Where to Go on a Day Trip to Wales

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Written by our Web Team

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12 min read | 31 May 2024

With its stunning beauty and vast history, Wales is a fantastic place for a day trip. As well as boasting stunning scenery, its warm and welcoming residents make it a friendly country to visit.

North Wales is amazing for families, for adventure seekers, and for those seeking a countryside respite from the pace of city living.

Find out more about Wales, specifically the north, where to go for a day trip, and how to get here by train. 

Why take a day trip to Wales?

View of Snowdon peak from lake Llynnau Mymbyr in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales

Wales is famous for its mountainous national parks and well-preserved castles, but it’s also about those who live here. 

Originally settled thousands of years ago, there’s still evidence of those early days that history buffs can freely visit. A great example is Barclodiad y Gawres (‘The Giantess’s Apronful’ in English) in Anglesey (nearest stop: Holyhead). This is a striking burial chamber from the Neolithic period with ancient stone etchings.

The Welsh language remains a key part of the nation’s identity. It’s still widely spoken in the North, which adds to the unique charm of this part of the UK.

There are also fantastic festivals often hosted here, and nowhere in the UK does festivals quite like the Welsh. 

There’s a diverse choice of music festivals ranging from the North Wales Choir Festival in March in Llandudno to FOCUS Wales in Wrexham in May. FOCUS Wales features the country's hottest new bands and singers and a selection of international artists.

If you want traditional Welsh music, culture, and dance, make sure you come to the National Eisteddfod in August. For book lovers, the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye is always something to look forward to. 

The food here is amazing too. Go high-end at one of the country’s nine Michelin restaurants or go hearty at an eatery serving Welsh treats like cawl, bara brith, and laverbread.

Additionally, its proximity to England and Scotland makes Wales an easily accessible place, whether you’re coming with the kids or your friends.

Where to go in Wales for a day trip

Wide angle photo of Llandudno showing the promenade and a white buildings around the edge bathed in sunlight.

North and South Wales share much in common. They both have beautiful coastlines with clean beaches that attract visitors all year. 

The regions reflect their rich history as ancient landmarks seamlessly blend in with modern towns and cities. However, many differences make each part of the country unique.

The south is a mix of serene countryside and urban landscapes. It’s also where most of the population lives. Major cities like Cardiff and Swansea, together with many smaller bustling towns, make this a vibrant and lively part of the UK. 

The south was also the industrial powerhouse of the country. The coal mines and steel mills helped shape the people and the culture. That heritage has left a lasting imprint, with many former sites transformed into museums and cultural centres.

The population in the north, by contrast, is far more dispersed. The region is home to lively towns like Wrexham and Bangor, but they’re nestled in vast areas of open countryside like the Vale of Clwyd and Denbigh Moors. 

The region is dotted with ancient remnants like Conwy Castle that tell the human story of the country over centuries. In some areas of the north, the Welsh language is predominant, indicative of deep-rooted traditions of the people. 

Wherever in the country you go, Wales is worth a visit. However, we’ll be concentrating on the north as the train journey is an experience in itself, with gorgeous views from the windows.

Destinations for Wales day trip

Avanti’s train routes track the beautiful coastline of North Wales. The last English station you’ll pass through is Chester on your journey to Cymru, and 73 miles away, at the end of the line, is stunning Holyhead.

We’ve chosen six stations on the Avanti route to focus on. We’ll share with you what each town and the region that surrounds it has to offer.


Wrexham hit the front and the back pages thanks to the takeover of Wrexham football club by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny. You can sample the amazing atmosphere for yourself by booking tickets for the next game. 

Wrexham is a great place to come to if you want to pack in as many different activities as possible on your day trip.

For history lovers, check out St. Giles’ Church, the largest medieval church in the country. Dive deeper into the past with the fantastic displays at Wrexham Heritage Museum on iconic Regent Street.

The Museum is currently closed for major redevelopment. This is so work can begin to redevelop the museum into the 'Museum of Two Halves' - a new football museum for Wales, alongside a fully refurbished Wrexham Museum. Find out more from their website.

For families that like a bit of science, the Xplore! Science Discovery Museum is fascinating and a guaranteed hit if you’ve got children with you.

For nights out, start at the legendary Turf Hotel at the Racecourse Ground, made famous by the "Welcome to Wrexham" documentary. The town has a couple of nightclubs too if you decide to make your day trip a weekend stay.

For big brand shopping, check out the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in the heart of Wrexham. There’s also a thriving independent retail scene located at the Tŷ Pawb centre. 


Flint is a beautiful old town that faces out onto the vast expanse of the River Dee estuary. If you want to come away to relax and take in the scenery, this is the place for you.

The ruins of Flint Castle sit by the estuary near the long and winding coastal path that leads into the town. This area is internationally significant for its variety of wildlife, making it a hotspot for birdwatchers and nature lovers. 

If you fancy a quick game of golf, Flint also has a nine-hole course here set against stunning woodlands. 

Just over the road from the train station is Flintshire Retail Park, featuring big brand names and outlet stores. There’s also a good selection of bars and restaurants around the High Street, with the Mill Tavern being a favourite among locals.


Prestatyn is a seaside town with some of the country’s best beaches, perfect for dipping your toes in sand and sea.

There are three beaches here, all accessible via the promenade that stretches for four miles. Central Beach is famous for its golden sands and clean water. You’ll find lots of shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as a kid’s play area.

To the east is Barkby Beach. This beach has a far more relaxed atmosphere, ideal if you want to enjoy the tranquil coast in peace. 

To the west is Ffrith Beach, appreciated by tourists and locals for its wide panoramas and stunning sunsets.

For some retail therapy, Prestatyn’s excellent Shopping Park is not far from the train station. 

The town also has a wonderful high street full of independent shops, bars, and restaurants. Be sure to check out Up A Yard, a Jamaican-themed eatery that’s very highly rated by customers.

Colwyn Bay

Further along the coast is Colwyn Bay, another beautiful seaside town that’s three times the size of Prestatyn. What’s special about Colwyn Bay is its subtle blend of historic, old-world charm seamlessly blended with a more modern vibe.

The beautiful sand of Colwyn Bay has attracted tourists for centuries, seated next to the restored three-mile promenade that reaches all the way up the coast to Rhos-on-Sea. 

The town has some of the most splendid Victorian architecture in Wales. Tourists love the town’s ornate buildings and intricate shop fronts that showcase the area’s historic aesthetic.

The town is home to the amazing Porth Eirias restaurant, the bistro of Michelin award-winning chef Bryn Williams. The restaurant is close to Wales’ oldest surviving theatre and cinema, Theatr Colwyn. You’ll also find a great selection of pubs, bars, and restaurants in the town centre.

Close by is the peaceful retreat of Pwllycrochan Woods with its popular nature trails. Don’t forget to check out the Welsh Mountain Zoo, featuring snow leopards, red pandas, and an array of different lizards and amphibians.


Just 18 minutes from Colwyn Bay by train, you’ll find the timeless seaside resort of Llandudno.

Like Colwyn Bay, Llandudno has stunning Victorian architecture, with pastel shades, like those seen at Portmeirion. The pristine and well-kept promenade runs parallel to the town’s beautiful and expansive beaches.

The Great Orme is a limestone headland on the coast, just on the edge of the town. Catch the tramway to reach the summit, first in a funicular and then on a modern cable car. 

The views of the town and the region are breathtaking, making it an ideal spot for keen photographers.

It’s not just the views either, as there are plenty of activities for your day trip. For culture lovers, there’s the  Mostyn gallery, or you can catch a show at Venue Cymru. 

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the town. The restaurant scene is vibrant, catering to all tastes, from hearty Welsh fare to the modern seafood cuisine served at The Seahorse. 

Not far away is the wonder of Snowdonia (otherwise known as Eryri) National Park. The mountain itself features plenty of peaks, making it the perfect spot for hikers. 


The last stop on the line is Holyhead. Holyhead is the largest town on Holy Island, just off Anglesey in North Wales. As well as being a major railway station, the town is home to a ferry port handling two million passengers every year.

For history buffs, the area is full of prehistoric landmarks. Make a beeline for the neolithic Trefignath Burial Chamber and the Tŷ Mawr farming hut circles from the Iron Age on Holyhead Mountain. 

Another popular tourist attraction is St Cybi’s Church, a church that traces its roots back to 550 AD. The church is temporarily closed to transform the church into a multi-use space which can be used for services, events and concerts which will engage members of the community and wider.  All this is happening thanks to the UK Government Levelling up Fund. Find out more information on their website. For more local history, you can also find the fascinating maritime museum when you’re in town. 

Nature lovers will appreciate the coastal walks along Breakwater Country Park. This takes you to the RSPB visitor centre in Ellins Tower, a great place for bird watching. The Anglesey Coastal Path, which starts and ends at St Cybi Church, is a must for anyone who wants to take in the full beauty of the island for themselves.

Although Holyhead is a small town, there’s still a lot to do. There are excellent shopping facilities both in and out of the town centre, with big names as well as independent outlets. 

There are also plenty of bars, pubs, and restaurants for when it’s time to unwind after a long day. The views from the Wavecrest Cafe are amazing, and locals rave about the Catch 22 Brasserie. 

How to travel to Wales by train

 A red steam train pictured in the day going past Snowdonia in Wales.

One of the great things about a day trip to Wales is planning it all via train. Many areas of this beautiful country are accessible via railway.

Wherever you are in the UK, you can get to many places in Wales from some of the major cities and stations across England and Scotland. Here we’ve listed some examples.

Trains to Wales from London

You can take a day trip to Wales from London with Avanti trains. Below, find information about your journey to get here:

Trains to Wales from Manchester

Book a day trip to Wales from Manchester with Avanti trains. Here is the important travel information you need to know to plan your journey:

Trains to Wales from Liverpool

When planning your day trip to Wales from Liverpool, find the journey details you need below:

Trains to Wales from Glasgow

It’s a long way to come for a day trip from Glasgow but set off early and you can spend the whole day in the area.

Trains from Edinburgh to Wales 

When travelling from Edinburgh, here’s what you need to know when planning your trip to Wales from Scotland’s capital city:

Visit Wales by train with Avanti

Wide-angle photo of Colwyn Bay, Wales, showing the local buildings by the sea, taken in bright sunshine.

North Wales is worth a day trip from London or anywhere else in the UK to sample what this gorgeous part of the country has to offer.

Start planning your journey to beautiful Wales now. Don’t forget that you save money when you book your tickets in advance. You also save even more with a Railcard, with various options for different travellers.

To book tickets and check the latest train timetables, make sure you download the Avanti West Coast app to make planning your day trip to Wales even smoother.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

Avanti West Coast App