The best time to visit 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 a grand time for countryside walks too; forests are a riot of reds, yellows and oranges between September and November. 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.

Visiting Wales month by month guide

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.

Snowdonia, Wales Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Wales or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Wales travel advice

Best time to visit Wales

Sophie Hurst, from our leading Wales holiday supplier Preseli Venture, shares her top Wales travel tips with us: “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 in the mornings and afternoons.”
Claire Copeman is co-owner of our North Wales activity holiday company, Adventure Tours UK. Here's her advice on when to visit the area: "Our aim is to steer people away from coming to North Wales in July and August. We want to offer activity holidays at quieter times of the year when it's not so busy in the more popular areas, like Snowdonia. Families are tied to the school summer holidays but I'd say May and June or September are the best times to come on an activity trip if you get the chance. What we want to do is shine a light on the times outside of summer when it's quieter. From my point of view, nothing beats a big fry up after an early morning run in the hills, no matter what time of year you do it."

Coasteering advice

Sophie Hurst, from our coastal activity providers, Preseli Venture, shares her top coasteering tips: “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

Sophie Hurst expands our Pembrokeshire perspectives:
“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.”

Travel tips from our customers

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 five 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
“My most memorable moment was the amazing view from the picture window of this cottage – Mount Snowdon and Llyn Padarn and our very own Autumnwatch with birds feeding in the garden. Enjoy the walks from the doorstep and take plenty of logs for the fire. It was an amazing week to recharge batteries and get lots of restful sleep. Would highly recommend this cottage if you want to get away from it all.” – Zena Bergmann stayed in a self catering cottage in Snowdonia

“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] [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]