Wales is arguably one of the most picturesque destinations in the UK, and it’s no surprise that the breathtaking scenery draws thousands each year to submerge themselves within its natural wonders. Boasting five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and four Dark Sky designated areas of varying levels, the landscapes are 100% Instagrammable. However, without the luxury of an entire year (or two) to explore, you’ll want to find the crème de la crème of photographic locations to visit during your short break. To aid you in your efforts, we’ve created an aesthetic-focused guide to the prettiest places in Wales to fill your IG feed. You’re welcome...
The enchanting sights of Portmeirion will leave you feeling as if you’ve stepped into a fairytale with pastel colours lining the walls, lush greenery bringing vibrancy and authentic experiences aplenty. Although an iconic attraction in Wales, the inspiration for the architecture stems from a little further afield; a small fishing village on the Italian Riviera. Hoping to enhance the beauty of the natural landscape with careful and creative developments, Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis set out on a journey to design what we know today as Portmeirion. The colourful streets and dramatic architecture means taking the perfect snap is effortless in every season: the only trouble you’ll have is picking a favourite!
South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead
Now, there are a number of picture-perfect lighthouses in Wales, but South Stack is up there amongst the best of the best. Sunrise and sunset are two of the most wonderful times of day to visit, when you can watch the light sinking into the sea, generating a warming natural glow for capturing the perfect shot.
Cromwell’s Hideaway, Abergavenny
This idyllic rural getaway is the perfect muse for your creativity, with eye-catching colourways, cosy country interiors and a feeling of hygge throughout. Dine al fresco in the summer months for a beautiful brunch shot or enjoy breakfast in bed snuggled up in a thick duvet for a cheeky little treat. The backdrop of rolling hills, Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley ensure that further inspiration is never far away, once you’ve finished capturing the charm of Cromwell’s Hideaway.
Castell Coch, Tongwynlais
Nestled within a magical woodland atop a hill is Castell Coch, a fairytale-esque structure topped with cone-shaped roofs. As somewhat of a hidden gem, this castle certainly brings an essence of Disney into the Welsh countryside, particularly when pink and purple lights illuminated the walls after dark. Inside, the mesmerising artworks that adorn each wall are exceptionally intricate and will retain your interest for hours. Immerse yourself in the location’s mystical atmosphere and let it ignite your imagination, whilst snapping away to your hearts content at the utterly engaging Castell Coch. If you feel inspired by this incredible structure, you'll find plenty more spectacular castles in Wales in our blog.
Snowdonia National Park at night, Snowdonia
Snowdonia National Park is the tenth place in the world to gain International Dark Sky Reserve Status, meaning that the stargazing opportunities here are incredible to say the least. If you visit at the prime times of the year, you may even be able to capture the rare show of the Northern Lights, brightening up the jet-black backdrop in a display of dancing colour. Although photographing the night sky comes with its own challenges, it’s a fantastic time to test out your skills and see if you can capture the picture-perfect moments.
Cardiff Castle, Cardiff
With astounding beauty inside and out, Cardiff Castle is a must-visit for any budding (or professional) Instagrammers out there, particularly once the festive light display is up and glowing from mid-November. Step inside the ‘Arab Room’ gaze up at the magnificently ornate design of the ceiling; with approximately £8 million of hand-applied pure gold leaf, you’ll be blown away by the sheer amount of detail. Then, we recommend heading up the castle’s spiral staircase to the rooftop garden where an abundance of water fountains and exotic plants can be found between the tiled muraled walls.
Ty Donkey, Crickhowell
Our much-loved wood cabin in Wales, Ty Donkey, has to be one of the most photogenic abodes around hidden in Crickhowell! From the unique bunk-beds lit by glittering fairy lights, to the bright yellow bath tub and quirky details throughout, there isn’t an inch of this cabin that wouldn’t make the final cut. That’s not forgetting the exteriors, which look particularly spectacular in autumn! Friendly faces might even be lucky enough to capture a selfie with the resident donkeys, Lily and Dida.
Bodnant Gardens, Conwy
Covering more than 80 acres of North Wales, these gardens are beyond beautiful in every season. From the bursts of colour as spring approaches to the golden hues of the autumn leaves sprinkled with pops of rich berry-shades, Bodnant Gardens is a must-visit, and one of the most photographed locations in Wales! The Laburnam Arch is one of the most well-known features of the Gardens as it is longest in the UK; a canopy of leaves, it acts a glorious frame to your photos and is just one of many incredible scenes for your feeds.
The Beautiful Bunkhouse, Hay-on-Wye
If you’re planning a trip away with all your favourite people, The Beautiful Bunkhouse could be a perfect fit. Having been converted from a chapel, the character of this property certainly shines through, offering a fantastic escape for up to twenty guests. Modern, minimalistic interiors and an abundance of bunk beds will certainly catch your eye…before the sight of the indoor slide peeks your interest that is! Spend your days exploring Hay-on-Wye, with its Instagram-worthy bookshops, adrenaline-inducing water sports and perfectly picturesque cafes, before heading home to your grand abode.
Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan
The beach huts at Barry Island add a burst of colour to the area, setting the scene for a classic British day at the seaside. Look a little further across the golden sands and you’ll spot the fairground, which lights up the skyline at night and will fill your inner child with excitement. Take a ride on the Big Wheel and you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views out to see or deep into the countryside on a clear day!
Quay House, Conwy
Quay House is famed as being the Smallest House in Great Britain, dating back to the 16th-century. The striking red exterior and traditional sign make this a perfect spot for a cute little snap with the tiny house. This quaint location can be found in Conwy, and for just £1.00 you can take a step inside to see the miniature living space with an open fire, basic water tap…and a less-than-spacious bedroom upstairs. Who knows, maybe this will inspire you to get on board with the tiny homes trend!
Are there any Insta-worthy spots in Wales that we’ve missed? Get in touch via the comments or our social media channels and we’ll see if it makes our final cut!