North Wales attractions are waiting to be discovered. There is no shortage of things to do in North Wales during your stay. A visit Noth Wales holiday of family days out in North Wales will have you exploring something new every day.
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 funfairs adorn the small North Wales seaside towns that thrive on tourists crossing the border from England looking for North Wales beaches, sun and relaxation.
I can tell you they may have to look hard for some sun, but the pubs are aplenty! 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. Now let us find you some places to visit in North Wales
The inland is full of National Parks, waterfalls, hiking and mountain bike treks. These activities provide cheap family days out in Wales. North Wales is alive and certainly one of the most picturesque places we have ever been to.
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.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
The Snowdon Mountain Railway runs from Llanberis to the peak of Mount Snowdon. Mount Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. Mount Snowdon is the 1085 meters high making it the highest mountain in the British isles outside if the Scottish highlands.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway takes you on a 2.5-hour return journey to the peak of Snowdon. One hour up to the summit, half an hour at the summit and one hour back to Llanberis.
The views as you climb ever higher are amazing, the highlight being the scenery of the Llanberis Pass as it appears below you. Climbing Snowdon from the Pen Y Pass is another popular route to the top.
At the top, there is a scramble to reach the peak of the mountains. It is not for the fainthearted as the tip requires you to climb some rock steps with no rails. It is a rewarding experience to scale Llanberis.
A lot of people take the train one way and then walk back down. By all reports, it takes around 4 hours to get to the bottom. The Snowdon Mountain Railway is a highlight of any North Wales visit.
The Great Orme – Places to visit in North Wales
Great Orme is located at the North Wales seaside town of Llandudno. 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 has a station for the Llandudno cable car. The Llandudno cable car runs for a little over 1.6 kilometres.
It is amazing, with some mighty views as you approach the famous Llandudno Pier. Opened on 30 June 1969 as the longest passenger cable car system in Britain, the Llandudno cable car is a must-do experience.
We were extremely lucky the day we went the 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.
The Great Orme tramway has been operating since July 1902. There is a halfway station where you must change cars. The station has a Great Orme Transway history exhibition that is worth a look.
On the descent, you may want to consider walking down from the halfway station to take in the amazing views of the town and surrounding areas. You can visit The Great Orme mines. 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 dugout. We went through the Great Orme Mines the kids will love it, its exploring fun.
Great Orme Tranway Prices
- Adults – £8.10
- Children (3 to 16) – £5.60
Great Orme Cable Car Prices
- Adult Return £11.00 adult
- Child Return £9.00 adult
- Family Return £33.00 family
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.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in north east Wales. The bridge is supported by 18 stone arches. The aqueduct is used by narrowboats to cross the ravine.
The bridge and was completed in 1805 and today is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will find car parking close by which allows you to walk across the aqueduct or pay to be taken across on a boat. It provides an amazing view of the area from the middle of the bridge. Best of all its another free North Wales attraction
Fun Parks in North Wales
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 wristband type entries that can be a 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.
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.
North Wales Activities – 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 quickly. 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. There is a YHA hostel at on the Llanberis Pass where you can stay. Check out the Pen-Y-Pass hostel here.
Once you get off the hill the Llanberis Lake railway is waiting for you. The Llanberis Lake Railway is a 1 ft 11 ¹⁄₂ in narrow gauge heritage railway that runs for 2.5 miles along the northern shore of Llyn Padarn in North Wales.
The trip takes around the edge of the lake and stops at a tranquil area where you have amazing views of the sweeping lake and countryside. On the return journey, the Llanberis Lake Railway stops at the National Slate Museum.
The National Slate Museum looks like the mine has just closed and the workman has finished the day. The Museum is kept as original as possible to give you a real insight into quarry life. The five-mile return trip takes around 60 minutes
Cheap family days out in Wales – Castle Spotting
No Holidays in North Wales are complete without seeing a castle. Castle visiting is one of the top North Wales activities for visitors. 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 is amazing. What a sight 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, Beaumaris, Harlech, Flint, Chirk and Rhuddlan click to read full posts on these castles.
We hope this inspires you to visit this amazing part of Great Britain. I am sure you can find some amazing places to visit and plenty of Noth Wales activities to do.
Great Britains smallest house
When they small they mean small. This North Wales attraction is quite quirky. The Smallest House in Great Britain is only 72 inches wide by 122 inches high. It was lived in till May 1900, and now it has become a popular tourist attraction.
Every year thousands of people from Great Britain around the world poke there head in for a look. Funnily enough, the last person to live in the house was a local fisherman called Robert Jones (who also happened to be 6 foot 3).
SC2 in Rhyl
Rhyll is one of the most well known seaside towns in North wales. SC2 in Rhyl is the newest attraction to the north coast of Wales. Rhyl once the jewel of North Wales seaside is undergoing a revamp. The newest Rhyll attraction is SC2 is an indoor aquatic centre. Inside you will find 3 water slides for fun times. The Anaconda, The Speedster and The Boomerang.
The speedster is a three-lane race slide, while the Anaconda twists and turns in the darkness and the Boomerang is done on a tube. There is a section for younger kids called Piranha Bay with toddler slides, water wheels and tipping buckets. In the summer SC2 in Rhyl has an outdoor splash pad for kids. Parents can watch on from the cafe adjacent to it
SC2 Entry Prices
- Adult £15.50
- Junior £12.50
- 2 adults & 2 children £48.00
- 2 adults & 3 children £57.00
- 2 adults & 4 children £67.50
- Only opened weekends in Winter
- Opened daily in summer
Located in the Conwy area of Northern Wales is the National Trust property Bodnant Gardens. Bodnant Gardens is one of the lesser-known North Wales attractions. Records show that Bonet was established in the early 1700s during the reign of James the 1st. Small gardens have been established since this time but in the late 1870’s the gardens we see today started to take shape.
The garden starts gently slopping downhill and then dramatically falls into a gully with a stream and a waterfall. The garden 32 hectares (80 acres) and is filled with manicured lawns and grand, flower-filled terraces, Paths allow you to explore the garden area and into a forest with ancient trees and a bustling broke running through it. You can sit enjoy a coffee and cake by the stream and admire the beautifully built terraces. Visit Bodnant Garden today and be amazed.
Bodnant Garden Admission prices
- Adult £8.00
- Child £4.00
- Family £20.00
- 1 Adult family £12.00
Bodnant Garden Opening times
- 10.00 – 3.00 Daily
Glamping at Llechwedd Slate Mountain
Llechwedd Slate Mine is located in Blaenau Ffestiniog. These days the Slate Mine has been repurposed for tourism. Slate Mountain Glamping has 6 tents set up on a hill overlooking the slate mine and Zipworld. The glamping tents sleep up to 5 people and come with comfortable beds, hot doonas and water bottles.
Your tent comes with a potbelly for warmth, microwave and fridge. You can sit on the deck and watch the stars dazzle in the dark skies of North Wales. Llechwedd Slate Mines Glamping is an amazing experience for everyone. The site has mine tours, ziplines, subterranean net adventures and mountain biking.
Welsh Mountain Zoo – Colwyn Bay
For family days out in North Wales, the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay is well worth a visit for those that love animals. The Zoo in North EWales is located on a hill overlooking the ocean and the amazing coastline. The Zoo was set in 1963 by a local family and has grown in size and popularity ever since.
Today there are over 143 different species of animal on display at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. The Zoo encompasses an important garden. The Zoo’s gardens are made up of plants and seeds from around the world, from Chile, Central America and the Himalayas. The Zoo has animal experience for those looking to get up close and personal with a number of different species on site.
Where is the Welsh Mountain Zoo – just 3 minutes drive from the A55 Expressway – exit at Rhos-on-Sea interchange (Junction 20) – the Zoo is signposted from here. From Bangor 30 mins, Caernarfon 40 mins, Wrexham 60 mins, Chester 60 mins, Liverpool 80 mins, Manchester 90 mins.
Welsh Mountain Zoo admission prices
- Adult £6.53
- Child £4.91
- Family £20.56
Welsh Mountain Zoo opening times
- Winter hours 9.30am-3.15pm
Valle Crucis Abbey
In the hills of North Wales lies the ruins of this ancient Abbey. Built-in 1201 by Prince Madog ap Gruffydd and the ‘white monks’ of the Cistercian order. The journey through the windy hills of North Wales is certainly an adventure in itself when getting to the abbey.
Today you will find some amazing picturesque ruins waiting to be explored. Valle Crucis was second richest abbey in Wales when it was dissolved by Henry V111. Today the site contains the ruins of the Abbey a chapter house and the only surving monastic fishpond in Wales.
Make sure you have your camera ready, this amazing site has inspired paintings and poems over the years
Places to grab a bite to eat in North Wales
Below we have listed a few places to grab a bite to eat in North Wales. These places will not break the bank, but you will get a good feed. Everything from burgers to fish n chips and curries.
How to get to North Wales
- The nearest International airports are located at Manchester and Liverpool
- You can pick up a rental car at Manchester Airport and Liverpool Airport.
- From London take the M6 motorway then the M56 towards Chester.
- By Train, the North Wales Main Line is the railway line from Crewe to Holyhead.