If It’s beautiful gardens, spectacular castles or the stunning Snowdonia National Park then wellcome to North Wales the perfect place for a visit for the family.
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. Retail, transport and educational infrastructure are centred on Wrexham, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Bangor. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales, and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England.
North Wales was traditionally divided into three regions: Upper Gwynedd (or Gwynedd above the Conwy), defined as the area north of the River Dyfi and west of the River Conwy); Lower Gwynedd (or Gwynedd below the Conwy, also known as the Perfeddwlad and defined as the region east of the River Conwy and west of the River Dee); and Ynys Môn (or Anglesey), a large island off the north coast.
The southern boundary is arbitrary and its definition may depend on the use being made of the term. For example, the boundary of North Wales Police differs from the boundary of the North Wales area of the Natural Resources and the North Wales Regional Transport Consortium (Taith). The historic boundary follows the pre 1996 county boundaries of Merionethshire and Denbighshire which in turn closely follows the geographic features of the river Dovey to Aran Fawddwy, then crossing the high moorlands following the watershed until reaching Cadair Berwyn, and then following the river Rhaeadr and river Tanat to the Shropshire border. Montgomeryshire is sometimes referred to as being in north Wales.
Accommodation in North Wales
A comprehensive selection of accommodation throughout North Wales including Bed and Breakfasts, Seaside Guest Houses, Countryside Farmhouses, Inns, Mountain Hotels, Lodges, Beautiful Country Houses and even a Castle or two! Or, if you prefer to go self-catering or stay in a summer holiday static or Mobile Caravan or Tent, there’s lots of choice there too. Most accommodation has been quality graded and approved by the Welsh Tourist Board, so you can be assured that your vacation will a comfortable one.
- Afon View Guest House
- Rhyddallt Ganol Cottages
- Stables Lodge – Betws-y-coed
- Adcote House – Llandudno
- Llys Rhostrefor, Apt 3 – Benllech
Top Attractions To Visit
Spectacularly sited Harlech Castle seems to grow naturally from the rock on which it is perched. Like an all seeing sentinel, it gazes out across land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over Snowdonia.
The English monarch Edward I built Harlech in the late 13th century to fulfil this very role. It was one of the most formidable of his ‘iron ring’ of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh in their mountain fastness.
A small town of some 3000 people Llangollen is seeped in myth and legend. In many ways it is best known for hosting the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod every July which brings in some 120,000 visitors and turns the town into a vibrant international stage.
As with so many ancient Welsh towns, it takes its name from its founding Saint; Collen, a seventh century saint. Llangollen, was established in the 7th Century when The monk St. Collen was instructed to find a valley by riding a horse for one day and then stop and mark out a “parish” a place to build his hermitage or cell in the custom of the times, with tiny church, hospice and outhouses all enclosed within a wall.
Some say it is the most magnificent of Edward I’s Welsh fortresses. To get the full picture, head for the battlements. Breathtaking views across mountains and sea.
If the outside impresses (and it will), wait until you go in. With an outer ward containing a great hall, chambers and kitchen, and a more secluded inner ward with private chambers and a royal chapel, it is very easy to imagine how Conwy functioned when the royal entourage were in town.
Along with Harlech Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Beaumaris Castle, this monument has been part of the Castles and Town Walls of Edward 1 World Heritage Site since 1986.
Swallow Falls This waterfall on the Afon Llugwy has become a familiar natural celebrity over the past 100 years and has featured on film, postcard and canvas. While its principal viewpoints are situated on the south bank of the Llugwy with the convenience of ample parking along the A5 and within the hotel car park, it is observed far more dramatically if approached on foot along the northern bank.
The Garden has two parts. The upper garden around Bodnant Hall consists of the terraced gardens and informal lawns shaded by trees.
The lower portion, known as the “Dell” is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn and contains the Wild garden.
An endeavour has been made at Bodnant Garden to grow a wide range of interesting and beautiful plants from all over the world, particularly China, North America, Europe and Japan that are suited to the Welsh climate and soil. As well as this, care has been taken to place the plants in such a way that they enhance each other and contribute to the general beauty of the garden throughout the seasons.
Which Beach To Visit?
The coastline of North Wales is a strange mix of wild and urban, ancient and modern, as if the land is shrugging off human development as fast as it can be constructed. Major seaside resorts, ancient fortress settlements and bustling university towns rub shoulders with empty beaches, holy islands and a thriving sailing community, all watched over by the impressive peaks of theSnowdonia National Park, at times barely six miles from the coast.
Aberystwyth, where a small local population swells significantly during the university term-time, is a major Welsh cultural centre as well as a seaside resort. At the nearby village of Borth a long, sandy beach shelters the remains of a submerged forest that dates back to 1500 BC, while a National Nature Reserve on the banks of the River Dyfi protects a range of habitats from sand dunes to mudflats.
Barmouth, once a slate port, is now a popular tourist centre with a six-mile-long beach that stretches north to the village of Tal-y-Bont.
Harlech Castle is truly spectacular, with battlements that spring out of a near-vertical cliff-face, now half a mile from the sea.
Porthmadog, on the Glaslyn estuary, is a stone’s throw from Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales, and an excellent base form which to explore the coast and the mountains. Porthmadog is just four miles east of Pwheli, the unofficial capital of the Lleyn Peninsula, much of which falls within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Anglesey is roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, but far less populated. Regarded as a holy place by the ancient Celts, Anglesey boasts twenty six unspoilt beaches and the main route to Dublin, via Holyhead.