Summer holidays are when memories are laid down for a whole lifetime. Just a hint of sunshine brings back memories of catching your first mackerel, seeing the Red Arrows over Rhyl, walking up Eryri (Snowdon) for the first time, pony-trekking in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) or seeing a red kite – not to mention a few camping trips (where if the odd rain shower did appear, it was simply a wonderful excuse to make a mud slide to play on!).
All these traditional Welsh summer holiday activities are still around today, but they are joined by hundreds of newer additions to this beautiful country. Here's our guide to help you make the most of the long break.
Things to do
The beauty of a holiday in Wales is that there's always a chance to find something new, something different, something special. Whether you want to unearth the treasures of a Pembrokeshire rockpool, taste the latest craft beer from an Eryri (Snowdonia) brewery, enjoy the spectacular waterfalls at Devil's Bridge or get into some serious retail therapy in our capital city of Cardiff, there are endless ways you can have your own Welsh discoveries this summer as part of a family break, a romantic trip or a get-together with friends.
Enjoy the sunny vibes of summer at one of the many festivals or outdoor events happening. From the heavy rock vibes of Steelhouse music festival to the smaller alternative gatherings such as Gladfest literary festival, all tastes are catered for. There's even a bogsnorkelling championship you can watch! August bank holiday weekend is always action-packed in Wales, so make the most of the day off work with time in the great outdoors.
If you want to do something a bit educational, or if you've got little ones who love the idea of dragons and knights, rediscover history at one of Wales' many castles. There are more castles per square mile in Wales than any other country in Europe. Where will you start – the traditional and mighty castles or the unusual castles? All promise plenty of adventures.
In the case that we get a rainy day or two, there's no need to panic; we've got fully-prepared guides to weatherproof days out in North Wales, South Wales, West Wales and Mid Wales. There are many, many more ideas for places to go and things to do in Wales, be it National Trust properties, narrow gauge and miniature railways or something else altogether, so get out there and explore!
Places to stay
When it comes to accommodation in Wales, if you can imagine it, we've more than likely got it - five-star hotels with infinity pools, cottages in cowsheds, caravan villages, wild camping sites, yurts, gypsy caravans, lighthouses, working farms – we've got them all and more besides.
Of course, people everyone has their own taste when it comes to where to stay, so we've got a whole host of guides to help you find the perfect place. We've got something for everyone, from treating yourself to a luxury break to sleeping under the stars on a family campsite, or from an active weekend getaway to a longer stay in a self-catering cottage. Or if you're looking for something a bit different, we've got ideas to keep your trip eco-friendly, a host of unusual places to try and you can even stay on a farm. See - we did say we have a lot of options!
Food and drink
After an exciting time enjoying activities (or just a lazy day on the beach!), your thoughts are likely to start drifting towards what delicious delights we have in Wales... Well, you won't be disappointed as we've got a fine array of produce to tempt you!
If you fancy a bite to eat or are looking for something to quench your thirst, look no further! Here are some places to give you some inspiration to get started - enjoy the views in one of our places to eat along the coast, indulge yourself with an afternoon tea or tuck into a hearty brunch to get your day started in style. You can head to one of our many food festivals, trace the story of Welsh ice cream or eat your way around some of Wales' best dishes.
Other helpful information
We take accessibility very seriously here. We want everybody to be able to enjoy our beautiful country. If you're planning a trip and require accessible accommodation or activity information, we've got plenty of both on our Accessible holiday section. Other sites worth looking at include Tourism For All and PIWS.
If you're keen to explore one of our three national parks, read our national park safety advice first to reduce the risk of accidents. Same goes for our beaches, so take a look at this beach safety guide from the RNLI. The AdventureSmart website has plenty of advice about how to make a good day better, especially if you're heading out hiking.
There are plenty of great apps that you can use to plan your trip, too. For starters, you could try the Wales Coast App, which showcases the walks in different parts of Wales. Find out where to fill up your water bottle for free using the Refill Wales app, and plan your public transport journey using the TravelineCymru app.