Based on findings by VisitWales, we’ve rounded up the top ten paid attractions in Wales.
Whether you’re looking to make a splash in a waterpark, cuddle up with farmyard friends or explore some of Wales’ most visited castles, this list has it all and more.
1. LC Waterpark & Leisure Complex
Head into the city centre of Swansea and you’ll find what is thought to be Wales’ biggest indoor waterpark. Complete with slides, waves and an indoor surf machine, as well as an interactive pool for the little ones, a 30ft climbing wall and a lazy river for when you’re ready for a moment of relaxation, LC Waterpark & Leisure Complex has plenty to offer groups. Once you’re ready to dry off, keep your group’s energy up with a stop at the two eateries.
2. Folly Farm
Set over 120 acres, wildlife lovers will be pleased to know that a visit to Folly Farm could see them get up close to furry and feathered farmyard friends in the barn before visiting over 750 animals at the zoo. More than just a zoo, or a farm for that matter, Folly Farm also hosts a number of events, from magic shows and family fun days, to concerts and conservation events throughout the year.
3. Cardiff Castle
Located in the heart of the city, Cardiff Castle is a site that can boast of over 2,000 years of history. Guided tours of the spectacular apartments can be enjoyed by day, while traditional Welsh Banquets complete with entertainment can be experienced by night. Special tours with the curator are also available.
4. Bodnant Garden
Created over 150 years, Bodnant Garden is a National Trust site with plants collected and brought to Britain from far afield. Bringing to life the vision of the McLaren family, and Puddle head gardeners, the garden sits before the stunning backdrop of the Carneddau mountains of Snowdonia. No matter what time of the year you visit, the historic Grade I listed garden has something on offer from dramatic waterfalls, to towering trees and exotic plants.
5. Electric Mountain Visitor Centre
Set against the magnificent backdrop of towering mountains, and amongst the scenery of Snowdonia, Electric Mountain is First Hydro Company’s Visitor Centre in Llanberis. Acting as the starting point for the tour of Dinorwig Power Station. Explore the inner workings of the Electric Mountain in the centre, before relaxing and grabbing a bite to eat at the café.
6. Conwy Castle
Built for Edward I, Conwy Castle is a surviving Medieval fortification. To get the full picture, climb to the top of one of the castle’s eight towers to enjoy breath-taking views across mountains and sea, or explore the castle walls with their 21 towers that enclose Conwy town. Once you’re fully impressed with the outside, head on in to explore the outer ward containing the great hall chambers and kitchen, and an inner ward with private chambers and a royal chapel.
7. Great Orme Tramway
Originally opened in 1902, the Great Orme Tramway has been attracting visitors ever since. Groups wishing to experience travelling in the original tramcars, each of which have been carefully restored over the years, can journey from Victoria Station to the summit, where views as far as the Isle of Man, Blackpool and the Lake District can be taken in. A quick stop off at the Halfway Station will provide visitors with the opportunity to discover the history of the funicular and view the Victorian engineering.
8. Caernarfon Castle
The third castle on this list is Caernarfon Castle but upon arrival you’ll instantly notice that this is no normal castle. Another of Edward I’s creations, it is impressive from the offset as it is home, not to the usual round towers but to polygonal ones. Once you’ve explored the castle itself, be sure to stop off to see the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, which is housed in two of the castle’s towers and is filled with medals, uniforms, weapons and historical displays.
Those who are more Science-inclined than History-focused will want to head to Techniquest. The hands-on Science Discovery Centre is suitable for all ages and abilities, with over 130 interactive exhibits to be explored, along with a Planetarium, Science Theatre, Discovery Room and coffee shop. Pre-booked groups can benefit from discounted rates and can often book in to see a science theatre show at weekends.
Last, but by no means least, is a place that is described as a much-loved home, garden and estate. Erddig, another National Trust property, is full to the brim with stories of a family and their servants, all of which can be uncovered and explored during a visit. Indoors, take in a large collection of servants’ portraits and wander through the carefully preserved rooms. Outdoors, explore the estate’s fully restored 18th century garden, complete with fruit trees, herbaceous borders, formal hedges and a nationally important collection of ivies.