From castles and beaches, to waterfalls and quaint towns and villages, North Wales has so much to offer. Well known for its beautiful coastline, stunning landscape and rich history, there’s a lot to discover here. I’ve been several times in the winter, and I loved each and every trip. If you’re looking for inspiration for an upcoming adventure, here are nine of my favourite places to visit in North Wales…
At Benllech you will find one of North Wales most beautiful beaches. The long sandy beach is ideal for a walk in the colder months, or to spend the whole day in the summer. I’d highly recommend the cafe overlooking the beach for coffee and donuts. The village of Benllech itself is small, but you can pick up an amazing fish and chips from one of the two chip shops on the square.
2. Aber Falls
One of Snowdonia’s most dramatic waterfalls, Aber Falls is a must-see. You’ll find Aber Falls at the northern foothills of the Carneddau. The waterfall is part of Afon Goch’s final stretch down to the Menai Straits. The waterfall cascades down from a height of 120 feet into a small plunge pool.
The walk to the waterfall is short, making it easily accessible – there’s no need to spend all day trekking to see this amazing natural landmark. The route also has the added bonus of various picnic spots, if you want to extend your visit.
With a mix of Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian and medieval architecture, Beaumaris is a beautiful and charming seaside town. Take a walk through the centre, starting along the seafront to see the pier and views across to the Menai Strait and Snowdonia. Next head up into the town to see the beautiful streets and cottages, many of which are painted in pastel shades, providing that much-welcomed seaside town feel. In the town centre, you’ll find unique and independent pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as some great local shops too.
Don’t miss Beaumaris castle. This United Nations World Heritage site was built between 1295-1330 and has a perfectly symmetrical shape.
Winner of the Green Coast seaside award, Rhosneigr has two beautiful sandy beaches. While you could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon exploring the beaches, there’s also the Rhosneigr-Aberffraw coastal path, for a walk with amazing views. After your walk, head to Mojo’s for pancakes.
5. South Stack
An island just off of Holy Island, South Stack is Anglesey’s most westerly point. Here you will see amazing cliffs, which are home to large colonies of seabirds. You can get a great view from the RSPB’s Ellin’s Tower observatory. I saw a huge colony of puffins which was truly amazing. There’s also a visitor centre here for a cafe for a bite to eat and a hot drink.
6. Ceunant Mawr Waterfall
Another beautiful waterfall, and generally less known than Aber Falls, the Ceunant Mawr Waterfall. Known as Llanberis hidden falls, the waterfall dramatically cascades in two stages, leading down to a woodland below. The walk to the falls is about a mile long, and it’s a beautiful walk in itself.
Also in Llanberis you will find the picturesque village centre, with the National Slate Museum and the well-known Snowdon Mountain Railway.
7. Dolbadarn Castle
Overlooking the waters of Llyn Padarn, Dolbadarn Castle was constructed in the late 12th century. Built as a watch over the route inland from Caernarfon to the upper Conwy Valley, this beautiful structure plays an important part in Welsh history. If you head to the castle, you will find a sturdy round tower and curtain walls. The tower is 50 ft tall, and was inspired by similar fortresses built in the southern Marches.
8. Menai Bridge
Menai Bridge is in north-west Wales, and is home to the Menai Suspension Bridge, built in 1826 by Thomas Telford. The bridge is just a short walk from the town centre and provides links with the mainland. The Menai Suspension Bridge is beautiful and was the world’s first iron suspension bridge. It stands at just over 300m long and 30m high, to allow tall ships to pass underneath.
This beautiful walled market town is charming and unique. A World Heritage Site, here you will find a 13th century castle and walls. The ‘iron ring’ fortress was one of several, built around Snowdonia by Edward I to contain the Welsh. The town itself is lovely and it’s well worth a wander around the cobbled streets and see the quaint houses. The ‘smallest house in Great Britain’ is also in Conwy. It’s at the end of a row of terrace houses on the quayside and is painted in bright red, so it’s easy to spot.
There’s so much to discover in North Wales. I can’t wait to get back in the Spring/Summer and enjoy seeing more of what this beautiful area has to offer.