The breathtaking beauty of the North Wales coastline, mountains and forests are hard to miss. There’s a new view around every corner as you explore this unspoilt destination. Different features and effects appear from season to season, and even from day to day.
However, North Wales is not all about wide open spaces and room to breathe. There are abundant places to tempt you away from the landscape, including towns, villages and tourist attractions to suit all ages and interests.
Snowdonia National Park
Of course, Snowdonia’s glacial landform dominates the area. If you do decide to climb or walk up Wales’ highest mountain – the 3,560ft high Snowdon – then the views across to Ireland make it worth every step.
However, the Snowdonia national park has wonderful options on ground level too.How about trying the world’s fastest zip wire at Zip World? Or, at Surf Snowdonia’s 300-metre lagoon, who can ride the perfect wave?
There are some lovely villages around the foothills and valleys too – including the Alpine-like Betws-y-Coed. As this is a thriving community for tourists and serious hikers and walkers, the local facilities, shops and cafes are numerous and excellent.
You could also try the Tree Top Adventure and Go Below, two of the many local options for families and individuals to test themselves in a fun way.
Castles and beaches
North Wales is known the world over for its incredible natural features and rich heritage.
In centuries gone by, the Welsh nobility and invaders from all sides found it necessary to fortify their homes astride the rolling headlines and rugged cliff edges.
Many of these ancient castles were crafted to provide views across the sea for defensive purposes. However, the historic battles and territorial feuds served to leave North Wales with the perfect backdrop for exploration and enjoyment. Perhaps the best known and loved are Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle, Castell Dinas Bran and the mighty Harlech Castle.
The only way to know which North Wales Castle is the greatest is to explore them all in person!
The same applies to the many beaches stretched along the coast. Do you prefer wild, remote coves where you can enjoy isolation and contemplation? Then head for the Borth-y-Gest beaches.
Or, do you want busier family beaches, with all modern conveniences close at hand, such as Abersoch or Harlech Beach?
For scientific exploration, you may want to opt for Black Rock Sands, which holds the status of Special Scientific Interest. It also has incredible views across the water to the proud Snowdonia mountains.
Towns and villages
Dotted around North Wales are many places to stop awhile and discover. Each has its own character, but the warm Welsh welcome comes as standard. These are the places to grab a bargain from local craftspeople or sample Welsh food and drink. It’s highly recommended that you include sampling products from local microbreweries in your exploration. Something that is particularly easy to do at the Purple Moose brewery in Porthmadog, where the region’s finest craft beverages have been gathered.
One of the best ways to visit North Wales mountain villages and scenery is using the connections created by the much-loved Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railways.
If you are driving around, what other towns should you include as you travel around North Wales? Caernarfon and Conway are great for heritage and new high street offerings. Abersoch and Pwllheli have a great mix of places to see and cultural significance.
One town that is truly unmissable on your visit to North Wales is Porthmadog. With its maritime history stamped on its features, this British seaside town has fabulous beaches and ample retail therapy too.
To explore all of this and more, make sure you pick a well-positioned and easy to access place to stay, such as a B&B in Porthmadog.
W | By David Milsont @DMilsont
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