Days Out & Outdoor Attractions
Get out and about, enjoy the sights and explore what South Wales has on offer!
The valley is full of mystery and intrigue enhanced by its secluded nature. The ancient woodland that is the predominant feature covers the steep valley sides, a stream winds its way along the valley floor, occasionally appearing and disappearing into holes and sinks in the limestone, and wet meadows fringe its banks. The valley has a colourful past, once used by smugglers, miners and quarry workers, visible evidence of which can be seen as you walk through the valley to Pwll Du Bay.
Midway along the 5 mile sweep of Swansea Bay is Blackpill. The lido is very popular with young families in high summer. The adjacent 'Junction' cafe provides welcome refreshment.
Bracelet Bay & Mumbles Pier
The 900 ft Victorian pier is a well known landmark with its associated amusement arcade and cafe. Bracelet Bay is a small cove with pebbles and rock pools. close by is Mumbles Hill Nature Reserve.
Popular Caswell Bay is always suitable for a family day out and is set in a picturesque bay. This European Blue Flag beach is ideal for swimming or surfing and is a dog-free zone in Summer. Facilities include deckchair hire, toilets, beach shop and cafe and lifeguards in high season.
Clyne Farm Centre is located on one of the seven hills overlooking the majestic sweep of Swansea Bay. Sample horse riding, archery, climbing, canoeing and our famous Challenge Valley - the muddiest assault course in the world!
Pennard is a good locatiion from which to discover the cliffs and beaches of south Gower. Much of the land in this area is owned by the National Trust. From the bus terminus at Pennard Cliffs there are easy cliff top walks in either directionoffering panoramic views across Oxwich Bay and the Bristol Channel. It is also possible to walk along the cliffs and round to Pennard Castle overlooking Pennard Valley and Three Cliffs Bay. Pobbles Bay, reached by public footpath is a popular but secluded cove with a sandy beach.
Neath & Port Talbot
Afan Forest Park
There is a café and the Miners Museum at this location and you can hire a mountain bike for the day from Afan Valley Bike Shed. A good centre for local walks. The visitor centre also houses the South Wales Miners Museum where you will be taken on an historical journey back in time. The Museum portrays the working life of a miner and the hardship that both adults and children had to endure; it is made up of both indoor and outdoor exhibits including a Blacksmith Shop, Lamp Room and Engine House.
Buses: 59 | 83
Clyne Canal Walk
Neath Canal offers a beautiful, green corridor and easy walkway along its towpath, rich in wildlife, accessible and close to the X7 bus route. Walk from Clyne to Aberdulais Basin with its remarkable aqueduct, lock, skew bridge and features of early canal history.
Dulais Valley Quads
Dulais Valley Quads and Archery provides the adventure and thrill of navigating the latest 250cc Quad Bikes through 175 acres of hills and woodlands. Junior Quads 70cc automatic for the 8-15 year olds, on the junior track or with their parents on a trek with an instructor.
Famous for its angling and another centre for mountain biking where you can hire a mountain bike for the day from Skyline Cycles. There is a café here.
Buses: 59 | 83
Margam Park, Abbey & Orangery
The region's most popular country park covering over 100 acres, it contains a host of attractions from walking, ornamental garden, Farm Trail, children’s Fairytale Village a miniature railway and a huge herd of over 400 (mainly Fallow) Deer. It also contains the famous 18th century Orangery. Open year round, some of its attractions are open in Spring & Summer only.
A magnificent 25m high waterfall, once painted by Turner, within a fascinating 12-acre nature reserve alongside a richly wooded gorge with oak, birch, wild cherry, bluebells, rare ferns, wagtails, wood warblers and flycatchers. 20 minutes walk from Melincourt village; strong footwear essential.
The impressive and largely intact ruins of a Cistercian monastery which has survived centuries of industrialisation including a former copper works built in the grounds. Open daily 1000-1600.
Situated on the edge of Neath Town Centre, Neath Castle was built around 1180 on the site of an earlier castle. The scene of many battles, it was most likely destroyed in both the 13th and 14th Centuries, and rebuilt each time. You can see part of the twin-towered gatehouse on the west side, the oval, raised enclosure to the east of the gatehouse, part of the curtain wall, the stump of one of originally two projecting round towers, a flight of steps in front of the gatehouse and the fronts and arch of the14th Century gatehouse.
Bridgend Designer Outlet
Bridgend Designer Outlet is the perfect place for a family day out as there's always something going on. At Bridgend Designer Outlet you will find over 90 stores, designer and high street brands all with up to 60% off rrp everyday. Additional facilities include cafés and restaurants, a children's play area, baby-changing rooms, tax-free shopping and child safe shopping.
Buses: X10 and other frequent services to and from Bridgend Bus Station
Bryngarw Country Park
Time stands still within Bryngarw's 113 acres where you will find everything from native woodlands to formal gardens, exotic trees to mossy wetlands, secluded glades to open pastures, ornamental lakelands to rushing rivers.
One of the most fashionable places to visit in the principality, the high street is home to a number of boutiques and family-owned shops selling gifts, handbags, jewellery, leather goods, shoes, antiques and crafts. Eating out in Cowbridge is always a pleasure, whether you're looking for a lunchtime bite, a three-course meal or afternoon tea. The town boasts a superb range of bistros, restaurants, real ale pubs and wine bars.
Parc Calon Lân, Blaengarw
As its name suggests, Blaengarw sits at the head of the valley surrounded by the towering Carn & Werfa mountains. Since the demise of the area’s collieries, regeneration has helped re-green the area, such as at Parc Calon Lân, named after a famous Welsh hymn, the words of which were written by Daniel James when he lived in the village.
Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre
The 300 acre Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve with its Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre has something for everyone. A variety of different habitat types supporting many different species for wildlife enthusiast, a safe area for families to discover and enjoy nature, well -maintained traffic-free cycle tracks, including a 4km stretch of Sustrans National Cycle Route 4 for cyclists and over 10km of tracks for dog walking, with water and free dog waste bags available at in the car park and at the Visitor Centre. There are accessible paths on the Nature Reserve for wheelchairs, walking sticks and for those with sight problems. The Centre and Coffee Shop are fully accessible.A number of wildlife events and activities take place from the centre, including weekly Reptile Rambles.
Porthcawl & Coney Beach
Porthcawl boasts some of the cleanest beaches in South Wales. Rest Bay and Trecco Bay have been awarded the coveted European Blue Flag plus the Tidy Britain seaside award. Visit the harbour, enjoy the thrills and spills at Coney Beach funfair, wander across Lock's Common or stroll along the promenade. Whatever your idea of a day out, Porthcawl is the place!
A picturesque small harbour town with plenty to see and a good selection of local shops and places to eat. Situated at the mouth of the River Aeron the town's most notable feature is its architecture - one house in every four is listed as being of special architectural interest. The Aberaeron Crafts Centre in Clos Pencarreg is about ten minutes walk from the Bus stop at Alban Square.
Buses: TrawsCymru T1
A splendid, traditional and mainly Victorian seaside town and home to part of the University of Wales. It's the largest town in Ceredigion and has much to offer the visitor. In addition to seaside attractions, there is a cliff railway and the terminus of the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway which begins its 12 mile climb to Devils Bridge. There's a wide variety of shops and, for the studious, the National Library of Wales is a short bus ride away. Service 40 threads its way along the cliff tops of Cardigan Bay to Aberaeron.
Buses: TrawsCymru T1
Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo
The National Trust managed Dinefwr Park, with the ruins of Dinefwr Castle and the church of Llandyfeisant is just outside Llandeilo. Footpaths through the landscaoped park lead to the castle and have good views of the Towy Valley. Parts of Newton House, which dates from 1660, are open to visitors.
Ffos Las Racecourse
Ffos Las has brought back top class racing back to West Wales for the first time since 1937. You can find it in the heart of Carmarthenshire between the towns Llanelli and Carmarthen. The setting is magnificent. It is surrounded by rolling hills and countryside and has a view down the Gwendraeth Valley to Carmarthen Bay. It is almost impossible to believe that it is the former site of the largest open cast coalmine in Europe. You can't beat the spectacle and colour of seeing racehorses and jockeys close up, the bustling activity that surrounds the betting and the lively excitement of the race itself.
The Gwili Railway operates a standard gauge preserved railway from Bronwydd (near Carmarthen) in South Wales along a section of the former Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway that closed for passenger traffic in 1965, the track being lifted in 1975.
Developed around its medieval castle which is one of the best preserved in Wales and stands on a steep bank overlooking the river.
One of Wales' smallest, but nevertheless, busiest market towns, Lampeter in the Teifi Valley, is home to the oldest University in Wales. During the summer, the famous Food Festival is held, along with a number of other events, such as the Rhys Thomas James Eisteddfod, the Drovers Arts Festival and the Carnival. The town has a surprisingly wide range of shops.
Buses: TrawsCymru T1
Llanelly House is the heartbeat of Llanelli and one of the most outstanding early Georgian buildings in Wales. Its history and occupants tell the story of the triumphs and tribulations of the town and the influence that the Llanelli and its people and discoveries have had throughout the world. The Llanelly House Project began with the 2003 BBC 'Restoration' series, in which the building was a finalist, championed by Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. Its reopening 10 years later is a triumph of community, archaeology, history, culture, building skills and faith in Llanelli's heritage.
Buses: All services to Llanelli Town Centre
Millennium Coastal Park, Llanelli
Llanelli's 13 mile coastline has been transformed into the spectacular Millennium Coastal Park, funded with the help of the National Lottery. The creation of the park has been a major landscaping feat, involving the formation of new lakes, gardens and woodlands. At the eastern end it overlooks the river estuary dominated by fenland. It then sweeps around the town and follows the coast, giving panoramic views over sandbanks and tidal waters towards the Gower peninsula. An area of open countryside stretches towards Burry Port Harbour and on to Pembrey Country Park. Linking all these elements is a continuous cycleway and footpath, which runs unbroken throughout the park's entire length.
Lamphey, Bishops' Palace
Extensive remains of a grand medieval palace of the bishops of St Davids, which has been sensitively renovated recently. A regular programme of events is held in the summer.
Manorbier is a small seaside village noted for its beach and well preserved medieval castle. The beach is popular with surfers and holidaymakers and spectacular views can be seen from the towers of the castle. The Norman knight Odo de Barri was granted the lands of Manorbier, Penally and Begelly in gratitude for his military help in conquering Pembrokeshire after 1003. Explore Manorbier Castle and bring a little bit of history to life. The impressive Great Hall, Chapel and Turrets are dotted with life size figures and some prisoners in the dungeon!
The old docks has been completely refurbished to form a large marina, around which are situated the museum, Dockside Gallery, restaurants and bars. Boat trips and live entertainment all add to the occasion.
Pembroke Castle is a well preserved and imposing sight in the middle of the town. Dating back to the 13th Century, the castle's central feature is the 75 feet high Great Tower. King Henry VII was born hereand displays commemorate this and reveal the castle's important role in our national heritage.
Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre
Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre is home of The Sunderland Trust and spiritual home of the wartime Sunderland Flying Boat T9044 which sank at Pembroke Dock in November 1940. Many parts of T9044 recovered by the Sunderland Trust Dive Group are on display at the Heritage Centre splendidly conserved by Trust Volunteers as part of the flying boat workshop area. The trust has the aim of bringing the world’s only surviving Mark I Sunderland Flying Boat back to the surface.
A very popular resort town noted for its harbour and sandy beaches. Walking around the old town always reveals something of interest, with a variety of shops and cafes and a local market all adding to the atmosphere of the town.
Tudor Merchant's House, Tenby
Owned and managed by the National Trust, the famous 15th Century Tudor Merchant's House is the oldest residence in Tenby. It stands on Quay Hill, between the harbour and Tudor Square.
Parks and Gardens
The great outdoors awaits! Time to enjoy the parks and gardens of South Wales
Make a splash, dip a toe in or simply sit on the sand admiring the view.
There are plenty of things to do in the great indoors in South Wales, we don't always have the weather, but that won't stop us!