Penarth Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, see, eat and stay in Penarth, Wales with our comprehensive travel guide. Plan your Welsh adventure with helpful tips and suggestions.

Introduction to Penarth

Nestled in the Vale of Glamorgan, Penarth is a seaside town with a rich heritage and stunning natural beauty. Overlooking the Bristol Channel, Penarth is a popular destination for tourists looking for a peaceful retreat, wonderful beaches and an array of local attractions.

This travel guide highlights the most popular and must-visit attractions of Penarth, with a focus on the best things to do, see, eat and stay. Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing vacation by the sea, there is something for everyone in Penarth.

List of Places to Visit in Penarth

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Penarth Pier Pavilion is a beautiful Victorian building that dates back to 1929. Converted into a cultural center, it now houses a cinema, art gallery, cafe, and performance space. A must-visit attraction, it offers stunning views of the Bristol Channel and is a great place to admire the sunset.

  • St. Augustine’s Church is a grade II listed building, and dates back to 1866. The church’s beautiful architecture includes high ceilings, stained-glass windows, and intricate carvings throughout. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon exploring the church’s history and admiring its beauty.

  • The Penarth Civic Society offers a walking tour of the area, showcasing the town’s rich cultural fabric. Explore the town’s plethora of beautiful houses, narrow streets, and learn about its fascinating history.

Natural Attractions of Penarth: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Penarth. Go for a refreshing walk or hike amidst the freshest of fresh air, and admire the view of the tranquil Bristol Channel. The coastline is teeming with abundant marine life and bird species, making it a great location for birdwatching enthusiasts.

  • Marine Lake is an artificially created lagoon near the pier. The lake provides an ideal setting for water sports activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. The area surrounding the lake is also ideal for running and leisurely walks.

  • Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is a vast nature reserve covering around 200 acres of woodland, water-filled quarries and fields. This park offers an opportunity to see ducks, swans, waterfowl, badgers, and many more species. With a series of walking trails, it’s also a popular spot for families with children.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Penarth

Penarth boasts several scenic routes for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

  • Headland walks such as the one from Penarth Pier to Lavernock Point are beautiful and offer an enjoyable 5-mile hiking experience, offering great coastal views along the way.

  • A circular cycling route around the Vale of Glamorgan offers 23 miles of beautiful countryside and picturesque villages. The route includes stunning views of the Bristol Channel and the magnificent Welsh hills.

  • Porthkerry Country Park, located near Barry, offers various trails for an immersive hiking experience, ranging from gentle strolls to challenging routes.

Best Things to Do in Penarth: Activities and Tours

  • The Penarth Summer Festival is an annual event that takes place every August. The festival features a parade, music, dancing, food and drinks stalls, and other fun-filled activities. Attend and join in the celebrations, as it’s sure to leave you with some unforgettable memories.

  • The Penarth Art Trail is a self-guided tour of the many galleries and public art exhibitions in the area. It offers an opportunity to enjoy the rich art and cultural heritage of Penarth.

  • Take a steam train on the Barry Tourist Railway, which runs weekly from June to September. The train offers stunning views of the countryside, showcasing the nostalgic charm of Welsh Railway heritage.

Week-Long Itinerary for Penarth

Day 1: Take a walk along the pier and have a picnic on the beach, followed by a visit to the Penarth Pavilion. Day 2: Visit the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and enjoy a day of nature appreciation and exploration, with a walk or hike along the coast. Day 3: Explore the historic St. Augustine’s Church and nearby Victorian houses and buildings. Day 4: Take part in water sports activities at Marine Lake. Day 5: Hike at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Day 6: Take a cycling tour around the Vale of Glamorgan. Day 7: Attend the Penarth Summer Festival, have fun, eat, drink and relax.

Food and Drink Scene of Penarth

On your visit to Penarth, you can sample some delicious local food and drink.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Welsh Cakes – fluffy, delicious treats that are perfect for breakfast or as a midday snack.

  • Laverbread – a local delicacy that is made of seaweed and often served with bacon or toast.

  • Glamorgan Sausages – a meatless sausage made of cheese, leeks, and breadcrumbs.

Local Beverages

  • Welsh Whiskey – The Penderyn Distillery produces world-class whiskies with a flavor that’s unique to the region.

  • Penderyn Gin – a distilled craft gin with botanical flavors, produced at the Penderyn Distillery.

  • Homemade Fruit Mead – a traditional drink that’s made from fermented honey and fruit.

Where to Stay in Penarth: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Penarth has a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the best options include:

  • Holm House – A beautiful hotel that offers sea views and luxurious amenities for the ultimate relaxation experience.

  • The Seaview Hotel – A budget-friendly option with rooms overlooking the sea and easy access to the town’s attractions.

  • The Beach Cottage – This guesthouse offers a more intimate setting, with beautiful gardens and access to Penarth beach.

What to Buy in Penarth: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

A visit to Penarth is not complete without taking home a souvenir to remember your experience. Here are some unique products you can purchase:

  • Seaweed products – Laverbread, Sea Salt, and other products made from seaweed are an excellent idea for gifts and souvenirs.

  • Welsh Cakes – Freshly made Welsh cakes are a great gift and souvenir idea.

  • Penderyn Whiskey or Gin – the perfect present to take back home and reminisce about your Welsh vacation.

Local Culture and Customs of Penarth

  • The people of Penarth are friendly and welcoming to visitors, and you’ll find many of them are happy to strike up a conversation.

  • Penarth has a rich cultural history that’s reflected in its architecture, museums, and galleries.

  • The Welsh language is still spoken in some parts of Penarth, so expect to hear Welsh neighbors greeting each other in their native tongue.

Best Time to Visit Penarth

The best time to visit Penarth is during the summer, between the months of June and September. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and there are numerous outdoor activities and events to enjoy.

However, if you’re a nature lover, anytime between March and October offers the best opportunity to explore the beautiful outdoors and wildlife.

Do’s and Don’ts of Penarth


  • Explore the town’s rich history and cultural heritage, including its beautiful architecture.

  • Enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the many recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, and water sports.

  • Sample the local food and drinks, with Welsh cakes, laverbread, and Penderyn whiskey or gin top of the list.


  • Disrespect the Welsh language and culture.

  • Litter, as the cleanliness of the town is a source of pride for residents.

  • Overstay your welcome in accommodation.

Safety and Health

Safety in Penarth

Penarth is a safe town to visit, with a low crime rate. However, it’s always advisable to take the usual safety precautions such as avoiding unlit areas after dark and be aware of your surroundings.

Health in Penarth

There are several medical facilities in Penarth, including the Penarth Health Centre and dental clinics, in case of any health concerns.

Getting to Penarth: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Penarth

The nearest airports to Penarth are the Cardiff Airport, which is only 9 miles away, and the Bristol Airport in England, which is around 80 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Penarth

Penarth has a well-connected public transport system, with frequent bus services available from Cardiff city centre and nearby towns.

Other Options

Visitors from London can take a direct train to Cardiff, and from there, a bus or taxi connection will take them to Penarth easily.

How to Get Around in Penarth

Penarth is a small town, and its central areas are easily accessible by foot.

Alternatively, there are reliable public transportation options such as taxi services and buses. Hiring a car is a great option if you plan to explore more rural parts of the Vale of Glamorgan or go on a hiking or cycling excursion.

Where to Go Next from Penarth: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some nearby destinations that are worth exploring include:

  • Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, offers a range of art and cultural attractions with a vibrant nightlife.

  • Barry Island, a seaside resort spot that’s popular for thrill-seekers, water sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers.

  • Cowbridge, a picturesque market town with iconic architecture, beautiful boutiques, and impressive gastro pubs.


Penarth is a beautiful Welsh beach town steeped in a rich cultural history, colorful landscapes, and a host of exciting activities, events, and destinations to explore. With this guide in hand, you can easily plan and enjoy a memorable Welsh vacation. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a month-long vacation, Penarth is a perfect destination that will leave lasting memories.