September can swing either way. If you’re lucky, the weather can be beautiful, with crisp, golden days ideal for hiking, biking, and exploring, though not exactly flopping on the beach. But there is always the chance of rain, with around 10 wet days on average, so make sure you squeeze waterproofs and an umbrella into your luggage.
Temperatures are still fairly mild, fluctuating between lows of 50°F (10°C) and highs of 61°F (16°C). Cardiff and the south coast, including Pembrokeshire, are moderately warmer, with lows of around 54°F (12°C) and highs of 66°F (19°C). It can feel a shade cooler in the heights of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, but even here temperatures are generally still in double figures.
Crowds & Costs
September is a shoulder season in Wales, so lively enough to still have a buzz but much, much quieter than in August. The schools have gone back, meaning that the coastal roads and summer hotspot resorts are now far less busy. There are now some good deals up for grabs in terms of flights and accommodation, especially if you avoid weekends.
However, if you’re coming for one of this month’s big events, for instance, Abergavenny Food Festival, you’ll need to plan ahead as rooms sell out quickly.
Where to Go
The crowds have departed and the coast is now at its tranquil best, especially when the sun pops its head out. Now’s a fine time to strike out on a coastal walk—the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a real beauty, heading up and over cliffs to secluded coves and harbor towns—or chill out on the dune-flanked, surf-lashed beaches of Gower, the Llŷn Peninsula, or the Isle of Anglesey. Find yourself a self-catering cottage or B&B near the sea and make the most of the decent weather while it lasts.
The peaks of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons national parks are also wonderful in September, with morning mists draping the valleys, sharp light making for excellent photo opportunities, and woods starting to change color. The trails are pretty peaceful now, making this a fine time to strike out on day hikes or long-distance treks.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
September is the month for getting outdoors while there’s still the last breath of summer in the air, whether it’s to be coasteering, hiking, or kayaking on the coast of Pembrokeshire, mountain biking in the remote valleys, or peak-bagging to the highest summits of Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains, and the Brecon Beacons, or white-water rafting on one of the country’s mighty rivers. National Trust gardens up and down the country look glorious now.
If the rain comes (and it’s bound to happen at some point), have a backup plan to visit one of the country’s cultural big-hitters: be it Cardiff’s National Museum, Swansea’s maritime-themed National Waterfront Museum, or Aberystwyth’s treasure-trove National Library.
September is the month of food festivals. While Abergavenny gets all the fuss, there are plenty of smaller, more intimate events turning the spotlight on local producers happening in villages, market towns, and coastal resorts all over the country.
Events in September
Open Doors, nationwide. More than 150 historic homes, castles, and manor houses throw open their doors to the public for free throughout September.
Man vs Mountain. Caernarfon’s impressive medieval castle is the starting point for this tough 20-mile (32-km) race up into the mountains of Snowdonia in early September, with summits to surmount and land and water obstacles to negotiate.
Sandman Triathlon. Set against the backdrop of Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn Beach on Anglesey, this triathlon on the second weekend in September is hands down one of Britain’s most beautiful.
Ironman Wales, Pembrokeshire. The super-fit take on a swim, cycle, and marathon in the coastal town of Tenby on the second Sunday in September.
Conwy Honey Fair. Dating back 700 years, this honey fair is one of Britain’s oldest food festivals. The castle-topped town of Conwy sets the scene for a feast of beekeeping stalls and honey preserves, sweets, and crafts. According to the Royal Charter of Edward I, it still falls on September 13 every year.
Abergavenny Food Festival. Welsh food producers, farmers, and chefs come together at Wales’ biggest food festival, which takes over the market town of Abergavenny on the eastern fringes of the Brecon Beacons on the third weekend in September. This is the food event of the year, with tastings, activities, masterclasses, and hands-on cookery lessons.
Llandovery Sheep Festival. Held on the third weekend in September, this festival brings sheep-shearing demos, sheepdog trials, wool-related crafts, and plenty of other fun, food, and drink to the rural market town of Llandovery on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.
Narbeth Food Festival. Food lovers flock to the quaint Pembrokeshire town of Narbeth for this intimate festival of Welsh produce on the fourth weekend in September. Besides food stalls and tastings, you can expect live music, chef demos, workshops, and activities to amuse the kids.
Traveling to Wales in September? 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.
Self-Drive Wales: Culture, Castles & Coastlines - 12 Days. Get behind the wheel to drive up the wild Welsh coast, stopping to embark on a series of tours and excursions. Spot seals and dolphins on a boat trip along the Gower Peninsula, walk across the famous Devil's Bridge, ascend Mount Snowdon by train, and discover local lore and legends in the walled town of Conwy.