It can be argued, that North Wales is one of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles. With miles of gorgeous coastline marked by cliffs and beaches, leading back to rolling hills, and imposing mountains, it’s easy to see why historically, the Welsh defended this land from outside rule for so long.
It is a land that is steeped in myths and traditions, with stories that tell a history of Princes, and wars and rebellion. Much of this history is still visible today, with the area boasting some of the finest castles in the United Kingdom.
North Wales is pretty easy to get around, with the A55 North Wales Expressway linking Chester just over the English border, right over to Hollyhead in the west. Traveling the length of the entire road can take less than two hours, so finding a central point such as a holiday park in Ruthin is an excellent idea if you want to get the most of your visit to the area.
From hiking to the beaches and castles, there are lots of great things to do. Here are a few of the highlights.
Snowdonia National Park
A trip to North Wales would not be the same without visiting it’s highest peak. Standing taller than any mountain in England or Wales, Snowdon is a favourite with walkers and climbers from all over the world.
Starting in the village of Llanberis, you can either walk to the top or take the mountain railway. While many go for the challenge if you’re just there for the view, why break a sweat. You can take in all of the fantastic views from the comfort of the train.
The surrounding area offers more than just climbing and hiking. With lots of caves in the vicinity, you might want to take a mini-expedition underground. Though be sure and go with a qualified guide for your own safety.
UNESCO regard this world heritage site as one of the best examples of a thirteenth-century military fortress in Europe.
With a history dating back to Edward the first, the castle has seen many wars. Mainly between the English and the Welsh. Owain Glyndwr, the leader of the fight for Welsh independence in the early 1400s, made his base in the castle.
Visitors can explore the vast building throughout the year, and it’s worth climbing to the tops of the many towers to appreciate the beautiful views out to sea.
The Smallest House In The United Kingdom
A short walk away from Conwy Castle; you can find the smallest house in the country. It’s no longer inhabited and hasn’t been for over 100 years. The last resident was a fisherman who was 6ft 3inches tall. He had to constantly crouch, as the ceilings are much lower. Inside the house, it’s possible to touch from one side to the other without moving.
The best thing about the size is that the entry fee to visit this attraction is also small.
Famous for its use as the set of 1969s TV series, The Prisoner; Portmeirion was designed and built between 1925 and 1975. It has the feel of an Italian fishing village and could not be any more Instagramable if it tried.
During September, the village plays host to the alternative music festival, No.6, with many top acts appearing each year.
Designed in the imperial Roman style, this castle feels very different to many from the same time in history. Much like Conwy, it has weathered many an attack and lived to tell the tale. With a largely intact exterior, all that is missing these days is much of the interior.
The castle was used as the backdrop for the Prince of Wales’ investiture 50 years ago, and provided all of the gravitas that the event called for.
The site is looked after by the Welsh heritage organization- Cadw, whose name means ‘to keep’ in Welsh.
A small village nestled near Snowdon which makes for a lovely destination to stop off on a long journey.
The village is famous as the burial ground of the dog Gelert. Prince Llewellyn used the loyal dog to guard his child while out hunting one day. When he returned, he found the babies crib overturned, and blood on the dogs face. Immediately realizing what happened, Llewellyn killed his dog. As soon as he had he done this, he heard the baby crying from under the crib. Turning it over, he found his baby safe, alongside a dead wolf.
It is said that Llewellyn never smiled again, and forever mounted Gelert.