Top Places to Visit in Wales in a Campervan
Wales is a country rich with culture, history, and natural landscapes. Spanning 20,800 km across the eastern edge of Great Britain, Wales is the ideal size to explore with a campervan. 3 National Parks and 5 AONBs make up 20% of the country’s land mass which is good news for outdoor lovers who want to explore the nature areas of Wales in a campervan.
With a small population of just over 3 million people, most of Wales’ urban areas are concentrated in Cardiff and Swansea. This is ideal for overlanders who don’t want the hassle and traffic of big cities. Instead, you can drive along pleasant country roads and through sleepy villages while discovering the captivating country of Wales in a campervan.
1 . Gower Peninsula AONB
The Gower Peninsula was the UK’s first designated nature reserve. Tucked alongside the Bristol Channel, the Gower Peninsula is a great place for travellers to explore Wales in a campervan. It has wonderful scenery that is easily accessible by road. The M4 crosses the Prince of Wales Bridge from England and skirts past the 3 biggest cities in the country: Newport, Cardiff, and Swansea.
Following a short diversion along the Swansea Bay seafront, it’s easy to reach the port towns and coastal beaches of the Gower Peninsula in no time. If you have a surfboard in your van, head to Rhossili Bay Beach to catch some waves from your beach-side camp spot.
If you enjoy coasteering, head to the Worm’s Head, a serpentine rock feature that juts out from the edge of Rhossili Bay. Make sure you explore the area at low tide, so you don’t get trapped! For hikers, climb the Rhossili Downs for sprawling views of the surrounding landscape or follow the Wales Coast Path around the entire Gower coastline.
2 . Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons is another great nature spot to explore in Wales in a campervan. Perched on the border with England, the Brecon Beacons is a surprisingly remote area characterised by dark, prominent peaks and rugged moorland. This National Park is an excellent spot for hikers, wild swimmers, and any van lifers who want some alone time in nature.
The centre of the park is the busiest area due to the location of the popular summit, Pen y Fan. There are also many reservoirs and villages in the surrounding area that have good pubs and scenic hillside walks. To the east, you will find fewer people around Black Mountain and Monmouthshire.
If you need to stock up on groceries, fuel, or any other van essentials, head to the market town of Abergavenny which should sell everything you need. To the west, you can find true wilderness in the Black Mountains (not to be confused with the singular Black Mountain in the east). Hiking from Llyn y Fan Fach to Llyn y fan Fawr followed by a cold swim in the lake is highly recommended.
3 . Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
The Pembrokeshire Coast might just be one of the most beautiful National Parks in the UK. It certainly has some of the most dramatic stretches of coastline and plenty of remote beaches. Understandably, there are some hotspot areas which are best avoided if you’re visiting Wales in a campervan.
The towns of Saundersfoot and Tenby, although pretty, can get very busy during the summer months. The monstrous industrial zone between Pembroke and Milford Haven also leaves a lot to be desired for any van travellers.
Barafundle Bay and Freshwater West are both beautiful beaches. The stretch of coastline between the two of them is a great place to go rock climbing. Marloes Sands, Newgale, and Whitesands are great surfing spots.
The Blue Lagoon is fantastic for coasteering and the cliffs around Strumble Head are sensational for hillwalking. There are countless campsites and wild camping spots around the whole coastline which makes this the perfect place to visit in Wales in a campervan.
4 . Snowdonia National Park
This is the big one – Snowdonia National Park. Many people know this park due to the peak of Snowdon, Wales’ highest summit. The park is also famed for its UNESCO World Heritage slate mines, mythical tales of dragon lairs, Arthurian legends, and its strong association with rock climbing and mountaineering.
Fitting into this fascinating mass of tourist sites are the overlanders. The valleys of Snowdonia are well-paved and road access between the peaks and popular hiking areas is excellent. Van travellers can base themselves in the hiker’s hotspot of Llanberis or the riviera-style town of Portmeirion. Bangor is a good area to stock up on supplies and acts as a springboard to explore the rest of the park.
5 . Anglesey Island
Anglesey is something of an oddity for anyone visiting Wales in a campervan. Tucked into the northwest corner of the country, most people only stop at Holyhead before catching the ferry across the Irish Sea to explore Ireland. However, there is a lot to offer on Anglesey for van lifers.
In fact, Holyhead is one key spot. The South Stack lighthouse is fantastic for birdwatching, Holyhead Mountain is the highest point on the island, and the cliffs make for excellent rock climbing. If you’re into hiking, the Isle of Anglesey coast path is 130 miles long with many great campsites to use as jumping-off points along the way.
Travelling around Wales in a campervan is a serene experience. Much of Wales’ greatest strengths lie in its diverse landscapes and scenic nature areas. This pairs perfectly with the humble existence of living in a campervan where green spaces and quiet roads make for the ideal road trip.
However, you can tailor your Welsh camping trip to suit whatever interests you may have. For example, there are many historical ruins and interesting monuments in Wales that you may wish to explore by campervan. From Conwy & Beaumaris Castle to the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Whatever adventure you choose, you’re sure to have an extraordinary experience discovering Wales in a campervan.