The road trip may be an American tradition – but who says you can’t have an awesome driving holiday in Wales?
Not only is our beautiful nation filled with stunning natural landscapes, it’s also home to countless historic sites, tourist attractions, and friendly villages boasting excellent accommodation.
To give our readers some road trip inspiration, we’ve taken a look at three fantastic routes of The Wales Way.
The North Wales Way: Castles & Coastal Villages
The first of these routes is also the shortest, at 75 miles, making it ideal for a weekend break. The official route follows the North Wales Expressway and starts just outside Chester.
The first major attraction is the 13th-century Flint Castle, which sits on the River Dee. Come off the expressway at Conwy Road Bridge and you can pay a visit to another historic site: the spectacular Conwy Castle in the picturesque market town of Conwy. This formidable fortress was built for Edward I; two more of his castles, Caernarfon and Beaumaris, can be found just off this route on the Menai Strait.
This route also boasts highlights such as the Conwy Brewery, the Welsh Mountain Zoo, and the 19th-century South Stack Lighthouse. The village of Rhoscolyn on Anglesey, meanwhile, is the perfect place to stop for a spot of lunch and a stroll along the beach.
The Coastal Way: Beaches & Wildlife
If you’re seeking a longer road trip, try out the 180-mile Coastal Way, which runs from St David’s all the way to the Llyn Peninsula.
Early highlights include St David’s Cathedral, the Abeireddi Blue Lagoon, and the charming Melin Tregwynt Woollen Mill. As you head north you’ll have the opportunity to sample some local fare at the Bluestone Brewing Company, NOMNOM Chocolate, and Caws Cenarth Cheese.
The key attraction of the Coastal Way is the opportunity to visit gorgeous beaches and spot local marine life. At Cardigan Bay, you can hop on a boat and see dolphins and seals. Other fantastic coastal sites include the Borth Submerged Forest, Barmouth Beach, and the quirky village of Portmeirion.
For the ultimate coastal experience, extend your stay on the Llyn Peninsula, and spend some time exploring the gorgeous beaches. You can even take a boat over to Bardsey Island to do birdwatching and seal spotting.
The Cambrian Way: Mountains & Cities
The longest route in the Wales Way family is the Cambrian Way, which runs for 185 miles down the spine of Wales.
Starting in Llandudno, you’ll take the A470 into the heart of Snowdonia. Here you can visit the Swallow Falls, Surf Snowdonia, and Castell Dolwyddelan – not to mention hike, cycle or horse ride through the spectacular mountains.
Coming out of Snowdonia you’ll rejoin the A470, and drive through beautiful mountainous countryside as you come into the Brecon Beacons. Highlights here are numerous and include Pen y Fan, the highest peak in south Wales, Cyfarthfa Castle, and the Brecon Mountain Railway.
From here you’ll head into our vibrant capital city, Cardiff, where you can catch a game of rugby at the Principality Stadium, visit the historic castle and explore the museums, shops and world-class restaurants. With Newport and Swansea only a short drive away, you can easily continue your city tour of southern Wales.
The only question is… which route will you choose?
Photography supplied by Visit Wales Image Centre © Crown Copyright (2018)