If you’re looking for soft sand, impressive castles and mountainous views, and a historical place to stay whilst exploring, try discovering the magical culture and picturesque heritage of North Wales.
Most people have heard of the North Wales village of Portmeirion thanks to the cult 1960s series The Prisoner, set to the backdrop of pastel shades and enchanting beach coves. Portmeirion is also well known for its beautiful botanical gardens filled with exotic wild flowers and iconic floral pottery. It’s no wonder the village—originally designed in the style of a small Italian town—has a huge tourist draw regardless of its popularity as a TV show location.
2. Holyhead Seaport
Another attractive seaside town worth visiting is the seaport of Holyhead in the Isle of Anglesey. The South Stack Lighthouse holds a wonderful view of the sunset after a guided tour of the RSPB Reserve during the day.
3. Caernarfon Castle
You could also visit the impressive Caernarfon Castle, the Medieval fortress in Gwynedd built to defend the centre of North Wales hence its large and formidable appearance.
Further into the countryside, within the picturesque county of Conwy, is the village of Betws-y-Coed with a Parish population of just 564. Snuggling into the Conwy Valley, along Holyhead Road lies this chocolate box village complete with miniature railway, cascading waterfalls and dense woodland.
5. Bodelwyddan Castle
Within the hub of all North Wales has to offer is the stunning Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel - yes you can stay here. This glorious Victorian building stands on 200 acres of parkland complete with an aviary, carp lake, woodland and magnificent Victorian walled garden with contemporary rooms from as little as £75 per night*. The grounds are truly fantastic, whether you fancy a bit of modern entertainment or are more interested in the heritage. The castle has been described as one of architect Joseph Hansom’s most ambitious projects in the early 1800s. By the First World War the grounds of the estate were used by soldiers for trench warfare training, of which traces can still be seen today. Look out for ghostly sightings of soldiers as reported by guests.
6. The Smallest House in Great Britain
After marveling at the huge defensive wall and eight large towers of Conwy Castle, you could spectacle at the smallest house in Great Britain. Just off Bangor Road, you will find Quay House only 3.05 by 1.8 metres and only 3.1 metres high. The house was inhabited until the council declared it unfit for human habitation in 1900.
7. Bodnant Gardens
Sitting just above the Conwy River is the 80 acre Bodnant Gardens brimming with illustrious camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, looking out over Snowdonia, the largest park in Wales.
8. Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park stretches from Cardigan Bay’s high Water Mark in the West to Conwy Valley in the East, boasting its own railway that you can ride to the mountain peaks, looking out at incredible scenery. This is a particularly popular experience that is worth booking in advance and features one of our favourite tea houses in the UK.
9. Great Orme Country Park
Another park worth visiting is the Great Orme Country Park: its limestone headland so called by the Viking sailors for its dramatic serpent-esque shape. The summit can be reached by either the world famous Great Orme Tramway opened in 1902, or the modern Great Orme Aerial Cable Car.
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