Destinations for cottages in Wales, from north to south

If you're pining to explore the raw peaks of Snowdonia or splash in the white-capping waters of Pembrokeshire, be sure to read on for a guide to booking Welsh holiday cottages. It's got plenty of inspiring destination suggestions, dealing with all the major regions, from the mountain-carved north to the wave-washed south.

Discover holiday cottages in South Wales

South Wales is a land of salty seas and hearty cities. It's home to the capital of the country, some of its finest beaches and a mix of intriguing historical sites, to boot.

St Davids has Welsh holiday cottages

St Davids has the unusual distinction of the being the UK's smallest city. It's crowned by a great cathedral that dates all the way back to the 6th century. When you've finished trawling through the history of pilgrims and popes, you can munch local fudge in the confectionery shops or head out to see puffins nesting on nearby Ramsey Island.

The Gower is packed with Welsh holiday cottages

Right at the end of the Gower Peninsula, the Welsh lands crumple into heath-covered hills and the shores drop down to primeval Llangennith Bay. The village of Rhossili clutches the headland there, surrounded by sunflower fields and the tidal island of Worm's Head. Between surf sessions and cliff walks, you can enjoy cold pints and Welsh cuisine in its hearty pubs.

A Welsh holiday cottage close to Cardiff

The vibrancy of the Welsh capital can't be overstated. You can bag yourself a salt-washed fishing cottage in old Penarth and head just across Cardiff Bay to seek out the striking Wales Millennium Centre, where the famous Celtic tenors rattle the rafters. Winter brings rugby to the Principality Stadium, sending all the pubs and bars into overdrive. Meanwhile, St Fagans – the National Museum of History – is close by, offering an immersive journey through coal-mining history, and more.

The wild north for cottages to rent in Wales

North Wales is a cottage destination for real adventurers. Whether you're puffing on a narrow-gauge steamer under the summit of Snowdon or beachcombing for shells on Anglesey, there's bound to be plenty on the menu.

Beddgelert for cottages wreathed in myth

With its stone bridges arching over the River Glaslyn and its range of slate-topped cottages beneath the wooded rises of the Snowdonia mountains, Beddgelert is a fine spot for unravelling some of Wales's intriguing folk stories. The most famous one attributed to the town is the tragedy of its namesake, the dog Gelert, who was slain – as the result of a misunderstanding – by his owner, Llywelyn the Great.

Anglesey for Welsh homes by the Irish Sea

The island of Anglesey is famed for its sprinkling of castles and fringing of beaches. Many claim that the best sand stretches are down by loveable Rhosneigr, which heralds surf spots and rock pools aplenty. A visit up to the rugged outcrops that host Holyhead's lighthouse should also be in order – particularly if there's a chance that you'll catch the sunset.

Caernarfon cottages by mighty castles

Part of a UNESCO site that covers the medieval forts of the whole Gwynedd region, Caernarfon Castle is the pièce de resistance. It was fortified by Edward Longshanks in the 11th century to pacify the Welsh and is these days considered one of the best-preserved citadels in the country. Around it, little rows of Welsh cottages and cobbled lanes weave and wiggle, this way and that.

Consider holiday cottages in Mid Wales

Don't forget Mid Wales. Although it doesn't hit the same headlines as the southern beaches or Snowdonia, there are still vast tracts of untouched landscape and sweeping dashes of beachfront here, all hosting enticing cottages and rentals.

A home away from home in Aberystwyth

A West Wales cottage in Aberystwyth will put you right at the cultural heart of the country. As you wander the wave-splashed promenade and hop between the bara brith-touting teahouses, it's likely you'll hear more Welsh being spoken than English. There are endless walks around Cardigan Bay to be had, while a ride on the Vale of Rheidol Railway can reveal the sheer beauty of this oft-forgotten region.

The market town of Brecon

Brecon is like a steppingstone between Mid Wales and South Wales. It sits just on the cusp of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Laced with fire-crackling pubs and art galleries, it's a fine place to seek out cottages close to the summit of Pen-y-fan, a popular climbing mountain that's the highest in the country outside of Snowdonia.

Books and valleys in Hay-on-Wye

Holiday cottages in Mid Wales can sometimes come dangerously close to the English border. That's the case with the boltholes of Hay-on-Wye, which straddle the beautifully bucolic Wye Valley and its babbling riverway. Some even have views across from the Celtic lands to the Anglo ones. Others are nestled in the town itself, which is famed for its abundance of bookshops and the annual arts festival.