Top 10 of the best things to do in North Wales
10 of the best things to do in North Wales… as picked by North.Wales !
North Wales takes in both mountains and beaches, towns and villages, open air attractions and indoor delights. Whatever the weather or your desire for something to do, this part of Wales has lots to offer.
We’ve cherry-picked 10 things to do in North Wales to get your next trip off to a great start. Remember, these provide just a hint of the many attractions and destinations on offer. It’s best to check opening times, prices, and other information for each location/attraction ahead of visiting. Some may have seasonal variations.
Ready to explore?
1: visit Snowdon
If summiting a 3,560-foot mountain is your kind of thing, you should choose the highest one in Wales (and England). There are six ways to reach the top – well, seven if you include the mountain railway. This is the easiest way to experience being at the summit without putting in the hard work and boot leather required to ascend one of the paths.
The railway is closed throughout the winter months, usually opening part of the way through March. Even then when the weather is good, ascending to the summit isn’t typically possible until May. Pre-booking is advisable, according to the details given at https://snowdonrailway.co.uk/.
2: check out Conwy Castle
You cannot visit Conwy and fail to notice the soaring majesty of Conwy Castle. As you drive across the bridge into Conwy, the castle looms ahead of you. The rewards gleaned by exploring the castle come best to those who are prepared to climb to the battlements.
The castle cost £15,000 when it was originally built. Not much today, perhaps, but constructed over a four-year period in the late 13th century, it was a fortune. Today, complete with an exhibition inside the castle walls, you can step back into the royal past once experienced inside Conwy Castle.
3: visit Llangollen and the Horseshoe Falls
Surely everyone falls in love with Llangollen? Nestled between hills and well established on the banks of the River Dee, Llangollen offers plenty to walkers eager to try some flatter walks.
Visitors can head over Llangollen Bridge towards Llangollen Wharf, where it is possible to hire a horse-drawn boat along the canal. Further to the west along the canal are the Horseshoe Falls. You can reach the falls along the towpath from the town quite easily – the return trip is less than four miles in length.
4: explore Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
Situated near Betws-y-Coed, Cwm Idwal has been enjoyed by the public since 1954. Created over millennia, the geography of the area is fascinating to learn about and amazing to view. Don’t forget your camera!
The best way to experience the reserve is via the circular route mapped out around the lake. With peaks soaring to either side and the cool depths of the lake providing contrast, it’s easy to enjoy this 3.5-mile foray into the reserve. Take the time to stop and have a snack or simply watch for wildlife if you can. This is not a visit to be rushed.
5: find Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens
Just how well hidden are they? Located on Anglesey, they’re easy to find between Beaumaris and the Menai Bridge. The gardens are usually open between April and October, but do check the website at https://plascadnant.co.uk/2/en-GB/THE-HIDDEN-GARDENS to check and confirm opening times.
The gardens are split into three distinct areas – a walled garden, a garden set in a wooded area, and a secret valley garden. Each has its own character and the restoration taking place over the 10-acre plot continues to this day.
6: explore Caernarfon Castle
How many castles overlook a marina complete with many leisure boats moored nearby? Caernarfon Castle takes that title and has certainly earned the description of a fortress.
Even bigger than it seems once you are inside, there are many areas to explore. While some portions are missing (and indeed the King’s Gate was never finished), you can certainly get a feel for what it would have been like to live there some 700 years ago.
7: wander around Great Orme
Head for Llandudno and beyond and you’ll arrive at Great Orme, a headland made from limestone that is home to several attractions, not least Great Orme Country Park.
It’s possible to stay in the car if the weather is bad, taking Marine Drive to go around the headland from West Shore Beach at one side of Llandudno to North Shore Beach on the other side. If you have time, Little Orme awaits on the eastern side of the town, offering a smaller yet equally well-formed headland to explore.
8: enjoy the views from the Llandudno cable car
There is no better way to see more of Llandudno than by its very own cable car. It provides you with an ideal way to hop on board at Happy Valley at the foot of the attraction and take the journey up to Great Orme.
Apart from guaranteed views, there is plenty else you can do once you reach the summit. Explore some of the paths that wind their way around Great Orme. Trail leaflets are available if required. No need to bring supplies either, thanks to the café and restaurant at the Summit Complex. Single and return tickets are available; however, a return from Happy Valley makes for a great day out on the headland.
9: take a ride on the Rhyl miniature railway
There are many reasons to visit Rhyl, not least because of its beach, the SeaQuarium, and nearby SC2 Rhyl, a water park. While there, you should take advantage of riding on its famous miniature railway too, which has been steaming along for over a century.
The one mile stretch of track takes visitors around Marine Lake. Nearby, you can also head on the Marine Lake Nature and Heritage Trail to discover more about the area. Perfect for adults and kids alike.
10: visit the Welsh Mountain Zoo
If you’re staying anywhere near Snowdonia, a day spent at the Welsh Mountain Zoo at Colwyn Bay is a must-do activity. Home to Sumatran tigers and snow leopards among other animals, there is a children’s farm on site too. The ever-popular chimps are also on hand to provide entertainment. Various activities and presentations take place throughout the year, so it is wise to check the official website at https://welshmountainzoo.org/ for further details of feeding times.
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