6 of the Best Must-See Museums and Attractions in Wales
Wales is packed full of culture and history, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for something to do. Whether you’re interested in the arts, a historic fanatic or merely looking for somewhere full of intrigue, there will be no limit on what you can explore.
But, with so much going on, it can be hard to know where to start. To give you a helping hand as you start your explorative journey, here are the best museums in Wales.
Museums in Wales
One of the greatest ways to discover Wales is through the fascinating museums dotted across the country. Each one reveals the unique stories and heritage the lies amongst the historic towns and beautiful landscapes that cover the land.
1. National Roman Legion Museum
Leap back in time with a trip to the National Roman Legion Museum.
This free museum showcases what life was like in AD 75 when the Roman Empire built and occupied their Caerleon fortress. Throughout your visit, you’ll be able to view incredible exhibitions, ruins and some half a million artefacts that piece together the mystery behind the formidable Romans.
Outside of the main building, guests can explore Britain’s most complete amphitheatre and enjoy the sights and scents of the realistic Roman Garden, packed full of fruit, vegetables and herbs. The museum is based in Caerleon, Newport and is open daily.
2. National Slate Museum
The National Slate Museum is a must-see, telling the fascinating story behind one of Wales most prevalent industries. A visit here will give you access to a range of exciting workshops and buildings that allow you to travel back in time, offering a realistic insight into the life of quarrymen.
The museum is situated amongst the Victorian buildings of Dinorwig Quarry, based in the shadow of the Elidir mountain in Gwynedd. Also on the site is the Ffowtan Café, serving refreshments, snacks and hot meals throughout the day.
3. Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Those visiting Merthyr Tydfil must take a look around the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery. The historical attraction is home to a number of relics that reveal the secrets behind the town’s 2,000-year history. From the very first steam whistle and the first ballot box to Ancient Egyptian grave goods, there’s a lot to see and do.
The museum is housed in the Cyfarthfa Castle which was home to William Crawshay II who commissioned the building to overlook his ironworks in 1824. And, surrounding the architectural masterpiece is miles gorgeous parkland, perfect for exploring.
Cyfartha Castle Museum and Art Gallery is a 20-minute walk just north of Merthyr Tydfil and is open daily. Visitors can also enjoy Julie’s Tea Rooms, who serve lunches and refreshments throughout the day.
4. National Museum Cardiff
The National Museum Cardiff is situated in the heart of the Welsh capital. Hosting a range of arts and historical artefacts, the museum makes for a mind-blowing journey through Wales’ past.
Art fans can enjoy drawings, paintings, jewellery and ceramics from the past 500 hundred years, including Europe’s most exquisite collection of Impressionist art. History buffs can journey through the past, starting with the very beginning of time with the Big Bang, woolly mammoths and dinosaurs.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holidays and can be found in Cardiff at Cathays Park. With the exception of some special events and exhibitions, the National Museum is free all year round.
Activities in Wales
Wales has a museum for almost every area of interest. But for those who prefer a much more hands-on approach, there are hundreds of activities and attractions perfect for you. So, whether you enjoy a good adrenaline rush or breath-taking sights, there’s plenty to explore.
5. Folly Farm
There’s something for everyone at Folly Farm. Guests are invited to visit the farm animals in the barn, where feeding and handling opportunities are plentiful. In the zoo, animal fans can get up close and personal with over 750 animals, including giraffes, monkeys and lions.
Little ones can burn off steam in one of the eight different adventure parks located on the site. From a pirate adventure to the ‘destruction playground’, your children can explore every aspect of their imagination. In addition to this, both young and old can get their thrills in the vintage fairground, home to 17 different rides that are reminiscent of the Victorian era.
Throughout the summer, Folly Farm is open every day, and on weekends during the Winter. The farm is hidden away amongst the Pembrokeshire countryside, situated in Begelly, Kilgetty.
6. Zip World
Zip World is a must-visit for all thrill-seekers. They have three locations, each just a short distance away from one another and offer more than their fair share of adrenaline rushes.
At Penryhn Quarry in North Wales, guests can zoom around the site on Go-Karts, swoop down the fastest zip line in the world or jump down Big Red, a 270ft zip line that can be enjoyed with a friend.
In the Slate Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog, visitors have the option to ‘Bounce Below’ and explore the underground network of caves via a trail of walkways and trampolines. Alternatively, explore the caverns via 13 zip lines, rope bridges and monkey bars.
At their Betws-y-Coed site, you can explore the treetops. From a coaster flowing through the forest to zip lines and a giant, 80ft swing, there are six different adventures to explore.