Last updated on March 13th, 2022 at 02:47 pm
There are so many great places to visit and things to do in North Wales, from mountains to pretty beaches, quirky seaside towns and adrenaline activities – there’s something for everyone.
Plus it’s only a couple of hours from where I live, so it’s the perfect weekend destination!
I love visiting North Wales and know you will too, so here are a few of my favourite places to visit and things to do in North Wales.
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Places to Visit & Things to Do in North Wales
Table of Contents
Map of North Wales
Here’s a visual guide to some of the places I mention below! The area is relatively small, so if you have your own transport, you can easily base yourself in one location and take day trips.
Caernarfon is a large market town with views over the Menai Strait towards Anglesey. This is a great place to base yourself in North Wales if you want a mixture of history, culture and nightlife.
The town is known for its beautiful castle, which dates all the way back to 1283. Inside the castle is a bit of a maze and a great place to wander around. We walked up and down the towers, which are unnervingly high, but so much fun to explore and imagine what it would have been like hundreds of years ago.
The village of Abersoch, on the Llyn Peninsula, is a popular Welsh holiday destination, full of little restaurants, surf shops, cute boutiques, and lots of holidaymakers, many of whom return year after year. It’s also a great place for adventure, surfing, watersports, and outdoor activities.
If you’re thirsty, pop by Zinc Cafe Bar and Grill, sit out on the decking at the back and enjoy the sunshine (if there is any), before heading down to the beach.
The beach is very pretty and full of beach huts (above). I LOVE beach huts. One day, I will have my own little beach hut, somewhere…
The last time I went to Abersoch, I spotted a sign for National Trust owned Llanbedrog Beach, so we went to explore.
When we visited, it was pretty quiet, with a few dog walkers and families scattered about. Some had made a real day of it, sitting around on blankets and deckchairs with coolers full of drinks and picnics – that’s what I’m doing next time I go!
But the coolest thing about Llanbedrog is the gorgeous, colourful beach huts (seen above), which are even better than the ones in Abersoch.
Both Abersoch and Llanbedrog face back over Cardigan Bay towards Snowdonia National Park, so the landscape is stunning, like a water painting.
Criccieth isn’t the most well-known place on my list, but it is lovely and well worth a visit if you are in Northern Wales.
I’d highly recommend visiting the ruins of Criccieth Castle and having a wander on the beach. You can enjoy a wonderful meal at Tonnau Restaurant at The Caerwylan Hotel. The food, service and the view are all fantastic.
Castle Fish and Chips is another popular spot with both locals and tourists, with people queueing out the door!
Whilst in North Wales, you have to visit Portmeirion, an Italian-inspired Welsh village.
At every turn, there is something to see, discover, and photograph. Every inch of the village is perfectly designed, in contrast with the wilder forest and coastal paths that surround it. But somehow, the combination works, and the colourful buildings blend seamlessly with the Welsh countryside and bay of which it overlooks.
It’s fun and refreshing, and there’s something magical about the place that makes me feel intrinsically happy by just being there.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia is one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks. There are some great things to do in Snowdonia, including climbing Mount Snowdon (more on that below) but even if you don’t climb Snowdon itself, there are lots are great Snowdonia walks to choose from including the Llyn Ogwen circular walk and the Craflwyn, Hafod y Llan and Llyn Dinas circular walk. There are some cool places to go wild swimming too.
In this area, you can also visit Zip World, home to ‘Velocity’ the fastest zip wire in the world and the longest in Europe, where you can reach speeds of up to 100mph! They also have the Zip World Caverns, an underground zipline course and Bounce Below, a series of underground trampolines, which is a LOT of fun!
You can read my guide on the best things to do in Snowdonia here.
Top of the list of North Wales things to do is to visit Snowdonia National Park and climb Mount Snowdon.
Snowdon might not be the biggest mountain in the UK, but it is one of the highest and the biggest mountain in Wales. Take from someone who’s climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Snowdon is a challenge. If you don’t fancy the climb, you can take the Snowdon Railway.
There are a number of different routes to take ranging from relatively easy, to downright difficult. We took the Pyg Track up and the Miners Track down and I’m really glad we did it that way. The routes join on to one another towards the top, but are different at the bottom and in the middle, with the Miners track appearing to be a little steeper.
The view from the top is wonderful if the cloud doesn’t completely obscure it. But either way, there’s plenty of spectacular scenery to enjoy on the way up. Breathe in that fresh air and feel your muscles burn (in a good way) as you take in the glory of Wales.
Betws-y-Coed & the Fairy Glen
Betws-y-Coed is a lovely village, with great hotels and restaurants, making it a great base for exploring Snowdonia National Park. They also have the pretty Swallow Falls which you have to visit whilst you’re in the area.
Nearby is also a place called ‘Ffos Anoddun’ or the ‘Fairy Glen’. I spotted it on a map, Googled it and as soon as I saw the pictures I wanted to visit.
The walk down to the Fairy Glen is a little steep and slippy on the way down, requiring a little bit of scrambling, but once you reach the bottom, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. This magical little place looks like the set of a Disney film or a Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This is one of my favourite places to visit in North Wales and one of those places that you almost don’t want to tell anyone about in the hope that it stays this perfect forever – but I’ll tell you guys!
Another great place to visit in North Wales is Conwy, a vibrant town with an incredibly well-preserved castle – so if you love history, you’ll love it here.
You can take a tour of the castle, visit Plas Mawr a 16th-Century townhouse, wander around Bodnant Garden, explore Conwy Mountain or watch the world go by at Conwy Marina and Quay.
There are also an impressive amount of great restaurants in and around Conwy, so if you’re a bit of a foodie, you’ll love it!
One of my favourite things to do in North Wales is to visit Llandudno.
I absolutely love the British seaside and Llandudno is the epitome of the typical British seaside town. Visiting brings back childhood memories of Punch & Judy shows, fish and chips and building sandcastles with my grandparents.
There are some great things to do in Llandudno, including walking along the promenade or the pier, climbing the Great Orme, taking the Great Orme Tramway or the Cable Car. And you have to get ice cream and some chips from Fish Tram Chips… just watch out for the vicious seagulls!
I hope you have an amazing trip and this gives you some ideas of great things to do in Northern Wales!
Other UK posts you might enjoy…
- 9 Awesome Things To Do in Llandudno, North Wales
- 9 Fun & Adventurous Things to Do in Snowdonia National Park
- The Food Lover’s Guide to North Wales
- 25 Beautiful Places to Visit in the Lake District
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- Wild Camping in the Lake District – A Beginner’s Guide
- Glamping in the Lake District – 18 Amazing Places to Stay
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- Island Hopping the Outer Hebrides in Scotland: Itinerary & Things To Do
- 15 Places You Have to Visit in North Devon, England
- Croyde Bay Guide: Where to Stay, Where to Eat & Things to Do
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Please Note: Thank you to the team at Visit Wales for hosting me on my trip to Conwy & Zip World. All opinions are my own.