The beautiful hills and rich valleys of South Wales are home to many lovely country parks, most of which provide free entry.
Enjoy the countryside at its best, with forest walks and a picturesque riverside setting. A series of way-marked walks and bridle paths (some on flat ground and others fairly steep in nature) start from the Countryside Centre near the car park.
Also located in the visitors centre is the fascinating Welsh Miner's Museum.
Opening times: throughout the
year, daily from 9.30am
Free Entry (Parking Charges)
Location: located in the Man Valley, 4 miles inland from Port Talbot - Tel: 0639 850564 - Website
Facilities: refreshments, picnic sites, cycle hire.
There is little that compares with this attractive old Victorian country garden, situated in the secluded upper Swansea Valley. With sweeping lawns, beautiful trees, lakes, rivers and rich meadows. Mostly level and gently sloping pathways. Dogs must be keep it on a lead.
Opening times: daily, any reasonable
time - Free Entry (Parking Charges)
Location: Pen-y-Cae, Swansea, SA9 1GL - Tel: 01639 730395 - Website
Facilities: car park, craft shops, tea rooms, restaurant and visitor centre.
A seven-mile scenic drive with spectacular views that winds its way through the forested slopes of the Severn Estuary. Run by the Forestry Commission. There are play-areas, picnic areas, barbecue sites, mountain bike trails and forest walks.
Opening times: Easter to Sept,
daily from 11am; Nov-Feb wknds only - Free Entry (Parking Charges)
Location: Nantcarn Rd, Cwmcarn, Gwent, NP11 7FA - Tel: 01495 272001 - Website
Facilities: car park, picnic sites, campsite and visitor centre.
A vast expanse of woodland and open fields near Aberdare, in the beautiful Cynon Valley. Lovely forested, lakeside and riverside walks.
Opening times: 9am to 6pm daily
- Free Entry (Parking Charges)
Location: Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff CF44 7RG - Tel: 01685 874672 - Website
Facilities: car park, play area, picnic area, accommodation, camping, bike hire & visitor centre.
The Gower was the first area of Britain to be designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). The peninsula is just 20 miles by 5, jutting out into Carmarthen Bay, west of Swansea. This delightful area offers plenty of scenic variety, ranging from steep limestone cliffs and sand dunes to long sandy beaches and grassy moorlands. On the south coast there are a number of very attractive little bays, such as Bracelet, Limeslade, Langland and Caswell. At Rhosili you will find a magnificent five mile stretch of sand, with spectacular walks along the promontory and causeway (tide permitting) to Worm's Head (shown above). Along the north the coastline is markedly different, an empty area of coastal plain and salt marshlands. Inland there are pleasant farmlands, attractive country roads and many places of historic interest such as Pare le Breos prehistoric burial chamber and castles at The Mumbles, Pennard, Oxwich and Llanrhidian.
Over 300 acres of idyllic parkland, supporting a wide range of outdoor activities, from golf and fishing, to walking and cycling. On-site camping and caravan site.
Opening times: daily from 8.30am
(seasonal closing times) - Free Entry (Parking Charges)
Location: Merthyr Road, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, NP22 3AY - Tel: 01495 711816 - Website
The Park, seldom more than five miles in width, stretches along the coast from the mouth of the River Teifi to Cardigan Bay. The environment is rich in natural beauty, plant and animal life. Its coastal cliffs and offshore islands are home to gannets, fulmars, puffins, cormorants and razorbills (the symbol of Pembrokeshire Park). The Wales Coast Path runs along the edge of the park and enables visitors to walk along the entire coastline, providing many spectacular vistas. The sea is rarely out of sight as the path passes over towering headlands, along cliff tops, beside beaches and around coves, inlets and estuaries.
One of the South Wales most picturesque Valleys. The Vale is packed with heritage sites and natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. Visit the Aberdulais Ironworks or explore the lovely Melyn Court Falls and waterfalls in the Pont-Nedd-Fechan area. Visitors can also enjoy a pony trek through the Resolven Forest or visit Penscynor Wildlife Park. The vale is particularly renowned for its collection of stunning waterfalls.
Location: easily reached from the A465 Heads of the Valleys road.
Wetland nature reserve for waterfowl and wading birds and other diverse wildlife, including ducks, swans, geese and flamingos. Discovery centre, outdoor activities and cycle trails.
Opening times: all year, daily from 9.30am (closed Xmas) - Admission Charge
Location: Llwynhendy, SA14 9SH - Tel: 01554 741087 - Website
The River Wye is one of Britain's most delightful rivers, rising in the Welsh mountains, maturing on the borderlands and winding elegantly through a steep sided valley between Ross-on-Wye and Chepstow. The 8th century earthen Offa's Dyke, runs along the northern side of the valley and is one of the many superb walks located in and around the area. The village of Tintern, situated between Chepstow and Monmouth, is an excellent starting point for any exploration. Here you will also find the ruins of the famous Tintern Abbey, one of Wales's most impressive historic sites. A mile or two further south, the Wye snakes around the Lancaut Peninsula, at the foot of the Windcliffe (an 800 ft hill, with commanding views across the Severn estuary).
This view of the valley (shown left) is taken from Symonds Yat Rock, a popular tourist destination.
Bridgend , Abertillery , Caerphilly , Cardiff , Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Port Talbot, Ferndale, Pontypridd , Swansea , Pontypool , Abergavenny, Chepstow, Monmouth, Newport, Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Penarth, Ammanford, Carmarthen, Kidwelly, Llandovery, Llanelli, St. Clears, Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Milford Haven, Pembroke, St. David's, Tenby
Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.