If you’re looking for some unique and off the beaten track things to do, then Wales is most definitely the right place for it.
Not only does this eccentric little country have incredible natural spots, but it’s also rich in history, and offers up lots of unique and fun-filled activities for the whole family.
Here are my pick of the best things to do in Wales if you’re after something a little bit different…
Go cave trampolining
Deep within Snowdonia National Park, you have the opportunity to trampoline for an hour inside underground caves with a company called Zip World Bounce Below.
There are six trampolines inside, connected by winding slides and climbing frames, so you should expect to tire everyone out who comes here. This is also a great place to visit in Wales if you like heights – the highest trampoline is at the height of two double decker buses!
And if you need to escape the rain, (because let’s face it, it frequently rains in Wales), you can do so as the caves are, of course, underground.
Quick Tip: Look for Groupon vouchers for discounted entry!
Address: Zip World Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3NB
Visit the Welsh village with the longest name
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (often referred to as Llanfair-pwll or Llanfairpwllgwyngyll) is the name of a village in North Wales, which is now known as being the place with the longest name in any English-speaking country.
In English, it roughly translates as “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave”.
Although the village is like most other villages around it, snapping a photo in front of the village and railway signs is worth a quick visit!
And if you’re wondering where the name came from, it was brought in as a publicity gimmick back in the 1860s – looks like it worked!
Address: Llanfairpwll Station Ffordd Caergybi, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, LL61 5UJ (for the local railway station)
Fly at 40mph over an old quarry
Another top attraction in Wales is The Wire Zip Slide near Chepstow.
It’s one of the UK’s longest, tallest AND fastest zip slides, requiring you to launch yourself off a 70m high cliff, in order to reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
It’s great fun and is definitely something you can combine with another activity, as you’ll only need about an hour in total to go through the safety briefing, queue up for the zip wire and then actually go on it.
Quick Tip: Look for Groupon vouchers for discounted entry!
Address: National Diving & Activity Centre, A48, Tidenham, Chepstow NP16 7LH
Try some wild camping
So technically, wild camping is illegal in most parts of Wales (and England for that matter).
But lots of people do it, aiming to set up camp later in the evening and leave without a trace in the deepest hours of the morning.
Camping itself gives you a real rush as you’re deep in nature, away from it all, and the whole illegal aspect makes it even more thrill-seeking.
But okay, if you really don’t fancy risking the fines or anything, then there are also a number of lesser known campsites throughout Wales that you can seek out. Here’s a great list from Wanderlust travel magazine.
Giant slides aren’t just for kids
Supertubing, a new craze sweeping the nation, is another fun thing to do in Wales, and is a whole barrel of laughs for all ages!
Found within Ebbw Vale, Gwent, this giant slide (or supertube) is the longest in the country at 120 metres.
And the best bit? You can head down it multiple times, and race against your friends!
You can even seek it out as something to do in the rain as the rainwater only makes you go faster.
Quick Tip: Look at Groupon for great discounts!
Address: Super Tubing, The Hill, Festival Park Branded Outlet Shopping, Victoria, Ebbw Vale, Gwent, NP23 8FP
Hunt for St Govan’s Chapel
Photo Credit: Hamburg103a (Wikimedia Commons)
Found within many lists of off the beaten track things to do in Wales is St Govan’s Chapel within Pembrokeshire.
It’s a tiny chapel, and can only be accessed via a long and very steep flight of steps that have been carved into the sea cliffs, which means that very few visitors to Wales have actually seen it.
Legend has it that Govan was fleeing from pirates during the 6th century, and found refuge in a nearby rock split. He then chose to build a chapel over this split and live the rest of his life here as a hermit.
Address: St. Govan’s Head, Bosherston, SA71 5DR
Chase waterfalls in Ystradfellte
Wales offers a lot of great outside spaces for avid walkers and hikers.
One of the best walks you can embark on in Wales is the Four Waterfalls Walk near Ystradfellte, which involves woodland walks and the opportunity to walk behind a large waterfall (for free)!
Have fun scouting out these beautiful waterfalls in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.
Address: Four Waterfalls Walk, Aberdare, CF44 9JF
Have a go at water zorbing
You’ve likely heard of zorbing before – the idea of rolling down a hill in a large ball – but you may be thinking that’s too much adrenaline for you.
A great alternative is water zorbing – where you try to tread water inside a ball instead.
This is lots of fun and open to anyone, and at just £6 per person, it’s also very cheap!
Address: Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre, Cerrigydrudion, Conwy, LL21 9TT
Reflect life at Pontsticill Reservoir
One of the best (and cheapest) days out in Wales you can have is at Pontsticill Reservoir.
Not only is the water a stunning shade of blue – perfect for gazing out at – but there are also lots of spots by the waters edge, which are simply made for picnics!
Feel free to spend the whole day here – walking around the reservoir, picnicking, and just simply getting away from it all.
Address: Pontsticill Reservoir, Merthyr Tydfil
Visit a traditional pier amusement park at Barry Island
There are many traditional pier amusement parks across the UK, but given their history and how synonymous they are with seaside towns here, they make for a great day out with the family.
And one of the best ones in Wales is at Barry Island.
Barry Island Pleasure Park has log flumes, rollercoasters, dodgems, and even a ghost train. And because you can pay for each ride with tokens, it’s a very traditional pier amusement park!
Quick Tip: The beach at Barry Island is also fairly nice – sandy, clean, and has been used in various tv and movie productions.
Address: Barry Island Pleasure Park, Friars Road, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 5TR
Marvel at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Photo Credit: Gary Jenkins
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was built between 1795-1805, making it rich in both history and engineering wonder.
Did you know that it’s the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world, and the longest aqueduct in the UK?
The surrounding walks are perfect for both roaming ramblers, as well as more experienced walkers, but it will be the aqueduct that keeps your attention.
Address: Station Rd, Trevor Basin, Wrexham, LL20 7TG
Walk the stunning Ceiriog Valley
Photo Credit: Gary Jenkins
Ceiriog Valley is not only pleasant to drive along, but is also home to an incredible walking trail, deep within the countryside.
Make sure you look out for Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls, which, at 240ft, are the highest waterfalls in England and Wales, and 60ft higher than even the famous Niagara Falls in Canada!
Address: Tan-y-Pistyll, Waterfall Lane, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, Powys, SY10 0BZ
Stop to smell the roses at Bodnant Garden
In fact, you can smell all kinds of flowers at Bodnant Garden, not just roses!
Bodnant Garden is Wales’s answer to vast, sprawling gardens (80 acres to be precise), which are full of mystery and intrigue. The garden is also home to many different and rare species of plants and shrubs from around the world.
From traditional roses, to towering conifers, to charming magnolias, to pretty bluebells; this garden is a botanist’s dream!
Throw in a waterfall, picturesque bridges and a few hidden secrets; and you will also find this garden to be full of intrigue, making the perfect day out in Wales.
Quick Tip: Make sure you finish your walk with traditional tea and scones at the Pavilion Tearoom!
Address: Bodnant Road, Tal-y-cafn, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5RE
Get lost in history at Penrhyn Castle
Looming over the Gwynedd region in North Wales, Penrhyn Castle, is said to be as old as the 15th century (1438 to be exact).
Although the current castle is much changed from the original, thanks to a refurbishment between 1822 and 1837, it’s still modelled on what a traditional Norman castle would look like – stoic, imposing, and really quite magnificent.
You can easily spend a few hours here, roaming inside the castle itself and the outer grounds.
Address: Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, LL57 4HT
Well, there you have it – my list of some of the most cool and unique things to do in Wales. I hope it proves useful and provides you and your family with an epic day out in Wales!
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