Why Wales is a Perfect Destination for Solo Travelers

Perfect Destination for Solo Female Travelers

As the captain announced our 10-hour flight time and I prepared for an overnight haul from San Diego to London, I felt that sense of anticipation and adventure that is amplified whenever I know I’m embarking on a completely solo trip. The thrill of relying on myself to find my way through foreign airports, train stations, and driving in unfamiliar territory is an extreme rush — a feeling bordering between apprehension and excitement.

Too wired to sleep, I flipped through the movie channels and settled on the movie, “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon. It felt fitting for my journey. I imagined myself hiking alone on the coastal trails in Wales, creating my own version of “Wild.”

The truth is, I’ve been craving another soul-searching solo trip for a while. I’ve been dealing with some inner battles these past several months and with my work/travel schedule, I really haven’t had a chance to sit alone with my thoughts and figure things out.

I chose Wales as my next solo travel destination because, honestly, it’s a destination that doesn’t get a great deal of publicity and I’m always up for a challenge. After my trip to the Hebrides in Scotland, I dreamed of another visit to the United Kingdom. I knew Wales would be the perfect place to commune with nature — plus, it has 1,680 miles of coastline and I’m a sucker for beaches.

St. Catherine's Island Tenby Wales
St. Catherine’s Island in Tenby, Wales

Before I left for Wales, I hadn’t thought much about whether it was an easy place to travel alone. During my trip, I kept thinking about all of the reasons this is the perfect spot for solo travelers — especially females who may not feel as comfortable traveling solo in other places around the world.

Why Wales is the Safest Destination for Solo Travelers
 

Solo Female Travel in Wales

 

How to Get to Wales

For some reason, I always had this vision that Wales was this far away place that would be a hassle to get to. It was surprisingly accessible compared to some of my travels. It would be fairly quick and easy for any European or American resident.

I took a direct overnight flight from San Diego to London with British Airways. I avoided the urge to hop immediately on a train to Wales and instead stayed overnight at The Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill. (I also made sure to download the movie “Notting Hill” to watch during my flight from The States.) The next morning, I took a 5-hour train ride from Paddington Station (which was about a 10-minute taxi ride from my hotel in Notting Hill) to Tenby, Wales.

Notting Hill London United Kingdom
My overnight in Notting Hill, London
View from Portobello Hotel Notting Hill London
View from my room at The Portobello Hotel

 

The People

The locals in Wales are very friendly and will often go out of their way to give you directions and recommendations. When I first arrived in Tenby, I couldn’t get a taxi from the train station, so I walked into town and a woman actually offered to walk me to the taxi office. Welsh people seem extremely polite and welcoming to foreigners.

Wales Beach Pembrokeshire Coast

 

The Language

English is widely spoken since it’s the native language for most people in the country. Welsh is also spoken in the north and west parts of the country, but everybody I encountered spoke English as well.

 

Transportation in Wales

If you want to rent a car in Wales, the best option would be to take the train to Swansea (about 3 hours from Paddington Station) and start your journey there. However, if you visit anytime other than during the winter, it’s not completely necessary to rent a car in Wales. They have regular buses to get you from town to town and a Puffin Shuttle that runs along the coastline — which is perfect for those looking to hike the Coast Path.

Train Stations United Kingdom
Catching the train from Paddington to Tenby

 

Hiking in Wales

The Wales Coast Path runs along a majority of the coastline in Wales and it’s great for all levels of hikers. I normally get nervous when I hike alone, mainly because I’m not sure how I would handle coming in contact with a large predator. The best part about hiking in Wales? There are no large predators! I felt extremely comfortable hiking these paths on my own. Most of the time, I even had the trails all to myself.

Saundersfoot, Wales Glen Beach

I literally cried after my last sunset in Wales, knowing this would be my last evening in this country. I whispered, “Goodbye” and gave thanks for everything I had experienced on this trip. It sounds corny, but it felt right in the moment. I may not have figured everything out in my life (I mean, will I ever?) but I felt renewed and ready to take on the world again — a little less bitter and a little more confident.

 

Thanks to Visit Britain for hosting my stay in London and Wales. As always, all opinions are my own.

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19 Comments

  1. Harlan Brown says:

    There’s somewhere I never really considered as a destination, apart from an entire see everywhere U.K. type of trip. I love out of the ordinary. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Not many people do! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Roberta Oliveiraa says:

    Your text make me feel more confident to get in a adventure like your

  3. I’ve been to Wales once, but I only experienced Cardiff. I wish I had seen more rural areas and countrysides.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Those are my favorite!

  4. I loooved this post. I’m going there for the second time, this time to sorta do the same as you but I’m still sorta afraid of doing the hiking thing. Anyways, I feel motivated!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      That’s so great to hear, Katy! Hiking alone can be scary, but I felt extremely safe in Wales.

  5. Adventurous Miriam says:

    I’m glad to hear that Wales is a good place for solo traveling. I hope it gave you what you were looking for.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Thanks, Miriam!

  6. Jenna Francisco says:

    I have wanted to visit Wales for a long time. It seems so rugged and peaceful. Good to know it’s a great place for solo travel too!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Me too! It’s been on my list for years. I hope you make it there soon!

  7. Claire Bailey says:

    Wales is so nice ๐Ÿ™‚ My Dad lives there so lots of free holidays yay! Tenby is especially gorgeous

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I completely agree. Tenby was one of my favorite spots!

      1. Welsh heart and soul says:

        Tenby is my absolute fave. Fond memories from visiting my granny as a child and have been back most years with my growing family Going there again in two weeks to introduce granny’s newest great grandson. I will always adore it. Very special place.

        1. Ordinary Traveler says:

          So fun! Enjoy!

  8. Andrea Fenita says:

    Now I definitely want to visit Wales! Putting it on my bucket list ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Awesome! Do you travel solo often?

      1. Andrea Fenita says:

        Yep! I did Europe by myself last year ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Martyn Lewis says:

      It’s amazing. I’m Welsh and I live here, slightly biased but its my fave country in the world