and a clutch of friendly towns and cities, and you have everything you need. Here’s our guide to the best places to go and things to do in West Wales for families.

Things to do in Pembrokeshire for families

Pembrokeshire is best known for its lovely and varied coastline. The sheltered sandy bays of south Pembrokeshire are perfect for building sandcastles, paddling and rock pooling. While North Pembrokeshire’s beaches are more wild and rugged, ideal for stomping the coastal path with older children or teens.

Getting active is easy with so many fun things to do in Pembrokeshire for families. Your crew can try coasteering (invented in Wales!), Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) or surfing, take wildlife-watching boat trips to uninhabited islands like Ramsey or Skomer, or trot along the sands on a horse riding excursion.

Read more: Discover more inspiration for family activities and breaks in Pembrokeshire.

Aerial view of beach and town.
Image os woman jumping in the sea, coasteering near St Davids.

North Beach, Tenby and coasteering near St Davids, West Wales

Aside from the coast, there are plenty of other reasons why Pembrokeshire is so good for a family holiday. There are campsites and glamping sites galore, so stock up on marshmallows and enjoy some stargazing on a family weekend in West Wales. Alternatively, choose one of the region’s characterful towns to either stay in, or visit for the day.

Everyone loves Tenby, a medieval walled town with fabulous beaches and an impossibly perfect harbour. The joy of Tenby is that it covers every seaside experience. Kiss-me-quick hats and amusement arcades? Check. Microbrewery and sophisticated restaurants? Check. It also has space for everyone on its two expansive sandy beaches. Nearby, fabulous Narberth is ideal for a day spent browsing arty shops, delis and antique centres.

interior of shop with glass roof.
interior of shop.

Narberth, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Both of these towns are close to a trio of the most popular places for family days out in West Wales. Oakwood is a full-on theme park complete with scary rides and fast-food joints. Llys-y-frân Lake & Visitor Centre near Haverfordwest is perfect for a family day out with mountain bike trails, watersports and woodland walks. Finally, there’s Folly Farm, home to a clutch of cuddlesome farm animals, along with beasts you wouldn’t expect to see roaming the Welsh countryside, such as giraffes, lions and lemurs.

woman and girl on horse on fairground carousel.
four children sat on bench eating ice cream.
boy holding goat.

Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

In the far north of Pembrokeshire, the UK’s smallest city St Davids beckons visitors to stroll the grounds of its grand cathedral and stop for ice cream on the pretty high street. Then there’s the quietly classy village of Newport. An unspoilt and understated place popular with well-heeled Welsh-speaking families.

A magnificent view of the entire St Davids Cathedral during sunset.
sandy beach and surrounding countryside.

St Davids Cathedral and Newport, West Wales, Pembrokeshire

Family-friendly things to do in Swansea

Swansea is the ‘capital’ city of the west and there’s plenty to do here for families. Plantasia’s gigantic tropical greenhouse, the Egypt Centre and the excellent indoor LC Swansea waterpark are especially popular.

Plus you have to visit Swansea Market, the biggest covered market in Wales, and arguably the best. Pick up a bag of local cockles, douse them in vinegar and black pepper, and then eat them with a cocktail stick while browsing the stalls. Take a look at more Swansea family holiday ideas to inspire your own trip.

girl and boy on water slide.
family eating at table in restaurant.

LC Waterpark, Swansea and Swansea Market, West Wales

Family-friendly things to do on Gower

From Swansea, you can drive out along the coast to Mumbles, a former fishing village that now has the area’s best concentration of classy eateries and boutiques. The ‘Mumbles’ themselves are large conical rocks, jutting out from the headland (their name means ‘breast-shaped’, for which you can thank our naughty Celtic ancestors).

Read more: Explore marvellous Mumbles

When you round the headland, you’re on the Gower Peninsula itself, where the great beaches begin immediately with Langland and Caswell. It’s a bit of a walk (or horse ride) down to the beach at Three Cliffs, but it’s one of the loveliest, and most photographed, in Wales. Right at the tip of Gower is another children’s favourite, Rhossili, which has its own shipwreck and, at low tide, a superb walk out to the jagged promontory of Worm’s Head. For more information on Gower, see Visit Swansea Bay.

woman and girl walking along promenade.
A view of a sandy beach and cliffs

Mumbles and Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea, West Wales

Family-friendly things to do in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire is classic farming country, especially around the lovely Towy River valley that winds its way through the foothills of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) and out to sea. The surrounding hilltops are punctuated by castles and follies, so there’s lots to add interest to a country stroll. The castles of Dryswlyn, Dinefwr, coastal Llansteffan and the mighty Carreg Cennen, are all superb places to explore.

Children exploring the walls inside an ancient castle
Two children running across a footbridge straight towards the camera
Two people exploring external stone walls of Castell Carreg Cennen.

Castell Carreg Cennen, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is another great place for a day out – children love the giant glasshouse and family Gruffalo Trail. There are daily flying shows at the British Bird of Prey Centre which is located on site, as well as changing exhibits and a calendar of events. Nearby, there’s also the ‘lost’ garden of Aberglasney with its delightful glass house, a labyrinth of trails and an idyllic country setting.

If you’re in the area, make sure you stop for a wander around Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire’s most chi-chi market town, with plenty of places to shop, eat and stay. The county town of Carmarthen also has a nice mix of shops, cafes and restaurants to visit, along with a classic cinema.

Read more: See Carmarthenshire with kids, for more family-friendly things to do.

Young family posing for a photo in the glasshouse at the National Botanic Gardens
The glass dome greenhouse at National Botanic Garden  of Wales with daffodils in foreground.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, West Wales

Along the coast is the former industrial town of Llanelli which used to be the tinplating capital of the world. Back then the coastline was dominated by smoke-belching factories. They are long gone these days and have been replaced by one of the best examples of coastal regeneration anywhere, the Millennium Coastal Park. To explore, hire bikes and ride the 12-mile cycle path, which encompasses WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre at one end, and the Pembrey Country Park at the other.

man and woman with toddler looking towards beach.
family bird watching in hide

Millennium Coast Path and WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre, West Wales

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