19 December 2017
Boasting glorious beaches with vast sweeps of soft sands, spectacular coastal walks, dazzling waterfalls, and a plethora of magnificent castles, there are many places to visit in Wales which are blessed with picture-perfect locations and landmarks.
It's, therefore, no surprise that tens of thousands of photos of Wales beauty spots are posted on Instagram every year.
We've rounded up some of our favourite photogenic locations which will have all your followers swooning over your social media snaps.
Mount Snowdon, Gwynedd
For views that leave your Instagram followers drooling with envy, Mount Snowdon, the largest mountain in Wales is guaranteed to impress. One of the most famous sights in Wales, you can look across the horizon of a hundred hills and admire the National Park's epic scenery. Be warned though, a tough trek up Snowdon is not for the faint-hearted, so make sure you are fully prepared and check the weather before you set off.
When to get the best pic: The best views from the summit of Snowdon can be captured on a reasonably clear day; you'll see Snowdonia's mountains, lakes, and the Isles of Anglesey at the very least. If you're really lucky and it's an exceptionally clear day you might be able to see as far as southern Scotland to the north and Ireland to the west. The weather is very changeable here, so it's always advisable to plan ahead to achieve the most enviable shots.
Some of the best views in Wales can be found deep underground in some of its atmospheric caves. Dan-yr-Ogof, with its passageways and chambers beautifully decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, offers an abundance of photo opportunities. Explore the caves further and you will find Cathedral Cave, with 40-foot high waterfalls that cascade around you, and the wondrous Bone Cave where 42 human skeletons were once buried.
When to get the best pic: The beauty of photographing this extraordinary cave system is that it's underground, so isn't affected by the weather above ground. It is also beautifully illuminated; therefore, it doesn't matter what time of day you visit, you are sure to gain plenty of Insta-worthy shots.
Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
Home to the largest colony of puffins in southern Britain, Skomer Island is a world-renowned wildlife paradise. Prepare for heart-eyes emoji overload as your Instagram feed becomes filled with images of the classic Welsh scenery including breathtaking exposed headlands and towering offshore rocks full of nesting seabirds. Atlantic grey seals can be seen basking on the rocks, while porpoise and dolphins are also regularly spotted in the surrounding seas.
When to get the best pic: Boats set sail from nearby Martin's Haven to reach Skomer Island between April and October. In the spring, the island is carpeted with bluebells and pink campion, which is a sight to behold. Seals can be seen all year round, although the biggest numbers are admired in spring and autumn, and the best time to photograph puffins is between May and early July.
One of our favourite pretty places in Wales is the imposing Sgwd-yr-Eira waterfall, which offers particularly memorable photographs taken from behind its curtain of racing water. Capture sparkling icicles hanging from its fringes, pied wagtails frolicking in the spray and the thundering staircase of rapids pouring over mossy rock faces into natural plunge pools below.
When to get the best pic: Waterfalls are always at their most impressive after a heavy rainfall. So, if the heavens open, grab your waterproofs and embrace the downpour!
Pen y Fan, Powys
Magnificently standing at 886 metres above sea-level, Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, and is a much easier ascent than Mount Snowdon. At the summit, you will likely find many other walkers perched on the cairn grabbing a selfie against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Brecon Beacons National Park, one of the most beautiful places in Wales. This vantage point is perfect for capturing dramatic views stretching across south and mid-Wales, and over the Severn Estuary into South West England.
When to get the best pic: On a clear day, the Cambrian Mountains, Black Mountains, Gower, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset are visible from the summit. As with Snowdon, the weather and visibility on top may be very different from your starting point, so it's always best to plan ahead - taking appropriate equipment and clothing is essential.
South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey
The most famous and picturesque lighthouse in Wales is South Stack Lighthouse, which has been proudly guiding ships to safety since 1809. This spectacular landmark stands as a beacon of beauty along the Anglesey coastline near Holyhead and is certainly enough to make anyone stop mid-scroll.
When to get the best pic: For some incredibly dramatic images, photograph the lighthouse during stormy weather when the turbulent seas crash against the jagged rocks. For the ultimate picture-postcard snap, the lighthouse is particularly striking against a colourful sunset.
Llyn y Fan Fach, Carmarthenshire
This remote Carmarthenshire lake sitting majestically atop a mountain is shrouded in Welsh legend – and is one of the most magical and enchanting sights in all of Wales. To reach it, you will have to be prepared for a bit of a hike uphill, but once you come face to face with it, the glacial lake will simply take your breath away. Enjoy unspoilt panoramic views of the surrounding Brecon Beacons, soak up the peace and quiet and snap away to your heart's content.
When to get the best pic: Although beautiful any time of the year, spring sees dozens of birds soaring through the skies and making their homes here. Why not give your snaps the added “wow factor” by capturing one of Brecon's famous red kites flying high above the glittering lake?
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Voted many times as one of the best beaches in Britain (and the world!), Barafundle Bay is often likened to beaches in the Caribbean. Backed by rolling sand dunes and fragrant pine trees, this small bay boasts swathes of golden sand and crystal-clear waters and is certainly one of the prettiest places in Wales. Whether a novice or a professional photographer, you're resulting photos are sure to be stunning – and your followers will be left wondering if you're still in the UK!
When to get the best pic: It's always best to check the tide times before you visit to make sure you've got plenty of beach to photograph and won't get cut off by the incoming tide.
Talybont Reservoir, Powys
Surrounded by steep hills, forestry and farmland, this scenic three-kilometre-long reservoir is uniquely calming with its still waters. There is a circular walking and cycling route which takes you around the perimeter of the reservoir, offering endless photo opportunities and some of the best views in Wales.
When to get the best pic: The stillness of the reservoir makes it perfect for capturing reflections; this can be best achieved early in the morning when the first rays of the rising sun light up the peaks of the surrounding mountains and forest, and there are less ripples in the water to disturb the reflection.
Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire
Travellers have been flocking to the atmospheric ruins of Tintern Abbey for hundreds of years to admire its grace and sublime beauty. One of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales, it has inspired notable painters such as J.M.W Turner and continues to draw visitors to capture its haunting feel that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
When to get the best pic: Although beautiful on a bright sunny day, the ruins appear most atmospheric when the skies are darker with foreboding clouds, or during the winter when the early morning mist hangs above the crumbling stone.
Stack Rocks and the Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokeshire
Another Welsh beauty spot along the Pembrokeshire coast is the Green Bridge of Wales, a naturally formed limestone arch dominating its surroundings at an incredible 80ft tall. It is surrounded by Stack Rocks, a series of natural rock pillars that rise dramatically out of the swirling sea. These impressive geological features are gradually being worn away by the ebbing and flowing of the tide, and are the home of a variety of nesting seabirds.
When to get the best pic: These striking formations make incredible snaps for your Instagram collection as the sun rises and sets, with the vivid colours of the changing sky becoming a picturesque backdrop to the silhouettes of the rock.
Menai Strait, Anglesey
The Menai Strait boasts a plethora of locations that are just begging to be photographed. Separating Anglesey from mainland Wales, this 25km stretch of water is home to the captivating Menai Suspension Bridge which is bound to rack up your Insta-likes.
When to get the best pic: You won't get far walking along the Menai Strait before finding something of historical or Scientific interest; whatever the time of day or year you are guaranteed to be snap happy here.
Tenby Harbour, Pembrokeshire
Tenby Harbour is a true postcard-esque location, with rows of pastel coloured buildings and old fishing boats bobbing in the calm water. When the tide's out the golden sand of the beach is revealed, perfect for young children to build magnificent sandcastles. It's the jewel in Pembrokeshire's crown and the most photographed view in Wales.
When to get the best pic: Tenby Harbour is ideal to photograph on a summer's day when the colourful buildings are at their most vibrant.
Pistyll Rhaeadr, Powys
Who wouldn't be impressed with images of one of the “Seven Wonders of Wales”? The 240ft monster of Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest waterfall in Wales and certainly deserves praise for its gigantic stature. On rare occasions, the waterfall has been known to freeze into an astonishing sparkling ice sculpture!
When to get the best pic: Winter is a great time to achieve unique shots and celebrate some #instasuccess when the waterfall is usually in full flow and icicles form on the rapids beneath the falls.
Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire
Wales is Britain's undisputed king of castles, naturally hosting more ancient fortresses per square mile than anywhere else in Europe. Chepstow Castle is one of our favourites, majestically standing guard, towering over the side of a cliff above the swirling waters of the River Wye - no filter needed.
When to get the best pic: There is nothing more mysterious and stirring than a castle surrounded by early morning mist, or moodily lit by sunrise or sunset.
Stay with us in Wales
Have we inspired you to get out and about with your camera? Whether you want to snap some coastal scenery or scale a mountain to capture a vertiginous vantage point, take a look at our cottages to find somewhere to stay nearby to all of these lovely locations. Simply click the button below to find your ideal base for a photographic adventure in Wales.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.