November is when winter properly rolls in. This is one of the darkest, wettest months in Wales and much of the country goes into hibernation. Thankfully, there are plenty of winter warmers: cozy afternoons spent browsing galleries and curling up in cafés in cities and towns, fireworks and Christmas fairs full of seasonal sparkle, and a riot of cultural festivals.


What you’ve heard is true: it rains a lot in Wales and November is proof. This is one wet, windy, chilly month, so if you do come now, come prepared with an umbrella, waterproofs, and warm layers. And bring wellies if you’re intent on hiking in the hills as it gets very muddy underfoot. Temperatures are single figures now, dipping to lows of 41°F (5°C) and peaking at highs of 48°F (9°C) across the country. 

It’s slightly milder in Cardiff, with lows of 43°F (6°C) and highs of 52°F (11°C). The higher you go in the mountains of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, the colder, windier, and wetter you can expect it to be, perhaps with mist, fog, frost, or snow at the summits. Storms often hammer the coast of Pembrokeshire at this time of year too.

Crowds & Costs

Crowds? What crowds? November is one of the quietest months in Wales, with many sights, restaurants, and hotels in holiday hotspots closed during the low season. That said, if you get lucky with the weather and can bag a room in the hills or on the coast, this can be a wonderfully peaceful month⁠—the roads are empty and you’ll have the trails all to yourself. Days are short in November, however, with the sun setting just after 4 pm, so get an early start if you’re planning a busy day. 

Deals are abundant in the pre-Christmas lull. Flights are often rock-bottom prices and hotels and self-catering accommodation are significantly cheaper than in summer. 

Where to Go

Cardiff is an obvious choice for November, with its Christmas market and winter fair, and galleries and Victorian arcades for taking shelter when the rains sweep in. If you prefer a low-key vibe, try one of the pretty market towns on the borders like Abergavenny, Monmouth, or riverside Hay-on-Wye, which stages a winter version of its celebrated literary festival in November.

November is the time for off-the-radar adventures. You’ll have the weather and mud to contend with if you go to the mountains of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, but the bonus is that the trails are nice and peaceful now and you’re never far from a historic inn with a blazing log fire and real ales. The roads are quiet, but heavy rain, fog, and ice can make them treacherous, so be sure to check conditions before heading out. 

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What to Do 

Culture fix? Cardiff has the pick of the country’s museums, galleries, and concert halls. See fine arts and dinosaurs at the National Museum, book tickets to watch the Welsh national orchestra or opera performance at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, or watch rugby at the Principality Stadium. Alternatively, you could walk in the footsteps of the country’s most legendary poet, Dylan Thomas, and brush up on maritime history in Swansea. Between sightseeing, there are inviting cafés and pubs where you can easily idle away an afternoon.  

Christmas is on the horizon, making November a great month to squeeze in some festive shopping in the country’s cities and market towns. Many National Trust manor houses and castles also host highly atmospheric Christmas fairs. 

Events in November

Festival of Voice (Gŵyl y Llais), Cardiff. The striking Millennium Centre is the backdrop for this boundary-crossing festival of live music, debate, and discussion held on the first weekend in November.

Autumn Internationals, Cardiff. The rugby season reaches fever pitch as fans pour into Cardiff’s Principality Stadium for end-of-the-year test matches over three weeks in November.

Cardiff Christmas Market. Cardiff is in full festive swing with crafts, mulled wine, and fairy lights at this Christmas market on St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street, and the Hayes. It runs from mid-November to December 23.

Cardiff Winter Wonderland. Come to twirl on the ice at Cardiff Castle or hang out at an Alpine-style village and funfair at this winter festival from mid-November to December 24.

Luminate Wales, Margam Country Park and Castle. Enlivening the dull patches of winter, this event brings a festive light trail to the historic gardens from mid-November to early January.

Real Ale Wobble & Ramble, Llanwrtyd Wells. This bike ride, walk, and real ale festival brings good muddy fun to the Mid Wales town on the last weekend in November.

Victorian Christmas Fair. Music, mince pies and handicrafts, and food from Pembrokeshire producers fill the 13th-century staterooms and courtyard of Picton Castle with the festive spirit in late November. 

Hay Festival Winter Weekend, Hay-on-Wye. The famous book town pulls out all the festive stops on the fourth weekend in November, attracting writers and readers to this festival of candlelit storytelling, music, comedy, and conversation.

Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Builth Wells. On the last week in November, this winter fair at the Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells is a feast of agricultural shows and competitions, Christmas crafts, food, and fireworks.

Traveling to Wales in November? Check out this great itinerary

Legends of Wales - 6 Days. Explore the Fortress of Isca, hike in the Brecon Beacons, and discover the prehistoric landscape of the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire Coast. Drive north to the rolling mountains of Snowdonia to explore King Arthur's legendary landscapes and politically rife Caernarfon Castle.

More Helpful Information 

Wales in October
Wales in December
Best Time of Year to Visit Wales
How Many Days to Spend in Wales