Wales in Autumn is the season of colour. All across the country, parks, mountains and forests, transform into nature’s full spectrum of reds, yellows and orange.
It’s one of the most fun seasons in Wales for long walks, cosy cafes, and autumn leaf spotting.
It’s arguably the best season in Wales as temperatures are mild and the kids are back at school, so many attractions and parks are quieter during the week.
Wales in Autumn
Photography enthusiasts will love the range of colours that you can see in Wales during the autumn season.
There is butter yellow through to orange, reds and vivid crimsons. Nature’s palette is really at its best at this time of year.
From Castles, parks, mountains to rivers and waterfalls we’ve got some snaps of some of the best autumn landscapes in Wales
Here’s our pick of some of the best places to experience Autumn in Wales, so you can plan your visit today.
Ty Hwnt i’r Bont, Llanrwst
If ever there was a dreamy cottage straight out of a Welsh fairytale, then the 15th-century cottage known as Ty Hwnt i’r Bont, is it.
Tu Hwnt i’r Bont is a 15th-century grade II listed building in the Community of Trefriw, in the county of Conwy, North Wales.
The whole village of Llanrwst is gorgeous, but this area, in particular, has a special, story-book vibe to it.
It’s one of the most photogenic places in Wales for Autumn photography.
Castell Coch, Cardiff
Castell Coch, or the ‘Red Castle’, is a 19th-century Gothic Revival fairytale castle in Cardiff, that is set amongst the trees of Fforest Fawr.
It honestly looks like something out of a Disney movie and is one of the must-visit castles in Wales.
The castle was built in the 1870s by Architect and designer William Burges, at the request of the third Marquess of Bute.
The uber-wealthy aristocrat had a vision of creating a medieval fantasy castle and Burges was happy to oblige.
It’s one of the best autumn destinations in Wales for dreamy photographs of a castle set amongst the golden hues of fall.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia in Autumn is a mellow season in the national park, full of red and golden hues of the trees and misty mornings.
You’ll see hiking and outdoor enthusiasts strolling around with autumn jackets and thermos flasks at the ready.
After the craziness of the summer season, Snowdonia is a calmer and quieter place to be in the autumn.
You can avoid the queues and the crowds and also get special offers from accommodation providers and attractions in the off-peak months.
Tintern Abbey is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales and looks superb when photographed in the Autumn season.
This roofless, gothic abbey is located in the pretty village of Tintern, which is on the Welsh bank of the River Wye.
It’s just £5 to enter the abbey and the best time to visit is September to October if you are looking to take Autumn snaps without the crowds.
For the best Autumn views of the Brecon Beacons, hike up the highest peak in the national park – Pen-y-Fan.
Enjoy panoramic views of the landscape in all it’s autumn glory on a scenic 10.5-mile hike.
Why not hike Pen-y-Fan with a guide? You can take the stress out of map reading and be taken through the Welsh wilderness with a qualified mountain guide.
Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire
One of the finest gardens you can visit in Wales in Autumn is Aberglasney Gardens. A restored medieval house and gardens set in the Tywi valley.
The gardens made famous by the BBC TV series “A Garden Lost in Time” which documented its wonderful restoration.
The Gardens not only contain pleasant walks but also tea rooms, a plant shop and a Cloister Garden.
Aberglasney also hosts several events and art exhibitions throughout the year.
There are also a series of workshops, talks and musical events available if you are looking to get a bit more cultured this Autumn season?
The Elan Valley
Nothing can prepare you for the sweeping landscapes of the Elan Valley in the Cambrian Mountains.
This beautiful area is over 72 square miles and has a range of scenic landscapes includes hills, dams and reservoirs.
There are loads of scenic walks and drives in this area as well as superb off-road mountain bike trails.
It’s the perfect Autumn destination in Wales for hiking, biking and hot tub holidays.
Roath Park is a very popular historic park in Cardiff, with a classic Victorian layout and feel.
There is a 30-acre man-made lake that you can go boating on and features the iconic Scott Memorial Lighthouse.
Stroll around the picturesque gardens, feed the swans, have ice cream, or relax with a coffee in the lakeside cafe. It’s the perfect place for an Autumn walk in Cardiff.
A little further up from the park is Roath recreational park, which also has many Instagrammable spots, especially in the fall season.
Rhossili Bay, The Gower
With sandy beaches, wildlife and lovely walks, Rhossili is the crowning gem of the stunning Gower Peninsular in South Wales.
Rhossili Bay is definitely one of the best places to stay in Wales by the sea by far. It has been voted Wales’ Best Beach in 2018 and is riding high off this win.
There are 3 glorious miles of sandy beach here to explore. It’s also a great dog-friendly beach in Wales if you are looking for glorious autumn walks.
It’s a lovely place for a late October stroll by the sea, remember to bring your camera to get some snaps its iconic landmark, Worms Head.
Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo
Go for an Autumn stroll and see if you can spot elusive fallow deer at Dinefwr Park, an impressive 800-acre estate on the outskirts of the old farming town of Llandeilo.
There are several parkland walks in this beautiful part of Carmarthenshire that contain an array of Welsh heritage and natural history.
The estate has a surprising diversity of landscape including meadows, woodlands and open fields. Definitely put aside a good few hours to explore this enchanting area.
Bring wellies as well as it can get very muddy. It’s too late for me and my ruined shoes, but you can save yourselves!
The Wye Valley
The Wye Valley borders England and Wales and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It’s the perfect place for hill and river walking and for leaf spotting in the Autumn.
This picturesque valley is one of the best Autumn destinations in Wales due to the vibrant colours and outdoor activities and scenic walks.
There are plenty of activities in and around the border towns, as well as antiques and clothes shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs.
It’s the perfect place for an Autumn weekend in Wales if you are looking for a mix of countryside walks and charming towns to visit.
Brecon Beacons Waterfall Country
Take a stroll around the Brecon Beacons to see glorious landscapes and flowing waterfalls in this popular national park.
Walk the four falls trail, in the heart of Waterfall Country, to get some autumnal photos of the falls.
This trek is super popular with visitors, so make sure to go very early to get the best shots whilst there are few people around.
The Mumbles, Swansea Bay
Many Welsh people will be familiar with the concept of the ‘Mumbles Mile’.
A seaside pub crawl that historically went around the many pubs of the Mumbles area of the Gower in South Wales.
These days the Mumbles area is working hard to reinvent itself as a hip seaside hangout in Wales.
Whilst the weather in the Mumbles in the Autumn can often be dark and stormy [thanks to Welsh weather], this still provides you with some awesome moody shots of the Mumbles Pier.
After an autumn walk in the umbles, make sure to grab yourself a brew at Verdi’s Cafe that overlooks Swansea Bay.
Cors Caron National Nature Reserve
Experience Autumnal wildlife and wetlands at Cors Caron National Nature Reserve, located near Tregaron. This type of natural area is known as a ‘raised bog’.
Whilst you might baulk at the idea of a bog tourism attraction, it’s actually a beautiful and unique eco-system.
The wild landscape is made accessible by a network of boardwalks and trails that lets you get up close to the fauna and wildlife.
It’s a popular area with walkers, runners and cyclists who are looking for a more remote and intriguing landscape in the Autumn season.
Bute Park, Cardiff
Go for an Autumn stroll in one of the most beautiful and expansive parks in the city, Bute Park. It’s a perfect place for long walks and leaf spotting in Cardiff.
This large park is right in the heart of the city and is located just behind Cardiff Castle. It’s also just a short walk from the city’s main high streets and civic centre.
There is urban woodland, exercise equipment, and the popular Taff Trail route to walk and bike through.
Why not grab a warming brew and a bite to eat in one of the many cafes’ in and around the park such as The Secret Graden cafe or Pettigrew tea rooms?
Carreg Cennen Castle
I don’t think there is a more atmospheric castle than Carreg Cennen on a misty, Autumn morning.
The weather-beaten ruins blend beautifully into the dreamy landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
It’s also officially the most romantic ruin in Wales, as voted by readers of Countryfile Magazine. What a date that would be, an autumn picnic next to a remote and historic Welsh castle.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest
If you are looking for scenic Autumn walks in Wales that are full of wildlife, make sure to visit Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre.
It became a red kite feeding station in the ’90s to protect the small number of red kites in the area.
The red kites are still fed by the lake to this day at 2 pm in winter (GMT) and at 3 pm in summer. You can see up to 150 kites diving for the food, it is fantastic to watch.
Follow the Barcud Trail around the lake to find the bird hide that overlooks the feeding ara. This is the best spot to watch the feeding and try and get some photos of the swooping red kites.
Clywedog Lake, Llanidloes
Spend some time exploring magnificent Clywedog Lake in the Autumn season.
It’s a large man-made and multi-purpose reservoir that offers sailing, fishing, bird watching and walking.
The lake is owned and operated by Severn Trent Water and is a massive 615 acres spanning 6 miles. It’s also full of wildlife including buzzards, red kite, mallards, squirrels and owls. Keep your eyes peeled for the ospreys too.
If you fancy a spot of autumn sailing, access to the water is through Clywedog Sailing Club, who provide a ‘Day Sailing pass’, for both sailing dinghies and canoes.
What do you think of our guide to incredible places to visit in Wales in Autumn? Are you planning to visit any of these gorgeous fall destinations? Let us know in the comments below.
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Love this post Pip. The ones we’ve been to we love and almost all the others are on our list. Tintern in an ideal world but waterfalls around Brecon in a realistic one 😆
Thanks so much, so glad you like it. 🙂
Oh my this is certainly spectacular and the photographer in me is itching to capture those gorgeous colors. You have done quite an extensive research on this area and made an impressive list of places to visit Pip 🙂
Thank you, I love exploring my home country, there is so much to see here. x
I’m absolutely kicking myself! I used to live in Bristol and I admittedly never went to Wales (only once to Breacon Beacons)… it looks so beautiful in autumn and it’s such a bummer I never got to see it in it’s full glory like this. I’m saving this for when I get to go back to the UK. Hopefully I’d get to visit pen-y-fan and snowdonia at the same time. Gorgeous in those colours.
You really have to come back, it’s such a beautiful place to visit, especially in Autumn. x
Some beautiful ideas – some I’ve tried and some I’d love to try. Have recently discovered some of the fantastic castles down in Pembrokeshire and would like to explore more next time I’m in Wales.
So many gorgeous places to discover, I hope you can find some inspiration on the site. x
Wales looks stunning in the fall! Love all the vibrant range of colors that look like a painting. Visiting the castles, going on walks, and capturing that cottage covered in red foliage do look like a scene of a fairytale! I definitely plan to visit in the fall one day after reading this!
It’s really worth the visit, let me know if you need any help or tips if you are planning a trip?