Top 10 Things to do in North Wales
Some views from my flat (Llanfairfechan Prom)
More of North Wales
Top 10 Things to do in North Wales
With everyone feeling the brunt of the recession, more and more people are opting to holiday in the UK rather than vacating abroad. Holidays and breaks aren’t cheap at the best of times, but staying in the UK makes it considerably cheaper, especially if you have a family to cater for. There are lots of things to do in the UK, although if it’s hot weather you are after than maybe holidaying abroad would be a better option for you!
North Wales is a beautiful part of Great Britain, seemingly having the best of both worlds, with its long stretch of gorgeous coastline to the roaming hills and mountains, and valleys and gorges; there really is something here for everyone. Whether you want an active holiday or relaxing break, I believe North Wales can cater for all.
North Wales retains a lot of history, and boasts of many castles and stately homes that are open to visitors, as well as steam trains, art galleries and museums. There are also plenty of villages and towns to explore that are dotted in and around the countryside. It’s certainly difficult to find nothing to do here! But if it’s a relaxing holiday you are after then North Wales is perfect for that to, with its clean fresh air and laid back atmosphere, it’s a great place to get back to nature and forget all your worries. Having lived here for 16 years I still find myself taken aback by the views and feel thankful to be in such a lovely environment, surrounded by countryside, beaches and mountains.
Here are my top 10 things to do in North Wales;
1. Why not take advantage of all the mountains and gorges and try your hand at abseiling and rock climbing! Certainly not for the faint hearted, or anyone afraid of heights! Whether you just want to try something different and daring, or you are a keen climber wanting to expand your knowledge, abseiling and rock climbing are great useful skills to have. There are many places around North Wales that offer activity days for individuals, families including children, groups, and even hen and stag do’s. Whether you’re a novice or a pro there’s pretty much something for everyone. And you can rest assured that you will always been in the safe hands of the instructors, it’s a great way to learn and expand your skills, and increase your confidence. You could maybe try Proadventure that use the crags near Llangollen, and of course the mountain range of Snowdonia. They also have many other activities to try.
2. Another way to explore the mountains, beaches, valleys and countryside is to go walking. The paths are endless, whether you like to stroll or would like more of a challenge, the choice is yours. There are six different paths up to the top of Mount Snowdon, which is the largest mountain in Wales standing at a whopping 3,560ft tall, ranging from easy to difficult, for the amateurs and the pro ramblers! There are also many coastal paths that span over 125 miles if you would prefer. North Wales have some of the cleanest beaches in Great Britain. There are also lots of waterfall walks too, which gives you an opportunity to get up close and see some amazing waterfalls, such as Angel Falls and Aber Falls, and many more. Whatever kind of walk you go on you will benefit from the fresh air and open spaces. And of course it’s a great way to keep fit and keep that blood pumping!
3. Being surrounded by water, it’s hardly surprising that canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting are popular activities in North Wales. But you don’t have to be an expert to give it a go! Canoeing and white water rafting are an exhilarating experience, great for those wanting to try something a little different. While canoeing and kayaking round the coast can be relaxing, white water rafting down a fast moving rocky river is definitely something for the more adventurous.
4. You may want to leave the hard work to other people, and sit back and enjoy one of the many boat rides on offer around the coastline of North Wales. See the wildlife that inhabits our seas, such as seals, various birds and fish, and if you’re really lucky, sharks and dolphins! There are lighthouses and castles to see, and islands such as Puffin Island. Sail down the Menai Straits and see the Menai Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford and built in 1826. There is even the option of travelling over to Ireland on one of the luxurious Stena Ferries, which sail daily from Holyhead, over the Irish Sea to Dublin, Ireland. There are day passes available for those that just want a day trip, and it doesn't take long to get there, especially if you take the fastcraft. Whatever kind of boat ride you are after, there are various on offer for all ages to enjoy in North Wales. Just don’t forget you camera as you never know what you might see!
5. Take advantage of the many cycle paths throughout North Wales, and combine seeing the beautiful scenery with getting fit! There is a coastal cycle path that goes all the way from Holyhead to Chester, passing through the gorgeous seaside towns of Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl and Prestatyn to Connah’s Quay, which then leads onto an old railway line and canal towpath into Chester. There are also mountain bike rides too for the more daring, such as mountain bike trails at Coed Llandegla Forest to Betws-Y-Coed. There are also many bikeing events held in North Wales such as the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon Series heat in Ruthin, Welsh Dragon Series XC, the Cyffylliog Challenge and the Clwydian Trailquest, a mountain bike orienteering event. In October Flintshire Council and Birkenhead North End Cycle Club also run the Flintshire Challenge annual endurance race. These events attract many biking enthusiasts to North Wales.
6. There are countless campsites dotted around North Wales as it is the easiest and cheapest form of accommodation. An old pastime that is still as popular today, as it is fun for all ages. There are literally hundreds to choose from; usually based within close proximity to either beaches or mountains, depending on what kind of holiday you are after. Some are no more than a field ranging to others which include caravan lettings, wooden chalets, and all the amenities such as toilet and shower blocks. For the whole family places such as Pwllheli and Abersoch are great places to camp as there are plenty of spectacular beaches, lots of shops, and plenty of other activities. Whatever your age and whatever kind of holiday you are after, camping in North Wales is a great way to experience the great outdoors and the wilderness, its fun for all of the family and best of all, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
7. If its fishing you’re into then North Wales is the place to be. There are several boat trips on offer that specialize in wreck fishing, deep sea fishing, reef fishing and diving. Explore the wrecks of the Irish Sea or go fishing for the likes of cod, pollack, mackerel, conger and bass. There are even short fishing trips available for those who wish to give it a try with some reward. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there are many man-made and natural fishing lakes in North Wales. For example, Llyn Brenig Lake is one of the largest lakes in Wales, at 920 acres and almost 150 feet deep, many world fly fishing events are held there. Bala Lake is the largest natural Stillwater in North Wales and stretches up to 4 miles long, and stocks gudgeon, perch, roach and pike. The Dee, which flows from Snowdonia, through the Vale of Clwyd and into Cheshire, offers seasonal offers of bream, grayling, chub, eels, salmon, and even sea trout. Carp over 261 lbs has been netted at Llyn Y Gors Fishery near Menai Bridge, as well as catfish and golden orfe. Whether fishing for fun off Beaumaris Pier, night fishing on Anglesey, or enjoying the beautiful views next to a tranquil countryside stream, there’s something for all ages with any experience. There are also many fisheries and angling clubs in North Wales offering information on permits and licenses.
8. Why not take a step back in time and take a ride on one of the many steam trains around North Wales. Many have been running since the late 1800’s, that’s well over a 100 years! Most were originally used to transport slate, it’s only now they have become a tourist attraction. Each train is unique on its own, only sharing the charm, paintwork and polished brass. It’s a great way for all ages to see the beautiful countryside of Wales; many steam trains follow tracks around lakes, through gorges, and around mountains, such as the Snowdon Mountain Railway ride that takes you to the very top of North Wales highest mountain, Snowdonia. Standing at 3,560 ft tall, it’s a true mountain and legend, and definitely worth a visit. There are other steam train rides though such as Llanberis Lake Railway ride, Ffestiniog Railway, and the Welsh Highland Railway. All offer an unforgettable ride with spectacular views.
9. The lists if idyllic, quaint towns and villages is endless, there is so much to see. Each town or village has its own charm, from seaside coastal towns, to the rural villages set within the roaming hills and valleys. You have towns such as Trefriw, which is situated within the Snowdonia National Park, old port towns like Amlwch which is on the Isle of Anglesey, towns with castles, such as Caernarfon and Beaumaris, and lovely seaside towns and villages such as Llandudno and Abersoch. Wherever you go you will certainly not be disappointed with the history and charm of any of villages in North Wales, and will be pleasantly welcomed by tight knit caring communities.
10. If none of the above takes your fancy, then why not lay back, kick of your shoes and relax, as North Wales is a great place to just chill out and forget your worries. Whether it’s sinking your toes into golden sand while watching the sun set, or staying in a log cabin with a roaring coal fire, I’m sure to say you will find it hard not to relax while holidaying here. There is a much laid back feel here, with very little traffic and noise, but instead lot’s of countryside, and ocean, and beautiful views that will take your breath away. There are plenty of activities that will keep the kids busy so that parents can lay back and relax for a change! It really is also a great opportunity to get back to nature, awaken your senses, and leave all your stresses at home. You’re sure to feel re energized and ready for the hustle and bustle of life again after a holiday in North Wales.
Here are some websites that you may find helpful:
- Waterfall walks in Wales
- Ferries to Ireland | Ferry crossings with Stena Line
- North Wales Tourism Things to see and do
- Rock Climbing, abseiling and climbing instructor Courses in North Wales
- Plas Menai - Facilities & Location
- Puffin Island Menai Straits Pleasure Cruises, Anglesey, North Wales
- Camping in North Wales - find a campsite
- The Great Little Trains of Wales
- Aberdovey Tourist Information on the towns and villages in NORTH WALES - Tourist Net UK guide
- MTB Wales - North Wales Mountain Biking
Alicia Keys Parody North Wales
North Wales Video Postcard
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