The Cambrian Way Road Trip

The Cambrian Way Drive in your Motorhome

If you are thinking about taking The Cambrian Way Road Trip in Wales, we can’t recommend it highly enough. Driving the Cambrian Way with a motorhome brings you freedom and adventure. It connects you with amazing Welsh beauty and heritage as well. This journey covers about 185 miles, from Cardiff in the south to Conwy and Llandudno in the north. Driving this route lets you see breathtaking landscapes at your pace. It also offers the flexibility to discover hidden gems and scenic spots often overlooked by regular travellers.

The Cambrian Way Road Trip takes you through the majestic mountains of the Brecon Beacons and the lush valleys of Snowdonia National Park. Each mile travelled shows incredible view after incredible view. From serene lakes and rugged coastlines to quaint villages and ancient ruins. The beauty of exploring the Cambrian Way in a motorhome is your ability to stop whenever you want to. 

Whether you’re drawn to hiking, castle-hopping, or simply soaking in panoramic views, the Cambrian Way offers ample opportunities to so many different things. The route is dotted with motorhome-friendly campsites which provide convenient stop overs or if you are wild camping, a change to empty waste and rubbish. 

The Cambrian Way Road Trip in a motorhome is more than just a journey. It really is an invitation to experience Wales in the most intimate and personal way. Our suggestions on this wonderful road trip promises a unique blend of adventure, culture and natural beauty.

Brecon Beacons in Spring - The Cambrian Way
Brecon Beacons in Spring - The Cambrian Way

The Cambrian Way Road Trip - Jump to...

Download our Handy Road Trip Planner

Use our handy ready made PDF planner to help you plan your trip. We created a 9 day planner to use to plan a 1 week trip. Simply print out more copies for each week of your travels. Capture everything you need from your start and end points to where you will stay. There is space to write all the things you want to see and more. Plenty of room for jotting down notes as you plan too. 

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The Best Time For A Cambrian Way Road Trip

Embarking on The Cambrian Way Road Trip in Wales is a journey through the heart of Welsh beauty. Each season offering its unique reason as to why you should visit. Deciding on the best time for your road trip depends on what you wish to experience along this scenic route. We have tried to break it down by season to help you choose:

Wales in Spring (March to May)

Spring is a delightful time for The Cambrian Way Road Trip as the landscape awakens. This season brings a burst of colour, with wildflowers  across the countryside. The mountainsides of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Park are a vibrant green. The weather is mostly milder, making it ideal for hiking and outdoor activities. With fewer tourists compared to summer, you’ll enjoy a quieter journey, with less traffic on the roads. However, prepare for unpredictable weather, including occasional showers.

Wales in Summer (June to August)

Summer is the peak season for travellers and with good reason. The weather is at its finest, offering long, warm days. Now is the perfect time for exploring the vast beaches along the coast. You can take part in the plethora of water sports available to you or conquer the summit of Snowdon. The downside is that popular spots can get crowded. Accommodation prices may be higher and if you are going on campsites we recommend you book in advance. If you’re seeking bustling towns, festivals and the best chance for sunny outdoor adventures, summer is your season. 

Wales in Autumn (Septemper to November)

Autumn transforms Wales into a palette of warm colours, offering a visually stunning backdrop for a road trip. The weather is cooler, and there are fewer tourists, making it a peaceful time to explore. It’s an excellent season for hiking and enjoying the outdoors, with crisp air and golden landscapes. Late September and October might offer the best balance of mild weather and reduced crowds. Photographers will have a ball as it is the perfect time to capture amazing photography and take the drone up to see the fantastic array of colours.

Wales in Winter (December to February)

For those who enjoy the beauty of winter landscapes, The Cambrian Way Road Trip during these months can be incredibly rewarding. Snow-capped mountains and frosty mornings create a picturesque setting, especially in Snowdonia. It’s a great time for cosy pub visits after brisk walks. Keep in mind, though, that some attractions and accommodations may have limited hours or be closed. Prepare yourself for the colder temperatures and shorter days. You will want cosy blankets in the motorhome – and possibly snow chains! 

The Cambrian Way Road Trip at a Glance

~ Cardiff ~ Merthyr Tydfil ~ Brecon Beacon National Park ~ Builth Wells ~ Pontarfynach (Devils Bridge) ~ Llanidloes ~ Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park ~ Ffestiniog ~ Betws-y-Coed ~  Llandudno ~ 

How to Use the Map

We have created a single map for The Wales Way. Simply use two fingers to move around the map. Select the top left hand menu to turn options on and off. 

Red – The North Wales Way

Blue – The Coastal Way

Green – The Cambrian Way

The Cambrian Way Road Trip Itinerary

Cardiff

Cardiff, Wales’ vibrant capital, marks a significant urban highlight along The Cambrian Way drive, blending historical depth with modern vibrancy. This dynamic city offers an array of experiences. From ancient fortresses and lush parks to cutting-edge arts venues and bustling shopping districts. As motorhomers embark on The Cambrian Way drive, Cardiff presents a perfect starting point or pit stop. Welcome to Wales – enjoy  landscapes and experiences that lie ahead on this fantastic road trip. Its going to be a cracker!

Key Attractions for Cardiff

Top attractions in Cardiff that resonate with the spirit of The Cambrian Way drive include Cardiff Castle, an emblem of history that offers insights into centuries of Welsh architecture and society. The Wales Millennium Centre, a beacon of cultural performances, reflects the modern artistic prowess found along The Cambrian Way.

 

Meanwhile, the hidden gem of Llandaff Cathedral with its stunning architecture, offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. These three attractions embodying the diverse experiences The Cambrian Way drive has to offer. Together, these sites in Cardiff provide an introduction to the wonders of Wales. It sets the stage for the scenic beauty and cultural richness that defines The Cambrian Way drive.

Cardiff Castle - The Cambrian Way Drive
Cardiff Castle - The Cambrian Way Drive

Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil is situated at a strategic point along The Cambrian Way. It serves as a gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Once at the heart of the industrial revolution,  its legacy is woven into the fabric of the town. It offers a unique narrative for travellers exploring Wales via The Cambrian Way. Today, Merthyr Tydfil has evolved into a vibrant community, where the past is celebrated. If you are interested in culture and outdoor adventure, it is a great stop on your Cambrian Way Road Trip.

Key Attractions for Merthyr Tydfill

Cyfarthfa Castle stands as a testament to Merthyr Tydfil’s industrial might. The castle has been repurposed as a museum and art gallery, offering insight into the town’s rich past. Its a fascinating stop on your trip along The Cambrian Way. The Brecon Mountain Railway takes you through the heart of the Brecon Beacons. From the train you can get a  glimpse into the landscapes which are going to be ahead of you. Its a quirky experience that complements the adventurous spirit of The Cambrian Way.

 

For a serene escape, the Pontsticill Reservoir offers picture perfect views. It is a hidden gem for Cambrian Way motorhomers seeking moments of peace on your Welsh explorations. These attractions highlight Merthyr Tydfil’s unique position as a cultural and natural beacon on The Cambrian Way.

Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog National Park)

The Brecon Beacons National Park really is a jewel in the heart of Wales. It serves as a pivotal highlight along The Cambrian Way road trip. A majestic landscape, with its vast, open skies, rolling hills, dense forests and cascading waterfalls. It offers an unparalleled experience for road trippers seeking adventure, tranquillity, and a deep connection with nature. There are so many activities that you can explore here. From  hiking, biking, kayaking and stargazing, it an essential stop on The Cambrian Way. Alongside its natural beauty, the Brecon Beacons are steeped in history and culture. You will find loads of ancient monuments and charming market towns. For those traversing The Cambrian Way, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a destination that promises memories to last a lifetime. It will be one of your highlights. 

Brecon Beacons Hike - The Cambrian Way Road Trip
Brecon Beacons Hike - The Cambrian Way Road Trip

Key Attractions for Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog National Park)

Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales. It presents a rewarding challenge for hikers and offers stunning views, making it a must-visit for those exploring the park on The Cambrian Way road trip. Waterfall Country is another highlight on your motorhoming road trip. It doesn’t fail to enchant with its series of spectacular waterfalls. They are a magical escape into nature’s incredible beauty

 

For a quieter, off-the-beaten-path experience, Llangorse Lake is the largest natural lake in South Wales. Perfect for both water sports and wildlife watching. The serene beauty and surrounding quaint villages add a peaceful respite for road trippers on The Cambrian Way. These attractions beautifully encapsulate the essence of the Brecon Beacons, making it a cornerstone of The Cambrian Way road trip experience.

Builth Wells

Nestled in the heart of Powys, Wales, is a charming market town, Builth Wells.  Builth Wells is a picturesque stop on any Wales road trip. Known for its scenic beauty, historic architecture and the warm hospitality, it offers a retreat amidst the rolling hills and landscapes of Mid Wales. The town’s strategic location on the banks of the River Wye makes it a perfect spot for anglers, walkers, and those looking to soak up the serene Welsh countryside. As part of a Wales road trip, Builth Wells provides a delightful blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and a glimpse into the rural life of Wales, making it an essential and enriching part of the journey.

Key Attractions for Builth Wells

The Royal Welsh Showground is one of the top attractions in Builth Wells. It is known for hosting the Royal Welsh Show, the largest agricultural show in Europe. This event brings together people from all over to celebrate Welsh farming culture and rural life, offering a unique experience for motorhomers. Builth Wells Golf Club offers another highlight if you are a golfer. A stunning 18-hole course that provides golfers of all abilities a challenging and scenic game amidst the beautiful Powys landscape. 

 

For a more tranquil experience, The Groe Park and Riverside Walk is a hidden gem offering peaceful walks along the River Wye. A perfect spot for nature lovers and those seeking a serene escape into nature during their Wales road trip.

Pontarfynach (Devil’s Bridge)

Pontarfynach, known in English as Devil’s Bridge, is a captivating village in Ceredigion, Wales, famed for its ancient bridge and breathtaking waterfalls. This picturesque location is a highlight for those embarking on The Cambrian Way road trip. It offers a journey into the heart of Welsh folklore and natural beauty. The village’s unique name derives from the legendary bridges stacked atop one another.  Depending on where you read myth covers a cow crossing the bridge or a dog. 

Surrounded by the dense woodlands and rugged terrain of the Cambrian Mountains, Pontarfynach is a treasure trove of scenic walks. You will also find historical intrigue  and panoramic views which make it an unforgettable stop on any road trip through Wales. Its mystical atmosphere and the allure of its natural landscapes embody the spirit of adventure that The Cambrian Way road trip offers. 

Devils Bridge on the Cambrian Way
Devils Bridge on the Cambrian Way

Key Attractions for Pontarfynach (Devil’s Bridge)

The Devil’s Bridge Falls is a must-visit attraction in Pontarfynach. Witness a stunning series of waterfalls that cascade through a deep wooded gorge. The falls can be explored via a network of trails, providing breathtaking views.

 

The Three Bridges is another top attraction, where visitors can marvel at the remarkable engineering feat of three bridges built atop each other over centuries. This is the Devil Bridge! The iconic landmark provides a glimpse into the architectural ingenuity of past generations and allows you to explore the rich folklore surrounding the area. Both attractions are essential experiences for those travelling The Cambrian Way road trip. We find it is these kind of smaller stops that make our road trips. 

Llandidloes

Llandidloes is a charming market town nestled in the heart of Mid Wales and a little gem to discover on your Cambrian Way drive. This town is both rich in history and surrounded by the stunning landscapes of the Cambrian Mountains. Llandidloes offers you picturesque streets, traditional shops and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. As the first town on the River Severn, it boasts an array of beautiful walking trails that lead through untouched natural beauty. Llandidloes serves as a perfect representation of rural Welsh life, where the past and present merge seamlessly. For motorhomers journeying along The Cambrian Way drive, Llandidloes provides a delightful stop to explore Welsh heritage. You can enjoy outdoor activities, and unwind in the serene beauty of Wales as well.

Key Attractions for Llandidloes

One of the top attractions in Llandidloes is The Minerva Arts Centre, renowned for its exhibitions of quilts and textiles, showcasing local craftsmanship and artistry. It’s a cultural hub that attracts art enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Llyn Clywedog, a short drive from the town centre, offers breathtaking views and recreational activities such as sailing, fishing, and walking around the scenic reservoir. It’s a haven for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat into nature. 

 

Lastly, The Sion Chapel, dating back to the 18th century, is a hidden gem with its beautiful interior and historical significance. It provides a glimpse into the religious and cultural history of the area. These attractions make Llandidloes an enriching stop on The Cambrian Way drive, offering a blend of art, nature, and history.

Snowdonia National Park (Eryri National Park)

Snowdonia National Park, a jewel in the crown of Wales, is an awe-inspiring landscape of rugged mountains, glacial landforms, and picturesque lakes, making it a highlight of The Cambrian Way Road Trip. Encompassing the highest peaks in England and Wales, including the formidable Mount Snowdon, the park offers a paradise for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers. Snowdonia’s rich history, evident in its ancient castles, traditional Welsh villages, and slate mines, adds a profound cultural dimension to its natural beauty. For those embarking on The Cambrian Way Road Trip, Snowdonia National Park presents an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the wild and untamed heart of Wales, offering adventures and experiences that resonate with the soul of the country.

Snowdonia National Park, The Cambrian Way Drive
Snowdonia National Park, The Cambrian Way Drive

Key Attractions for Snowdonia National Park (Eryri National Park)

Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, is a must-visit for anyone traveling through Snowdonia National Park on The Cambrian Way Road Trip. Offering several paths to the summit, it caters to all levels of hikers and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Harlech Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, perches dramatically on a cliff face, offering a glimpse into medieval history and stunning views of the coast and mountains. 

 

Finally, Betws-y-Coed, known as the gateway to Snowdonia, is a charming village surrounded by dense woodland and rushing rivers. It is a perfect base for exploring the park’s natural wonders. These attractions exemplify the diversity of experiences available in Snowdonia National Park, from the exhilaration of reaching the highest heights to the tranquillity of historical exploration, all integral to the adventure of The Cambrian Way Road Trip

Ffestiniog

Ffestiniog, nestled within the heart of Snowdonia National Park, is a town steeped in industrial heritage and surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty typical of North Wales. Renowned for its slate quarrying history, Ffestiniog offers a unique glimpse into the industrial past that shaped this region, making it a compelling stop on The Cambrian Way Road Trip. The town and its surrounding landscapes boast a fusion of artificially made and natural wonders, from ancient mines carved into mountainsides to panoramic vistas that stretch across the Welsh countryside. For travellers journeying along The Cambrian Way, Ffestiniog serves as a gateway to exploring the rich tapestry of Welsh culture, history, and nature, offering experiences that are both educational and awe-inspiring

Ffestiniog - The Cambrian Way Road Trip

Key Attractions for Ffestiniog

One of the top attractions in Ffestiniog is the Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, which offers scenic journeys through the stunning landscapes of Snowdonia National Park. This historic railway provides an unforgettable experience, combining the thrill of adventure with the beauty of the Welsh countryside. Another must-visit site is Llechwedd Slate Caverns, where visitors can delve deep into the mountain to explore the slate mining history of the area through underground tours and zip-lining adventures. 

 

Finally, the Antur Stiniog Mountain Bike Centre offers a different kind of thrill for visitors, with world-class downhill mountain biking trails that cater to various skill levels. Together, these attractions highlight Ffestiniog’s unique blend of industrial heritage and outdoor adventure, making it a standout destination on The Cambrian Way Road Trip.

Betws-y-Coed

Betws-y-Coed, a picturesque village nestled in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, is often regarded as the gateway to Snowdonia, making it a quintessential stop on The Cambrian Way. Surrounded by dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountains, Betws-y-Coed offers a peaceful retreat into nature, where the sound of rivers and the beauty of the Welsh landscape are omnipresent. Its charming streets are lined with stone cottages, traditional shops, and cosy cafes, creating a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. 

For those traversing The Cambrian Way, Betws-y-Coed provides not only a scenic respite but also a base from which to explore the natural wonders and outdoor adventures that Snowdonia is famed for. The village’s blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities encapsulates the spirit of The Cambrian Way, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in the essence of Wales.

Key Attractions for Betws-y-Coed

Top attractions in Betws-y-Coed include Swallow Falls, an iconic waterfall located just west of the village. This natural wonder is accessible via a short walk, offering visitors the chance to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Wales. The Fairy Glen, a secluded and enchanting gorge on the River Conwy, is another must-visit, providing a tranquil spot for reflection and nature walks. 

 

Lastly, The Snowdonia National Park Visitor Centre, located in Betws-y-Coed, offers valuable information, exhibits, and resources about the park and its myriad of hiking trails, making it an essential first stop for anyone looking to explore the area. Together, these attractions make Betws-y-Coed an unforgettable stop on The Cambrian Way, embodying the natural beauty and adventure that awaits in Snowdonia

Llandudno

Llandudno, often celebrated as the Queen of the Welsh Resorts, is not only a jewel on the North Wales coast but also the grand finale for travellers journeying along The Cambrian Way. This Victorian seaside town, with its elegant promenade lined by grand period hotels, stands against the majestic backdrop of the Great Orme, offering sweeping views across the Irish Sea and into the heart of Snowdonia. As the final stop on The Cambrian Way road trip, Llandudno encapsulates the essence of Welsh coastal charm, blending historic allure with a bounty of modern attractions. From its quaint shopping streets and gastronomic delights to the call of adventure on its surrounding natural landscapes, Llandudno serves as a splendid culmination of the journey. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the quintessential British seaside experience, enriched by the distinct warmth and character of Wales, making it a memorable endpoint to an epic exploration.

Key Attractions for Llandudno

Top attractions in Llandudno include The Great Orme, offering breathtaking views and ancient explorations via tramway or cable car. Llandudno Pier, a testament to Victorian engineering, invites leisurely strolls among its entertainment, shops, and cafes. 

 

Bodafon Farm Park provides a charming escape to the countryside, with its working farm experience, animal encounters, and idyllic gardens. Together, these attractions underscore Llandudno’s status as a must-visit destination, perfectly positioned as the final jewel in The Cambrian Way’s crown, where the beauty and adventure of Wales culminate in unforgettable experiences.

Llandudno Pier - Cambrian Way Road Trip
Llandudno Pier - Cambrian Way Road Trip

Tips for the Road

Plan Ahead: While spontaneity is a key part of any road trip, having a rough plan helps in making the most of your visit to each location.  Stay Flexible: Weather and road conditions along the coast can change; being flexible with your plans ensures you enjoy the best of what each day offers. Embrace Local Experiences: From local eateries to cultural sites, immersing yourself in the local way of life enriches your trip.

Wild Camping on The Cambrian Way Road Trip

Wild Camping in Wales is not legal, as across the most of the UK. It is possible to wild camp if you have the owners permission. It is however possible to wild camp but you should absolutely be mindful of where you are doing this.  Make sure you are in discreet locations, that you are fully self sufficient and you leave no trace, as per our usual recommendations. Our article on wild camping rules and the essentials of wild camping will at least ensure you are prepared.

Is The Cambrian Way Road Trip in Wales Worth It?

The Cambrian Way road trip is a fantastic journey through the heart of Wales, offering a mix of beautiful scenery, rich history, and welcoming culture. We start in Cardiff, the lively capital, and ending in the scenic seaside town of Llandudno. Our Cambrian Way road trip will take you through stunning national parks like Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. But you will also get to see charming towns and villages on the way.

Why take this trip? It’s a chance to see Wales at its best, from climbing high mountains to exploring ancient castles, and enjoying peaceful countryside walks. You’ll also get to taste delicious Welsh food, meet friendly locals, and try out fun outdoor activities. This makes it perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

In short, The Cambrian Way is more than just a road trip, it’s an experience that shows you the real Wales. It will leave you with great memories and a true sense of this beautiful country.

The Cambrian Way Festivals

The Cambrian Way, traversing the heart of Wales from Cardiff to Llandudno, passes through regions rich in culture and tradition, where numerous festivals celebrate Welsh heritage, music, literature, and more. Here are three notable festivals along or near The Cambrian Way route:

Hay Festival (Hay-on-Wye): Located just off The Cambrian Way near the Brecon Beacons, the Hay Festival is an international celebration of literature and arts. Taking place in late May to early June, this festival attracts writers, poets, musicians, and thinkers from around the world, offering a vibrant program of discussions, workshops, and performances in the picturesque town of Hay-on-Wye, famous for its many bookshops and literary heritage.

National Eisteddfod of Wales: This traveling festival, which moves between North and South Wales each year, could coincide with The Cambrian Way when it’s held in the north. The National Eisteddfod, usually held in the first week of August, is the largest festival of Welsh culture and language, showcasing music, literature, dance, theatre, and visual arts in a week-long celebration that includes competitions, performances, and exhibitions.

Green Man Festival (Brecon Beacons): Set in the stunning landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Green Man Festival is a major event for music, literature, film, and comedy. Taking place in August, this festival offers a fantastic line up of artists across multiple stages, alongside science, art, and children’s activities, making it a great family-friendly option that celebrates the arts and the great outdoors.

These festivals highlight the diverse cultural landscape of Wales and provide travellers on The Cambrian Way with unique opportunities to experience Welsh culture, music, literature, and the arts against the backdrop of some of the country’s most beautiful scenery.

Our Favourite Travel Booking Companies.

These are our useful links for our ‘Go To’ travel booking apps.  These are the sites that we use all the time when backpacking or need to spend a few days out of the motorhome (visiting the children or repair work on the motorhome).  The Trainline we use for all our train ticket needs in the UK. Booking.com  we use for all our hotel, hostel and accommodation needs worldwide (this was a life saver in India!) and finally, Viator for our excursion adventures like walking tours or more specialist activities. 

Detailed Road Trip Itineraries for Wales

If you want to explore more about these road trips in Wales, we have broken them down into individual articles. If you want to get all three road trips, including places to stay, wild camping spots and more, simply purchase our full PDF e-guide which you can view on your phone, iPad or desktop or print out and take with you. 

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you found it useful, please do share with others using the share buttons below. If you think we have missed something – please do let us know. We read all our emails! 

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