Affordable family days out in South Wales
Updated: Jul 23, 2022
With South Wales Schools now broken up for summer, I will be taking some time out most weeks from my photography studio in Porthcawl, Bridgend, to make precious memories with my three children and explore new places on our doorstep, here is South Wales.
Here is my go to list in no particular order of over 120 family friendly days out in South Wales, which are all free to visit. My guide covers Porthcawl, Port talbot, Neath, Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, the Valleys, Llanelli and Swansea. I have split it into sections, so you have easy access to Seaside; Walks, parks, woods and the great outdoors; Museums and culture; Castles; Outdoor swimming pools and splash parks; Canals. Reservoirs and Waterfalls; and Animals and Farms.
Please check ahead for opening times, special events and other disruptions before visiting.
Days out at the seaside.
A day out at the beach is always a huge hit with children of all ages:
1. Rest Bay, Porthcawl.
2. Barry Island
3. Aberavon Beach, Sandfields in Neath Port Talbot
4. Whitmore Bay and Jackson’s Bay
5. The Knap Gardens and lake, Cold Knap, Barry. (Pebbles)
6. Llantwit Major (Pebbles)
7. Aberthaw Beach, also known as Lumpert Bay
8. Mullenuim Coastal Park, Llanelli
9. Gower Peninsula, Swansea
10. Sully Island (Cwm Colhugh) Beach (Pebbles)
12. Dunraven Bay, Southerndown, near Bridgend.
13. Ogmore by Sea, near Bridgend.
14. Sandy Bay in Porthcawl
15. Penarth Pier Pavilion and Beach
16. Mumbles Beach. 17. Coney Beach Amusement Park
Walks, parks, woods and the great outdoors
The great outdoors is full of adventure and has plenty to offer the kids during the six weeks schools holidays over summer. Grab a picnic and work through the list to avoid costing you a fortune.
1. Alexandra park, Beach Road, Penarth.
2. Roath Park and Lake, Cardiff. (Extra Charge For Conservatory Boat rides)
3. Breacon Beacons.
4. The Wenallt
5. Bute park, Cardiff
6. Cefn Onn Park
7. Bryngarw Country Park. Bridgend
8. Cardiff Bay Barrage To The Bay
9. Heath Park, King George V Drive, Heath, Cardiff. (Mini Railway Station £2 A Ride)
10. Bute Park
11. Insole Court and Gardens, Llandaff, Cardiff.
12. Clyne Botanical Gardens, Swansea
13. Forest Farm Country Park
14. Salmon Leaps, Dinas Powys
15. Garwnant Visitor Centre, Merthyr Tydfil
16. Penarth Pier and Alexandra Park
17. Brynn Bach Park. Tredegar (Extra charge activities).
18. Pen y Fan
19. Tredegar Park (Extra Charge For House)
20. Cwmbran Boating Lake
21. Tredegar house gardens and parks
22. Barry Sidings, Pontypridd
23. Romilly Park, Barry
24. Porthkerry Park.
25. The Old Station, Tintern.
26. Forest Farm and Melingriffiths, Cardiff.
27. Barry Cold Knap and Romilly Park
28. Forest Fawr, Near Caerphilly and walking distance to Castle Couch.
29. Taff Trail.
30. Parc Bryn Bach. Tredegar.
31. Llanishen Skate Park, Ty Gals Avenue, Llanishen, Cardiff
32. Parc Cwm Darran. Bargoed.
33. Dare Valeey, Aberdare.
34. Roath Park, Roath. Cardifff.
35. Porthkerry County Park (Parking Charges)
36. Cosmeston Lake, Lavernock Road, near Sully.
37. Garwnant Visitors Centre, near Myrthyr.
38. Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes
39. Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Aberkenfig, Bridgend.
40. Kenfig Nature Reserves, Bridgend
41. Penllegaer Valley Woods, Swansea.
42. Cwmcarn Forest. Newport
43. Bridgend Miniature Railway
44. Forest Fawr Sculpture Trail, near Castell Coch, Tongwynglais
45. Newport Wetlands
46. Park Cefn Onn, Lisvane, Cardiff.
47. Dare Valley Country Park. Aberdare
48. Singleton Park, Swansea
49. Margam Park.
50. Barry Sidings Countryside Park
51. Llandaff Fields, Cardiff
52. Gnoll Park, Neath (Ponds, Reservoir, Historical Ruins,
53. Play Park and Foot Golf For Extra Charge)
54. The Wenallt, Rhiwbina, Cardiff
55. Pembrey Country Park. Llanelli
56. Rumney Park, Cardiff.
57. Caerphilly mountain. 58. Llyn Llech Owain Country Park, Church Rd Gorslas, Llanelli
59. Wales Coast Path boardwalk
Museums and culture
1. National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff.
2. Blaenavon Ironworks
3. The Egypt Centre, Singleton Park, Swansea.
4. Newport Museum and Art Gallery, John Frost Square, Newport
4. Big Pit National Coal Museum
5. Swansea Museum, Victoria Road, Maritime Quarter, Swansea.
6. Dinosaur Footprints at Bendrick, Barry.
7. National Waterfront Museum. Oystermouth Road, Maritime Quarter, Swansea
8. Kidwelly Industry Museum.
9. St Fagans National Museum, Cardiff.
10. Roman Remains, Cold Knap. Barry
11. Winding House, Cross Strret, New Tredegard, Caerphilly.
12. South Wales Aviation Museum. St Athans (Free for 1 child with a £7.50 paying adult)
13. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay.
14. The Cardiff Story, The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff.
15. Caerleon Ampitheatre.
16. National Roman Legion Museum. Carleon
17. Your local Library. 18. Porthcaw museum. 19. Norwegian Church Arts Centre. Cardiff.
Castles and Churches
1. Cardiff Castle, Free for 3 years if you live and work in Cardiff and applied for the Castle Key.
2. Caldicott Castle (Feed The Ducks)
3. Newport Castle
4. St Fagans Castle.
5. Cyfartha Castle and Park (Pay for activities)
6. Skenfrith Castle
7. Grosmont Castle
8. Ogmore Castle.
9. Coity Castle, Bridgend
10. Llawhaden Castle
11. Old Beaupre Castle. Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff.
12. Candleston Castle
13. Margam Castle
14. Llansteffan Castle
15. Pennard Castle, overlooks Three Cliffs Bay Swansea,
16. Dinefwr Castle, Llandeilo
17. Carmarthen Castle
18. Morlais Castle, Merthyr (Castle Ruins)
19. Castell Coch, free for under 5 year olds. 20. Llandaff Cathedral
Outdoor swimming pools and splash parks.
1. Victoria Park Splash Pad, Canton, Cardiff.
2. Pendcoetre, Barry, Splash Pad and Park
3. Aberavon, Port Talbot, Splash Pad and Beach
4. Blackpilll Lido, Swansea
5. Pontypridd Lido + Ynys Angharad war Memorial Park, Pontypridd. (Kids Free and adults £2)
6. Cyfartha Splash Pad and Park. Merthyr
Canals. Reservoirs and Waterfalls
1. Neath Canal (Fairy Trail)
2. Llandegfedd Reservoir (Charge for activities)
3. Brombil Reservoir
4. Henrhyd Waterfall. Neath
5. Sgwd-yr-Eira, the Snow Waterfall.
6. Cwmbran Boating Lake.
7. Goytre Wharf. Abergavenny
8. Ystradfellte Waterfall, Brecon
Animals and Farms.
1. Thornhill Farm Shop
2. Amelia Trust Farm, Five mile Lane, Barry
3. Owl Sanctuary. Festival Park. Ebbw Vale
4. Newport Wetlands, Newport.
We will be adding to this list and constantly updating it, and we would love you to join in by sharing your favourite places.
We are also looking for feature photos of the places mentioned in this blog, so if you have a photo of our family enjoying any of the above do get in touch.
You may also like to read
How to prepare for the summer holidays
2022 My First day at School and Back to School photos.