5 Best Road Trips in Wales

Drive the very best roads of Wales with these 5 incredible Welsh Road trips.
Best Wales Road Trips

If you’re looking for a scenic road to cruise on, Wales is the answer.

You can go from driving through a narrow lane in a pleasant coastal town, to hugging hairpin lefts and right on glorious mountain ranges in just a matter of seconds…

Ready to drive Wales’ best roads?

Here’s 5 of Wales’ best road trips…

Let’s get to it ūüĎá

5. Black Mountain Pass

Twisting hairpin road surrounding by winter snow

Starting things off in fifth place, we’ve got Black Mountain Pass.

It’s not a long drive by any stretch of the imagination (taking just 45 minutes to go from one end to the other), but what the route loses in length, it certainly makes up for in views.¬†

As you climb, wriggle, dive and twist your way along the A4069, you’ll get to see the Brecon Beacons National Park at its absolute best, with incredible views of mountains, forests, rivers and lots and lots of sheep ūüźĎ.

Here’s some things to do along Black Mountain Pass:

  • Visit Carreg Cennen Castle, a 13th-century castle perched on a clifftop overlooking the River Cennen
  • Walk behind a waterfall (Sgwd yr Eira), which is a part of the Brecon Beacons waterfall walk (top tip: get here super early – ideally before 10AM because the car park fills up super fast).
  • Stop off at Llandeilo; a small market town located at the foot of the Black Mountains

Like we said, it’s a 45 minute route (on good traffic), but with some stops you could easily spend a day finishing the route.

Location: South Wales.
Recommended Duration: Couple of hours.
Distance: 15 miles / 24 km (45 minutes total driving time).
Best Highlight: Brecon Beacons National Park.
Route: Black Mountain Pass (hit link for full route on Google Maps).

4. The North Wales Way

Birds eye view of Conwy Castle

Next up in fourth place we’ve got The North Wales Way, which as the name suggests, takes you along the roads of Northern Wales…

Starting on the Welsh side of the border near Chester, you’ll make your way West over to Anglesey, taking in three ginormous Welsh castles towards the end of your drive: Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy Castle.¬†

You’ll also get to see lighthouses, beaches, some more castles (there’s a lot of castles in Wales in case you hadn’t noticed by now), a mountain zoo and you can make a couple of detours into Snowdonia towards Mt Snowdon if you like too.¬†

Here’s a roundup of all of the things to do on The North Wales Way:

  • Visit Snowdonia National Park and climb Mt Snowdon
  • See the medieval castles of Conwy, Caernarfon, and Beaumaris
  • Explore the slate mines
  • Stop off at the seaside town of Llandudno¬†
  • Visit the the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colony Bay

It’s a short-ish road trip, so 2-3 days will probably be enough, but it depends how many detours you’d like to do and how long you want to spend exploring some of the finer things the route offers.

Location: North Wales.
Recommended Duration: 2-3 days.
Distance: 75 miles / 120 km (5 hour total driving time). 
Best Highlight: Conwy Town and castle. 
Route: The North Wales Way (hit link for full route on Google Maps). 

3. The Dragon's Spine

View of Snowdonia National Park with mountains in the background

In third place we have the coolest name of the bunch… The Dragon’s Spine.

This route takes you all the way along the centre of Wales (hence the name) via the A470.

It’s one of the best road trips in Wales because you start the drive off in the hustle and bustle of the Welsh Capital in the South and finish up in the more chilled Conwy in the North, taking in not one, but two National Parks; Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia, giving you plenty of opportunity to kill your calves with some incredible hikes.¬†

You’ll also get to see beaches, forests, rivers and even ride the longest zip line in Europe if you like too, courtesy of Zip World Velocity 2 in Snowdonia.¬†

Here’s everything you can do along The Dragon’s Spine route:

  • Visit the National Parks of Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia
  • Ride the longest zip line in Europe at Zip World Velocity 2
  • Walk through the medieval castles of Carreg Cennen, Conwy, and Harlech
  • See reservoirs at Elan Valley
  • Go white-water rafting along the River Wye
  • Visit the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

We’d recommend a minimum of 4-5 days for this one, but as is the case with the others mentioned on this list, you could easily extend it out over a week or 10 days.¬†

Location: Central spine of Wales.
Recommended Duration: 4-5 Days.
Distance: 180 miles / 290km (4 hour total driving time).
Best Highlight: Mt Snowdon.
Route: The Dragon’s Spine¬†(hit link for full route on Google Maps).

2. The Best of Pembrokeshire

Sunset beach in Pembrokeshire

In second place we’ve got Pembrokeshire.

Need we say more?

There’s no specific route for this one; it’s more a case of you choosing what you want to do and making the route up for yourself, but there’s a rough one that you can use below which will help you hit most of the major sites.¬†

Here’s a list of some of the best things you can do in Pembrokeshire:¬†

  • Take a visit to Ramsey & Skomer Island
  • Walk round castles like Carew Castle
  • Go dolphin & whale watching from the shore
  • Walk along some of the UK’s finest Sand beaches
  • Visit St David’s (smallest city in the UK)
  • Check out the Elegug Stacks
  • Visit the UK’s equivalent of Blue Lagoon (not quite as good as Iceland’s, but close)

Luckily as Pembrokeshire is such a small region, you won’t need to spend endless hours on the road driving from one destination to the next. Instead, you can chill out and get out of the car and take in some of Wales’ best sights.

Location: South West Wales.
Recommended Duration: 2-3 days.
Distance: Depends on your route.
Best Highlight: Dolphin & whale watching around Ramsey Island.
Route: Pembrokeshire (hit link for full route on Google Maps). 

1. The Coastal Way

Low tide on a beach in Wales

Coming in at number one, we’ve got The Coastal Way, which takes you along the glorious Welsh Coastline.

Starting in St Davids in the South, you’ll drive 175 miles up the coast to Aberdaron in the North, hitting dozens of beaches and popular Welsh seaside towns like¬†Aberaeron, Aberystwyth and Barmouth.

The Coastal Way sits in top spot because it gives you the very best bits of Wales in one go, with a mix of beaches, mountains, forests and more or less anything you’d come to expect from driving in Wales…

Here’s some things to do along The Coastal Way route:

  • Visit St. Davids, the smallest city in Wales
  • Visit Cardigan Castle
  • Walk the golden beaches at New Quay
  • Ride the cliff railway in Aberystwyth
  • Visit some waterfalls at Devil’s Bridge
  • Visit Portmeirion, a 20th century architect-designed village inspired by Portofino

Time wise, we’d recommend 3-5 days, but again you can extend it out if you fancy spending more time on the beach getting that famous Welsh tan.

Location: West Wales.
Recommended Duration: 3-5 days.
Distance: 175 miles / 280 km (5 hour total driving time). 
Best Highlight: Aberystwyth   
Route: The Coastal Way (hit link for full route on Google Maps). 

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The Witty Nomad

The Witty Nomad is a travel blog written by me, Danny, a 20-something 9-5er who travels around Europe part-time.

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