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13 BEST Things to do in Wales in Autumn

From visiting the Abergavenny food festival to hiking in the Brecon Beacons, these are the best things to do in Wales in autumn!

wales in autumn

Whether you love being in the great outdoors or you prefer cultural festivals and sporting events, Wales in autumn is a feast for all of the senses.

With the Brecon Beacon National Park and Wye Valley full of autumnal colours and the crowds starting to disappear from Snowdonia (Eryri), the autumn activities in Wales are perfect for outdoorsy adventurers.

However, the unpredictable Welsh weather means that we also need some indoor contingencies. I love visiting some of the hundreds of historic castles across Wales including Castell Coch in Cardiff and Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire. It’s a great mix of history, culture, and architecture which is perfect for those rainy days.

best things to do in wales in autumn
Autumn is a fantastic time of year to visit Wales

If you’re looking to explore Wales in the changing of the seasons and want to avoid the summer crowds in all the popular places and cities, then visiting Wales in autumn is always a good idea. 

Ready to discover some of the best autumn activities to do? Then this is the blog post for you! Hopefully you can use it when planning your next trip here.

Wales autumn weather 

autumn things to do in wales
Occasionally in September you can get some scorching days

If you’ve ever been to Wales then you’ll know that any weather report is largely unreliable. I never visit without a waterproof or an umbrella – normally I travel with both to be on the safe side!

In mid-Autumn, temperatures in Wales range from 9.2°C (48.5°F) to 13.8 °C (56.9°F). It’s normally warmer in the city regions than at the coast, where the Irish Sea and Atlantic winds can make it feel a lot cooler than it is in reality. However, if the sun is out in September it feels warm, especially over the last few years.

Rain is an unavoidable part of spending autumn in Wales, so dress appropriately and bring waterproof jackets and shoes – especially if you’re heading out to the national parks! It’s always better to be overprepared than under prepared on those hikes.

Best things to do in Wales in autumn

Explore the Brecon Beacons National Park

wales autumn
There are so many amazing waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons

This gorgeous national park is full of amazing hikes, scenery, and trails that come to life in the autumn months. Explore the Fforest Fawr area as all the colours change into a sea of oranges and reds, climb up the Black Mountains, or hike up the popular Pen-y-Fan. The majority of the summer hordes are gone so it’s pretty peaceful.

If you’re looking to relax after a long hike, head to the Penderyn Distillery that’s located in the national park. Whether you like whisky, vodka, or gin, this popular distillery has them all.

Check out the Autumn International Rugby in Cardiff

wales autumn rugby
Cardiff comes alive over the Wales autumn internationals

It’s no secret that the Welsh love their rugby. Experience the electric energy firsthand by visiting the capital, Cardiff, during late October and early November for the Autumn International competition. 

This is when world-class teams from around the globe descend on Europe for four weeks of intense competition and amazing rugby. The whole city comes alive in a sea of red shirts. It’s actually insane to see! Tickets start as low as £25/£30 to see some of the biggest names in rugby, so it’s well worth checking out if you’re in Wales in autumn. I’ve been to the Millennium Stadium before a couple of times and it’s always an amazing day out.

Embrace the colours of Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest

bwlch nant yr arian forest
This is a outdoor playground for adults

Want to get your adrenaline pumping surrounded by amazing autumnal colours? Head to the Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest just nine miles away from the university town of Aberystwyth

It’s a famous spot for mountain biking, hiking, and spotting the local red kites. So, whether you’re trying to take in the local wildlife, enjoy some outdoor adventure, or just explore the beautiful mid-Welsh scenery, the Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest is the place to be. 

Experience history at Powis Castle

best places to visit in wales in autumn

Located near the English/Welsh border in Powys, the majestic Powis Castle is a must-visit for anyone who’s interested in Welsh or English history and culture. The castle spans all the way back to medieval times and has been the home of Welsh Princes throughout history. 

Over the years, the insides have been redecorated into ornate, Elizabethan-style staterooms and the grounds are absolutely stunning. With layers of terraces and landscaped gardens, Powis Castle is a marvel both inside and out. 

If you’re interested in castles, you can find the best castles in North Wales and South Wales here!

Chase waterfalls in North Wales

aber falls
This is the stunningly beautiful Aber Falls

With the increased rainfall in the autumn months, the stunning waterfalls that are all around North Wales are going to be in full flow. I’d recommend the beautiful Aber Falls, located just off the A55 expressway. It’s got a short 20-minute hike in and you’re rewarded with amazing views of the falls.

If you’re looking for waterfalls in south Snowdonia, check out the iconic Swallow Falls in Betws-y-coed which pulls crowds from all over the country, especially in autumn.

Get outdoors and go hiking in the Elan Valley

elan valley
The Elan Valley is another amazing place to go hiking

One of my favourite things to do in the autumn months is to go leaf-peeping. The changing colours of the season are always amazing to see. If you want to see them in full flow, head to the expansive Elan Valley in the heart of mid-Wales. 

With over 70 miles of dams, reservoirs, and valleys, there are plenty of places to explore and a ton of trails to wander around. 

Explore the Medieval Aberglasney Gardens

aberglasney gardens
Aberglasney Gardens are a great place to visit for an afternoon

Love exploring gardens and medieval history? Get the best of the both worlds by visiting the wonderful Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire. It’s honestly a paradise for anyone who is green-fingered. 

The gardens span over 10 acres of land and features 20 different horticultural styles and zones, from sub-tropical to landscaped formal gardens to woodland areas that show the changing of the seasons.

See the Autumn Colours at Castell Coch

castle coch
This castle is found in the middle of the forest

If you’re in the Brecon Beacons and are looking to avoid the sometimes unreliable Welsh weather, I’d 100% recommend heading to Castell Coch, otherwise known as the Red Castle. Located in the middle of the Fforest Fawr, it’s a perfect spot to see the autumn colours. 

It’s a stunning, fairytale-style castle that has it’s roots all the way back in medieval times. Whether you’re looking to escape the rain or check out some amazing architecture, it’s a great autumn activity when you’re in Wales.

Kayak in the Wye Valley

kayak wye valley
Just imagine kayaking on this river

There are few places in Wales that are as beautiful in autumn as the amazing Wye Valley. Located in south Wales on the border with England, it’s an iconic area that’s even the setting for Netflix’s Sex Education. So, if you’ve been wondering where that beautiful valley house is, you’re going to be in the right place.

Just like with the waterfalls, the rivers and streams all around Wales come to life in autumn thanks to the increased amount of rain. This makes it the perfect time to go kayaking through the valley. You’ll be surrounded by colour and woodland – it’s just magical.

Enjoy ice hockey at the Ice Arena Wales

wales indoor activities
This is great fun for the whole family

If you’re looking for something indoors to keep the whole family entertained during the autumn months, head to the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff. The ice hockey season kicks off in autumn so you can catch a game or two and see the thrills and spills on the ice.

It’s a great way to avoid adverse weather and enjoy a whole new sport with your loved ones – it’s a fun night out for the entire family.

Hike up Yr Wyddfa (Mt. Snowdon)

hike yr wyddfa
Hiking Yr Wyddfa is always one of the top things to do in Wales

No list of the best autumn activities in Wales would be complete without mentioning Wales’s biggest mountain, Yr Wyddfa (Mt. Snowdon). Nestled in Eryri (Snowdonia) in North Wales, it’s one of the most popular destinations in the whole of Wales.

Autumn is one of the best times to visit because the summer crowds have gone away, but the snow from the winter months hasn’t quite covered the peaks yet. It offers cool conditions which are ideal for hiking in, but remember to bring plenty of layers!

Indulge yourself at the Abergavenny Food Festival

families activities wales autumn
Did someone say food festival?

Autumn in a lot of places indicates the harvest season and Wales is no different. Taste the unique flavours and produce of Wales at the massive Abergavenny Food Festival. Taking place on the third weekend of September every year, it’s packed with fun, food, and shopping experiences.

Eat some delicious food, have a pint or two, and buy a ton of amazing souvenirs to take back home with you. Sounds pretty perfect to me!

Hit the waves on the Llyn Peninsula 

llyn peninsula 
It might be cold but there are some cool surf spots in Wales

One of my favourite things about the Llyn Peninsula up in the North of Wales is that it has its own microclimate, so it’s one of the warmest places in the country. It’s also home to some amazing waves, thanks to it’s location on the Irish Sea.

If you’re looking to catch some waves or learn to surf, autumn is a great time to do so. The water is still warm, there aren’t tons of crowds, and the winter storms that produce the bigger waves haven’t hit yet! You can find some of the best beaches in Wales here!

So there you have it, the best things to do in Wales in autumn. What are your favourite autumn activities to enjoy in Wales? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

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13 BEST Things to do in Wales in Autumn

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