What to do in Wales

With travel for summer 2021 still a complicated (and not to mention expensive) mess of green list updates, PCR tests, and vaccination certificates, staycationing remains very much on the cards. Though it may not be as sunny as Budapest or the Balearics, Wales is predicted to be a lot of Brits’ top choice. Read on for some recommended itineraries in the land of music, rugby, poetry and, of course, chips and curry sauce.

By Lily Donnelly & @emilys.eyes.explore

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Cardiff

Start your Welsh adventure in Cardiff. If culture is what you’re looking for, Chapter Arts Centre’s got it all — a bar, restaurant, exhibition space, dance studio, art house cinema, and theatre all under one roof. 

Feeling peckish? Try Dusty Knuckle on Papermill Road for perfect pizza, Mowgli’s in the centre for some Indian street food eaten on swinging chairs, or explore one of the many stands in Cardiff Indoor Market (with our personal fave being The Greenery Kitchen). For drinks, book a bench on top of Jacob’s Antique Market for cocktails with a view over the city, get to Gin & Juice for a selection of over 400 gins, or to the Pontcanna Inn for a more local feel just outside the city centre. Amidst ambling along the Taff Trail through Bute Park, exploring Cardiff Castle, Llandaff Cathedral, and sitting waterside in Tiger Bay, there is plenty to keep you occupied for a weekend in the Welsh capital. 

Tenby

There’s nothing better than being able to wake up with the sound of the waves and the fresh sea air — and Tenby is a great spot to do just that. The best way to explore this colourful town is by wandering its streets and embracing its slow pace, indulging in takeaway chips and taking in the sea breeze. When you’re not taking it slow, you can visit its surf shops before exploring the surrounding beaches where you can catch some real good, erm, waves. Rock on. 

The Wye Valley

If you’re a fan of the hugely popular Netflix series Sex Education, you can’t miss the beautiful Wye Valley, which straddles the border between England and Wales. The red house that Otis and his mother call home is actually a B&B called The Chalet, which is visible from the riverside below. Take in the views from nearby Yat Rock and follow it up with drinks or dinner at one of the many local pubs — we recommend The Saracen’s Head, which can get very busy on sunny days, or The Hostelrie at Goodrich

Head to Tintern to view its famous abbey and walk through the Devil’s Pulpit into the heart of the valley itself. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, hire a kayak to really feel the river Wye.

The Gower

The things to put at the top of your list for the Gower Peninsula? Beaches. Indulge in Joe’s Ice Cream, take in the breathtaking view of Three Cliffs Bay before replenishing at the Rose and Crown or drive down to Rhossili, crowned one of the best beaches in the world. The 30-minute drive here is totally worth it, and this coastline doesn’t win awards for nothing. Try to get up for sunrise, as this is the perfect location to enjoy it! Oh, and don’t forget your board — don’t miss the surf on this coast.

Pembrokeshire

Lined with sandy beaches and secret coves, Pembrokeshire is another gorgeous spot. St. David’s may be Britain’s smallest city, but there’s still plenty to see. It’s the perfect place for a chilled out weekend with friends, giving you a chance to slow down and enjoy the Pembrokeshire coast and surrounding lagoons. It’s also home to a great selection of cafés, restaurants and pubs, so you won’t be going hungry. By day, use the coastal path to reach the Blue Lagoon, with water so blue that if a pair of eyes was this colour, you’d get lost in them. Come sundown, take some beers down to the beach — there’s nothing like a dose of fresh Welsh sea air.

Where would you go with your group of friends? Let us know!

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Do you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Then let us know in the comments below or send us a DM @studenttraveltipsuk on Instagram.

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