Cardiff, a city filled with history, culture and diversity, is a popular holiday destination and makes a good base to explore South Wales. With regular train services, plenty of affordable places to stay, and a warm welcome, whether you’re after a family break, weekend away or just some time for yourself, Cardiff has it all. 

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, interesting cities and lots of attractions, day trips from Cardiff are an easy option.

 

1. Head for the Brecon Beacons National Park

brecon-beacons

One of the big three National Parks in Wales, the Brecon Beacons are simply stunning. Whether you’re a walker or have brought your bike on the train, the trails that traverse the park are easy to follow, while within the park’s borders are charming little villages. These are just perfect for stocking up on supplies and asking the friendly locals all about their part of the Beacons. 

If you prefer, there are guided tours of the mountain ranges, including the tallest peak Pen y Fan - 2,907 ft (886 metres) and the caves that lie beneath them, nature trails and even star gazing expeditions. 

The Brecon Beacons are known for their changing landscapes, and each part of the park is unique. Grassy moors, heather-covered valleys and weather-worn Old Red Sandstone crags lie alongside nutrient-rich peat bogs that play a crucial role in the climate change battle. Much of the flora and fauna found here is endangered and rarely seen in other parts of the country. Saxifrage with its purple flowers clings to rugged rock faces, while red kites, slowly making a comeback in Wales, soar overhead. At dusk, look out for horseshoe bats swooping for moths. Wild Welsh Mountain ponies crop the grass short, and keep the heather under control, and reclusive red deer gather in valleys out of the sharp wind. 

  • Stunning views
  • Explore the great outdoors
  • Perfect for nature lovers  

 

2. Visit Caerphilly

Only seven miles from Cardiff, Caerphilly began as a Roman stronghold in 75 AD, with many relics from this era on show in the town’s museum. 

Caerphilly Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in town. This imposing 13th-century fortress is the largest in Wales, and second only in size to Windsor Castle in Britain. The towers and vast walls still remain, as do the huge defensive lakes that were created, covering over 30 acres. 

The town is home to several parks, including the beautiful Caerphilly Gardens, and if retail therapy is your thing, there are some charming independent boutiques amongst the big high-street names. 

With several claims to fame, including being the birthplace of the late Tommy Cooper, and appearing in episodes of the popular BBC drama Dr Who, Caerphilly should be top of everyone’s to-do list.

  • Soak up the culture
  • Perfect for history lovers
  • Fun for all the family
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Robert Scarfe (@rjscarfe83)

 

3. Explore The Wye Valley

wye-valley

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Wye Valley sits on the border between Wales and England, and includes areas of Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire. The picturesque River Wye flows through the valley and is the UK’s fifth longest river. The region’s main industries are agriculture, forestry and tourism, with more than 2.5 million people visiting the Wye Valley each year. 

Several areas of the valley are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest due to the rich flora and fauna found there. Lesser horseshoe bats, peregrine falcons, nightjars and goshawks are all found within the region, and the River Wye is home to twaite and shad, two species of freshwater fish. The rarely seen whitebeam can be found here, too.  

Although the towns of Monmouth, Hereford, and Chepstow are just outside the AONB, Ross-on-Wye lies inside its borders, and this pretty market town is well worth visiting while you’re in the area. 

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Explore the great outdoors
  • Perfect for nature lovers

The easiest way to get around the city

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