Bring wellies, waterproofs, and an umbrella as October is one of Wales' wettest, muddiest months, with up to 22 days of drizzle in the month. It's getting colder now, too, with temperatures hovering between lows of 44°F (7°C) and highs of 54°F (12°C) across the country. Cardiff is a shade warmer, with lows of 48°F (9°C) and highs of 59°F (15°C). On the coast of Pembrokeshire and in the mountains of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, it can feel much colder as storms thrash the shores and winds pick up on the summits.
The clocks go back an hour at the end of the month, bringing shorter days and longer nights, with the latter making this a brilliant time for stargazing when the weather is clear.
Crowds & Costs
October is low season and generally quiet, with the exception of the half-term school holiday on the final week in the month, where prices leap, crowds briefly swell, and all the best accommodation gets booked up well in advance. Otherwise, you'll find the country very peaceful outside major towns and cities. Days are getting short in October, so wherever you go, an early start is highly recommended.
This is a good month for snagging last-minute deals on flights and hotel rooms. Rates in the first half of the month are at their lowest, only spiking during the half-term week.
Where to Go
You'll have patchy weather, but don't let that put you off a road trip. October can be golden and glorious when the sun does pop out briefly. Get behind the wheel on the 180-mile (290-km) Coastal Way that wraps around Cardigan Bay from Pembrokeshire to the Llŷn Peninsula, or head straight through the country's heart from the south (Cardiff) to the north (Llandudno) on the 185-mile (298-km), coast-to-coast Cambrian Way.
Cardiff lives and breathes culture now, and if you can time your visit with one of this month's festivals (from film to music and museums), all the better.
The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean on the English-Welsh border see the best of October's weather and their ancient broadleaf woods, once royal hunting grounds, are now a riot of fall color.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Wait until there is a window in the weather, then put on your wellies or walking boots and hit the trails. October can be beautiful, whether you are walking next to a raging stream in the wild peaks of Snowdonia or rambling through the remote valleys of the Brecon Beacons. The thickly forested Wye Valley is particularly lovely at this time of year. Topped off by one of the country's most romantically ruined medieval abbeys, Tintern makes a terrific base for exploring and its surrounding heights have inspired creative minds from painter Turner to poet Wordsworth.
Wales expertly brings together culture and the outdoors. Come now to visit historic manor houses, castles, gardens, and autumn wood run by the National Trust. Bodnant Garden near castle-crowned Conwy, Dinefwr Castle and its deer enclosure near Llandeilo, and Colby Woodland Garden in Pembrokeshire are particularly atmospheric in fall. Many National Trust properties host Halloween activities, too: check their programs online.
Events in October
Aberystwyth Comedy Festival. If you fancy a good laugh, head to the vibrant seaside town of Aberystwyth for this feast of stand-up comedy on the first weekend in October.
Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, Cardiff. In mid-October, this film festival draws filmmakers from around the world. There's an exciting line-up of short films, debates, events, and parties.
Sŵn Festival, Cardiff. Cardiff rocks at this music festival in mid-October, with venues all over the city staging an eclectic array of bands and DJs.
Newport Wales Marathon. Runners pound the streets of Newport in one of the UK's flattest marathons on the fourth Sunday of the month.
Welsh Museums Festival, nationwide. Museums up and down the country put on special events and activities for this culture-loaded event on the final week of the month.
Gwledd Conwy Feast. The medieval walled town of Conwy on the north coast is the stunning backdrop for this festival of food, music, and art mid-month. Seafood features strongly: be sure to try the local hand-harvested mussels.
Llangollen Food Festival. On the third weekend in October, Llangollen throws a feast at its royal pavilion in the form of this food festival attracting some of the country's top producers. Stalls sell everything from Welsh cheese and bread to chocolate, fish, and organic meat.
Traveling to Wales in October? Check out these great itineraries
Highlights of Wales and Southern England - 18 Days. Experience the best of Wales and Southern England in this ultimate introduction. You'll begin and end in London, circling the southwest of the Isle as you cover the English countryside and historic cities, through the mountainscapes of Wales and along its rugged coastline. Experience history and culture in London, Bath, and Windsor, explore the stunning Cotswolds, Snowdonia, and Devon, and relax on soft sandy beaches in Pembrokeshire and Cornwall.
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.