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7 best activity holidays in Wales for couples and families

We’ve rounded up a selection of adventures, from surfing and caving to hiking, horse riding and more

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Wednesday 05 July 2023 12:28 BST
<p>Leap across rocks along the Pembrokeshire coastal path on a coasteering trip </p>

Leap across rocks along the Pembrokeshire coastal path on a coasteering trip

Holidays in the UK offer a wide variety of options, whether you fancy venturing out onto the water for wild swimming and paddleboarding or are seeking some peaceful relaxation at a spa hotel. Across coast and countryside, Britain boasts brilliant beaches, beautiful waterfalls and cultural heritage sites galore.

Outdoor activities like kayaking, walking and climbing are exciting pursuits offering a fun challenge, come rain or shine. And you won’t find a more glorious landscape to explore than the rolling hills and coastal splendour of Wales, making it the perfect location for all-weather adventures.

Whether you’re be looking for a family-friendly trip or an adults-only break, we’ve rounded up the best activity holidays in Wales. From coasteering in Pembrokeshire to horse riding in the Brecon Beacons and caving in the Wye Valley, look no further for inspiration on what to do and where to stay, so you can get your next trip all sewn up.

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Coasteering in Pembrokeshire

Explore this breathtakingly beautiful area by leaping, swimming and climbing along the coastline

Coasteering is an exciting pursuit where participants move along the intertidal edge of a coastline by swimming, climbing and even leaping between gaps. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a breathtakingly beautiful area in which to try it, featuring coves, cliffs and beaches ready to be explored in true daredevil style. Plus, perched between land and sea, you can catch a glimpse of seals, birds and other wildlife.

How to do it

Preseli Venture is offering a two-day coasteering holiday in Pembrokeshire for adventurers aged 17 and over. The trip costs £265pp for a two-day holiday.

Surfing in the Gower

Rhossili Bay is a popular surfing spot thanks to its breaks and swell

The Gower Peninsula in Glamorgan is famous for its incredible 40-mile coastline, complete with limestone cliffs and multiple beaches (it’s no surprise it was the first place in the UK to be given the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty accolade back in 1958). Rhossili, Llangennith and Caswell beachs are all popular destinations for surfers thanks to their breaks and swell, with nearby surf shops including Surfing Gower and Gower Surf Academy offering adult lessons and kids’ activity clubs.

How to do it

The Langland Bay Look Out is a one-bedroom holiday lodge based 14km from Rhossili Bay. Ideal for a couple on a surfing trip, there’s a hot tub, private entrance, TV and fully-equipped kitchen.

Horse riding in Bannau Brycheiniog

This expansive national park has over 600 miles of bridleway

Bannau Brycheiniog (or the Brecon Beacons) is an expansive national park in mid and south Wales encompassing the famed mountain range. There are a whopping 520 square miles to explore, making it an ideal place for roaming on horseback. Whether you’re a horse riding pro or a complete beginner, an organised activity holiday where you can follow the local bridle path takes the hassle out of any preparation. There are 600 miles of bridleway here, with riding centres at Ellesmere, Cantref and Tregoyd.

How to do it

Acorn Adventure Holidays is offering a four-night glamping stay priced from £339 for a child and £379 for an adult. This covers an all-inclusive family activity holiday in Bannau Brycheiniog, including horse-riding on private bridleways.

Canoeing in Bala

Take a canoeing course at the largest natural lake in Wales

As the largest natural lake in Wales, Bala is 1,100 acres set among picturesque mountain scenery. Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre offers a selection of outdoor activities on the lake, including canoeing. There are half or full day kayaking and canoeing courses for those aged eight and over, whether you’d like a calm paddle or fancy being faced with rapids on the river below.

How to do it

Indulge in some luxury at five-star manor house hotel Palé Hall. Situated less than five miles from Bala lake, it has a Michelin-starred restaurant and garden.

Cycling in Abergavenny

The versatile cycling destination has a variety of routes

Abergavenny is a versatile cycling destination, whether you want to cover lots of miles, take a short ride or tackle mountainous terrain. Follow the path between Sugar Loaf and the Skirrid to see some gobsmacking Welsh valleys or cover a 20-mile trail from Abergavenny to Newport. There’s also gentle towpath route from Abergavenny to Brecon Canal if you’re cycling with kids.

How to do it

Rest up between cycling routes at The Angel Hotel, which is just 10 minutes from the nearest train station. It has a restaurant serving meals including afternoon tea, should you be in need of a tasty pit stop.

Hiking in Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park has an array of paths

Snowdonia National Park is packed with hiking opportunities, as it has almost 1,500 miles of paths. Aber Falls is a 4.5km route on an accessible footpath that suits families, plus offers captivating waterfall views. Meanwhile, Bwlch Drws Ardudwy will take you to the Rhinog mountains and is a slightly more taxing 7km. For those seeking a more challenging hike, try following the path to small peak Crimpiau, from where you’ll see sights such as the Snowdon Horseshoe and Mymbyr valley.

How to do it

Hilton Garden Inn is a four-star hotel in Conwy, 10 minutes from the national park. There’s a garden, terrace, restaurant and bar, plus cycle hire is available too.

Caving in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

Explore Symonds Yat caves from underground

The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley in Monmouthshire, South Wales offers plentiful adventure activities, including kayaking, canoeing, walking and caving. Book an underground caving session at Symonds Yat caves with Borderlands Outdoor and explore the natural limestone rocks set above the Wye Gorge. There’s rock climbing and abseiling to try too.

How to do it

Go off-grid and stay at The Huts in the Hills, just outside Hay on Wye. There’s an outdoor fire pit and picnic area to enjoy al fresco living amid the natural landscape.

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