Best attractions in South Wales
Not only is South Wales known for its beautiful beaches, it also boasts some of the country's best activities. From hair-raising theme parks to fascinating museums and historic castles, there is an abundance of amazing attractions in South Wales.
Not sure where to begin? Take a look at this list of the best tourist attractions in South Wales for some inspiration of things to see and do. All of the items listed here are within driving distance of our excellent Haven holiday parks in Tenby and New Quay, so everything is possible as a day trip before going back to relax in your caravan.
Oakwood Theme Park, Narbeth
Address: Canaston Bridge, Narberth SA67 8DE
In the heart of Pembrokeshire, just a 20-minute drive from our excellent Tenby holiday parks, Oakwood is a theme park that caters to all members of your family. Toddler friendly rides go alongside the more fast-paced thrills to create a fun-filled package. Thanks to the family-friendly atmosphere at Oakwood, it ranks among our top attractions in South Wales.
There are over 35 rides and attractions in total spread out over 90 acres of grounds and blend in with the natural surroundings. As you’d expect from Wales’ biggest theme park, there are rides and attractions of all shapes and sizes. From adrenaline-fuelled rides – including the UK’s favourite wooden roller coaster, Megafobia – to the spooky haunted house and fairground rides, there’s something to thrill visitors of all ages. Even dogs will be looked after well, with kennels available on site for your four-legged friend to relax in comfort while you and your family play. Make sure you check online before you plan your visit, as opening times and prices can vary.
Carew Castle & Tidal Mill, Carew
Address: Castle Ln, Carew, Tenby SA70 8SL
It might call itself a castle, but Carew is only fortified from certain angles. View it from another perspective and you'll find it looks much more like a stately home. The site is packed with not only Norman, but Tudor history and is even rumoured to be haunted, making it one of the most intriguing places to visit in Pembrokeshire.
Surrounded by a 23-acre mill pond, the site also includes a beautifully restored Tidal Mill, an 11th-century Celtic cross and a Medieval bridge so there’s plenty for history buffs to get their teeth into. However, all these sites are linked by a mile-long circular walk with magnificent views over the mill pond and a picnic area. The walk is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, so there’s something for families and nature lovers to enjoy too.
Free parking and an excellent range of refreshments are available near Carew Castle and there are souvenir shops both at the castle and the mill, so you’ve all you need for a glorious day out.
Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, Meline
Address: Meline, Crymych SA41 3UR
Continuing the historical theme, Pembrokeshire is also home to Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, made up of prehistoric-style roundhouses rebuilt on the foundations of a hill fort, in 30 acres of national parkland. Immerse yourself in Iron Age culture as you explore the dwellings and meet the friendly Iron Age villagers. They will share their knowledge about prehistoric life through talks and demos of ancient skills and craft.
The walk around the village is self explanatory and highly engaging, giving you and your family plenty to chat about on your fact-filled adventure. There's a gift shop where you can find interesting souvenirs as well as a cafe, though you’re more than welcome to bring a picnic basket, which could be an excellent idea on a sunny day.
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Begelly
Address: Begelly, Kilgetty SA68 0XA
Folly Farm is a vibrant park with plenty on offer for the kids such as animal interactions, fair rides and adventure playgrounds. The range of animals is world-class, from the farmyard favourites to the exotic critters. Meet camels, lions, rhino, penguins, meerkats and more, face-to-face!
There's plenty to do besides the animal encounters with rides and experiences such as the Big Wheel, Big Dig, Go-Karts and Santa's Grotto all available at an extra charge. Many of these activities are indoors, which means it’s a great option for rainy days. Your ticket will also give you a 'free return visit offer', which allows you to visit again within seven days for free. Check the website to see whether that offer is available and how to claim it. Food options are extensive and include the Carousel Woods Burger Bar and the The Dairy Shed which sells locally made Upton Farm ice-cream.
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool
Address: Pontypool NP4 9XP
One of the most popular attractions in South Wales, this former colliery is full of interactive displays on mining life and offers guests the opportunity to go underground with ex-miners. Kids and grownups alike will gain fascinating insight into the industry that defined South Wales for hundreds of years.
The mine is in a beautiful area with well-preserved buildings and original equipment. But the main event is of course, the underground mine tour. This tour gives you first hand insight into the daily life of mine workers, told by the informative and entertaining guides, who all once worked in the mines themselves. Be sure to watch your head on the low ceilings and please bear in mind that the mine has uneven ground and dim lighting, so we don't recommend the tour to those with mobility needs or claustrophobia. However, the staff are friendly and will be on hand to help anyone who's feeling a little nervous. There's a gift shop too with a great mix of souvenirs, information, and goods from independent artists.