If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I was in Wales last night this week. This is his ITV show which features a different topic each week related to Wales.
If you are interested, you can watch the program here!
This week has been all about holidays, and we looked at who’s going abroad and who’s choosing to stay home. We talked about tips for saving money and advice for people wanting to stay in Wales.
One of the questions that was passed to me was about finding hidden gems in Wales. I didn’t know what kind of apps or brands I should mention on TV, and I couldn’t give solid advice because the content was vague and vague, so I thought I’d write a blog post about it.
Adrian from the Wales Tourism Alliance, who was with me, talked about the fact that some parts of Wales are too crowded, while others are not, and that they want to spread out the crowds and hide away from tourists. He said he needed to find a way to show people around the famous places.
This comment was directed specifically at Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak, which is often incredibly crowded with hikers, so crowded that you can barely see the mountain. But there are plenty of other great hiking trails within the Snowdonia Mountains not far from Snowdon!
Snowdon is famous so I understand that many people want to walk up it, but there are also many people who don’t know about other options.
It’s bound to happen anywhere that one beach is insanely crowded, but there’s a similar beach two miles away that’s empty. Or maybe one ice cream shop is crowded, but another ice cream shop nearby is just as good, but tourists don’t know it exists!
There’s definitely an element of locals wanting to have hidden gems all to themselves. And who can blame them? But I also think it’s important to spread out the crowds and avoid overcrowding certain areas!
So here are my tips to find hidden gems in Wales
Of course, you can’t start your search for Wales’ hidden gems without a simple Google search.
We recommend being specific and starting by searching for very specific areas, such as ‘Cardiff’s hidden gems’ or ‘Llyn Peninsula’s hidden gems’. If you don’t, you might end up feeling overwhelmed by the options.
Add suggestions to your own Google Map
If you’ve found a hidden gem in Wales, whether it’s via a blog, a recommendation, or just stumbled upon it on the internet, we highly recommend plotting it on Google Maps before you forget where it is!
Create your own personalized Google Map just for Wales and add pins to the places you want to visit.
This means you’ll never forget a hidden gem you’ve heard of and can instantly search for them in relation to where you are.
you can also add additional information to specific Pins, such as ‘Tom said he would do this xxxx’ or ‘You need 4 £1 coins to park’.
Read more: How to actually use Google Maps while traveling
Look at Airbnb Experiences
There are so many independent businesses offering experiences that showcase Wales’ hidden gems…but finding these businesses can be difficult as their websites are often basic and reliant on social media. It can be difficult. That’s where Airbnb Experiences come into play.
Discover truly unique experiences like wild swimming classes, hiking with donkeys, yoga in a wildflower meadow, and bushcraft courses. I’ve done a few things, including beekeeping and a historical cycling tour on Anglesey. They were amazing and I highly recommend using the Airbnb platform to find these independent businesses, even if you can’t actually book through Airbnb!
Follow the @VisitWales Instagram account
The account is amazingly gorgeous, showcasing so many of Wales’ hidden gems, as well as featuring lots of local photographers. You can then click to view the photographer’s account and find even more gems.
We recommend clicking the Save button to add it to your collection so you can keep all your ideas in one place.
There are lots of beautiful Instagram accounts featuring hidden gems in Wales, but this one is a really good one to start with. I don’t recommend putting a load on it, as it will only add to the strain.
Use AllTrails App
The AllTrails app introduces you to walking trails. I love that when I open the app, it uses GPS to show me different walking locations nearby. You can filter by “easy,” “difficult,” “family friendly,” and more to find what’s best for you.
Komoot is also a good option and also has cycling routes, but these apps are similar for hiking so you probably don’t need both.
Wild Guide Wales
Wild Guide Wales is my favorite book for finding hidden gems around Wales. Nothing stands out and there are really a lot of suggestions that I haven’t seen anywhere else. If you’re looking to buy a book about Wales, this is it!
Ask the locals
It’s a simple and obvious tip, but the easiest way to discover Wales’ hidden gems is to ask the locals.
But we also know that this is not always easy. There may not be many people to actually ask, especially if you are staying in self-catering accommodation!?
Do you think it’s weird to go to your local newsagents and ask for suggestions? Maybe!?
It’s a good idea to ask for suggestions when you book your accommodation, as you’ll likely end up emailing someone directly who lives locally. You can also use blogs and local Instagrammers. I live in North Wales and have a lot of posts about the area, including 30 things to do in Llangollen.
Check Google Maps and be adventurous
This is what Sam always does. He looks at his Google Maps and notices that there is a beach nearby. He finds the name of the beach and searches it on Google to see more photos and details such as parking.
Sometimes things go well and sometimes you find incredible hidden gems. Sometimes things don’t work out, but you have to be adventurous!