North Wales is rugged and untamed, its coastline is a mix of pebble beaches and wind-powered turbines in the ocean. Caravan parks, pubs and fun fairs adorn the small coastal towns that thrive on tourists crossing the border from England looking for some sun and relaxation. I can tell you they may have to look hard for some sun, but the pubs are a plenty! Castles and ruins dotted along the towns and inlets are a reminder of its historic past and how the English struggled to subdue the fiercely patriotic Welsh people.
The inland is full of National Parks, waterfalls, hiking and mountain bike treks. North Wales is alive and certainly one of the most picturesque places we have ever been. There are plenty of things to do in North Wales. North Wales is here and ready to greet all with its tourist attractions, history, natural wonders and famous places to see in Wales
The Great Orme – Places to visit in North Wales
Located on a prominent headland on the north coast of Wales, next to the town of Llandudno is The Great Orme. The Great Orme is run as a nature reserve with numerous walking tracks and wildlife such as mountain goats present. On top of The Great Orme, you will find amazing views of the Welsh Coastline in either direction. The summit at The Great Orme has a visitor’s centre where you can eat and have a coffee. The Great Orme also has a cable car that runs from the summit down to Llandudno and back. It is an amazing trip down with some mighty views as you approach the famous Llandudno pier.
We were extremely lucky the day we went sun was out and the sky was blue and you would have thought you were somewhere in the tropics. One can take a ride on The Great Orme tramway. This is Britain’s only remaining cable operated tramway. You can catch the tram halfway to the summit of Great Orme and walk back admiring the views of Conwy in the distance. You can visit The Great Orme Copper mine. The Great Orme Copper Mine is the largest Bronze Age mine in the world. It was uncovered in 1987 during a scheme to landscape an area of The Great Orme. You get to explore underground and look at original mining tunnels that were dug out.
Family Travel Tip: At the summit, there is mini golf and a playground for the kids to have some fun with. Our kids really loved the Cable car it was a real highlight for them.
North Wales things to do – Llandudno Hop On Hop Off Bus
The Llandudno Hop on Hop off bus has 12 stops on its tour. The bus stops at the pier which gives you access to the cable car to the Great Orme. The Bus also goes to Conwy which allows you to explore the amazing Conwy Castle
Get your tickets HERE.
Dotted along the North Wales coastal towns like Rhyl and Towyn you will find fun parks that cater to the summer crowds that flock to the coast. One fun park in Towyn particularly has been a north coast institution for many years. For over 30 years Knightly’s fun park has been attracting holidaymakers. Knightly’s is more than just a fun park with rides and amusements. Knightly’s also features an arcade with games and bingo every day. The long bar and restaurant have budget meals and entertainment nightly during the peak seasons for the whole family. The fun park offers those wrist band type entries that can be very good value for money where you pay one amount and go on the rides as many times as you like during a certain period of time.
Family Travel Tips: Make sure you have a look around at the different fun parks in the area to see which one are suitable for your children. We went two parks in Towyn and one was considerably better for our children than the other.
North Wales seaside – The Ty Coch Inn
The Ty Coch Inn was voted the world’s 3rd best beach bar in a poll during the last few years. We first learnt about this place in an article rating it the 3rd best beach bar in the world! I remember thinking in Wales are they mad?! I was intrigued from that moment on. With a week in Wales planned on our 2015 trip, I put visiting this pub/inn right at the top of my list to see. I had to visit this place to see how a tiny bar in Wales could be number 3 in the world.
Did I mention you can’t drive to this Inn, you must walk about 20 minutes through a golf course to reach the Tye Coch Inn? A small white sand beach greets you with fisherman and their boats unloading their catch for the day, people of all ages enjoying a beer in the sun and looking at bright blue waters of the bay. The Ty Coch is a sight to behold in a location to savour. The walk to the bar is the easy part it’s the walk back to cars up the hill after having a few pints that could be the problem. Amazing and highly recommended.
Family Travel Tip: Food is limited at the Ty Coch Inn, they only serve food during certain hours other than crisps and icecreams. If you plan to spend the day or afternoon at the Inn bring food with you and a bucket and shovel for the kids to make sand castles on the beach.
Places to visit in Snowdonia North Wales – Llanberis Pass
The Llanberis Pass (Welsh name Bwlch Llanberis) is in Snowdonia. The Llanberis Pass is the main road from the south-east to Llanberis, over the Pen-y-Pass, between the mountain ranges of the Glyderau and the Snowdon massif. We travelled the Llanberis Pass on our journey from Betws–y–Coed to Llanberis. Betws-y-Coed is an idyllic little village set in the heartland of the Snowdonia national Park. The approach to The Llanberis pass through the lowlands of Snowdonia National Park is National Geographic stuff. Old stone house and fences, high mountains with low cloud, lakes and streams running down the hills. It is an amazing landscape that gives you that feeling that you have stepped back in time.
The drive through the Llanberis Pass is over all too quick. The road feels like it was gouged out of the mountains. The views are sweeping and the little waterfalls running down the cliffs provide an amazing scene. The Llanberis Pass is one of the most photogenic spots we have visited and absolutely amazing. It was the Wales experience we were hoping for. Wild, unspoilt landscapes, that conjure images in one’s head of nature’s beauty at its finest. It was a real highlight for us.
The castles of North Wales
King Edward the 1st of England went on a castle building spree in the late 12th century. There are over a dozen castles from the reign of Edward and his father in North Wales. The castles were built to intimidate and control the Welsh people keeping them under tight English rule. These castles are in varying conditions from total ruin to totally preserved. UNESCO described the castles of Beaumaris and Harlech and the fortified complexes of Caernarfon and Conwy as World Heritage sites under the title of Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.
These four castles and others such as Rhuddlan are a castle’s lovers dream. The castles built in the medieval times are characterised by the huge defensive walls. The site of Conwy Castle on Colwyn bay Conwy United Kingdom is just about my favourite castle in the whole world. The scale of its walls are amazing. What a site it would have been with soldiers standing Guard and the King receiving guests in the great hall. For more detailed information we have visited Conwy, Caernarfon and Rhuddlan click to read full posts on these castles.
We hope this inspires you to visit this amazing part of Great Britain.