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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.

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