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The rich colours of autumn wash over the mountains, valleys and vales of Wales restoring a new sense of life in the wake of summer's departure. As seasons change, the landscape takes on a new magic and presents new adventures, opportunities and discoveries for everyone. October half term gives families a chance to get away before the rush of the festive season and autumn presents couples with the perfect opportunity for a romantic escape. We think those in-between months could be an ideal time to explore some of the best places to visit in Wales.
The prettiest towns and villages to visit in Wales
These top places to visit in Wales this autumn are the perfect example of how the seasons deliver a dramatic change in landscapes here in Wales.
The definition of ‘picture perfect’, this dreamy village brings a taste of Italy to the Welsh coast and North Wales. The rich oranges, reds and yellows of autumn combine with vibrant architecture to deliver a rainbow of colour. Here you will find beautiful exotic gardens with award-winning restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours and sandy beaches. Undoubtedly one of the most unique places to visit in North Wales.
The majestic Chepstow Castle can often be seen silhouetted against the evening light, with rich autumn colours lining the banks of the River Wye. The lively town is not only pretty, but packed with history and home to an array of attractions. We recommend choosing one of the three town trails: The Riverside Trail, Castle/Dell Trail or the Town Centre Trail.
Stay in a beautiful cottage in South Wales.
Dominated by a 13th-century castle, this charming seaside town is known for its medieval fortress and long sandy beach. Perched high on the hill, Harlech Castle keeps a watchful eye over the town and mountains of Snowdonia. In autumn, the scenery takes on a rich orange glow that attracts the eye from miles around. Discover more beautiful castles in Wales this autumn.
Find a beautiful cottage in North Wales.
As well as its literary links, Hay-on-Wye is much loved for its beautiful setting on the banks of the River Wye. As the leaves begin to turn, the views of the river are even more spectacular. Accessed via Hay Bridge, walkers and photographers should take to Offa’s Dyke Path for the best colourful backdrops.
Complete your stay in Wales with a beautiful cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
When it comes to colour, Tenby doesn’t run short – especially in autumn. When the summer crowds disperse, the historic seaside town takes on a quieter atmosphere but remains one of the best places to visit in South Wales. Visit the 15th-century church, stroll along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, wander the streets and soak up the warm welcome you’ll be sure to receive.
October half-term adventures in Wales this autumn
Keep the kids entertained at some of the best places to go in Wales, with special half term and Halloween events. While you enjoy the autumn colours, the kids can enjoy crafts, games and special treasure trails.
This stunning National Trust Garden really is the definition of autumn colour. Shrubs, trees, leaves, ripening fruit and berries glow with crimson, amber and gold, delivering a show that gives the colours of summer a run for their money. During half term week, there is a range of nature-inspired activities that will satisfy boredom-prone little ones.
Set in a peaceful valley, this woodland garden is full of history, heritage and fun! During October half term, children are invited to hone their craft skills and help build Colby’s wicker man for the wildflower meadow. Welcoming dogs too, this is a family day out that you can all enjoy during October half term.
This dramatic medieval castle is quite a sight to see, especially surrounded in the colours of autumn. With the Powis pumpkin trail running from the 29–31 October, it’s a day out you will all love. While you marvel at the architecture, the kids can search the gardens for carved pumpkins and hidden clues.
Explore all that nature has to offer over half term at Tredegar House. The Secret Life of Hedgehogs will take you a mile though the Orchard Garden, following their tracks, foraging for food and learning all about one of these much-loved wild animals. End the day with some prickly crafts to take home with you.
A big family must-see in Wales, Folly Farm will be hosting plenty of Halloween fun over October half term that will keep little monsters busy. Hunt for scarecrows and clues on the Scarecrow Trail, enjoy spooky craft activities and a special Halloween show with the resident magician.
Into the wilds: The most beautiful autumn walks in Wales
Go off-piste and find some of the most rural walks in the best places to visit in Wales this autumn.
This 4-mile walk takes you beside the beautiful Rhaeadr Ddu falls, through ancient woodlands and along paths lined with conifers. It goes without saying that autumn will illuminate this route with glorious autumnal colours. Look out for the remains of Cefn Coch gold mine, the stamping mills, barracks and powder hut.
Are you ready for a little climb? As you emerge from the colourful woodland, you will find yourself on the open mountainside before a steep ascent to the Skirrid. As you reach the top, stand back and soak up the incredible views of Wales in autumn complete with a real sense of achievement.
This is a great alternative if you find climbing Snowdon itself a little daunting. You will explore the lower slopes of the mountain and the peaceful Nant Gwynant valley, passing beneath an orange canopy of oak woodlands, along the famous Watkin Path, via the ruins of Cwm Llan and on towards Craflwyn.
Just one of many beautiful walks at Margam Country Park, this trail takes in an iron age hillfort before climbing to the remains of Hen Eglwys, a medieval church. Take in the incredible far-reaching views from here, which in autumn show the beautiful landscape bathed in golden hues.
Ggwd yr Eira Waterfall
Carpeted in a blanket of auburn leaves, this woodland walk reveals the beautiful waterfall of Sgwd yr Eira. If you are feeling particularly energetic, you can extend the route by taking in the four falls walk. In autumn, the already spectacular backdrop comes to life with colour making this route even more picturesque.
Need some more ideas? Try out these fantastic Brecon Beacons walks.
The most beautiful cottages in Wales
A place where memories are made. This spectacular house resides on a beautiful country estate within walking distance of the town of Mold. Accessed via a sweeping driveway, there are over 100 acres of land surrounding the property. After plenty of outdoor adventures in Snowdonia National Park and day trips to nearby towns and attractions, you will be rushing back to snuggle up in front of the fire. While adults prepare a delicious homecooked meal, children and teenagers will find hours of fun with a game or two of table tennis in the stunning double-height atrium.
Don’t be put off by the idea of glamping in autumn. Complete with a wood burner and a hot tub, we would go as far as to say this is one of the best times of the year to embrace a romantic glamping experience. Set at the foot of the Skirrid in the Brecon Beacons, this quirky shepherd hut benefits from beautiful views, and easy access to countryside walks. In close proximity to Abergavenny, there's no excuse not to visit Abergavenny Castle, one of Europe’s finest surviving castles. In September, the Abergavenny food festival transforms the town into a buzz of activity.
Can’t wait to see the prettiest places in Wales for yourself? Choose the perfect October half-term cottage for you. If you’d like to reconnect with nature this autumn and get off-grid, you could try a glamping break in Wales, or make your holiday extra special with a hot tub.