Wales Road Trip: The Best Route & Itinerary + Map

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Wales Road Trip Planner

Small but perfectly formed, the glorious country of Wales is a road-trippers dream. With soaring mountains and valleys, miles of golden sands, craggy headlands, historical sites, and some incredible roads, Wales offers an adventurous and eclectic road trip.

We’ve spent many happy weekends and holidays in Wales, and have brought together all our favorite places into a road trip that showcases the very best of the country. In this Wales road trip planner, we share the best itinerary, travel tips, things to do and see along the way, and hotel recommendations to help you plan your perfect Wales road trip.

Wales road trip

Where is Wales?

A small country that is part of the United Kingdom, Wales is on the island of Great Britain, with an open border to the west of England, and covers an area of 8,024 square miles. That’s around half the size of the Netherlands, a similar size to Slovenia, and slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey.

Wales has a varied geography with strong contrasts. In the south, flat coastal plains give way to valleys, then to hills and mountain ranges in mid and north Wales. There are three national parks and five areas of outstanding natural beauty, which cover a quarter of the land mass of Wales.

map of wales and the Welsh flag

Getting to Wales

For those looking for a UK staycation, Wales makes a great destination on your doorstep. Otherwise, fly into Cardiff, Bristol, or Birmingham airports to start your Welsh road trip. We recommend booking through Skyscanner for live deals and the best prices. You could also fly into London Heathrow, pick up a hire car, and drive to Wales from London along the M4 motorway to begin your Wales self drive itinerary in less than half a day.

You can hire a car at any of these airports with a car hire booker like who will provide the best deals from all the top car hire companies. How? Because they have such a large market share, they’ve got way more buying power than individuals and can negotiate much harder on price.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in Wales. We recommend Motorhome Republic, an aggregate booking site that pulls together all the best deals from a number of rental agencies, to offer you a wide choice of options alongside an excellent English-speaking expert motorhome Concierge Team.

Wales Road Trip Route & Map

  • Get the Travel Guides
  • Wales Road Trip Itinerary

Snowdonia – Conwy – Anglesey – Caernarfon – Portmeirion – Blaenau Ffestiniog – Coed y Brenin – Barmouth – Elan Valley – New Quay – Pembrokeshire – Gower Peninsula – Mumbles – Brecon Beacons – Hay-on-Wye

  • Distance: 450 miles
  • Duration: 10-14 days
  • Drive Time: 11 hours

Wales is an extraordinary country of rugged coastlines, mountainous national parks, dark skies, and beautiful beaches.

Alongside the spectacular wild landscapes, you’ll also find historic sites, world-class attractions, and warm hospitality.

Whether you’re an outdoor activity lover, a history buff, or a family on your annual holiday, you can explore the best places to visit in Wales by car with our travel tips and Wales coastal road trip itinerary.

How to use this map – Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out. Click or touch the icons to get more info about a place, and click the arrow in the box top left to open the index. To add to your own Google Maps account, click the star next to the title of the map.

Wales Road Trip Itinerary


The starting point for your Wales road trip is the spectacular Snowdonia National Park, or Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri in Welsh, in north Wales. Our favorite place in Wales, you’ll find plenty of drama, huge skies, and outdoor adventures.

The perfect stop for your first day is Betws-y-Coed, a typical mountain town in a beautiful valley, full of companies offering outdoor adventures, shops selling outdoor gear, and pubs and restaurants full of hikers talking about the day’s activities.

The town is a great base for outdoor sports such as climbing, hiking, abseiling, zip-lining, caving, and mountain biking. You’ll also find natural beauty spots such as Conwy Falls, the Fairy Glen, and Swallow Falls to visit nearby.

Test yourself by climbing to the peak of Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales at 1,085m above sea level. Even relatively inexperienced hikes will be able to climb Snowden, just make sure you have the right hiking equipment and check the weather carefully before heading off. If you’re in Wales during peak season, start early and try to avoid the weekends, as queues have been known to form on the ascent.

If you still want to enjoy the views but don’t fancy the hike to Wales’ highest peak, you can get the Snowdon Mountain Railway up from Llanberis station, almost to the summit. From here it’s a short walk to cover the last 20m of elevation to the cairn, and you can conquer Snowdon on foot!

Snowdonia National Park is also perfect for star-gazing and only the second area in Wales to be designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve. On a clear night in Snowdonia, you can see the Milky Way, all the major constellations, nebulas (bright clouds of gas and dust), and shooting stars.

  • Where to Stay in Snowdonia

Upmarket: Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth – | Agoda

Mid-Range: The Slate – | Agoda

Budget: Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia – | Agoda

Views of Anglesey from Snowdon
Views across north Wales from Snowdon

Is this your first time visiting the UK? Get all the information you need in our United Kingdom Travel Guide, including what to pack, the best time of year to go, getting there, and practical tips to help you have the best trip!


Head to the northern coast of Wales to Conwy, to visit the fortified town and magnificent Conwy Castle, built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales in the 13th century.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the medieval castle dominates the skyline for miles around and has amazing views from the battlements. It’s also a fantastic sight as you cross the 18th century Gothic-style Conwy suspension bridge, which frames the ancient castle perfectly between its struts.

Not far from the castle, on Lower Gate Street, is the smallest house in Great Britain. Perched at the end of a terrace of houses and painted pillar box red, the smallest house is just 72 inches / 183cm wide by 122 inches / 310cm high. It was occupied until 1900 by a local fisherman called Robert Jones, who was 6 foot 3 inches tall!

  • Where to Stay in Conwy

Upmarket: The Gallery at Bull Cottages – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Gwynfryn – | Agoda

Budget: Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia – | Agoda

Conwy Castle viewed from a beach on the River Conwy

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Wales. We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.


From Conwy, follow the coast road past Bangor and over the Menai Strait on the iconic Menai suspension bridge to the beautiful Isle of Anglesey, home to some of the best beaches in Wales, and fantastic coastal hiking, and cycling paths. 

Newborough Beach is a favorite of many on Anglesey, backed by the tranquil Newborough Forest, where you might see red squirrels. Take a walk through the forest and dunes to the peninsula of Llanddwyn Island to see the fascinating lighthouse and pilot’s cottages. 

  • Where to Stay in Anglesey

Upmarket: Sandy Mount House – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Lastra Farm Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: The Bold Arms Hotel – | Agoda

North Wales road trip - Anglesey lighthouse
South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead


As you leave Anglesey, you’ll pass by Caernarfon on the road south. It’s well worth stopping here to visit 13th century Caernarfon Castle on the banks of the River Seiont, widely recognized as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages.

The jewel in the crown of Edward I’s Iron Ring of Castles, a chain of fortifications and castles built in north Wales, this fortress-palace is grouped with Edward’s other castles at Conwy, Beaumaris, and Harlech as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can follow this string castles along the North Wales Way, a 75 miles long north Wales road trip from Chester to Holyhead in Anglesey.

Used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911 and again in 1969, Caernarfon Castle has benefitted from a recent £5m investment, including a multimedia interpretation focussing on the ordinary Welsh people who built and ran the castle, and redevelopment of the castle’s principal gatehouse, adding a viewing platform in the battlements with panoramic views of town, sea and mountains.

  • Where to Stay in Caernarfon

Mid-Range: The Celtic Royal Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: Anglesey Arms – | Agoda

The inner bailey of Caernarfon Castle


Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the early 20th century, Portmeirion’s colorful houses, ornamental garden, and iconic campanile are like nowhere else in the UK.

Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in Wales, Portmeirion is also known for Portmeirion Pottery (now made in Stoke-on-Trent) and its role in the 1960s cult TV show The Prisoner.

Look beyond the obvious though and enjoy local walks, tropical gardens, and interesting architecture.

You can also get to Porthmadog from Minffordd Station just a mile from Portmeirion. From there you can travel on the Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage railway which runs for 25 miles from Porthmadog through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and the picture-perfect village of Beddgelert, past the foot of Snowdon and on to Caernarfon.

  • Where to Stay in Portmeirion

Upmarket: Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Aberdunant Hall Country Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: The Golden Fleece Inn – | Agoda

Love it or hate it, Portmeirion is a fascinating place to visit

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog is a small town with a rich mining history and is famously known as the ‘slate capital of the world’ and the dramatic slate landscapes that encircle the town have recently been designated as the fourth UNESCO World Heritage Site in Wales, following the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, and the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.

Since Roman times, Welsh slate has been utilized on roofs worldwide and has significantly changed the landscape over the years. The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales, which spans Gwynedd, was the leading producer and exporter of slate in the world during the 1800s and remains a remarkable heritage site today, attracting thousands of visitors.

Over the past few years, Blaenau Ffestiniog has developed as an outdoor activities capital, and its location in the heart of Snowdonia, close to rugged mountains, lakes, and hiking and biking trails, makes it a popular choice for thrill-seekers.

  • Where to Stay in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Upmarket: The Grapes Hotel, Maentwrog – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Plas Weunydd – | Agoda

Budget: Pisgah Guesthouse – | Agoda

The abandoned Cwmorthin Terrace and Rhosydd slate quarry

Coed y Brenin

A short drive south is Coed y Brenin, where cyclists should make a stop. The UK’s first and largest dedicated mountain bike trail center, with miles of exceptional single-track for intermediate, experienced, and expert riders, is also a great place to try MBX for the first time.

You can hire bikes at Beics Brenin and start a trail from there, or visit the Ffowndri skills area and bike park to test your skills.

You’ll also find hiking, geocaching trails, orienteering routes, and running tracks in the Coed y Brenin Forest Park, with even a half-marathon route if you’re feeling really energetic!

Want to plan your own road trip? Get our step-by-step road trip planning guide to help you organize the perfect trip, find out how to road trip on a budget, or get ideas and inspiration with our favorite European road trips.


Nestled between Snowdonia and the Mawddach estuary, Barmouth’s location on the west coast has to be one of the most beautiful in Wales.

Steeped in a history rich with connections to the shipping and slate industries, this is a good old-fashioned seaside resort.

The town’s beach, Abermaw, is west-facing with a mixture of sand and some fine shingle and is a popular spot for sea swimming and watersports. 

You’ll also find a land train that runs along the promenade, which also makes a pleasant coastal walk, traditional donkey rides, swing boats, and amusement arcades as well as lots of local pubs and restaurants.  

  • Where to Stay in Barmouth

Mid-Range: The Tilman – | Agoda

Budget: Tal Y Don Hotel – | Agoda

Barmouth, a fantastic wales roadtrip destination
Afon Mawddach near Barmouth

Don’t forget your road trip essentials! Our free road trip checklists help you remember everything, including road trip snacks, podcasts, and road trip songs for the journey!

The Mach Loop

As you head south, check out the Mach Loop on the A487 between the towns of Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south, the latter of gives its name.

The Mach Loop is a series of valleys notable for their use as low-level training areas for fast jet and propeller-driven aircraft. With an average of two to five movements a day, this is one of the best places in the UK to see this type of aircraft flying.

The MoD says “the best time to see aircraft in action through the Mach Loop is late spring and summer which are the busiest times for low flying as squadrons make full use of good weather to carry out their training“.

Elan Valley

Your next stop is the Elan Valley, a stunning area rich with wildlife and nature in the heart of Mid Wales. Inhabited since the Stone Age, the rural valley is now famous for its spectacular dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts – you should try and visit all of the six dams of the Elan Valley to really appreciate the history of these beautifully designed and engineered masterpieces.

One of the best ways to experience the valley is to take a hike or bike ride around one of the reservoirs of the valley or gain some height amongst the rocky crags and admire the breathtaking and peaceful landscape.

Over 80% of the valley is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Claerwen National Nature Reserve, encompassing 800 hectares of upland plateaux with gently rolling hills covered with acid grassland and in parts, blanket bog on a mantle of peat, is a beautiful place to visit.

The area also has International Dark Sky Park status, meaning that there is very little light pollution. On clear nights you can see constellations, planets, and stars so clearly you feel you could reach out and touch them – perfect if you’re camping or traveling in a motorhome.

RELATED POST – Motorhoming & Campervanning in Wales – Complete Guide

  • Where to Stay in Elan Valley

Mid-Range: The Elan Valley Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: Llanerch Inn – | Agoda

The Foel Tower, a pumphouse on the Garreg Ddu Dam

Castles in Wales

Wales is home to over 600 castles, more per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Some have been lived in continuously for over a thousand years, while others are romantic ruins. Many are native Welsh castles, built by Welsh royal dynasties, often in very beautiful places and you’ll find lots along our suggested route. 

These are some of our stand-out castles to visit along the way;

  • Dolwyddelan Castle in Conwy County is one of those romantic ruins – a stronghold built in the early 13th century by Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd and Wales.
  • Remote and evocative, the 13th century ruins of Castell y Bere are strung along a jagged rocky outcrop in the Dysynni Valley at the foot of Cader Idris.
  • Medieval Pembroke Castle was originally the family seat of the Earldom of Pembroke. A Grade I listed building since 1951, it underwent major restoration during the early 20th century.
  • Shaped by conquest and conflict, Carew Castle is one of the most architecturally diverse castles in Wales and is set in stunning surroundings.
  • Another romantic ruin, Pennard Castle is dramatic and beautiful, and the views are glorious.
  • Cardiff Castle is a renovated medieval fortress and Victorian Gothic revival mansion dating from 1081, shortly after the Norman Conquest of England.

New Quay

Head south through coastal mid-wales to the vibrant seaside town of New Quay, following the Coastal Way (which makes up part of the Wales Way, a trio of national road trips in Wales; the Cambrian Way, the Coastal Way, and the North Wales Way) along the entire length of Cardigan Bay and stopping at the stunning Llanrhystud Beach on the way.

For something really adventurous, the Mid Wales Paragliding Centre is just outside Aberystwyth, on your route to New Quay. Stop off for a few days and learn to fly with their BHPA School.

New Quay is a pretty fishing town, popular with tourists for its picturesque harbor and sandy beach, and an ideal base for exploring the west Wales coastal area for a few days.

There is so much to do in this little corner of Wales, but you’re mainly here for the sea. With every kind of water sport on offer and the Ceredigion Marine Heritage Coast offering wildlife and seabirds aplenty, you’ll find lots to pack in for a couple of days.

Start with a trip to one of the activity companies in the area, where you can organize (perhaps in advance) sailing, stand-up paddle, kayaking, and canoeing.

There are several spectacular beaches nearby, including the beautiful Llangrannog Beach, which is good for surfing.

You can also take a boat trip from New Quay harbor to see bottle-nose dolphins and seals in Cardigan Bay, and sea fishing trips – fresh BBQ’d mackerel for dinner maybe?

The famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, lived in New Quay during World War II and it’s widely believed to be the setting for one of his most well-known works ‘Under Milk Wood’. You’ll find lots of places in the town connected to him and his work.

  • Where to Stay in New Quay

Mid-Range: Rooms @ The Dolau Inn – | Agoda

Budget: Penwig Hotel – | Agoda

New Quay harbour

Are you planning a motorhome trip to Wales?

Grab our flexible 10-14 day Wales itinerary, packed with campsites, attractions, adventures, and insider tips.

Get up every morning knowing your day is planned with driving routes, campsites, attractions, and activities marked out for you on your interactive map.

Make the most of your holiday and let us do the planning for you!


Famous for its rough cliffs, huge beaches, and remote islands, the coast of Pembrokeshire offers limitless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and is one of the most stunning places in the UK. 

It’s no surprise that National Geographic has voted the coastline the second best in the world.

Stop at beautiful Fishguard on the way south, famous for its role in the Battle of Fishguard. A military invasion of Great Britain by revolutionary France during the War of the First Coalition, the brief campaign in February 1797 is the most recent landing on British soil by a hostile foreign force and thus is often referred to as the “last invasion of mainland Britain”.

This is also the perfect place to try delicious Welsh Cakes, a traditional sweet treat that is a sort of cross between a biscuit, scone, and pancake but unlike any of them! The best place for a homemade Welsh Cake in Fishguard is Ffwrn on Main Street. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for somewhere lively for an overnight stay, then you’ll find Fishguard a great choice. The main attraction here is the activities that the location provides; right on the Pembrokeshire Coast path, there’s also sailing, coasteering, and sea kayaking on offer and you’ll find lots to keep you busy.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is an activity lovers paradise and as well as coasteering, you’ll also find surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, canyoning, climbing, coastal path hiking, and many more activities in this gorgeous corner of the country. 

Pembrokeshire boasts that it invented coasteering, and it’s an activity you must try. The sport of jumping from land to sea, cliff scrambling, and swimming between rocks will stretch you mentally and physically but give you hours of fun. There are guided expeditions and courses for beginners of all ages, some of which include marine biology education along the way.

The Wales Coast Path passes through Pembrokeshire on its 870 mile journey from Chester in the north to Chepstow in the south and follows the route of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail. The total rise and fall of the Pembrokeshire section is approximately 35,000 feet or 10,668 meters – that’s as high as Mount Everest!

If you’re looking for child-friendly activities, check out Pembrey Country Park, perfect for a family day of adventure. Set in 500 acres of woodland and alongside eight miles of golden sands, there’s a dry ski slope, toboggan ride, crazy golf, pitch and putt, train rides, adventure play area, nature trails …in fact, pretty much everything a family on holidays wants!

Pembrokeshire is also home to St Davids, one of Wales’ major cities but the smallest city in the UK! With historic St David’s Cathedral, the UK’s first pollen trail, multiple artist galleries, and St Non’s Chapel, the city makes a great day trip.

Or check out Tenby, one of the prettiest seaside towns in Wales, steeped in history and surrounded by an imposing medieval stone wall. With several excellent sandy beaches, a colorful harbor, and narrow cobbled streets, this charming town is perfect for a relaxing day out with ice cream and fish and chips, in between sporting activities!

Finally, visiting the famous puffins of Skomer Island is a real must-do if you enjoy nature. A haven for migrant birds such as razorbills and guillemots, you may also see seals here, which come to molt in April, along with owls, buzzards, and peregrine falcons. In the spring, wildflowers cover the island, making it a truly beautiful and fascinating place to visit.

The boat over to the island works on a first-come, first-served basis, and numbers are limited. Tickets can be bought at Lockley Lodge visitor center just outside the small village of Marloes, make sure to get there early!

  • Where to Stay in Pembrokeshire

Upmarket: Grove of Narberth – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Heywood Spa Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: Llwyngwair Manor – | Agoda

The Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy

United Kingdom Road Trip Ideas

Gower Peninsula

Next up is the spectacular Gower Peninsula in south Wales, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty famous for its breathtaking coastline and 30 or so unspoiled beaches and coves.

Gower offers unrivaled coastal walking, including the gorgeous Rhossili Beach and Down, voted ‘Best Beach Wales’. The dramatic Worm’s Head, whose long ridged back rises straight from the sea before rearing up at the end of the promontory is an unforgettable hike, but does need careful planning as you can only cross the causeway to Worms Head for 2.5 hours on either side of low tide.

Some of the best beaches in Wales are on the Gower’s coastline, with the most famous being Oxwich Bay beach in the south and the huge Whiteford beach to the north.

If you like your sand a little more secluded, try Brandy Cove beach, only accessible by a cliff path, or head for Three Cliffs Bay, a spectacular shoreline of sand dunes, salt marsh, and limestone cliffs. 

Surfers and kitesurfers should check out Llangennith Beach or Broughton Bay Beach, both popular spots with good facilities.

  • Where to Stay in Gower Peninsula

Mid-Range: LLwyn Country House – | Agoda

Budget: The Ynyscedwyn Arms Hotel – | Agoda

The glorious Rhossili Bay

The Mumbles

At the eastern end of the peninsula and often referred to as ‘the gateway to Gower’ is Mumbles, a traditional seaside town. Head here to walk along the bustling prom, where rollerbladers weave between pedestrians, and ice cream parlors tempt.

As well as the usual water-based activities, you can also hire jet skis and take a speed-boat ride into Swansea Bay from the Mumbles, the headland on the western edge of the bay. Perfect if you’ve spent the last week or so hiking, cycling, and paddling under your own steam!

  • Where to Stay in The Mumbles

Upmarket: Norton House Hotel – | Agoda

Mid-Range: Oyster House – | Agoda

Budget: The Coast House – | Agoda

The Mumbles seafront and pier

Black Mountain Pass

If you have time, take a detour to the western edge of the Brecon Beacons for one of the best driving roads in Wales.

The epic Black Mountain Pass of Top Gear fame gives unrivaled views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, and enough hairpin bends and switchbacks to satisfy any dangerous road enthusiast.

The Black Mountain Pass is actually the South Wales road A4069 which climbs from Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, between the breathtaking viewpoints of the twin humps of Pont Aber and Herbert’s Pass, before arriving in Llandovery.

From here, you can head southeast on the A40 to Sennybridge, and then south on the A470 into the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Make sure to add Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, Pont Aber, and Llandovery as via points in your sat nav, or you’ll be routed on a more main road.

Be aware that sheep will cross the road indiscriminately and it is known that mobile speed cameras are sometimes hidden along the route in things like horse boxes or small trucks.

RELATED POST – Why We Think These Are The Best Driving Roads in Europe

A hairpin bend on the Black Mountain Pass

Brecon Beacons

Undulating dramatically across the landscape, the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog) encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in southern Wales.

Known simply as ‘the Beacons’ to hikers, these mountains are scattered with ridges and plateaus, glacial hollows that rise above forested valleys, hidden waterfalls, and gorgeous remote and empty landscapes.

There are many trails to choose from here, including the Cambrian Way, a long-distance hiking route from Cardiff to Snowdon through some of Wales’ most mountainous and wild landscapes. 

Pen Y Fan is a favorite, the route a challenging ten mile slog from the car park through forest and moorland to the steep ridge at the summit at 886m, where the views are superb.

But there is more hiking here than just Pen Y Fan. Sugar Loaf in Monmouthshire is stunning and the beautiful Brecon Beacons waterfall walk is a must-do.

From the Brecon Beacons, you can head to your final destination; either north into the beautiful and protected landscape of the Wye Valley and the literary town of Hay-on-Wye or make your way south to the lively city of Cardiff.

Either of these provides excellent transport links back into England and your journey home.

  • Where to Stay in Brecon Beacons

Mid-Range: The Plough Inn – | Agoda

Budget: The Belle Vue Through The Looking Glass – | Agoda

The summit of Pen-y-Fan

Gospel Pass

But, we have one more small detour for you, if you like great driving roads!

In the Black Mountains at the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park is the Gospel Pass, the highest road in Wales at 549m. The pass is possibly the most scenic drive in Wales with spectacular views and a few good hiking routes from the top.

Snaking along the narrow Vale of Ewyas the mostly single-track paved road rises steadily as you head north before dropping into the Wye Valley. To get to the pass, branch off the A465 five miles north of Abergavenny at Llanvihangel Crucorney. 

Most of the valley is in Monmouthshire but the last few miles, including the pass itself, are in Powys. The ridge line to the east, extending south from Hay Bluff, marks the border between Wales and England.

This single-track route is not for the winter months or those in motorhomes or larger campervans.

Views from the spectacular Gospel Pass


The final stop in Wales, the capital city of Cardiff is a unique blend of British culture, Welsh attributes, and Celtic personality.

Cardiff has a subtle charm that you learn through the independent stores, laneways of bars, medieval Cardiff Castle smack-bang in the city center, and a diverse culinary scene offering everything from street food to fine dining.

There is a lot to explore here, including the Senedd Cymru (Welsh parliament) building in the lively Cardiff Bay area and nearby Barry Island, a bastion of Welsh seaside holidays and of course, the home of Gavin and Stacey!

RELATED POST – One Day Cardiff Itinerary – Map, Tips & Guide

  • Where to Stay in Cardiff

Upmarket: Parador 44 – | Agoda

Mid-Range: voco St. David’s Cardiff, an IHG Hotel – | Agoda

Budget: The Beverley by Innkeeper’s Collection – | Agoda

Lively Cardiff Bay and the Welsh parliament building


Hay-on-Wye is famous the world over for books and the annual Hay Festival of Literature and Arts.

Known as Hay by locals, this charming market town in Wales sits on the gently flowing River Wye in the beautiful Wye Valley and abuts the Wales-England border.

The pretty center is made up of skinny sloping lanes characterized by a shabby elegance that suits the quirky bookshops and antiques emporia that thrive here.

  • Where to Stay in Hay-On-Wye

Mid-Range: The Kilverts Inn – | Agoda

Budget: The Swan At Hay – | Agoda

The gorgeous Wye Valley

Wales Road Trip FAQs

When is the best time to take a road trip in Wales?

December to February

The winter months in Wales are generally cold and wet. It is likely to be cloudy in the mountains, leading to poor visibility, and there may well be snow. Although other visitors will be thin on the ground, this would be our least favorite time to roadtrip Wales!

March to May

Late spring is a good time for visiting Wales, as the cold and wet retreats. Wildflowers appear, baby animals abound and life picks up a lively pace again. But, remember that Wales is so green because it rains, so always be prepared for a downpour, or a few drizzly days.

June to August

The summer months bring sunshine to all of Wales, with Pembrokeshire getting the best of the warm Gulf Stream weather. This is the perfect time to road trip around Wales, especially for outdoor adventures such as hiking and coasteering.

September to November

Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Wales. The coasts will be quieter but still warm and the glorious colors of fall bring vibrancy to the countryside. Don’t leave your trip to Wales too late, it will be cold and wet again by mid-October.

What is the most beautiful road trip in Wales?

We think our itinerary is the most beautiful road trip in Wales! If you’re looking for some of the best road trips in Wales, explore the routes of the Wales Way.

The Cambrian Way crosses the spine of Wales for 185 miles between Cardiff and Llandudno, through stunning national parks and the wild and remote Cambrian Mountains. The Coastal Way travels the west coast around Cardigan Bay, a 180 mile road trip between the sea and mountains. The North Wales Way is a 75 mile road trip past mighty historic castles onto the beautiful island of Anglesey.

How many days do you need for Wales?

One of the best things about Wales is its compact nature and short distance between places, meaning that even if you only have a short amount of time, you can still get a flavor of Wales in seven days. But this won’t be enough to truly explore the different regions – we think ten days to two weeks will give you a much better experience of this eclectic country.

What is the famous driving route in Wales?

The most famous driving route in Wales is the Black Mountain Pass. Picked as a filming location for Top Gear in 2011, Jeremy Clarkson drove the road in a Mercedes AMG SLK.

Is it easy to drive around Wales?

Yes, it’s easy to drive around Wales. Roads are generally well maintained and other drivers are courteous and safe.

In some remote places, you may encounter livestock on the roads, but take it slowly and you’ll enjoy the experience.

Wales Essentials

Here are the websites and services we personally use and recommend for traveling in the United Kingdom.

  • Search for affordable flights to Wales and the UK with Skyscanner
  • Search for availability and book hotels and accommodation in Wales with
  • Find and book the best campsites in Wales with Eurocampings
  • Book the cheapest and most reliable hire cars in France with
  • Find and hire your perfect motorhome or campervan with Motorhome Republic
  • Get highly rated, reliable, and trustworthy travel insurance with True Traveller
  • Check if you need a visa and arrange your documents with Visagov

Information About Driving in Wales

Whether you’re road-tripping in a car, camper, or motorbike, make sure you’ve got all your documents handy and your spare tire is in good condition. If your Wales roadtrip itinerary is longer than a few weeks, you may want to consider a vehicle service before you go, and breakdown cover is probably a good idea.

  • Drivers from non-EU countries may require an International Driving Permit. The general rule is that if your license is not in English, then an IDP will be required. Check with your hire company or embassy if you’re in doubt.
  • You must have at least 3rd party insurance for your vehicle.
  • Your car must be considered roadworthy in the country in which it is registered.
  • Your headlights must be adapted for driving on the left if your vehicle is registered outside the UK.
  • Unlike France, the UK does not have laws that require you to carry certain equipment in your car, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Being prepared in the event of an accident or a breakdown is invaluable. Ideally, you should carry a reflective jacket, a warning triangle, a first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher.
  • If you’re hiring a car, book well in advance and use a car hire booker like who will provide the best deals from all the top car hire companies.
  • Understand insurance options, mileage limits, and fuel policies before booking.
  • Check the car for damage on collection and make sure anything you spot is noted, and the same again when you drop it off.
  • In 2023 the statutory speed limit on Welsh restricted roads, those with streetlights, was reduced from 30mph to 20mph unless road signs dictate otherwise.
  • Remember to drive on the left during your trip to Wales!

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