North Wales offers a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from hiking and biking in Snowdonia National Park to taking the kids on a wildlife adventure at the Conwy Water Gardens. Many of the country’s most treasured landmarks are found in North Wales as well. You can explore ancient castles, such as Conwy Castle and Hurston Castle, and see an engineering marvel at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. 

    Take a look at the 10 best things to do in North Wales to plan your trip.

    1

    Snowdonia National Park

    Explore the vast parklands

    • Adventure

    Snowdonia National Park is a massive national park with towering peaks, glistening lakes, roaring rivers and a stunning coastline to explore. You’ll have opportunities for challenging hikes, mountain cycling, scrambling, climbing and more. The park has many exciting landmarks and attractions as well, such as the Caernarfon Castle and the Conwy Castle. Several heritage railways offer scenic rides through the landscape, including Snowdon Mountain Railway and Ffestiniog Railway. For another unique adventure, you could visit Llechwedd to explore subterranean quarry mines.

    Location: Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd LL48 6LF, UK

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1690 710426

    Map
    2

    Pont y Pair Bridge

    See the sights from a scenic bridge

    • Unusual

    The Pont y Pair Bridge is a stunning bridge that crosses the River Llugwy and offers beautiful, scenic views. Located in Snowdonia National Park near the village of Betws-y-Coed, the bridge is a popular landmark and a short walk from the train station to Olif. The spot is great for photographs of both the bridge and the surrounding landscape, especially when the river is high and rushing. During your visit, you can wander the area nearby to catch glimpses of wildlife or take in the rest of the scenery.

    Location: 0BN B5106, Betws-y-Coed, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    3

    Conwy Water Gardens

    Enjoy wildlife with the kids

    • Couples
    • Families

    Conwy Water Gardens is a spectacular nature area with opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife sightings. Located within Snowdonia National Park, the gardens are home to fishing lakes with otters and ducks and woodlands with walking trails, waterfalls and ponds. You can also visit the children’s play area to let the kids burn off some energy and explore the aquarium, which is home to hundreds of fish, reptiles and insects. The Dutch Pancake House & Restaurant is a must-visit on your trip for refreshments after a day out.

    Location: Glyn Isa, Rowen, Conwy LL32 8TP, UK

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1492 650063

    Map
    4

    Isle of Anglesey

    Explore fascinating historic sites

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History

    The Isle of Anglesey offers stunning beauty and a range of historic attractions and outdoor adventures for a diverse and exciting holiday. You’ll find pristine beaches and quiet waters for days in the sun, as well as historic landmarks like the 12th-century Beaumaris Castle and the Beaumaris Gaol, a prison museum with original cells. If you have the kids, you can visit places like the Anglesey Sea Zoo, a fascinating aquarium, and the Pili Palas Nature World petting zoo. Kids will also like Foel Farm Park, a working farm with livestock they can visit.

    Map
    5

    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

    Spot otters in the River Dee

    • History

    The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct and historic landmark with a footpath on the watercourse for stunning views. The aqueduct itself is one of the longest in Great Britain and one of the highest in the world. In addition to seeing the feat of engineering and strategy of the aqueduct, a walk on the footpath gives you gorgeous views of the Dee Valley and River Dee. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of otters playing in the area.

    Location: Station Rd, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TY, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1978 292015

    Map
    6

    Beaumaris Castle

    See the wonders of a dramatic fortress

    • History

    Beaumaris Castle is a stunning example of concentric fortification and a well-preserved fortress to explore on a tour. The castle was constructed as part of Edward I’s campaign to conquer North Wales in the 13th century, but Parliament garrisoned it, and the castle fell into ruin in the 17th century. Now a historic attraction, the castle showcases excellent fortification strategy with a moated outer ward, numerous towers and gatehouses and a south gate that can be accessed by sea. Inside the castle, the space allowed for domestic buildings and enough room for 2 families.

    Location: Castle St, Beaumaris LL58 8AP, UK

    Open: Saturday–Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm (closed Thursday–Friday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1248 810361

    Map
    7

    Harlech Castle

    Explore medieval castle ruins

    • History

    Harlech Castle is a medieval fortification overlooking the Irish Sea and sporting unique architectural features that you can see on a tour. Built by Edward I during the Invasion of Wales in the 13th century, the castle has been instrumental in many wars, including the Wars of the Roses. Some of its architectural highlights include the concentric design, sandstone structure, bridge towers, water gate and interior towers. It’s also perched on the Harlech Dome, a prominent dome in the Rhinogydd range.

    Location: Harlech Castle, Harlech LL46 2YH, UK

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +44 (0)1766 780552

    Map
    8

    Bodnant Garden

    See the beauty of a Victorian garden

    • Couples
    • Families

    Bodnant Garden is an excellent example of a classic Victorian garden with flowered terraces, wildflower meadows and lush glades. Spanning 32 hectares in the Snowdonian foothills, Bodnant Garden features water gardens, towering trees and a collection of exotic flowers and plants like the Blue Poppy of the Himalayas and the Fire Bush of the Andres. You’ll also see UK Champion Trees, daffodils, magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias in the meadows. The crown jewels of the garden are the National Collections of Rhododendron forrestii, Rhododendron Hybrids, Magnolia, Embothrium and Eucryphia.

    Location: Tal-y-Cafn, near Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28 5RE, UK

    Map
    9

    Fron Goch Garden Centre

    Find unique gifts and garden supplies

    • Shoppers

    The Fron Goch Garden Centre is a diverse market environment with a variety of plants, flowers, produce and gifts. When you visit, you can shop for plants and flowers, learn about garden care, pick up equipment or supplies or just enjoy the scenery. The centre also has pet and bird supplies, a Christmas shop, garden furniture and other unique gifts. Plenty of events are held throughout the year, such as workshops and exhibits to learn more about gardening and farming. The on-site restaurant is a must-visit as well and serves local cuisine and afternoon tea.

    Location: Fron Goch, Pant Rd, Caernarfon LL54 5RL, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1286 672212

    Map

    photo by Steve Daniels (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    10

    Erddig Hall

    Wander the halls of a stately home

    • History

    Erddig Hall is a National Trust property with a 17th-century country house, a landscaped pleasure park and the remnants of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle. Located in Wrexham, Erddig Hall is an exemplar of a stately home and boasts many unique artefacts, such as poetry and awards given to the staff, an authentic laundry and sawmill, lavish furniture and textiles and a fully restored walled garden. You can explore all of the servants’ quarters, the home and the garden on a tour of the hall to get a glimpse of life in the past.

    Location: Erddig, Wrexham LL13 0YT, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1978 355314

    Map

    photo by Jim Linwood (CC BY 2.0) modified

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