Best Time to Visit Wales

Llyn Gwynant in the Spring

 Jeremy Walker/Getty Images

The best time to visit Wales is from April to June. But don’t expect sunshine and reliably dry weather when you go. Wales is beautifully green because it rains a lot. But during the spring, the flowers are in bloom. Carpets of snowdrops give way to crocuses, daffodils, and bluebells. Waterfalls turn into gushers in Snowdonia. So pack your raincoat and wellies to enjoy nature at its freshest.

Popular Events and Festivals

The biggest event of the year is the National Eisteddfod, an annual competition of singing, instrumental music, dance, theatre, and poetry held in a different part of the country every year in August. Thousands compete, and hundreds of thousands attend. The Rugby Six Nations, a tournament that involves England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, and Italy, fills the pubs with cheering fans from February through March. The Man V. Horse Challenge in June and the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in August are probably Britain’s weirdest sporting events taking place in the country’s smallest town.

The Weather in Wales

The climate is temperate and humid. Temperatures vary only about 20 degrees F with winter months averaging in the low 40s and the warmest months in the low 60s. A central strip of Wales, from north to south but away from the coasts, gets the most snow. Llangollen, the high pass in Snowdonia, and Rhayader, right in the middle of the country, get the most days with snow on the ground, while both the north and south coasts get about 10 times less.

Peak Season in the U.K.

Peak season is from mid-June through August. It's driest in June and July with the best chance of sunshine. But a bit of rain can be expected on even the sunniest days.

January

January is one of the wetter months of the year, averaging about 5.5 inches of rain or snow during the month. Except in the mountains, temperatures rarely fall below 35 F or rise above 45 F. This is also the windiest time of year. Although average winds are about 14 miles per hour, Atlantic storms can be very gusty.

Events to check out

  • New Year’s Day Swims: In Saundersfoot Bay, Barry Island and other coastal locations, costumed daredevils welcome the New Year with a frigid plunge. 

February

The temperature range is exactly the same as January, with the same wet weather. The only reason the precipitation is slightly less is that the month is shorter. The snowdrops and crocuses are out.

Events to check out

  •  Guinness Six Nations Rugby: The annual rugby competition between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy, and France kicks off on Feb. 1 in Cardiff with matches in Twickenham Stadium, Greater London, and Edinburgh during the month.
  •  Bangor Music Festival: This contemporary music festival is held over two days in North Wales.

March

The temperature creeps up—averaging between from 37.5 to 48 F—and rain averages 4.3 inches for the month.

Events to check out

  • St. David’s Day: The patron saint of Wales is celebrated on the first of the month. There’s a national parade in Cardiff, and some villages hold processions in colorful national costumes. People pin daffodils to their lapels or stick leeks into their hats, both national symbols of Wales.
  •  Croeso Swansea: A two-day St. David’s Day festival of food, drink, and music, held Feb. 29 to March 1.

April

It’s warming up, averaging 40 to 50 degrees. April and May are the driest months, both averaging a little over three inches of rain. The days are noticeably longer too. Sunset at the beginning of the month is at 7:40 p.m. By the end of the month, the sun is setting at nearly 8:30 p.m.

Events to check out

  •  The RHS Flower Show, Cardiff: A month ahead of the famous Chelsea Flower Show, the gardening season kicks off in mid-April in the Welsh capital.
  • Wonderwool Wales: Knitters, weavers, and crafters make tracks to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells for this annual celebration of wool and natural fibers.

May

May is milder and drier, with temperatures between 45 to 57 degrees. By the end of the month, days are approaching their longest with nearly a little over 16 hours of daylight.

Events to check out

  •  International Dylan Thomas Day: A celebration of the life and work of poet Dylan Thomas takes place on May 14, the anniversary of the first public performance of Under Milk Wood, his play for voices. Walking tours, online happenings, and performances around the country, especially in areas associated with Thomas: Swansea, Laugharne, the Gower, and Pembrokeshire.
  • The Hay Festival Wales: Formerly the Hay on Wye Festival, a vast literary festival, under canvas in the Welsh borders near Tintern Abbey.

June

There's lots of daylight in June. The longest day of the year is June 20, with 16.5 hours of daylight between sunrise and sunset, but counting the twilight hours the day starts before 4 a.m. and ends after 10 p.m. Average temperatures vary from 48 to about 62 degrees, but it is often much warmer than the average.

Events to check out

July

Together with August, the warmest month of the year, with averages between 51 and 65 F. Outdoor music and arts festivals, as well as mountain marathons and endurance sports events, are popular this month

Events to check out

  • The Gower Festival: Two weeks of classical music and jazz in Southwest Wales.
  •  The Big Cheese: Caerphilly Castle celebration of its namesake cheese, a huge food and drink festival with music and a funfair at the end of July.

August

A little cooler and quite a bit wetter than June, but come prepared with the right clothes and a ground cloth to sit on and there’s plenty to do.

Events to check out

  •  The National Eisteddfod: A massive national music, singing, dance, and spoken word competition. It's held Aug. 1-8 in a different location every year.
  •  CastellRoc Music Festival: This unusually intimate (only 300 tickets per night) music festival is held inside Chepstow Castle for the last two weeks of August.
  • The Green Man Festival: Three days of music, comedy and family fun in the Brecon Beacons National Park in the third week of August.
  •  The World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Llanwrtyd Wells. It's as bonkers as it sounds, and it's been going on for 35 years.

September

The weather remains mild—from 50 to 60 F— in the north, warmer along the coasts. It's wetter though, with average rainfall of 4.75 inches. The first sign of autumn is the reduction of daylight hours. Days are nearly two hours shorter at the end of September than at the start.

Events to check out

  •  The Elvis Festival: Thousands of Elvis fans and tribute artists gather in Porthcawl for the biggest festival of its kind in the world.

October

Cooler and wetter with nearly six inches of rain and average temperatures from 46 to 57 F. Look for beautiful fall colors between the raindrops, lots of walking and food festivals.

Events to check out

  • Food and beer festivals are held around the country. Join the Real Ale Train on the Llangollen Railway on Oct. 3. It’s a beer festival on a heritage steam train.

November

Get used to rain. November is the wettest month of the year with an average rainfall of 6.3 inches and real winter coat temperatures.

Events to check out

December

The month with the shortest days of the year—averaging 7.5 hours of daylight each day—is good for indoor activities and events. It’s almost as wet as November and the temperature hovers just above freezing for most of the month.

Events to check out

Was this page helpful?