The best time to go to Wales

Pods of dolphins up to 500-strong are often seen off the Welsh coast during summer.
Wales is fab every month of the year, but summer is the best time to indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities. Spring is best for wildlife, especially along the coast and islands, where nesting birds can be seen on clifftops. Surfers enjoy autumn; the sea is warm, and decent swells can be expected. It’s is a grand time for countryside walks too; forests are a riot of reds, yellows and oranges between Sep-Nov. You can still get active in winter, you just need to wrap up well and be prepared for some areas, such as Snowdonia, to be snowy.

Bangor Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
2
7
139
FEB
2
7
93
MAR
3
9
109
APR
4
11
79
MAY
7
14
79
JUN
9
17
82
JUL
11
18
83
AUG
11
18
109
SEP
10
16
121
OCT
8
14
148
NOV
5
10
161
DEC
3
8
157

A month by month guide to Wales

December, January and February tend to be the coldest of the year in Wales, with average temperatures of around 0°C inland, and snow likely especially in higher parts of the country. Winter walks are very popular though, and hardy swimmers will venture into the sea, too. Welsh scenery, always verdant, is at its most glorious in March, April and May. Bluebells and other wildflowers are in bloom, and these are great months for bird watching, with auks, razorbills and guillemots arriving to nest over summer. The Welsh summer runs through June, July and August, with parts of the country reaching up to 21°C. July is usually the warmest month of the year, and this is when dolphins can commonly be seen frolicking off the coast. On a typical dolphin watching tour you might encounter seals, humpback whales and even the occasional orca! Autumn in Wales spans September, October and November. Rain can be expected, but there are still plenty of sunny days, so this is still an ideal season for a holiday. The scenery is magnificent, and temperatures rarely fall too far, so a warm coat and jumper are usually sufficient.

Our top Wales Holiday

Family adventure holiday in Wales

Family adventure holiday in Wales

Discovery, fun and exploration in Pembrokeshire

From £475 to £665 6 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 21 Oct
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Wales or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Our top Wales activities

Things to do in Wales…

Discover remote coves and hidden beaches, dramatic rock stacks and natural arches, on sea kayaking expeditions off the wild Pembrokeshire coast, led by professional kayaking guides. Groups are matched by ability, and even if it’s your first time you might be surprised by how daring you get after a few days. Another excellent place to plant your paddle is Cardigan Bay, where you might be followed by curious seals, porpoises and dolphins. At 1,085m, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, and also the busiest. In summer, ascents and descents can be frustratingly slow because there are thousands of people clogging the trails. Such overcrowding is tough on the environment too, so we recommend instead that you try some of the lower peaks, which are usually much less busy but still offer very satisfying walks. Coasteering was pioneered in Wales, and this is one of the best places in the world to do it. Essentially, you’re equipped with a wetsuit, life jacket and helmet, and then led out by a guide to leap, scramble and swim around an adventurous coastal route. You might be jumping off cliffs, riding waves, plunging into pools or slipping into dark sea caves. Many coasteering trips in Pembrokeshire are suitable for older kids too, making for a very exciting family activity.

Things not to do in Wales…

Tackle Snowdon unprepared. Wales’ highest mountain is no Mount Everest (although it does take its name from a Welshman), but it can still catch out the unwary. The old adage of ‘four seasons in one day’ is never truer than on Snowdon, so make sure you layer clothing, wear suitable walking footwear, and bring snacks and water. There are several routes available, all of which take around three to five hours up and two to three hours down, and be warned: it can get very crowded during the summer. An early morning ascent is recommended. Assume it’s purely a summer destination. The Wales scenery is magnificent during spring and autumn, and on the coast you can still expect plenty of sun. There is also great potential for wildlife-watching outside summer, from grey seals that will swim right up to your kayak, to seabirds nesting precariously on cliff faces. Winter does tend to see a lot more rain, but the rough seas are like nectar to many surfers and kayakers. Leave the kids at home. Wales is fantastic for families at any time of year. Kids can learn stories of knights, dragons and jousting as they explore ancient castles; embark on their first surfing lessons in a secluded bay; or have fun rock pooling for crabs and shrimp on the beach. A holiday in Wales is a brilliant way to get them engaged in active outdoor pursuits, and in wonderfully fresh air.

Wales travel advice

Sophie Hurst, from our leading Wales holiday supplier Preseli Venture, shares her top Wales travel tips with us:

When to go to Wales

“The spring wildflowers are incredible. In May and June we see lots of seabirds nesting on the cliffs, and from June until around October we get a lot of seals. But a lot of people like to come in winter too. The weather is fresh, and you’re not facing lots of snow and ice, so walking is fun year round. The sea is at its warmest in October and early November, so you can still do all the water based activities, it’s just a bit darker.”

Coasteering advice

“Coasteering is all about the location so it’s no surprise it was pioneered on our rocky coast. The main thing to remember is that anyone can do it – you just need a wetsuit. Routes can be tailored to any fitness level. You explore sea caves, jump into pools of water, and get more daring as you progress. Even though you don’t travel far, it feels like being on another planet. Experienced sea kayakers love it here as well, especially the ‘Bitches’, which is a tidal race between Ramsey Island and the St. David’s Peninsula where you get white water forming.”

Tips on the Pembrokeshire Coast

“The Pembrokeshire coast is great for families because everything is so easy. It’s perfect for a wide range of activities, and if it’s too windy, you can just scoot quickly around the peninsula to a more sheltered cove or beach. You’ve got Fishguard and other harbours that are lovely to explore too, Pembroke Castle and the Pentre Ifan burial chamber. We also get lots of singles and couples coming out as well as groups. These kinds of activities push you happily out of your comfort zone. They’re really sociable and bonding happens naturally; it’s amazing how relaxed and settled people get after the first few hours.”

Wales travel tips from our holiday reviews

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Wales travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
My 14 year old son and I went coasteering, surfing, sea kayaking and horse riding in Pembrokeshire National Park.
– Willie McCafferty
“The Pembrokeshire coast is awesome and there can't be a better way of exploring it than in a kayak with a small like minded group... I went alone, but within 5 minutes of arriving I met up with our group for the weekend, most of whom came alone, we got chatting and ended the weekend like old friends... As a complete beginner it was great to have a professional instructor that kept you safe but at the same time encouraged everyone to have a go at increasingly challenging stuff throughout the weekend. No one felt pressured and we were all amazed to find ourselves taking on waves through rocky channels.” – Andrea Miller

“My 14 year old son and I went coasteering, surfing, sea kayaking and horse riding in Pembrokeshire National Park. Because these events were supervised by qualified and friendly staff I was able to relax and enjoy taking part without worrying about my son. There were other kids around the same age and it was great to see them playing games together rather than watching TV and playing on computers.” – Willie McCafferty
I would suggest a trip to Anglesey, South Stack particularly if you are interested in nature
– Linda Precious
“There are a lot of things to do in Llanberis but I would suggest a trip to Anglesey, South Stack particularly if you are interested in nature, and Beaumaris for a boat trip… One good thing about the rain is that it makes the waterfalls that much more splendid.” – Linda Precious

“I arrived in Pembrokeshire on Friday frazzled from work and left Sunday happily refreshed and energetic, wishing I could go back to Friday and do it all over again. A great escape from London.” – Andrea Miller

“The holiday was brilliant for us, my two boys age 15 and 17 enjoyed the climbing and the outdoor activities and found the Snowdonia scenery nearly as breathtaking as they did on their recent trip with scouts to Switzerland.” – Vikki Skipper
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Hefin Owen] [Intro Box: Phil Dolby] [Top Wales Activities: Andrew] [When to go to Wales: Scott Wylie] [Coasteering advice: Andrew] [Tips on the Pembrokeshire Coast: Helge Klaus Rieder] [Reviews Intro: Robert J Heath] [Quote 1: David Merrett] [Quote 2: Reading Tom]
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