Short breaks in Wales

Long weekend? Forget the air miles, head straight for Wales

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Jules Pearson

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

PembrokeshireSometimes we all need a little respite from the pressures of day-to-day life: a getaway bolthole where we can relax and forget about our responsibilities just for a few days. If you don’t have a whole week’s holiday, it’s usually best not to stray too far afield, and Wales is a figurative goldmine for visiting travellers. Displaying miraculous levels of diversity for such a small country, you’ll find a rich mixture of history, natural beauty and hospitality almost anywhere you visit. Factor in the proximity, and miniscule costs involved, and you may just begin to wonder why you haven’t considered it before.

There are many different sides to Wales. From the luscious mountainous peaks in the north of the country to the metropolitan pleasures of cities like Cardiff and Swansea in the south, there’s far too much to squeeze into one short trip. Before you pick and choose your preferred Welsh adventure, take a look at our guide to some of the top suggestions. After whetting your appetite, you’ll find the perfect rental from our extensive catalogue of Wales rental properties at HomeAway.


Short breaks in Wales: top five attractions


Snowdonia National Park Snowdonia National Park short breaks

What finer place to start that in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful regions in all of the United Kingdom? Picture the Lake District with more rugged landscapes and you’re probably not far off the mark. Mount Snowdon itself, the second largest mountain in Britain, dominates the horizon but the lakes and ridges contribute equally to its photogenic nature. Energetic visitors will enjoy tackling the moderately challenging trails to the summit, but if you want to avoid the inevitable blisters, you can always jump on the railway. The views from the top are truly awe-inspiring.

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Rhyl Rhyl short breaks

Situated on the north coast of the country, Rhyl is effectively the Welsh equivalent of Blackpool. Admittedly the seaside resort is significantly more peaceful than its English cousin, but this is a decidedly positive attribute. The seafront has managed to maintain the traditional features that give one the impression of stepping back in time, with the beach as pleasant as you’ll find anywhere in the country. The town is a particularly good choice if you’re travelling with children, who’ll love the seemingly endless procession of amusement arcades that populate the main street along the shore. For a bird’s eye view of the north coast, head for the top of the Sky Tower – Rhyl’s modest answer to the Seattle Space Needle.

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Cardiff Cardiff short breaks

A historical city that is constantly growing in stature as a major urban centre, any country would be proud to call Cardiff its capital. For sports fans, the tour of the gargantuan Millennium Stadium is a must, and if you’re lucky your trip may even coincide with a rugby or football fixture. The ancient castle that stands in the heart of the city is a fascinating attraction, as is the National Museum. The latter is home to one of the most impressive art collections in the continent, as well as the intriguing “Evolution of Wales” exhibition; the latter boasts woolly mammoths and dinosaurs among its colourful displays.

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Portmeirion Portmeirion short breaks

Let’s get things straight, this is not your average Welsh town. It’s not your average British town. Portmeirion is unique. Older visitors may recognise it as the setting for surreal ‘60s television show “The Prisoner”, instantly distinguishable by its quaint pastel coloured buildings and Mediterranean style layout. The town is non-residential and demands a modest entry fee of £7.50, but this is a small price to pay to step into this charming world. The peninsula it occupies is in itself a wonderfully scenic environment, with Snowdonia just a short drive north. If you love the great outdoors, some 70 acres of exotic woodland awaits, as well as mile after mile of scenic coastal walks.

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Gower Peninsula Gower Peninsula short breaks

It speaks volumes that this region was the first in the UK to be given the title of “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” Located on the south coast near the city of Swansea, the Gower Peninsula is land of golden sands, shifting blue seas and medieval castles. The waters have become something of a haven for surfers throughout the summer months, but the wildlife and mysterious Celtic aura can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The dramatic sunset over the headland at Rhossili Bay is renowned as one of the most dazzling sights in Wales, and a photo opportunity not to be missed. 

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Holiday Rentals in Wales

Exclusive Beach Front Apartment

This flat has been beautifully renovated and furnished to a high standard. Ground floor: open plan living room, dining area and fully fitted kitchen with dishwasher, bedroom 1 with twin beds and en suite shower and WC, bedroom 2 with bunk beds a...

4 * Magnificent C18th Rectory and Cottage Sleeps 21 with Huge Garden

Retreat from the busy world to this majestic 18th Century Sunny Retreat Cottage on the mountain slopes of the wild Pembrokeshire coastline. We provide perfect facilities for your holiday, retreat or workshop for groups of up to 6. Highlights inclu...

New For 2014 Conveniently Located Luxury Cottage

NEW FOR 2014 Geinas Farm Stable Set in 2 acres, with views across to the village of Bodfari this delightful cottage is at the foot of the Clwydian Hill Range,located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The property is a stone built s...

Sea Captain's stone cottage with panoramic views. Pet friendly. Close to beach

St Brides is a beautifully modernised West Wales detached stone cottage - one of the oldest houses in Saundersfoot. It has been in our family for nearly 50 years and was formally owned by an old Sea Captain. All the front rooms have panoramic vi...

Penrhyn Cottage nestles close to Anglesey’s stunning coastline

This character property has recently been fully modernized to a high standard and makes a perfect hideaway for couples and small families. Penrhyn Cottage was originally a pair of semi detached stone cottages built nearly 200 years ago and was us...

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