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Go on a Welsh adventure this summer

Speed at Oakwood Park, image courtesy of Stefan Scheer via Wikimedia Commons

The summer is here once again (although it’s definitely not as warm and sunny as we would like), which means it’s the perfect time to explore and have fun. We frequently mention all of the cool things there are to do in the Welsh capital, but what if you wanted to spread your net a bit further? Here are five places to visit this summer which can be easily reached from Cardiff, either via bus or train (or car if you drive).

Oakwood Park

If you’re not from Wales originally, or even if you are, you might not be aware that Wales has its own theme park!

Oakwood theme park is located in Narbeth, West Wales and is home to a selection of thrill rides, including Megafobia which has been voted the UK’s number 1 wooden coaster, Speed, which hurtles you along at up to 95kph, and Vertigo, a ride that gives you the same feel as skydiving without having to throw yourself out of a plane!

There is also a range of smaller rides if you’re not big on thrill rides, either way there’s something for everyone at Oakwood.

While Oakwood is much easier to get to via car, you can still get there by bus. There are day trips where you can catch a coach from Cardiff straight to the theme park. These packages usually include the cost of entry, so you don’t have to worry about queuing up on the day. You’ll just have to do a bit of browsing on the Internet to find these deals.

Tenby

If you want to see the beauty of West Wales without the thrill element, then a day at Tenby is perfect. The small seaside town is well-known for its pastel-coloured buildings, beautiful beaches, and overall charming atmosphere.

Tenby Harbour, image courtesy of matthewhartley369 via FlickrWhile there, you can visit Tenby Castle, Tudor Merchant’s House, and the Tenby Museum, or you could spend the day eating chips and ice cream and wading in the sea.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could always catch a boat over to Caldey Island, one of Britain’s holy islands, which is a day out in its own right – you can get an amazing view of the Pembrokshire coast by taking a walk up to the island’s lighthouse, which is not to be missed.

To get to Tenby from Cardiff Central train station, you need to catch a train to Swansea (there are regular direct trains), and then catch a train from Swansea to Pembroke Dock departing at Tenby station, then it’s just a short walk into the heart of the coastal town.

Barry Island

Anyone who has watched Gavin & Stacey knows about Barry and Barry Island, what you may not know is that Barry Island, rather than actually being an island is a peninsula (we feel cheated too!), but the seaside is still worth a visit.

The island has a lovely beach where you can relax on the sand with some ice cream, there’s even a funfair. Barry Island is basically Oakwood and Tenby rolled into one.

Luckily for anyone who wants to visit Barry immediately, there’s a frequent direct train available from Cardiff Central.

Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons are huge, you could camp there for a week and still not visit everything, but that’s okay. The Brecon Beacons are so beautiful that you’ll want to visit again and again. In fact, there is so much to do that the Brecon Beacons website has a list of 101 great days out!

Brecon Beacons, image courtesy of noddymini via FlickrEven if you just want to wander, there aren’t many better ways to spend your day, especially when the sun is out.

You can get to the Brecon Beacons by catching a train to either Abergavenny or Merthyr Tydfil from Cardiff Central, and then catching a bus into Brecon, easy.

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth, like Oakwood is another long journey that’s definitely worth it in the end. However, unlike Oakwood, if you’re going to Aberystwyth via train, it may be worth staying the night, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Aberystwyth is a coastal town in mid Wales, and is home to Aberystwyth Castle, the National Library of Wales, and an incredibly picturesque promenade and beach. If you have a spare weekend, then Aberystwyth makes for an inexpensive getaway, especially if you plan on camping.

To get to Aberystwyth by train via Cardiff Central, you have to, ironically, leave Wales. You get there by catching the Holyhead train from Cardiff Central, departing at Shrewsbury, and catching a direct train to Aberystwyth. The journey is quite long, so bring entertainment.

Do you have any must-visit hotspots in Wales that you’d like to recommend? Let us know! Be sure to have a fun summer, but if you’re still looking for student accommodation for the next academic year, we still have properties available. Contact us for more information.

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