Discover the wonderful North Wales region and see our top picks for your days out while staying in this beautiful part of the UK. You could explore the stunning mountain landscapes, reach summits and discover mountain villages, visit gardens and beaches, discover the turbulent history between England and Wales through the ring of castles built by Edward I which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or simply explore the beautiful seaside towns and resorts of the area.
Llandudno is a beautiful seaside resort famed for its wide streets – purposefully designed so that no building is higher than the street is wide. This makes for an open, grand feel to this lovely town.
It’s also a lovely place to just take a stroll along the Promenade and enjoy the beautiful North Wales coastline – or why not pop into the Wetherspoons pub, The Palladium, which is housed in an old theatre?
Don’t Miss: There is an Alice in Wonderland Trail around Llandudno due to its connection with author Lewis Carroll – see how many sculptures you can find on your Llandudno coach holiday!
Why not explore the Great Orme – the beautiful headland at the top end of Llandudno High Street. You can travel by cable car or Victorian tramway to the summit, or enjoy a fantastic Marine Drive Tour by vintage bus, which provides commentary as it takes you on a driving tour circumnavigating the base of the Orme by road.
Conwy is a lovely walled town on the North Wales coast, dominated by Conwy Castle which was built by Edward I as part of his conquest of Wales. It is well worth a visit and is just a short bus journey from Llandudno – but be advised, you’ll have to make your own way by public transport, as tour coaches won’t fit under the walled city arches!
Don’t miss: The Smallest House in Britain lies on Conwy Quay and is worth a visit (open seasonally). It is just 10ft x 5.9ft in size, but was the home to a 6 foot 3 inch fisherman named Robert Jones until 1900. The rooms were too small for him to stand up fully in! The house is still owned by his descendants today and holds the Guinness World Record for the Smallest House in Great Britain.
A short distance from Llandudno you’ll find Bodnant Gardens, which is managed by the National Trust. This stunning garden is well worth a visit and is home to National Collections and Champion Trees. The garden was developed over 150 years by the McLaren family and Puddle Gardeners, with plants collected from far afield and brought together to create this stunning garden. It is a riot of colour throughout the year, with grand terraces and sweeping lawns, hidden corners and beautiful woodland to explore, all set against the stunning backdrop of the mountains of Snowdonia.
Snowdonia National Park is just a short distance away and is often included on our Llandudno coach holiday itineraries. The mountain towns of Llanberis and Betws-y-coed are always popular destinations to spend your free time. If you’d like to enjoy the scenery, why not take a trip on Llanberis Lake Railway and travel along the shores of Llyn Peris with beautiful panoramas towards Snowdon.
SNOWDON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY
Another highlight of Llanberis is that it is the home of Snowdon Mountain Railway! From here, you can take the train to the heights of Snowdonia and experience stunning views across the mountains as you climb to the summit of Wales.
Be aware that summit access is weather permitting, so you may find the train terminates at Clogwyn Station (as it is for the 2022 season due to track maintenance). Even so, the views from this station are absolutely stunning and not to be missed.
You can walk one of Snowdon’s six trails to the summit if you wish, with the Llanberis Path following approximately the same route as the railway. It is possible to get a one way ticket on the railway (up or down), subject to availability on the day.
Portmeirion is an Italianate style village nestled on the coast of North Wales, close to Porthmadog. It was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who was inspired by the beautiful villages of Italy, and wanted to show that it was possible to develop a naturally beautiful location without spoiling it.
Williams-Ellis took an eco-friendly approach to construction, transporting endangered buildings and unwanted artefacts from around the world. Work began in 1925 and was completed in 1976, and resulted in a beautiful coastal village of brightly coloured cottages and buildings, clustered around a Mediterranean-style piazza.
Portmeirion remains a popular tourist attraction to this day, both for its architecture and its fame as the filming location for TV series, The Prisoner
WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY & BLAENAU FFESTINIOG RAILWAY
Porthmadog is home to both the Ffestiniog Railway and the Welsh Highland Railway, both heritage narrow-gauge lines. The Ffestiniog Railway takes you into the heart of slate mining country to Blaenau Ffestiniog, while the Welsh Highland Railway traverses the foothills of Snowdonia as it heads to the coastal town of Caernarfon
Caernaefon is home to the greatest of Edward I’s castles, and it truly is a magnificent building dominating the town’s skyline. Construction took place between 1283 and 1330 and it cost approximately £25,000 to build. What is more remarkable about it is that it was never actually finished!
Caernarfon Castle is also home to the Welch Fusillers Museum, which is well worth a visit, and was the location of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales’s investiture in 1969.
Our top tip – make sure you walk across the bridge to the other side of the river so that you can see the castle surrounded by water!
ANGLESEY & LLANFAIR PG
No visit to North Wales is complete without a stop on Anglesey to have your photo taken under the longest place name! Llanfairpwllgwyngychgogerychwrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch was actually created when the railway came to this small village (which had a shorter name), and they wanted to encourage tourism to the area. They thought it would be a good marketing ploy to have the longest place name in the UK – and it obviously worked as we are still visiting there today!
BEAUMARIS & PUFFIN ISLAND BOAT TRIP
Another popular visit is the pretty village of Beaumaris, located just a couple of miles from the Menai Bridge on Anglesey. Here there are small, independent shops dotted along the high street for you to explore, as well as the ruins of Beaumaris Castle, which is part of Edward I’s ring of castles in the North of Wales.
Beaumaris is also the place to go if you’d like to do a boat trip to Puffin Island! Depending on the time of year you may see puffins, guillemots, auk, cormorants, grey seals and more as well as enjoying sea views of Anglesey and the mainland.
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