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West Wales is one of the most beautiful parts of Britain and even when it’s raining (which it does quite a lot in Wales), there are still fun things to do. In this guide, I’ll share my favourite things to do on a rainy day in West Wales which covers Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and Carmarthenshire.
1. Explore St David’s Cathedral
Walking around Britain’s smallest city, St Davids is one of the best ways to spend a day out and you can shelter from the rain by visiting St David’s Cathedral. It’s steeped in history, having been built on the site where St David, the patron saint of Wales, had established a monastic community in the 6th century.
The current cathedral was built in the 12th century and has been used as a place of worship for over 1500 years. It’s the largest cathedral in Wales and one of the biggest in Britain too. Plus, it’s totally free to visit.
One of the highlights of this cathedral is the wooden ceiling. It was made in the 1530s purely from Welsh oak so it’s one of a kind and a real pleasure to see. The cathedral also has a library home to Bibles in both Welsh and English.
It’s best to visit the neighbouring Bishops Palace at the same time, however, keep in mind that the palace is mostly an outdoors attraction so it’s not worth paying to go in if it’s raining really heavily.
2. See The Medieval Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle was built in 1093 and is the only known castle in Britain to have been built over a natural cavern. Open all year round and right in the town centre it’s a must-see attraction in West Wales.
Walking through the castle you’ll get to see rooms which come to life and there are also exhibition rooms with sculptures, paintings and audio so you can learn as much as possible whilst you’re there. The views from the castle are incredible and overlook the Pembroke River.
Although the castle walls and the large keep are outdoors, there are also lots of indoor activities at the castle to keep you out of the rain, such as large museum telling the castle’s history and the buildings of the inner ward.
See my full Pembroke Castle visitors guide to find out more about what you can do here.
3. Enjoy Indoor Activities at Heatherton World of Activities
Open all year round, the family-friendly and dog-friendly Heatherton World of Activities is a great attraction come rain or shine. Some of the best indoor activities at Heatherton include soft play areas, an escape room, and the Pembrokeshire raceway (where you can race model cars around a giant 8-car track).
There are also several other activities where the rain doesn’t matter, including paintball, zorbing, and bumper boats, see their dedicated guide of things to do when it’s raining at Heatherton World of Activities to find out more.
Only 3 miles away from Tenby, Heatherton is really popular with locals and tourists as there’s something for everyone. You even have the option to stay on-site at Florence Springs Lakeside Lodges where you’ll have your own hot tub.
4. Feed and Pet Barn Animals at Folly Farm
Ten minutes away from Saundersfoot is Folly Farm, the perfect rainy-day family activity where at least half of the attractions are indoors or undercover. There are over 750 animals on the farm which live in the zoo and the barn. Visit the barn using the land train and you’ll be able to pet animals from sheep and horses to rabbits.
There’s also an indoor vintage fairground for the younger children and lots of food and drink options. If all of that wasn’t enough you can also adopt a goat as a way to remember your visit!
Find out more about visiting Folly Farm in the rain here.
5. Get Competitive at West Wales Indoor Karting
If you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and do something more adventurous despite the rain, then visit West Wales Karting in Haverfordwest. The best thing about this centre is that you can arrive on the day and take part, but if you’re looking to take on a group challenge then I’d advise booking ahead.
The track is indoors and 300-metres with sessions for everyone whether travelling as a couple or a group, children must be over the age of 8 to join in.
6. Visit the Tudor Merchant’s House in Tenby
If you fancy something a little more historical and cultural, step back in time by taking a visit to Tenby’s Tudor Merchant’s house. This 15th-century building is located near the harbour and has three stories which means there’s plenty of cover from the rain.
The building is managed by the National Trust and has been designed as a replica of a Tudor-era Merchant’s house, including furniture such as wall hangings and paintings. There’s also a working kitchen and a shop to pick up a souvenir.
Unfortunately, you will need to book ahead and arrange a dedicated time slot, but it’s a great idea if you’re anticipating the weather to be a little worse than usual.
7. See a Piece of History; The Last Invasion Tapestry
Located in Fishguard, the Last Invasion Tapestry gallery is home to a 30-metre tapestry designed by Elizabeth Cramp which took four years to finish. The tapestry was created to share the story of the invasion of West Wales by the French in 1797.
The gallery is actually a part of the Fishguard Library in the Town Hall and is located right on the high street close to cafes and shops.
Just across the road from the gallery is The Royal Oak pub, a place of significance in the last invasion story as it’s where the treaty was signed. It’s worth stopping by to enjoy one of the local cask ales brewed especially to commemorate the story.
See my dedicated guide to find out more about the best things to do in Fishguard.
8. Coasteer Your Way Around Pembrokeshire’s Cliffsides
West Wales is the best place for coasteering and other water-based activities. It’s a lot of fun and you’re going to get wet anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much if it’s raining (although it may get cancelled if there are heavy storms).
Coasteering is an activity that’s been around for over 30 years it’s still one of the most popular activities to do, especially around the Pembrokeshire Coast, it involves climbing, abseiling, swimming, and jumping as you make your way around the cliffside (although the jumping is optional!).
There are many operators to choose from known for coasteering, to name a few, there’s TYF Adventure and Coasteering, The Real Adventure Company and Celtic Quest. They’re all located in the Pembrokeshire area which is known as a popular water sports hub as well as its natural photo-perfect coastline.
9. Walk Around the National Botanic Garden of Wales
Located in Llanarthe is the National Botanic Garden of Wales. One of the most beautiful and understated places in West Wales and it receives the highest amount of visitors in Wales. Over 560 acres of gardens and land, as well as an indoor garden with a cafe and shop.
Take a walk around the British Bird of Prey Centre where you can see flying displays and get to interact with different birds of prey such as falcon kites and eagles. If you’re looking to have a hands-on experience with owls and red kits it’s advised to book ahead.
10. Visit Tenby Museum & Art Gallery
Although Tenby Museum & Art Gallery looks quite small from the outside, inside you’ll find no fewer than 6 rooms where you can learn about the history of Pembrokeshire, from its geology, archaeology, and natural history right through to its social history.
This includes photos and artefacts from some important events in Tenby’s history including when Henry Tudor escaped through the town, how war and plague impacted the area, and how Robert Recorde, a Tenby local, invented the equals sign which is now used across the world.
This is just one of several great things to do in Tenby on a rainy day, others include the lifeboat station, arcade, archery, and the Tudor Merchant’s house mentioned earlier.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.