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Where should we spend 2 nights in Wales?

We're just starting to pin down our itinerary and we have allocated 2 nights somewhere in Wales in May. We'll be coming from Bath. We're still debating if we're going to rent a car or not as we are heading to Liverpool after Wales. I have the RS book. At this time, just hoping to get some ideas of where to stay and what we should not miss. We like history, eating, long walks. Also I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi so if there's any interesting sights pertaining to this lovable, short legged dog breed, please let me know.

Posted by
7243 posts

We had a very sweet Welsh Springer before our current English Springer, so we were hoping to see several Welshies when we were in Wales in June. I think we only saw one. Hope you have much better luck seeing some cute Corgies!

We didn’t go to Bath, but we wandered through the Cotswolds with a rental car and stayed at Betws-y-Coed & Conwy in Wales before staying in Chester, York & London. We dropped off our rental car in Chester and switched to traveling by train for the rest. I’ll attach my trip report in case that’s helpful.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/june-2023-england-wales-trip-report

Posted by
7243 posts

Just read through my trip report again, and I would recommend stopping in Chester if you have a chance - maybe for lunch? Chester is famous for those striking black and white buildings downtown, including the Rows, medieval two-tier buildings above street level with covered walkways which today house many of Chester's shopping galleries. The city centre Cross is where you will find the entertaining Town Crier at 12 noon.

Google Image “Chester UK rows”, and you can see some of those streets.

Posted by
2398 posts

2 nights is not enough to time to ‘do’ Wales.

From Bath, direct trains run to CARDIFF hourly taking just over 1 hour. When staying in CARDIFF visit the Castle and perhaps the Bay area (waterfront = 1mile S of city centre). Take local train for 20 minute journey N to CAERPHILLY CASTLE. (In May, it is worth hopping off at Lisvane to see beautiful CEFN-ONN-PARK en route to Caerphilly). CASTELL COCH in N Cardiff is also well worth a visit - bus from city centre to Tongwynlais but you will save time by taking taxi from Caerphilly & bus back to Cardiff.

ST. FAGANS CASTLE & MUSEUM OF WELSH HISTORY - 7 miles W of Cardiff city centre is well worth a visit and the vast site needs most of day to visit.

So, that’s at least 2 days gone just seeing things in the Cardiff area. The best way to go to north Wales is by direct train from Cardiff. You could make CHESTER a base from which to take a day trip to LIVERPOOL by train. On another day, you could go by train from CHESTER to CONWY (castle) and visit nearby LLANDUDNO before returning to Chester.

I won’t suggest anything else because it would just be impossible in the time that you have allocated to Wales. (You are missing out huge chunks of scenic areas just doing my suggestions above).

Of course, you could skip Cardiff & go straight to CONWY - take train from Bath to Newport (which is 15 minutes form Cardiff) and switch (change) to a train going from Cardiff to Conwy/ Llandudno Junction - which is 1 mile E of Conwy.

www.nationalrail.co.uk will show you the train times & prices.

The map below will show you the rail routes and the main long distance bus/coach routes known as Traws Cymru. Note that it is not to scale and that the red rail routes in the south are not as long as suggested.https://images-transportforwales.passenger-website.com/2023-03/TfW_Rail-Bus_Network_Map_ENGLISH-WEB.pdf

Official Tourist Board (Welsh Government) =https://www.visitwales.com

Posted by
4299 posts

I have done the 2 nights in Cardiff, St. Fagan's, and Caerphilly itinerary and highly recommend it. It is also easy to do by public transportation from Bath. I have also been to Conwy and Betwys- y- Coed on a Rabbies group tour, but liked my Cardiff trip better because of St. Fagan's.

Posted by
180 posts

I agree with above posters- spend the time in Cardiff. We just spent 3 nights in Cardiff and it wasn't enough. In addition to the castle, and St. Fagan's which we loved, there is a fantastic museum. Also, it's a great place to wander and explore. The covered market is fun.

Posted by
1113 posts

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies.

Jean- Thanks for sharing your trip report and telling me about Chester. I may just have to copy part of your itinerary. It's really making me think that renting a car would be a good way to go. Sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary trip. By the way, you mentioned Pam from your travel group. Pam and I became friends on FB after PMing each other a few years ago. We actually ran into each other at St Chappelle in Paris back in 2019! We recognized each other from our FB pictures. Such a small world and she is so lovely.

James- We're doing a 3 week trip through GB and I know 2 night stays are brief but there's so much we want to see. I would love to return when I retire and take my time visiting places. I appreciate you sharing all those links, I will definitely be following them.

Cala- I did a daytrip with Rabbie's out of London a few years ago and really like the small size group. We're planning to do a 3-4 day trip out of Edinburgh on this trip.

Katiecem- Thanks for the tips on Cardiff. I think it will be a perfect place to stop for us. We're 3 ladies traveling together.

Posted by
7243 posts

Claudette, wow! Small world running into Pam in Paris! Although, of all places, Paris or Yellowstone is where you would likely happen to see her. We’re fortunate to have Pam in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to enjoy her wisdom & fun personality at our monthly meetups!

If you aren't renting a car then Cardiff really is the logical option. It's a nice city with a cute castle, but doesn't give you the best of Wales.

With a car you can do either Tenby or Betws Y Coed for 2 nights.

Tenby is great as you can drive long the coast and stop at a few points, spend your two nights with a full day free to explore in between, then drive back along the coast, maybe stop in Cardiff for a meal.

Betws Y Coed is the cutest town. A long 5-6 hour or so drive I reckon each way but not sure. and you wouldn't stop along the way. You'd use the day in between to hike or train Snowden.

I reckon either of the mini roadtrips are worth it as long as you enjoy driving.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi - we just spent 2 days in Wales over Thanksgiving. We stayed in Conwy. Between Edinburgh, north Wales, and London over our quick trip, my family rated Conwy as the best part. We had a car and were able to spend a day going to Caernarfon and Beaumaris, so we got our fill of 3 Edward II castles which were incredible. Conwy was a lovely little town and we enjoyed staying right inside the city walls.

Good luck!