The Go Wild Go West blog

The South West & Wales: A Holiday Guide

Family holidays South West & Wales

The South West and Wales are amazing for family holidays. No other word for it.
With so many places to visit, it can be hard to choose where to go. Here we’ve shared some of our favourite places to camp, eat, and visit plus some awesome things to do across the Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Dorset and Wales.

Holidays in Devon, Cornwall, Wales, Dorset & Somerset

The South West can get insanely busy, so many of these recommendations are more off the ‘beaten-tourist-track’. We’ve also aimed to support a few small businesses that we love.

See details below for holiday tips for:
Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, Dorset, Somerset, North Devon and South Devon/Dartmoor.

Summer Outdoor Adventure Guides

As you head out on your summer holiday, make sure you have our Outdoor Adventure Guides to give you inspiration and ideas for awesome summer family activities.

wild swimming in wales
wild swimming in Snowdonia
SNOWDONIARhaedr Nantcol Waterfalls CampingThe RhinogsCartwheels
on Harlech Beach
Ty Coch Inn
PEMBROKESHIREPoint Farm Camping, DaleThe Preseli
at Dale Beach
The Druidstone Hotel
SOMERSETWookey Farm CampingCombes and GorgesRiver Swimming
at Farleigh Hungerford
Wilkins Cider
DORSETSteeple Leaze FarmKimmeridge Bay
mackerel fishing
in Lyme Regis
The Square & Compass
NORTH DEVONLonglands Safari GlampingLundy IslandSurf
on Saunton Sands
Barricane Beach cafe
Beryl’s CampsiteHolne WoodsRock climbing with
The Shack, Beesands
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Snowdonia has the perfect blend of beautiful beaches and mountains to climb. You can’t always guarantee good weather but there’s so much to explore that sunshine isn’t all that important.

  • Stay in Snowdonia
    Rhaedr Nantcol Waterfalls Camping
    This is a larger site than we would normally choose but still only 80 pitches. It’s great for family camping. The kids could play in the shallow river, complete with rope swings, that runs through the campsite. There are good facilities and even a shop and pizza oven for those evenings you can’t be bothered to cook.
    The real benefit is that you have the beautiful Nantcol Waterfalls literally on your doorstep – a lovely walk with plenty of opportunities to swim.
  • Where to visit
    The Rhinogs
    This range of mountains is often overlooked in comparison to the higher, better known peaks of Northern Snowdonia. It’s a shame because they are absolutely beautiful and great for walking with kids! The day we ventured up there was baking hot but the views (and the breeze) made it worthwhile. See if you can find the fantastic Bryn Cader Faner burial cairn.
  • Fun stuff
    Cartwheels on Harlech Beach
    Harlech is one of my all-time favourite beaches. It’s HUGE! Walk just 5 minutes away from the entrance to the beach which is often crowded, and you will likely have the place to yourselves. Beautiful dunes to explore, shells to find, and plenty of space for cartwheel practice.
  • Eat in Snowdonia
    Ty Coch Inn
    Start with some rock pooling at Borth Wen beach and then head to the Ty Coch Inn for a pint and a prawn sandwich on the beach.

    * Find more awesome things do and places to visit in our guide to Snowdonia

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family holiday in snowdonia
taking in the Snowdonia views


Sunshine, beach life, and great food are all part of the Pembrokeshire parcel.

  • Stay in Pembrokeshire
    Point Farm, Dale
    Point farm is one of those rare places that ticks all the camping boxes. It’s small and friendly with only 7 pitches. The kids found some other children to play with and there’s plenty of space for football, frisbee, rounders etc albeit on a slope. The location on Dale Point is fantastic and you can wonder down to the Griffin Inn for a samphire G&T sitting on the harbour wall.
    * Find more information on Point Farm in our Top 6 Campsites of the South West & Wales
  • Where to visit
    The Preseli Hills
    Pembrokeshire’s best kept secret, the Preseli Hills (or Preseli Mountains) are wild, beautiful and great for exploring. Escape the coast for a day and take to the hills!

  • Fun Stuff
    West Wales Watersports
    Paddle board, kayak, sail, or windsurf from Dale beach with the brilliant West Wales Watersports company…. Then finish up with one of those samphire G&T’s from the Griffin Inn whilst the kids go crabbing on the pontoon.

  • Eat in Pembrokeshire
    The Druidstone Hotel

    One of my all time favourite places to visit. You can spend the day on the beach below the hotel and then head up to the gardens or the funky cellar bar for a cocktail and some delicious food.

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paddleboarding at dale beach
paddleboarding at Dale Beach


Quiet, beautiful and full of cider… Somerset is too often neglected as holiday makers favour Devon and Cornwall, but there’s a HUGE amount to see and do here… plus you avoid the crowds of the coast.

  • Stay in Somerset
    Wookey Farm Campsite

    Set on a working goat farm, the kids can head up to the barn and feed the goats, watch them being milked, and stroke the donkey and pigs. The campsite is surrounded by the most beautiful meadows and in the next door field is a shallow stream which is perfect for paddling. The campsite prides itself on being eco-friendly. Don’t expect large shower blocks and flushing loos. Two compost loos and a tap for washing up served us perfectly.

  • Where to visit
    Combes and Gorges
    The birth place of geology, Somerset’s rock formations are incredible. Visit the cliffs and caves of Cheddar and Ebbor Gorge and explore the combes of Compton Martin, East Harptree and Burrington. Find more places to visit here.

  • Fun Stuff
    Farleigh Hungerford Swim club
    Visit one of the countries oldest river swimming clubs and dive into the cool waters on the River Avon at Farleigh Hungerford. Watch out for kingfishers. Find more wild swimming in Somerset ideas here.

  • Eat in Somerset
    Wilkins Cider
    , Mudgley
    You can’t visit Somerset without enjoying some local cider and there’s no better places than Wilkins cider – a true legend in the cider world.
    Don’t expect anything fancy. A tankard of cider from the giant barrels and some cheese and crisps are all that’s on offer but it’s an experience like no other

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wild meadows in Somerset
wild meadows at Wookey Farm Campsite


Some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK plus a great stretch of coastal path to walk.

  • Stay in Dorset
    Steeple Leaze Farm
    This is my ideal campsite – masses and masses of space (take aerobie, cricket, football, rounders, there’s space for it all!), beautiful views and freedom to have a campfire. Don’t expect luxury – we stayed in the top field where there were a total of 3 compost loos and 2 taps. I believe there are flushing loos, showers and sinks in the bottom field plus bacon sandwiches for breakfast.
    *Find more information on Steeple Leaze Farm in our Guide to the Best campsites in the South West

  • Where to Visit
    Kimmeridge Bay

    This shallow bay is great for kids with a huge expanse of shallow reefs and rock pools. The snorkelling was absolutely amazing… I felt like a mermaid….

  • Fun Stuff
    Mackerel fishing from Lyme Regis

    We loved heading out on the boat for a few hours to try our hand at mackerel fishing. Secretly, we were all quite relieved when we failed to catch anything (and therefore kill anything!)

  • Where to Eat
    The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers

    This is a fantastic, quirky pub perfect for a summer day. Sit at the large stone slab tables and enjoy a pint and a pasty.

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kimmeridge bay
snorkelling at Kimmeridge Bay


With it’s high cliffs and beautiful hidden coves, North Devon is increasingly one of the most popular places to visit on holiday.

  • Stay in North Devon
    Longlands Glamping

    Luxury glamping! Longlands has it all, giant safari tents with kitchens, woodburners and en-suite bathrooms plus a private lake and beautiful woodland on site.

  • Where to visit
    Lundy Island

    100% worth a visit – one of my favourite places in the world. We’ve stayed on Lundy a few times and can’t wait to go back. If you can’t stay on the island then head over for a day trip from Ilfracombe or Bideford.
    *Find out more in our Lundy blog here

  • Fun Stuff
    Surf on Saunton Sands

    This massive beach is great for learning to surf. Hire a board from the surf shack and hit the waves. You can book lessons there too.

  • Where to eat
    Barricane Beach café

    After a day surfing, pick up a curry from the beach shack and enjoy a delicious curry and a beer on the beach whilst watching the sun go down.

    *Find more beaches, walks and amazing places to eat in our Guide to North Devon.

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north devon beaches
taking to the high seas


  • Staying in South Devon
    Beryl’s Campsite
    This is a great campsite in South Devon. Plenty of space, beautiful views and located on the SW coast path so within easy walking distance to the beach and beautiful walks.
    Alternatively, why not set off on your own wild camping adventure on Dartmoor?

  • Where to visit
    Holne Woods
    The beech trees in these woods are so enormously spectacular, they are truly breathtaking.  The woodland is fantastic to explore and with the River Dart running at the bottom of the valley, there are plenty of spots for a wild swim.

  • Fun stuff
    Climbing on Hound Tor with Crag2Mountain
    Book a half day session climbing and weaseling up on the moor with Crag2Mountain. A great challenge for the whole family!

  • Where to eat
    The Shack, Beesands
    Fantastic seafood right on the beach – great crab sandwich!

    *Find the best places to explore Dartmoor using our insider guide to Dartmoor here

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Climbing with Crag2Mountain

How do we plot our adventures? Using a map and the awesome series of Wild Guides which share the best, secret spots to explore across the South West & Wales. We take it with us whenever we visit somewhere new! Grab a copy here.

outdoor adventures

*I have used and enjoyed the Wild Guide book series for years and I hope you will too. Though I take an affiliate commission for each book sale from my website, this helps cover the running costs of Go Wild Go West.