10 special things to do in North Wales
Welcome to our impartial guide to things to do in North Wales. Land of castles, mountains and sea, North Wales has something for everyone; these are just some of the best things to do and places to go. Last updated: June 2014.
1. Visit lovely Victorian Llandudno
Stroll along Wales’ longest pier at the beautiful Victorian resort of Llandudno: stride out a quarter of a mile to sea and then turn back to shore to admire the town’s stunning backdrop of mountains. Don't forget to call in and say 'hello' at our gallery on the pier too! Then visit one of the cosy pubs or fabulous chip shops in our guide to places to eat and drink in Llandudno.
2. Pull on your walking boots
Climb Tryfan, one of the best mountains in Snowdonia: the ritual at the summit is to jump the gap between the Adam & Eve rocks (broken ankles all round?!). Route directions can be found here.
3. Explore medieval Conwy
Visit magnificent Conwy Castle and clatter up and down the medieval towers. You can also walk from the castle along the walls encircling the town, then down to the harbour to look at the boats. More information on Conwy Castle can be found on the website of Cadw (the Welsh version of the National Trust). And our detailed Conwy guide has recommended places to visit, eat and drink.
4. Soak up the mysterious atmosphere of Anglesey
Choose a lonely, overcast day to visit the haunting 12th century ruin of Penmon Priory. Include a visit to St Seiriol’s Well behind the church, where it seems as if the druids left only yesterday. It’s then a 10-minute walk up the road (be warned that there’s a steep bit) to the lighthouse at Penmon Point and a close-up view of Puffin Island. Then travel to the north west corner of the island to potter in the coves at Trearddur Bay.
5. Indulge in a surreal sensory overload
Scurry around the lovely Italianate village of Portmeirion, imagining you’re in The Prisoner. Choose a sunny day as this sets off the ice cream colours of the buildings to best effect. More details are on the official Portmeirion website.
6. Join the surf set
Chill out in Abersoch, where you’ll find beautiful sandy beaches, ideal for surfing, with a stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains. And take a trip from there to Aberdaron at the tip of the Llyn Penninsula, where it feels like you’ve come to the very end of Wales.
7. Explore the Great Orme
Ride the UK’s longest cable car to the top of Llandudno’s Great Orme. At the summit you’ll find fabulous views over the sea and towards Snowdonia, along with (very randomly) a miniature golf course. Watch out for the wild Kashmir goats as you get towards the top of the Orme. We'd also highly recommend a walk through the Bronze Age Copper Mines, which are both educational and atmospheric.
8. Enjoy a snug night at the pub
Sample a local beer at the Groes Inn, Wales’ very first licensed pub. Dating from the 16th century, the Inn’s beams, open fires and thick bowed walls couldn’t be cosier. Details of menus and accomodation can be found on the Groes Inn website.
9. Tour magnificant Snowdonia
Drive up the Llanberis Pass for beautiful mountain views. At the top you’ll find a handy car park (it can be busy in summer if the weather’s good) from which you can take the Pyg Track, one of the most popular paths to the Snowdon summit. Nearby is the charming 15th century Ugly House, located on the A5 to Capel Curig in Snowdonia.
10. Paddle in Aber Falls
While the waterfall itself is stunning, just as nice is the two mile walk through meadows and woodland to reach it. You can see the fall's tall ribbon as you approach, and then there are plenty of spots around the water for paddling in the rockpools and having a picnic. The falls are located off Junction 13 of the A55; details of the path can be found here.