From watersports and wildlife to foodie hotspots and literary heritage, the Welsh coast offers every opportunity for an inspiring and restorative break. These are our 10 best holiday destinations in Wales with an option to suit everyone.

Words Alex Reece


1. Swansea Bay, Mumbles & Gower

Why go? Youngsters are unlikely to be bored on a coastal break that combines Swansea’s city attractions with Mumbles’ old-school seaside appeal and the vast, unspoilt beaches of the Gower Peninsula.
What to do? Join the land train to take in the five-mile sweep of Swansea Bay, and finish with an ice cream at Verdi’s in Mumbles. Swansea’s Blackpill Lido and Gower’s family-friendly beaches at Langland, Caswell and Port Eynon (or the untamed expanse of Rhossili) will please water-babies. In Swansea, try Plantasia – a rainforest experience, with meerkats, piranhas and crocodiles.
Where to stay: Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park has family glamping tents sleeping up to five. Travel cots and high chairs available. From around £124 per night (01792 371218,,


2. Colwyn Bay, Conwy

Why go? The world-renowned Bodnant Garden, featuring National Collections and Champion Trees, is a few miles south of Colwyn Bay in the Conwy Valley.
What to do? Established in 1874, this National Trust garden is celebrated for its myriad exotic plants gathered by global explorers. Enjoy a stroll around the lily ponds and herbaceous beds, or wander in the wildflower meadows, buzzing with insects (for booking details, go to Anglesey’s famous gardens, at Plas Newydd and Plas Cadnant, are also within a 30-minute drive.
Where to stay: Close to Bodnant Garden, you can continue the theme at country hotel Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, which is set in more than 200 acres of gardens and parkland. From around £190 for double B&B (01492 584466,,


3. St Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

Why go? For a restorative break, with an emphasis on re-balancing body and mind, the award-winning St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot provides a calm, cliff-top setting in which to recharge your batteries.
What to do? Head to the spa for an array of relaxing treatments – from marine radiance facials to seaweed body wraps – and then soak up the scenery from the outdoor hydrotherapy pool, which overlooks the shoreline below. Enjoy fresh, local seafood in the hotel restaurant, plus outings along the coastal path (the pretty seaside town of Tenby is nearby).
Where to stay: The hotel has 34 individually styled bedrooms as well as six two-bedroom apartments. B&B prices start from around £190 (01834 812304,,


4. Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Why go? The National Trust-owned Stackpole Estate, with its world-class sandy beaches and peaceful wooded valleys, is an awe-inspiring setting for exhilarating watersports.
What to do? Kayaking, coasteering and other activities are available daily at Stackpole in the summer holidays, and are suitable for both groups and families. See the Activity Pembrokeshire website for details (
Where to stay: Thyme Cottage, Rosemary Cottage and Lavender Cottage offer laid-back self-catering accommodation in attractive converted farm buildings on the estate, close to Barafundle Bay and Broadhaven Beach. Prices from around £154 for two nights at Thyme Cottage (0344 800 2070,


5. Skomer, Skokholm & Grassholm, Pembrokeshire

Why go? Discover the three uninhabited islands off the coast of Pembrokeshire, which are a haven for wildlife, such as gannets and Atlantic grey seals.
What to do? Just a mile off the coast, Skomer is famous for its puffins, but high summer is the prime time for Manx shearwaters, which nest here in their thousands. The island is also home to the Skomer vole, and you even might see dolphins or porpoises offshore. Take a boat trip from Martin’s Haven ( to land on Skomer for a day’s exploring, or cruise around Skokholm and Grassholm.
Where to stay: Overnight stays on Skomer and Skokholm can be booked through The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. Self-catering on Skomer starts from around £30 per night (01656 724100,,


6. Abersoch, Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd

Why go? The chic resort of Abersoch – known for its watersports, sheltered beaches and restaurants – makes a great base for a series of circular walks around this wildly beautiful peninsula in North Wales.
What to do? Walk from Aberdaron to the spellbinding Whistling Sands at Porthor. Or climb the three peaks of Yr Eifl (also known as ‘The Rivals’) for views of Cardigan Bay, Snowdonia and even, on a clear day, the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. Another route (near Llangwnnadl) takes you along the ancient Pilgrim’s Trail, leading to Bardsey Island. Use the Llyn Coastal Bus to reach the starting point of these walks.
Where to stay: The family-owned Porth Tocyn hotel offers a blend of countryside and coast on a headland just outside Abersoch. Double B&B from around £123 (01758 713303,,


7. Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Why go? This Italianate village on the North Wales coast – the 20th-century brainchild of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis – was famously used as the backdrop for the cult 1960s TV series The Prisoner. It’s worth visiting for the outlandish architecture alone.
What to do? Explore the village, with its pastel-coloured buildings and winding streets. You’ll find a spa, shops, restaurants and an Italian-style gelateria in which to unwind. A new Tree Trail has also just launched, guiding visitors to 80 special trees in the Portmeirion woodlands. Join the free guided tours of the village, or the free land train, which runs through some of the 70-acre forest.
Where to stay: Prices for self-catering start from around £396 for a three-night break, while Hotel, Village and Castle rooms start from £124 for B&B (01766 770000,,

Take a look at our Wales by Mountain Railway tour, which visits Portmeirion


8. Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

Why go? Follow in the footsteps of legendary poet Dylan Thomas and visit the places that inspired him in this historic coastal town on the River Tâf estuary.
What to do? Among the must-sees are the writer’s former home, The Boathouse, which is now a heritage centre, along with the timber Writing Shed where he wrote Under Milk Wood. Thomas’s final resting place is also in Laugharne: in the grounds of the 13th-century St Martin’s Church. Alongside literary heritage, the town offers shops, restaurants and an ancient castle. The seven-mile beach at Pendine Sands, often used for world speed record attempts, is also close at hand.
Where to stay: Brown’s Hotel, Dylan Thomas’s favourite drinking haunt, is now a smart, mid-century-style boutique hotel, with a bar and restaurant. From around £105 for double B&B (01994 427688,,


9. Menai Bridge, Anglesey

Why go? Affording panoramic views of the Menai Strait, this coastal town on Anglesey has become a foodie hotspot, thanks to its destination restaurants and proximity to other exciting producers on the island.
What to do? Make a beeline for Dylan’s, a contemporary-style restaurant with terraces overlooking the water – order the sustainable Menai oysters or the seafood linguine, made with local mussels. Also in town is Sosban & The Old Butchers – a Michelin-starred fine dining venue housed in a former butcher’s shop. Be sure to visit the Halen Môn (Anglesey Sea Salt) Visitor Centre in Brynsiencyn before leaving the island.
Where to stay: Famous for its gardens, the Plas Cadnant Estate at Menai Bridge also has characterful holiday cottages in its grounds. From arounnd £320 for a short break (01248 717007,,


10. Llandudno, Conwy

Why go? A Victorian resort that retains all the quintessential elements of the British seaside in its heyday, such as a pleasure pier, donkey rides and Punch & Judy on the promenade.
What to do? Walk along the long Grade II*-listed pier, which is lined with amusements and funfair rides. Then explore the Great Orme Headland, either on foot, by tram or by cable car. Llandudno’s North Shore Beach is family-friendly and close to everything the town has to offer, including an impressive contemporary art gallery (MOSTYN). Thirteenth-century Conwy Castle is easily accessible, too, for a day trip.
Where to stay: The Escape Boutique B&B mixes retro style with luxury touches in a handsome Victorian villa. Double B&B from around £105 (01492 877776,,

Looking for more inspiration? View our Wales hotels

To get more exciting round-ups, check out our activities section. Keep up to date with our latest 10 Best features in the magazine.