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South Wales Holiday Guide

South Wales boasts a distinct character formed by its fascinating history, rich culture and stunning natural beauty. Once an industrial coal and iron working heartland, the region today boasts green valleys, peaceful forests and rolling moorlands. To top it all off there are castles, glorious beaches and, the icing on the cake, Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

The core South Wales region consists of Cardiff, the South Wales Valleys, the Vale of Glamorgan, and the borderlands of the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk. Within these there is enough to cater for everyone, from nature lovers keen to explore idyllic scenery to history buffs interested in medieval castles and museums, and culture, shopping and food aficionados will love the great shops, dining and entertainments of Cardiff and the region’s other vibrant towns.

Sightseeing in South Wales

If sightseeing is your bag, you won’t be disappointed by South Wales. In Cardiff, you can learn about Wales’ history at the National Museum of Cardiff, and explore fanciful Cardiff Castle. Alternatively, you may want to tour the iconic Millennium Stadium and admire the modernist slate and steel architecture of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Elsewhere, explorers will love the Wye Valley, with its ancient and medieval landmarks, including the stunning Roman baths at Caerleon, Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey.

Or you can delve into Wales’ recent industrial past at the Blaenavon Ironworks and The Big Pit: National Coal Museum in the South Wales Valleys.

Your options for historical sightseeing don’t stop there: you could also venture into the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan to see its fine Ogmore Castle and wander round the gorgeous Dyffryn Gardens, laid out in Edwardian times.

Shopping in South Wales

When it comes to shopping in South Wales, Cardiff tops the list. The city bursts with places selling everything from designer clothes to books, jewellery and local crafts. You can browse flagship stores at the St David’s Shopping Centre, stroll the High Street, or scour the independent shops and gift emporiums stuffed into the city’s Edwardian and Victorian arcades. Other shopping haunts include Abergavenny with its buzzing Victorian market hall, and Hay on Wye’s endlessly enticing bookshops.

Food, Restaurants and Nightlife in South Wales

South Wales’ culinary scene is focused on Welsh produce and comes to life in countless restaurants, cafes, markets and foodie events. Cardiff offers artisan coffee spots, modern Welsh eateries and international restaurants, while elsewhere, you’ll find stylish bistros, tearooms, ancient inns, farm shops and gastro pubs perfect for lunches and evenings out. Food lovers especially will rave about Abergavenny’s popular Food Festival every September.

Outdoor fun in South Wales

South Wales has outdoor pursuits in spades, and not just on its beaches. Families will adore the sandy beaches, seaside towns and adventure centres of Glamorgan, not to mention the walking trails, cycle paths and industrial heritage sites of the South Wales Valleys. Other draw cards include the bracing Brecon Beacons National Park with its Brecon Mountain Railway, fishing on the River Wye, and the almost endless opportunities for sports like mountain biking, kayaking, horse riding and golf right across the region.

Top Hotel Deals

See all 786 Hotels in South Wales
Parkway Hotel & Spa

Parkway Hotel & Spa

Cwmbran Drive, Cwmbran
of 5, from 258 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this spa hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Newport Cathedral, Isca Augusta and Newport Transporter Bridge. Tredegar House and University of Wales-Newport are also within 9 miles (15 km).

Mercure Swansea Hotel

Mercure Swansea Hotel

Phoenix Way, Swansea
of 5, from 242 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Swansea, this hotel is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Liberty Stadium and 2.6 mi (4.3 km) from St. Joseph's Cathedral. Dylan Thomas Centre and Swansea Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

ibis budget Newport

ibis budget Newport

164 Malpas Road, Newport
of 5, from 195 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Newport, this hotel is 1.8 mi (2.8 km) from Newport Cathedral and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Newport Transporter Bridge. Isca Augusta and University of Wales-Newport are also within 6 miles (10 km).

Coldra Court Hotel by Celtic Manor

Coldra Court Hotel by Celtic Manor

Chepstow Road, Newport
of 5, from 733 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Langstone, this eco-friendly hotel is 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Isca Augusta and within 6 miles (10 km) of University of Wales-Newport and Newport Stadium. Newport Transporter Bridge and Newport Cathedral are also within 6 miles (10 km).

Hampton by Hilton Newport East

Hampton by Hilton Newport East

Wales 1 Business Park M4 Junction 23a, Newport
of 5, from 1,311 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Magor, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of University of Wales-Newport, Isca Augusta and Newport Stadium. Newport Transporter Bridge and Newport Cathedral are also within 12 miles (20 km).

Village Hotel Swansea

Village Hotel Swansea

Langdon Road, Swansea
of 5, from 613 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Swansea, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Waterfront Museum and Dylan Thomas Centre. Swansea Beach is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away.

Days Inn Bridgend Cardiff M4

Days Inn Bridgend Cardiff M4

M4 J36 Motorway, Bridgend
of 5, from 253 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Bridgend, this hotel is 11.4 mi (18.4 km) from Margam Castle and 12.2 mi (19.6 km) from St Donat's Castle. Cottrell Park Golf Resort is 15.5 mi (25 km) away.

Swansea Marriott Hotel

Swansea Marriott Hotel

Maritime Quarter, Swansea
of 5, from 468 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Quadrant Shopping Centre and Dylan Thomas Centre. Swansea Beach and Swansea University are also within 2 miles (3 km).

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