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Do we need cash in Wales?

Is cash needed while visiting small towns in Wales, or does everywhere take credit cards? We plan to get at least 100 GBP at the airport when we arrive for our 2 week rural England/Wales visit, but I'm wondering if more will be needed?

Posted by
1821 posts

Most places will take credit card unless you are getting into some really isolated rural areas. You can always get more cash out from an ATM if needed.

Posted by
562 posts

We spent five weeks in England /Wales last year (2022). Needed cash twice, both times for parking. Never needed it in Wales. YMMV.

Posted by
6495 posts

Hard to believe it was back in 2019, but the only places we needed cash was our hotel in Aberystwyth and parking machines (Caerphilly and Llandudno). We used cash for small purchases because we had it.

Posted by
6274 posts

I think you'll be fine with £100 - just about every place in the UK accepts cards. You probably won't make much of a dent in your cash.

Posted by
7508 posts

That should be plenty for the trip, you may need to use some up toward the end. We were in Southern England earlier this year, the only places we needed cash were for parking machines and coin op laundries.

Posted by
982 posts

You might need some pound coins to pay for parking. There is usually an option to pay by phone, but the signal is too poor to use this option in many rural spots.

This country is very slow to change to parking machines that accept card payment and it’s extremely annoying. The National Trust is especially bad for this. They charge a lot for non members (maybe £5) and expect people to have it in loose change, in 2023.

Posted by
113 posts

Thanks, everyone! I hadn't thought about having coins for parking. I'll make sure we do that, but won't worry about taking out too much cash.

Posted by
4151 posts

Tap, tap, tap! I used my credit card almost exclusively on my 2+ week visit to Wales last summer -- even for the bus and very small purchases.

As someone else said, the only time I needed cash was for coin-op laudromats and for buying laundry soap and getting change for them at the closest store because the laundromats had neither in them.

Posted by
3 posts

Cash is still widely accepted in Wales, but the country is increasingly becoming more cashless like many other places around the world. Most establishments, including shops, restaurants, and attractions, do accept credit and debit cards. Contactless payments are also common, especially for smaller purchases.

However, it is always a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially in more rural areas or when visiting smaller shops, markets, or local businesses. Some places may have a minimum spend for card payments or may not accept cards at all. Additionally, cash can be useful for public transportation, small tips, and other cash-only services.

Posted by
11 posts

When I was in Wales in 2017, I pretty much exclusively used credit cards. I think we carried around 200 GBP for the entire three-week trip around the UK, and we still had some left at the end.

As others have pointed out, it's good to have coins with you for tips, paid public restrooms, etc.

Posted by
136 posts

One minor bright spot of the COVID pandemic was that it caused many small businesses to either start taking cards or drop their minimum-cost requirements for cards (due to concerns about cash carrying the virus). But I'd still keep some cash for very small purchases.