Visit North Wales & Snowdonia on Your next UK Holiday
Theatrical valleys carved into the landscape, fascinating architecture steeped in history, and an abundance of charming towns, it is no wonder that North Wales draws such a crowd. Whether chasing that next adrenaline rush, or spending time with the family, there is a wealth of activity to suit everyone in North Wales and Snowdonia.
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Things to do in North Wales & Snowdonia
North Wales is rich in heritage, culture, and scenery, so there is plenty to see and do for the whole family. We have created a list of our top attractions and activities for you to get the most out of your stay.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England, standing at an impressive 1085 metres and offering views across Snowdonia, Anglesey, and Pembrokeshire. Whether you wish to walk, scramble, or climb one of Snowdon’s icy peaks, with over 1497 miles of public footpaths to wander, walkers and thrill seekers alike will be satisfied. Challenge yourself with a tough trail or simply take in the scenery on an easier route, with 6 different tracks to choose from. Choose from the Watkin Path, Llanberis Path, Miners’ Track, Rhyd-Ddu Path, Snowdon Ranger Path, or the PYG Track. Explore the jagged peaks and work up an appetite for a rewarding dinner at a local pub once you have finished.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Llechwedd Slate Caverns is a popular visitor attraction near Blaenau Ffestiniog. A working mine since 1836, Blaenau Ffestiniog is still in use today, providing Welsh slate for the UK. Descend underground on the Deep Mine Tour to learn about the history of slate quarrying and how slate was extracted during Victorian times. With vaulted caverns and a majestic underground lake, the man-made wonder is a sight to behold. The slate caverns are also home to Bounce Below, the world’s first subterranean playground, with large trampolines covering an area of the caves if you fancy a bounce.
Fly down Europe’s longest zip lines at Zip World Velocity in Bethesda. If you are new to zip lining, you can start small on the Little Zipper and build your confidence before you attempt the dizzying heights of the Big Zipper. Adrenaline junkies can rejoice; Zip World is home to the fastest zip line in the world with lines reaching speeds of more than 100mph. The only 4-person line in Europe, you can enjoy stunning views of the Isle of Man before whizzing across the quarry lake in unison with your friends. With a total of three zip lines, the last line returns riders back to the start where they can choose to go down into the depths of the slate cavern or grab a bite to eat.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
If climbing Snowdon is not for you, the Snowdon Mountain Railway can give you all the pleasure without any of the hard work! Take in the sights of the Welsh landscape as you climb up in the comfort of your own carriage. This narrow-gauge rack and pinion mountain railway is situated in Gwynedd, travelling for 4.7 miles from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon. If you’re a really keen on historic rail travel, enjoy the heritage steam experience on the Snowdon Lily, a replica of the original tram carriage from 1896. The journey to the summit takes one hour with a 30-minute break at the top to enjoy the stunning views.
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Dyffryn Ogwen, or Ogwen Valley, is situated within the Snowdonia National Park, in the Welsh county of Gwynedd. The valley lies to the south of Bangor and is bordered by two mountain ranges, including the Glyderau mountain range. With more challenging terrain than Snowdon, it is popular with experienced mountaineers. However, there are several routes to suit novices that still offer impressive views across Snowdon, the River Ogwen, and the valley. The town of Bethesda sits within the valley and provides a welcome stop for refreshments, with a cosy local pub for walkers.
Harlech Castle is a World Heritage Inscribed medieval fortification, perched high up on the rocks facing the Irish Sea. With stunning panoramic views overlooking sand dunes and Snowdonia, it is a popular spot with photographers and tourists. Built between 1282 and 1289, you can marvel at the medieval architecture that looks like it fell straight out of the pages of a fairy tale. Open year-round, visitors can explore the towers and inner walls of this impressive fortress. Check the castle’s website calendar for additional concerts and events that happen at the site.
Portmeirion is a popular coastal village designed by visionary Welsh architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Influenced by Italian architecture, the village is in keeping with the natural surroundings but has a continental elegance, the colourful buildings providing the perfect backdrop for a romantic walk. It’s no surprise that it has been used as the location for numerous film and television productions. Built between 1925 and 1975, the village has many colourful shops and restaurants sitting on the clifftop overlooking the picturesque Cardigan Bay. It’s also home to miles of sandy beaches and nearby woodland ideal for a stroll. Or, you could always visit the sub-tropical woodland garden, Y Gwyllt, to see a variety of exotic trees and plants.
Activities in North Wales
Water sports in North Wales
Thanks to its abundance of lakes, rivers, and beaches, North Wales is the ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts. From white-water rafting to inland lagoon surfing, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the water in any weather. The windy coastal region of Anglesey is ideal for kite surfing and windsurfing. For those new to their boards, an inland surf lagoon offers the perfect place to practice thanks to its regular, manageable waves. From sailing, to scrambling and coasteering, to canoeing, you won’t be able to resist getting involved at locations like Harlech, Anglesey, Barmouth and Conwy.
Golfing in Snowdonia
Tee off in style at some of the UK’s most renowned golf clubs, in Snowdonia. Experience varied landscapes and stunning countryside scenery, with over 20 courses to choose from. Royal St David’s Golf Club in Harlech is known for its dramatic mountain backdrop which attracts thousands of professional golfers each year. Other pro-golfer favourites include Aberdyfi and Nefyn, situated on cliffs along the Llyn Peninsula. These courses are renowned for their superior course management and grounds keeping, making them the ideal place to putt. After a long day on the green, relax and unwind in the clubhouse with a celebratory drink.
Coed y Brenin Mountain Biking Centre
Experience mountain biking at its best on one of many trails that offer stunning mountain views of Snowdonia. As the UK’s first dedicated mountain bike trail centre, Coed y Brenin has an extensive network of tracks to rival any location. Developed from original natural forest trails, the centre now has a range of skills areas, all-weather tracks, and traditional forest routes that provide ample choice for both the passionate mountain biker and the beginner. ‘The Cavity’ feature is a large development in the forest and allows more experienced riders to drop into a rollercoaster-style trail experience.
My Perfect Stay
I have always been absolutely in love with North Wales, thanks to fond memories of family holidays climbing Snowdon and swimming in the river at Beddgelert. I love the great outdoors, and Wales is the most perfect setting for me, with incredible landscapes wherever you look and heaps of activities from walking to zip lining (and North Wales is home to Europe’s longest zip line!).
No doubt the biggest draw for me is Snowdonia National Park, with Wales’ highest peak looming over the rolling countryside. You can hike up in about 3 hours, with various different trails depending on ability (and fear factor!), or you can save your legs and catch the train instead. Then head to the nearby beautiful village of Beddgelert for dinner at The Saracens Head, where you can relax in front of a cosy fire after a hard day of exploring.
My favourite place to stay is Ogwen Bank Country Club, set right on the edge of Snowdonia along the bank of the River Ogwen. This peaceful park is just a stone’s throw away from Zipworld (see above!), and a short drive from the shopping delights of Bangor and some lovely beaches.