Wales’ western landscape is all about rolling hills, moorland marked by cairns and standing stones, sandy beaches with some of the best surfing spots in Britain contrasting with the ruggedly beautiful coastline. Cities include Swansea with its industrial heritage and St Davids, the smallest city in Britain. Smaller towns include Tenby, Carmarthen and Llandeilo. For walkers, there’s the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a National Trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (the only coastal National Park in the UK) and  the Gower (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Places to include in a group visit to South West Wales

1. Margam Country Park

There is 1000 acres of parkland and ornamental gardens, the 18th century Orangery, Tudor-Gothic style Victorian Mansion House and the 12th century Chapter House to explore at Margam Country Park. Your clients can wander freely or choose to follow one of the self-guided walking trails starting at the visitor centre.

The Margam Deer herd roams through the parkland and other wildlife can be seen such as foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, shrews and voles.

Margam Park Adventure is also based on site offering a range of adventure activities.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking, charges apply but free entry to attraction;
  • gift shop, outdoor clothing shop and visitor centre;
  • café;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – min 2hr.

Our 19th Century Tudor Gothic style mansion was built between 1830–1840, at a cost of £50,000 using sandstone from...

Posted by Margam Country Park on Friday, March 11, 2022

2. National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

One of the seven sites of the National Museum of Wales, the National Waterfront Museum is dedicated to 300 years of innovation. It focuses on industry, technology, travel and culture. It’s housed in an original dockside warehouse linked to an ultra-modern slate and glass building in the city’s rapidly developing maritime quarter. Visiting groups can discover the history and explore how Welsh science is helping to shape the future via cutting-edge interactive displays.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking - coaches are unable to park at the National Waterfront Museum’s Oystermouth Road car park. Swansea Council recommends dropping off by Swansea Museum (SA1 1SN), near Burrows Place, and then using the parking bays in the Fabian Way Park and Ride, (Fabian Way, Port Tennant, Swansea SA1 8LD), before returning for pick up;
  • free entry, group visits should book in advance. Pre-booked groups benefit from 10 per cent off in the museum café and shop on a minimum spend of £5 per person and complimentary refreshments for the coach driver;
  • café;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – min 1hr.
A historic glider hanging from the ceiling in a museum.

National Waterfront Museum

3. The Gower Peninsula including Rhossili and Gower Heritage Centre

Rhossili Bay is situated at the far end of the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula, and is a 45min drive west from Swansea. It regularly features in top 10 lists of the world’s best beaches and the walk from there along a rocky causeway to the island of Worm’s Head is a classic. The route down is a craggy path from the headland.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking – National Trust car park at Rhossili;
  • pub, hotel and restaurant;
  • National Trust shop and visitor centre;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – a walk to the head and back with a visit to the beach will take 2hr. It is important to check the tide times.

Created around a 12th century water powered mill is the Gower Heritage Centre. There are craft workshops and they offer guided coach tours and walks to all parts of Gower by pre-arrangement. They are also partnering in a new initiative, Gower Ambassadors, for group visitors.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking – three designated coach bays;
  • group rates available, free entry for the driver and group organiser;
  • tea room, pre-booked cream tea available;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – at least 2hr. Also 2hr for a coach tour plus additional time if a walk is to be included. The timing of walks should be discussed to make it appropriate for the groups’ specific needs and abilities.
Aerial shot of Rhossili Bay with Worm's Head in the foreground.

Rhossili Bay and Worms Head

4. National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne

Groups can walk through the biggest single-span glasshouse in the world at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It is set in 600 acres of 18th century parkland with exotic flowers and foliage, lakes, waterfalls and cascades. The British Bird of Prey Centre is on the same site, showcasing daily flying displays and an opportunity to see hawks, falcons, kites, eagles and buzzards. New for 2023 is Eagle Experience Wales where clients will have the opportunity to fly three of the UK's largest birds of prey. Situated close to the village of Llanarthne, just off the main A48 road and close to Carmarthen.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • group rates available;
  • coach drivers receive free entry and a meal voucher;
  • café;
  • garden plant shop, gift shop, gallery;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 2hr, allow extra time if including bird flying display; 1hr 45mins for Eagle Experience Wales.
Waterfall | Rhaeadr

Feeling hot and bothered? Chill out with the cooling sights and sounds of our historic waterfall. Set in the restored landscape of the Botanic Garden - - ☀️ - 💧 - ☀️ - Yn teimlo'n boeth? Ymlaciwch gyda golygfeydd a synau ein rhaeadr hanesyddol. Wedi'i osod yn y parcdir wedi’i adfer tu fewn yr Ardd Fotaneg - Cronfa Treftadaeth y Loteri Gen / National Lottery Heritage Fund - Cymru National Lottery Heritage Fund

Posted by The National Botanic Garden of Wales on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

5. Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen

A jewel in the British garden’s crown and described by many as the garden lost in time. Aberglasney Mansion and Gardens is located in the Tywi Valley and has been an inspiration to poets since 1477. The garden covers 10 acres, has two woodlands and has a unique Elizabethan and Jacobean cloister garden. The Ninfarium, a sub-tropical indoor garden, is housed in the historic grade II listed mansion and the restored ground floor is used for arts and craft exhibitions.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking;
  • group rates available;
  • coach drivers and tour guides receive free entry and a meal voucher;
  • tea room;
  • shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 1hr 30min.
A grand walled mansion amongst colourful gardens.
A walled garden with a little doorway.

Aberglasney Gardens

6. Llandeilo and Carreg Cennen Castle

The town of Llandeilo stands above the Tywi Valley. There are a growing number of small shops and food emporia along its main street. St Teilo’s Church gives the town its name. There is an antiques market and close by are Newton House and Dinefwr Castle. A little further across the river is Carreg Cennen Castle, voted Wales’ most romantic ruin. It sits on a limestone crag 91 metres (300 ft) above the River Cennen so there’s a steep climb to the top.

Group visit information:

  • coach parking, walk from the car park takes 10min to 15min;
  • group rates available;
  • tea room;
  • gift shop;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – half day if including a visit to Llandeilo and the castle.
exterior of church with clock tower and countryside in background.
A castle on a large hill surrounded by countryside.

St Teilo's Church and Carreg Cennen Castle

7. Laugharne and Dylan Thomas Boathouse

Laugharne has museums, walking trails and Laugharne Castle. It is famous as the home of Dylan Thomas, who lived here during his life and his old haunts are everywhere, including The Brown’s Hotel. His family roots were here and this landscape stirred him to write some of his greatest works including Under Milk Wood and Fern Hill. Dylan Thomas Boathouse was where he lived and worked, now an attraction with the family’s living room just as they left it and Dylan’s voice booming from the wireless. Groups can even peer into his writing shed – no surprise that he found its commanding views over the sleepy seaside town of Laugharne a cure for writer’s block. With its paper-strewn desk and jacket tossed over a chair, it looks as if he’s just popped out for a pint.

Group visit information:

  • coaches can drop off next to the car park by the estuary and park in St Martin’s Church car park;
  • group rates available;
  • tea room;
  • gallery;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 2hr for a visit to the Boathouse and a stroll around Laugharne.
A semi-ruined castle by the coast.
A white boathouse looking over the estuary.

Laugharne Castle and Dylan Thomas Boathouse

8. Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is one of the most impressive of the Norman castles built in Wales and birthplace of Henry VII and the Tudor’s. The 23 metre (75 ft) high keep, built in the 13th century, is the largest and most complete in Britain. There are views over Milford Haven are from the top of the Great Keep. But your groups might be just as inclined to look down, painted on the lawn is Britain’s largest artwork – the 1,000 square metre Great Map of Wales.

Group visit information:

  • coaches can drop off and pick up in front of the castle and park in the town coach park at The Commons;
  • group rates available;
  • guided tours, language guides available on request;
  • gift shop;
  • café;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – 2hr.
An aerial shot of a castle, town and river.

Pembroke Castle

9. St Davids

The city of St Davids in Pembrokeshire is the smallest city in the UK. It is named after the patron saint of Wales. The city, not much bigger than a large village, is built around a small valley around the River Alun. There are plenty of independent shops and galleries to explore for some free time.

Groups can visit St Davids Cathedral, once compared by the Pope to Rome’s holiest sites. The historic building dates back to the 6th century and is where St David is buried.

St Davids Bishop’s Palace, a ruined medieval palace is next door, owned by Cadw. There are lots of hideaways to explore and the information panels brings it to life.

Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre tells the story of this ancient settlement and holds a superb collection of paintings by Graham Sutherland, who was so inspired by the towering cliffs and seascapes of Pembrokeshire. They can also offer advice on the area including things to do and suggest walks.

It is a short walk from the city to the coast, where there are boat trips to see puffins and wildlife and the chapel dedicated to St David’s mother, Non. 

Group visit information for St Davids Cathedral:

  • free entry;
  • guided tours can be booked in advance, depending on availability of volunteers;
  • gift shop, book shop and café;
  • toilet facilities.

Group visit information for St Davids Bishops Palace:

Group visit information for Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre:

  • free entry;
  • gift shop;
  • café;
  • toilet facilities.

At St Davids, coaches can drop off and pick up in the centre of St Davids near the road to the cathedral. Coach parking is available at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, a 10min walk to the cathedral.

Suggested time to explore St Davids is approximately 3hr.

looking towards St Davids Cathedral from pathway.
Exterior view of a stone built conical shaped tower.

St Davids Cathedral, St Davids Bishop's Palace and Oriel y Parc

10. Tenby

Tenby is a medieval walled town on the Pembrokeshire coast and a good base for exploring the region. There are many restaurants, bars and independent shops to browse at leisure. There are four beaches and many activities, from boat trips to view the local wildlife to trips to Caldey IslandTenby Museum and Art Gallery stands on Castle Hill and is home to a large collection of art and artefacts. Guests may also like to visit the National Trust Tudor Merchant House to discover what life was like at the 15th century house. Open on selected days only. Discount available for groups of over 10.

Guided Tours Wales provide walking tours including the classic historical tour or a spooky Ghost Walk.

The family-run Harbwr Tenby Harbour Brewery is located by the harbour and adjoins their CAMRA award-winning pub. It offers tours for up to 40 people by prior arrangement, which includes a tasting session. The taproom is available for private hire, serving their unique ales and local food. Price depends on group size and any food requirement. 

Group visit information for Harbwr Tenby Harbour Brewery:

  • coach parking available at North Beach and Salterns car parks;
  • taproom serving their own beers, a gin menu and a guest real ale and cider menu from independent brewers around the UK. It also offers a locally sourced food menu;
  • toilet facilities;
  • time needed – tours last around 30min and is followed by a tasting, a selection of half pints of choice, at leisure.

Group visit information for Tenby:

  • coaches can’t enter the walls of the town but there is a drop-off point next to the walls and coaches can park at North Beach and Salterns car parks;
  • time needed – half a day to explore Tenby and is also a good base to explore the region.
Aerial view of a harbour, two beaches and pastel coloured houses.


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