West Wales Coast Road Trip

A Motorhome Adventure Along the Coastal Way in Wales

Embarking on a Wales coast road trip is an experience that captures the imagination of any adventurer. There’s something about the combination of rugged coastlines, quaint villages, and the freedom of the open road that makes road trips in Wales unforgettable. 

The Coastal Way stretches over 180 miles of Wales’s west coast, offering a mesmerizing journey from the Llŷn Peninsula down to the world-renowned Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This route is a celebration of Wales’s maritime heritage, with its string of sandy beaches, cliff-top walks, and picturesque harbours. It’s a path that encourages slow travel – taking the time to soak in the panoramic views, enjoy the local seafood, and perhaps even join a boat trip in search of dolphins. Each stop along The Coastal Way is an opportunity to connect with the sea, whether it’s through surfing in Pembrokeshire or exploring the ancient harbours of the Llŷn Peninsula.

In this motorhome striking driving journey, we’ll explore some of the most breathtaking spots along the Wales coastal road trip, with a special extension to the stunning Pembrokeshire coast as it is a shame to get so close to a National Park but not visit it. 

Bullslaughter Bay in Pembrokeshire - Wales Coastal Road Trip
Bullslaughter Bay in Pembrokeshire on the Wales Coastal Road Trip

Wales Coastal Road Trip - Jump to...

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The Best Time For Your Wales Road Trip?

Planning the perfect Wales road trip means considering when to hit the road for the best experience. Here’s how each season can shape your road trip in Wales, helping you decide the ideal time to explore this stunning part of the world.

Wales in Spring (March to May)

Spring breathes new life into the Welsh countryside, making it a fantastic time for a Wales road trip. The weather starts to warm up, and the landscapes are alive with blooming flowers and greenery. It’s a great season for visiting the national parks like Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as the crowds are thinner and the natural beauty is at its peak. Expect a mix of rain and sunshine, so pack accordingly.

Wales in Summer (June to August)

Summer is peak season for a road trip in Wales, thanks to the warmer weather and longer days. This is the best time to explore the Welsh coastlines, like those on the Pembrokeshire Coast or the Gower Peninsula, where you can enjoy beautiful beaches and coastal walks. Tourist spots and campsites are busier, so booking ahead is wise. The summer also brings a variety of festivals and events, adding extra culture and fun to your road trip.

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, ideal for those looking to capture stunning photography or enjoy the serenity of Wales’s natural beauty.

Wales in Winter (December to February)

A winter road trip in Wales comes with its own magic, especially if you enjoy the coziness of quieter towns and the possibility of snowy landscapes in the higher regions like Snowdonia. It’s cold, and days are short, but there’s a unique charm to the Welsh countryside dusted in snow. Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed, so it’s a time best suited for those looking for a more introspective journey and aren’t deterred by the cold. The winter season also offers the chance for festive markets and events around Christmas and New Year.

Trefor - Coastal Road Trip Wales
Trefor, Llyn Peninsular - Coastal Road Trip Wales

Your Coastal Way Road Trip at a Glance

~ Llyn Peninsula ~ Aberdaron ~ Abersoch ~ Fairbourne ~ Aberystwyth ~ New Quay ~ St Davids ~ Pembrokeshire ~ 

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 Wales Coast Road Trip Itinerary

Llyn Peninsula

The official start of the Coastal Way, the Llyn Peninsula, is a beacon for travellers seeking both beauty and solitude. Its unique landscape, where the mountains meet the sea, sets the tone for what’s to come. This area is not just a scenic wonder; it’s a place steeped in history and legend, making it the perfect kickoff point for our adventure.

Key Attractions for Llyn Peninsula

  • Hike to Yr Eifl: For those who love to lace up their hiking boots, a trek up Yr Eifl, the highest peak on the Llyn Peninsula, is a must. The walk rewards you with panoramic views of the peninsula and beyond, encompassing the Irish Sea and Snowdonia. It’s an excellent way to experience the area’s natural beauty firsthand.
  • Visit Porthdinllaen Beach: This hidden gem, accessible only by foot, offers a tranquil escape with its golden sands and clear waters. It’s also home to the Ty Coch Inn, nestled right on the beach, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink with stunning seaside views.
Trefor - Coastal Road Trip Wales
Trefor, Llyn Peninsular - Coastal Road Trip Wales

Aberdaron - A Gateway to the Past

Next, we head to Aberdaron, a small village that feels like stepping back in time. It’s the essence of a Wales coastal road trip, where the pace of life slows, and the beauty of the Welsh coastline takes centre stage. The village’s charm and the surrounding beaches offer a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Key Attractions for Aberdaron

  • Explore Bardsey Island: Take a boat trip from Aberdaron to the mystical Bardsey Island, known for its rich history and wildlife. Once a pilgrimage site, it’s now a haven for birds and marine life, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.
  • Walk the Aberdaron Coastal Path: Embark on a scenic walk along the coastal path leading from Aberdaron beach. The route offers breathtaking views of the cliffs and the sea, leading you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Welsh coastline.

Abersoch - The Beach Lovers Dream

Abersoch is renowned for its vibrant beach culture, making it a must-visit for anyone on a Wales coast road trip. Its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters invite relaxation, while the lively village provides plenty of opportunities for dining and shopping.

Key Attractions for Abersoch

  • Abersoch Main Beach: Spend a day at Abersoch Main Beach, known for its soft sand and excellent sailing conditions. It’s a family-friendly beach that also offers a variety of water sports for the adventurous.
  • Golf at Abersoch Golf Club: Enjoy a round of golf with a view at Abersoch Golf Club. The course boasts stunning sea views, providing a unique golfing experience that combines sport with scenic beauty.
Abersoch Harbour - Coastal Wales Road Trip
Abersoch Harbour - Coastal Wales Road Trip

Fairbourne - A Hidden Gem

Driving onwards, Fairbourne surprises visitors with its stunning beach and panoramic views of the Welsh coast. It’s a lesser-known stop that deserves a place on any Wales coastal road trip itinerary. The village’s railway, leading to stunning views, adds a unique charm to the visit.

Key Attractions for Fairbourne

  • Ride the Fairbourne Railway: Take a charming narrow-gauge train ride from Fairbourne village to the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary. It’s a delightful way to see the area’s stunning landscapes while enjoying a bit of history.
  • Kayaking on the Mawddach Estuary: For a different perspective of the stunning scenery, rent a kayak and paddle your way around the serene waters of the Mawddach Estuary. It’s a peaceful way to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Aberystwyth - Where Culture and Coastline Meet

Aberystwyth stands as a cultural hub along the coastal route. The town’s Victorian promenade, historic pier, and the ruins of Aberystwyth Castle offer a blend of history, academia, and seaside leisure. It’s a spot where one can easily spend a day or two soaking in the atmosphere.

Devils Bridge on the Cambrian Way

Key Attractions for Aberystwyth

  • Aberystwyth Cliff Railway: Experience one of the longest electric cliff railways in Britain by taking a ride up to Constitution Hill. At the top, you’ll find unmatched views of the town and Cardigan Bay, plus the unique Camera Obscura.
  • Explore the Rheidol Valley: Take a scenic drive or cycle through the Rheidol Valley, stretching from Aberystwyth into the heart of Wales. The valley is home to the enchanting Devil’s Bridge and the Rheidol Railway, offering numerous trails and waterfalls along the way.

New Quay - A Dolphin Watchers Paradise

Continuing our journey, New Quay delights with its picturesque harbour and opportunities to spot dolphins from the shore. It embodies the spirit of a Wales coastal road trip, offering both natural beauty and a glimpse into the maritime life that defines much of Wales.

Key Attractions for New Quay

  • Dolphin Watching Boat Trip: New Quay is famous for its bottlenose dolphins. Join a boat trip from the harbour for a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close, a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Walk the Ceredigion Coastal Path: Stretch your legs on a segment of the Ceredigion Coastal Path running through New Quay. With its dramatic cliffs and chance to spot dolphins from above, it’s a walk that combines exercise with exceptional natural beauty.

St Davids - The Spiritual Heartland

Arriving in St Davids, the official end of the Coastal Way, feels like reaching a pilgrimage site. As the UK’s smallest city, its cathedral and Bishop’s Palace are awe-inspiring against the backdrop of the Pembrokeshire coast. St Davids is a place of tranquillity and spiritual beauty, marking a fitting end to the official route.

Key Attractions for St Davids

  • Visit St Davids Cathedral: No visit to St Davids would be complete without exploring its magnificent cathedral. This historic pilgrimage site sits in a hollow to avoid Viking raids and is a masterpiece of ecclesiastical architecture.
  • Coasteering in Pembrokeshire: For the thrill-seekers, St Davids is the perfect place to try coasteering – a blend of rock climbing, cliff jumping, and swimming along the Pembrokeshire coast. It’s an exhilarating way to engage with the wild coastal landscape.
St Davids Cathedral - The Wales Coast Road Trip
St Davids Cathedral - The Wales Coast Road Trip

The Beautiful Extension - Pembrokeshire National Park

No Wales coast road trip would feel complete without venturing into Pembrokeshire. Known for its National Park, Pembrokeshire boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Britain. From the dramatic cliffs to the soft, sandy beaches, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and a beautiful finale to our journey.

Key Attractions for Pembroke National Park

  • Explore Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: Take advantage of the numerous trails that crisscross this stunning national park, including the famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Whether you’re after a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the park’s landscapes will leave you in awe.
  • Visit Skomer Island: A short boat trip from the mainland, Skomer Island is a wildlife paradise, especially renowned for its puffins. The best time to visit is between April and July when the puffins are nesting, but the island’s beauty and other wildlife make it a worthy visit any time.

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.

Ogmore By Sea - Wales Coast Road Trip
Ogmore By Sea - Wales Coast Road Trip

Wild Camping on your Wales Coast 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 a Coastal Road Trip in Wales Worth It?

Road trips in Wales, especially along the Coastal Way, offer a blend of natural beauty, history, and culture that’s hard to find elsewhere. Travelling in a motorhome adds an extra layer of freedom and comfort, making it the ideal way to explore the Welsh coastline. Whether you’re drawn to the serene beaches, the charming villages, or the majestic landscapes, a Wales coastal road trip promises memories that last a lifetime. So why wait? The open road and the stunning Welsh coast are calling.

Coastal Road Trip Food Festivals

Exploring the west Welsh coastline not only treats you to breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural experiences especially through its vibrant food festivals. These festivals celebrate local produce, seafood, and culinary traditions, providing a unique taste of the region’s gastronomic heritage. Here are some noteworthy food festivals along the west Welsh coastline that are sure to be a highlight for any food lover on a road trip in Wales:

Aberystwyth Street Food Festival: Held in the scenic seaside town of Aberystwyth, this is a weekend festival that has food for everyone. With a delicious, diverse range of street food, and the entire weekend is set to be a foodie’s heaven.

Narberth Food Festival: Although slightly inland, Narberth Food Festival deserves a mention for its proximity to the west coast and its reputation as one of the best food festivals in Wales. It offers a weekend full of delicious food, live music, and cooking demonstrations from top chefs. The festival celebrates the best of Welsh produce, with a strong emphasis on quality and sustainability.

Aberaeron Beer & Cider Festival:  A great mix of real ales, ciders and perries to enjoy sampling whilst listening to live music, tucking into some tasty food then dancing until late whilst  DJ’s play classic music – and its free! 

There are loads of Facebook pages which detail seafood festivals that take place throughout the year.  Be sure to have a quick check before you go.  Easting fish at a fish food festival at these coastal towns is just a great experience to have as part of your Wales Coast Road Trip

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, but 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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