While a holiday in the Med or on the Algarve would be nice, travel restrictions are forcing people to look closer to home for their holiday this summer. There are many beautiful places to stay for a holiday all over the UK, but Wales is a particularly spectacular setting for a seaside staycation. With breathtaking coastal views, long sandy beaches and a rugged, diverse landscape that’s just waiting to be explored, Wales offers up a totally unique seaside experience.
If you’re ready for adventure, take a look at our guide to seaside holidays in Wales and start planning your own staycation.
Why Choose Wales?
Wales has an absolutely stunning coastline that, because it’s often underrated, isn’t a huge tourist trap. Rather than struggling to fit your towel on a packed beach, you’ll find a peaceful haven in Wales where locals are friendly, and it’s far less crowded than other holiday destinations.
But, its lack of crowds doesn’t make it any less beautiful! With golden sand beaches framed by rugged cliffs and green hills, the Welsh coast is famed for its picturesque landscape. Head here in the summer for highs of around 28°C and enjoy a seaside staycation full of relaxation, adventure and fresh sea air.
With its diverse landscapes of spectacular beaches, mountains, forests, estuaries, dotted with pretty villages and historic castles, Wales offers plenty of things to see and do. It’s the perfect location to rent a cosy beach cottage, sea view apartment or rural retreat to explore the dramatic scenery in this land of legends and adventure.
Where Should I Stay on the Welsh Coast?
Choosing the perfect accommodation is a must for a dreamy seaside staycation! Wales has plenty of amazing cottages, hotels, and camping spots near the coast for you to choose from. But, before looking for accommodation, be sure to pick the perfect spot for your staycation. Wales has an abundance of pretty, historic, and family-friendly seaside destinations to choose from.
Here are some of our favourite holiday towns and beach resorts in Wales:
Tenby, Pembrokeshire – with a colourful harbour, small winding streets, and Barafundle beach nearby, this is one of the most picturesque towns on the Welsh coastline.
Barmouth, Gwynedd – a charming seaside town with good beaches at the mouth of a long estuary, this location is perfect for exploring the coast as well as the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.
Llandudno, Conwy – full of history and perfect for the whole family, this Victorian holiday hotspot is full of grand buildings and home of the old Great Orme tramway which offers stunning views of the ocean and the gorgeous town beside it.
Aberaeron, Ceredigion – for a quiet, peaceful seaside getaway, head to this Georgian town where you can walk across the coast, explore the 18th century grounds of a National Trust property, and take a cycle to Llanerchaeron for inland exploration.
Abersoch, Gwynedd – the most popular coastal resort on the Llŷn Peninsula, Abersoch has a sheltered harbour that is popular for watersports, as well as several fine beaches and plenty of quality shops, bistros and cafés.
St David’s, Pembrokeshire – the UK’s smallest city is a laid-back community with a coastal cathedral, dramatic coastal walks and a great surfing beach at Whitesands Beach.
Besides these key holiday destinations, there are plenty of other coastal picturesque towns and villages all over Wales. The most popular regions for seaside staycations are Pembrokeshire and The Gower in the south, as well as Gwynedd and Anglesey in the north. Simply dive into these destinations to find a whole host of places to stay with wonderful beaches and attractions nearby.
Which Are the Best Beaches in Wales?
More than 150 beaches connect the Welsh coastline, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when planning your getaway. From quiet, secluded stretches where you’ll be the only person for miles to holiday hot-spots ideal for little ones, there really is something for everyone. To help you find your perfect beach destinations, here’s a look at some of our favourites.
First up is Abersoch, which is a family-friendly beach full of vibrant life in the summer. It’s sandy, fairly sheltered, and has super clear waters that are perfect for snorkelling in. There’s also a fair breeze that attracts lots of sailing boats out at sea, so why not rent one for the day and have a go at crewing the ship?
Barmouth Beach is a very popular choice, but it never feels too crowded because it’s so long. With a long stretch of sand, this spot has been a seaside destination since Victorian times! Enjoy ice creams on the beach, take little ones on the nearby rides, and explore a vintage steam railway just across the estuary.
If you’re looking for a quiet holiday in the Welsh countryside, head to Broad Haven North Beach, where the gorgeous Pembrokeshire Coast National Park frames acres of sand. Take a dip in the warm, shallow waters before heading on a country walk on one of the many nearby trails.
If you’re on the hunt for good surf, head to Llangennith beach, where you’ll find the perfect waves for water sports. Located near the picturesque village of Llangennith and part of the Gower Peninsula, this is a gorgeous spot to enjoy the water and get your surf on. For a more child-friendly surf spot, journey to the nearby Caswell Bay beach, where waters are a little gentler and the location is just as beautiful.
What’s the Food and Drink Like at the Welsh Seaside?
Whether you’re staying by the sea or not, you can’t miss out on eating a delicious meal right next to the gorgeous Welsh ocean! Along the coastline are plenty of pubs, restaurants, and cafes offering British classics, international cuisine, and, of course, traditional Welsh food. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture, be sure to try a rich, cheesy Welsh rarebit, stop for a Glamorgan sausage (vegetarian-friendly!), or enjoy afternoon tea by the sea with a slice or two of bara birth (Welsh tea bread).
Here are just a few of the top spots for seaside dining around Wales (and some more beach inspiration):
Worm’s Head Hotel, Rhossili Bay – With stunning views of Britain’s Best Beach, enjoy local produce and delicious seafood at this amazing restaurant and hotel.
Coast, Coppet Hall Beach, Saundersfoot – Run by a Michelin star chef, the food here is as incredible as the sandy shoreline view, with unique flavour combinations as well as Welsh classics.
Signor Valentino, Cardiff Bay – Dine al fresco on the balcony overlooking Cardiff Bay and enjoy some of the finest Italian cuisines you will have ever tasted at Signor Valentino.
South Beach Bar & Grill, Tenby – Enjoy fine food with a sea view from this beachside restaurant in Tenby. The surf and turf menu perfectly suits the stunning location.
What are the Top Things to See and do in Wales?
If you want to take a break from the beach, there are plenty of attractions in Wales to keep the whole family happy! Bring your walking boots and hike up the famous mountains of Snowdonia or discover the red sandstone peaks of Brecon Beacons, reaching the top for spectacular views of the Welsh land below.
Walk in the footsteps of knights and royalty at one of Wales’ many castles, including Conwy Castle and Pembroke Castle. Visit the Welsh Mountain Zoo to learn more about the wildlife in Wales, or get your adrenaline pumping at an assortment of outdoor activity centres, such as Bike Park Wales, Zip World or Adventure Parc Snowdonia!
Book Your Welsh Staycation
You don’t have to go abroad to get that summer sun and enjoy a relaxing beach holiday. Wales is full of wonderful, sandy beaches that are just waiting to be explored. So, pop on your sunhat, grab your shades and come on over to paradise.