A Journey though South Wales: Where to Go Next?
We’re currently heading towards winter, so the chances are you’re not as busy travelling in your motorhome. That means you probably have the time and inclination to start gathering tips on where to travel, ready for spring and summer next year. We’re going to take a look at what we think are some of the best destinations for motorhomers visiting south Wales. Locations which provide things to do and things to see, or specific sites and attractions to take a look at. Hopefully this blog will contribute some great motorhome sites in Wales, giving you holidays packed to the rafters with fun.
(Some of) the best places to visit in the south of Wales
1. Brecon Beacons
Starting our list of great sites in the south of Wales, the Brecon Beacons is a beautiful mountainous region in an unspoiled national park. There are plenty of sites within the park which will pique your interest.
Southerndown Beach, Dunraven Bay
If you’re a science fiction fan you will definitely want to make your way to Southerndown Beach at Dunraven Bay. This location was famously used as Bad Wolf Bay, an integral feature in the TV series Doctor Who a few years ago. This is the very spot that David Tennant and Billie Piper enacted a really moving series of scenes, and fans still come here to this day.
The nearby village of Llantwit Major is picturesque and well worth a visit. It is perhaps most famous for being home to Atlantic College – where King Charles studied. This college, essentially the equivalent of a sixth form, is for students aged 16-19, and the annual intake is from over 150 countries, all enjoying an outdoor-orientated education and studying to achieve the International Baccalaureate.
Elsewhere around the Brecon Beacons, there’s plenty of stunning countryside to walk through – or climb. Pen-y-Fan stands 886 metres high (the highest mountain in southern Britain) and from the peak there are stunning views of the area in whichever direction you choose to look. Reaching the summit is possible on various routes, with the ‘Pen-Y-Fan horseshoe’ being the most popular. If scaling a peak is not quite your thing, but you fancy seeing something spectacular, then Waterfall Country is an area of more than a dozen waterfalls in the south west of the Brecon Beacons.
You may have wondered, with the information we gave in the previous section, why on Earth the BBC would film Doctor Who in the Brecon Beacons. It’s because the show is produced out of a studio in nearby Cardiff. Since 2004 it has mostly been filmed around the city and region, cleverly utilising hundreds of locations to double for London or alien planets in almost 200 episodes. An alleyway here and a museum there, a castle here and a shopping precinct there… The show has given the south of Wales a real ‘geek cool’ tourism boost and if you visit you shouldn’t be too surprised if you see a Dalek or two around the streets!
There’s plenty of other culture to keep you occupied in Cardiff, too. From the Millennium Stadium in the centre of the city playing host to sporting and musical events, to Cardiff Castle and the St Fagan’s National Museum Of History catering for those who like their historic subject matter, there’s so much to see and do. Down near Cardiff Bay (a buzzing area of the city, with bars, restaurants and a cool vibe) is the Millennium Centre. This incredibly impressive modern building comprises a large theatre and a couple of smaller halls as well as various shops, bars and restaurants. The national orchestra of Wales are based here, and there are eight other arts organisations in residence across the disciplines of opera, dance, theatre and literature. The Millennium Centre is simply a classy cultural hub in a terrific city.
3. Caerphilly (and Castle)
Just twenty minutes’ drive out of Cardiff is Caerphilly Castle. This historic fortification was constructed in the 13th Century and was the biggest castle in Wales in medieval times. Incidentally, you’ll never guess what they’ve filmed here in recent times? That’s right: Doctor Who. Nearby Caerphilly Mountain is relatively easy to climb (it’s more of a hill than a mountain), and you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll recognise that Caerphilly cheese must have some connection to Caerphilly itself. The distinctive tasting crumbly cheese was originally produced to feed coal miners in the area, but at the beginning of the 20th century the constant demands for milk meant production of Caerphilly cheese actually moved moving to England! The town of Caerphilly still hosts The Big Cheese – a three-day festival held each year to celebrate the cheese. There’s even a large sculpture of some Caerphilly in the town!
4. The Royal Mint
Based in Llantrisant since 1969, the Royal Mint is the largest and most technically advanced minting facility in the world. It produces more than 3.3 billion coins and blanks each year – from actual legal currency to special or commemorative issues and much more. The Royal Mint Museum is a numismatics museum housing a fascinating collection of coins, medals, artwork and minting equipment. The Royal Mint Experience tells the fascinating story of coin minting and is the only place in the world where you can watch actual UK coins being made. It’s a fascinating way to spend some of your holiday!
Motorhome holidays in the south of Wales will be all about taking in the ambience of this fantastic part of the United Kingdom. It’s very special indeed – and even better if you have the ability to travel from location to location in your very own home from home. At Continental we can help you find the right vehicle to make those trips, giving you tips for enjoyment along the way!