15 Best places to visit in North Wales
| |

15 Incredible Places To Visit In North Wales!

Ready to get inspired? Whether you’re planning a road trip, an outdoor adventure, or just looking for a change of pace, North Wales is the perfect destination. From amazing landscapes to historical sites and plenty of activities, this stunning region has something for everyone. In this post, you’ll discover 15 incredible places to visit in North Wales that will leave you with memories that’ll last forever!

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase something I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps keep my website up and running and is very appreciated. Thank you for your support! You can read my full disclosure policy here.

There are countless reasons why North Wales makes a fabulous holiday destination or even a fantastic day out for those like me lucky enough to live close by! North Wales is a stunningly beautiful region with plenty of natural attractions to explore. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them busy here, whether hiking in Snowdonia National Park, mountain biking in Betws-y-Coed, or simply taking a scenic drive along the coastline. In addition, North Wales is home to some of the best-known historical sites in the United Kingdom, including the ancient castles at Caernarfon and Conwy.

15 Incredible Places To Visit In North Wales:

1. Snowdonia National Park:

Snowdonia National Park is a stunningly beautiful place to explore, and there are plenty of things to do to entertain visitors of all ages. One of the most popular activities is hiking up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The summit offers breathtaking views and several different routes, depending on fitness levels. 

Things to do in North Wales

If you’re feeling energetic, why not take on the Snowdon Horseshoe, a 10-mile loop that takes in eight summits? Or, for something more relaxed, try the Llanberis Path, a relatively gentle 6-mile hike that follows the path of an old railway line. For those who are less able or want an easy route, why not ride the famous Snowdon Mountain Railway?

Once you’ve reached the summit, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across Snowdonia National Park. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Ireland! After taking in the views, the descent of Snowdon via either the Snowdon Ranger Path or the Pyg Track offers different perspectives of this incredible landscape.

For those who prefer to stay closer to ground level, there are plenty of other walking and cycling trails to enjoy. There are also several historic sites and adrenaline adventures, such as Velocity 2 at Zip World, the fastest zip line in the world!

Snowdonia National Park is a truly magical place, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of Wales’s most popular tourist destinations.

2. Portmeirion Village:

Portmeirion Village is a magical place that feels like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Nestled on the North East coast of Wales between Porthmadog and Harlech, Portmeirion is a mini replica of an Italian coastal village. It truly is a hidden gem that is full of character and charm. 

Best places to visit in North Wales!

Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1973, Portmeirion Village was Clough’s dream for many years; even from the age of six, he dreamt of being an architect and building his own town. He also knew early on that if his dream were to come true, he would need to depend on tourism for income. After scouring multiple sites, he found the perfect location on the Snowdonia peninsula, a neglected estate called Aber la. He later changed the name to Portmeirion, “Port” due to its coastal location and “Merion” from its county.

The village has also been used as a film and television location, most famously as the setting for the 1960s TV series The Prisoner. Today, Portmeirion is owned by a charitable trust and loved by tourists and locals alike. Its unique design makes it one of the most recognisable villages in the world.

From the colourful houses to the scenic coastline, there is plenty to explore in Portmeirion. Visitors can take a stroll through the village, enjoy a cup of tea at one of the cafes, or even take a dip in the Portmeirion pool. With so much to see and do, Portmeirion Village is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Read more: A guide to visiting Portmeirion in North Wales

3. Conwy:

Conwy is a small town in North Wales with a big history. Conwy Castle, built in the 13th century, is one of the best-preserved medieval fortifications in Britain. The castle walls encircle the town, and the eight massive towers offer stunning views of the surrounding area. 

Conwy is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain. The house, which measures just three meters wide and two meters deep, was built in the 18th century and originally served as a one-room dwelling for a local fisherman and his family. Today, it is open to the public as a museum. 

Conwy is a charming town with a lot to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a quaint place to wander, Conwy is worth a visit.

4. Llandudno:

Llandudno is a popular seaside resort town in North Wales filled with things to see and do. One of the most popular attractions is the beaches and picture-perfect promenade. The town has two beaches, the North Shore and the West Shore, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. 

For those who want to explore the area, several hiking trails wind through the picturesque countryside. For those who want to experience some history and fantastic views, why not take a trip on the Great Orme Tramway or the Cable Car up the Great Orme? Both offer breathtaking coast views, including Conwy Castle, on a clear day! If you’re feeling energetic, you can always take the old-fashioned walking route!

Other notable attractions include the Victorian Pier, which offers a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as several museums and galleries. No matter what your interests are, Llandudno has something for everyone.

5. Beaumaris:

Beaumaris is a beautiful town in North Wales with plenty to see and do. Situated on the island of Anglesey, Beaumaris is one of my favourite places in North Wales!

8 Incredible castles in North Wales

For history buffs, a visit to Beaumaris Castle is a must. Built during the 13th century by King Edward I, Beaumaris Castle represents the height of medieval military engineering. It was the last of Edwards’s castles to be built, but unfortunately, unlike other castles in North Wales, Beaumaris Castle was never completed due to a lack of funds. However, its partially finished state is still impressive. The near-perfect symmetry of its design makes this castle so unique. It really would have been the castle to end all castles!

For something truly unique, take a Puffin Island boat trip and see these adorable birds up close. Numerous local companies offer boat trips from the pier, which take around 90 minutes to circumnavigate the island. As well as the puffins, guides will also point out other wildlife, if you’re lucky you may even get to see some seals relaxing on the beach.

If you’re interested in history, visit the old gaol, which once held some of the most notorious criminals in Wales. Finally, don’t miss out on a stroll along the pier. It’s the perfect place to take in the stunning views of Beaumaris Bay. 

6. Llangollen:

Llangollen is a beautiful town well known for its stunning scenery and friendly locals, making it a popular place to visit in North Wales. The town is located along the River Dee’s banks and surrounded by the Berwyn Mountains. Llangollen is a great place to stay if you want to explore North Wales, as it is centrally located and has plenty of amenities. The town has various shops, restaurants, and pubs, with plenty of tourist attractions to entertain you. 

Things to do in North Wales

One of Llangollen’s more famous attractions is its steam railway, the only standard gauge railway in North Wales. It is situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and runs alongside the River Dee for its entire length. Sit back and watch the stunning scenery pass by.

Other activities in the town include canal boat trips and numerous outdoor activities, such as hiking, whitewater rafting, tubing or canoeing, and exploring some local historic sites.

7. Porthmadog & Ffestiniog Railway:

Porthmadog & Ffestiniog Railway is a narrow gauge railway between Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales. It’s considered one of the most scenic railways in the UK, with stunning views of Snowdonia National Park along the way. The railway has been operating since 1868, making it one of the oldest continuously running railways in the world.

The railway was initially built to transport slate from the quarries back towards Porthmadog. Before this, slate was transported by animal and farm carts over rough roads down to the River Dwyryd. Here, the slate was loaded into river boats for transport downstream, where it was loaded yet again, this time into sea-going sailing ships. This long-winded system was expensive both in terms of time and the number of broken slates during transport.

Originally, the railway was operated with a gravity system, and horses would pull the empty carts back up the hill to the quarries to be refilled again. Eventually, as demand increased, steam engines were introduced onto the line, and then, in 1866, new carriages were also introduced to transport quarrymen. Many of these carriages have survived, been restored, and are still used today. 

By 1872, other routes were built, and the slate was transported along more efficient railway lines. Around this time, the railway started to transport tourists up and down the line rather than slate; however, when war broke out in 1939, the service stopped, and the railway was left abandoned. In 1951, a group of people led by Leonard Heath-Humphrys met up to find a way to restore and reopen the railway; a few years later, the Ffestiniog Railway Trust was set up. Since then, the line has been rebuilt and extended, and a new station has opened, ensuring the railway can be enjoyed for generations to come.

The railway takes you on a 13½ mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. These historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round horseshoe bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or even tunnelling through it.

8. Ruthin:

Ruthin is a beautiful market town in North Wales with a long and fascinating history spanning over 700 years, including scandal, battle and siege. 

Things to do in North Wales

One of the most dominant features of the town is its Castle. Although it is now a hotel, you can still walk around its grounds. It also has a lovely outside terrace where you can enjoy a drink or afternoon tea whilst watching the peacocks roam around you. It is idyllic.

However, the castle you see today was only built in the 19th century as a country house. The original castle, built by King Edward I, was destroyed during the English civil war in 1646. Some of the original castle remains can still be seen today close to the main entrance. If you want to explore a real castle, then Denbigh Castle is only a short drive away and definitely worth a visit.

Other attractions include the gaol museum, which was once a working prison. Moel Famau, the highest point in the Clwydian Range and Loggerheads Country Park, is a must-see for those who love nature. The park is home to various wildlife, including red kites, buzzards and otters. There are also several walking and cycling trails. 

The town is also worth a visit with numerous historic buildings like the half-timbered Old Court House built in 1401 and the Nantclwyd House, the oldest known townhouse in Wales, with timbers dating back to 1435.

9. Betws-y-Coed:

Another one of my favourite places to visit in North Wales is Betws-y-Coed. Best known for its beautiful location within Snowdonia National Park, It’s the perfect base for exploring and adventure in North Wales.

Surrounded by the dense Gwydir Forest, it has an almost Alpine feel, with numerous waterfalls and the River Conwy winding through its centre. This idyllic location makes it ideal for outdoor activities such as water sports, mountain biking, and walking or hiking.

Betws-y-Coed also has several historical attractions, including an early 14th-century church and the Pont y Pair Bridge, originally built around 1500. 

Being a popular tourist destination, Betws-y-Coed also has many excellent restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as plenty of independent shops selling various crafts, clothing, gifts, and local homemade produce. 

10. Pontcysllte Aqueduct:

Pontcysllte Aqueduct crosses the River Dee near Llangollen in North Wales. At 1,007 feet (307 m) long and 126 feet (38 m) high, it’s one of the longest and highest aqueducts in Europe. Construction of the aqueduct started in 1795 by Thomas Telford, opened in 1805 and still operates today, carrying water from Lake Bala to Liverpool.

15 Best places to visit in North Wales

The Pontcysllte Aqueduct forms part of the Llangollen Canal, which is 11 miles long and makes up an outstanding piece of industrial and engineering heritage recognised by UNESCO World Heritage since 2009. One of the best ways of checking out the Aqueduct is to take a trip along it on a canal boat. One of the easiest options is a boat tour from Llangollen Wharf. Other boat tours can take you along some of the canal’s most beautiful parts. 

If you have a head for heights, you can also walk along the aqueduct. An excellent circular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct walk starts and finishes at the Trevor Basin, at the Northern end of the aqueduct. It follows good paths down from one end of the aqueduct, along the partially wooded banks of the River Dee, to the Cefn Viaduct and Ty Mawr Country Park. It then follows a road past the village of Pentre before using the towpath of the Llangollen Canal to cross the aqueduct and return to the starting point.

11. Harlech Castle:

Harlech Castle is a medieval fortification located in Harlech on the west side of the North Wales coast. The castle was built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the dunes and sea below. This location is undoubtedly the most spectacular of King Edward I’s many castles. You can easily understand why it got UNESCO World Heritage status alongside Conwy, Caernarfon and Beaumaris.

15 Best places to visit in North Wales

Like other castles in the area, Harlech had a fascinating history, and its ‘walls within walls’ design made it one of the strongest. So much so that while besieged during the rebellion of Madog ap Llewelyn, the castle held out. This was thanks to its 108 steps down its rocky cliff face to the sea, which allowed the besieged defenders to be fed and watered by ship.

Today’s visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and towers and enjoy stunning views of the coastline from the top of the keep. Harlech Castle is a fascinating piece of history, and it is well worth a visit.

12. Llyn Peninsula:

The Llyn peninsula extends into Cardigan Bay and is home to beautiful coastline villages such as Aberdaron, Abersoch, and Criccieth. The area covers over 100 miles of coastline and has gained Area of Outstanding Beauty Status. It is made up of sweeping bays and cliffs, perfect for lovers of the outdoors. 

For beach lovers, the Llyn Peninsula has some of the most beautiful beaches in Wales. Whistling Sands is one of my favourites. It is extremely peaceful, with a long sandy bay and many rocky inlets to explore. If you want something a little more lively, head to Porthdinllaen Beach, where you can listen to some chilled-out beats while enjoying the outside bar of the Ty Coch Inn.

For history lovers, check out the Llyn Maritime Museum in Nefyn, the Porth y Swnt Visitor Centre or the beautiful Plas yn Rhiw, a 17th-century manor house with stunning gardens overlooking Cardigan Bay.

13. Trearddur Bay:

Located on Holy Island just off the coast of Anglesey in North Wales, Trearddur Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the country. With its dramatic cliffs, serene beaches, and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder that the bay is a popular tourist destination. There are plenty of things to do in Trearddur Bay, from swimming and sunbathing on its Blue Flag beach to sailing, fishing and kayaking. 

Just a little drive up the coast from Trearddur Bay, you will find one of Anglesey’s most visited tourist attractions, the South Stack Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1809 to mark this tiny island off Anglesey. The lighthouse is a great place to visit, especially on a clear sunny day. However, be warned, it is only accessed by descending 400 steps down a cliff face!

14. Caernarfon Castle:

Caernarfon Castle is another medieval castle built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales. Its purpose was to serve as both a military stronghold and a seat of government. Caernarfon Castle is considered one of the most impressive castles in Britain and has UNESCO World Heritage status alongside Conwy, Beaumaris and Harlech.

15 Best places to visit in North Wales

Caernarfon is one of the biggest castles in Wales. It cost £25,000 and took 47 years to build. One of its most prominent features is the Eagle Tower, which has 18-foot-thick walls! It was here that its most famous residents would live in lavish luxury. Its most notable resident was King Edward II, born at Caernarfon and the first Prince of Wales. Since then, every Prince of Wales has been invested here, including Prince Charles, who was famously invested here in 1969.

Visitors to Caernarfon can explore the castle’s many features, including its massive gatehouse, towers, and Great Hall. They can also learn about the castle’s rich history, including its serving as a prison during the English Civil War and being successfully besieged by Welsh forces in 1404. Caernarfon Castle is an essential part of Welsh history and offers visitors a rare opportunity to see a well-preserved medieval castle.

15. Erdigg Hall, Wrexham:

Erdigg Hall is a historic house located in Wrexham, North Wales. Although originally built in 1680, it was massively remodelled after John Mellor, a successful London lawyer, bought the property in 1714 after its previous owner went bankrupt. 

15 Best places to visit in North Wales

What makes this house unique isn’t its beautiful architecture or stunning landscaped gardens; it’s how its owners treated its servants. They created an unmatched record of domestic life in a stately home through paintings, printed documents, and even poems. So we can see not nameless servants but the individual people who served at Erdigg, who they were, and how they lived.

The family started a tradition of painting portraits with verses about each servant. The family gradually replaced these paintings after photography came into vogue, but they still needed something to go alongside them, so they composed separate poems for every photo to memorialise their lives. Some of the originally painted portraits, including a gamekeeper, blacksmith, and housemaid, still hang on the walls in the servant’s hall.

Read more: Erddig House, a visitor guide

Where To Stay In North Wales: 

There is no ideal place to stay in North Wales. It just depends on what you plan to do and how remote you want to be. If you have access to a car, you can pretty much stay anywhere and still be within an hour’s drive of most of the popular tourist destinations. However, if you don’t, staying in one of the bigger towns like Conwy is probably your best bet, as there’s a pretty good public transport network that will get you to most places. 

Some of my favourite places to stay include:

  • Llanberis: The perfect place to enjoy Snowdonia National Park.
  • Llandudno: An ideal location for those visiting Llandudno, Colwyn and Caernarfon.
  • Ruthin: Stay in Ruthin if you want easy access to Loggerheads, Chirk and Wrexham.
  • Llangollen: A tourist destination on its own but has easy access to the Pontcysllte Aqueduct.
  • Beaumaris: Best place for exploring Anglesey.

For booking accommodation, I recommend using Booking.com. This website offers the best-priced accommodation catering for all budgets and styles. Just pop in your requirements, and it will give you a list of available accommodations. Perfect for picking out the best hostels, B&B or even some luxury escapes.

Read more:

Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up! 

Remember to follow our social media accounts for more travel inspiration and updates. 

Happy travels!

15 Best places to visit in North Wales
15 Best places to visit in North Wales

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts