Wales is a popular choice for many tourists looking to explore a different part of the UK. North Wales is well known for it’s range of outdoor adventures, from wild empty beaches, to adrenaline packed zip wires.
Join us as we explore many of the wonderful things to do in North Wales.
Related – The Best Beaches In North Wales
Snowdonia National Park
As one of the UK’s National Parks,Snowdonia is the largest in Wales, and has the highest mountain in England and Wales. Many tourists flock to the area to take on the hike of climbing Snowdon, with 6 different routes to walk to the summit.
Although many are attracted to the area to hike Snowdon, the park is also home to many more attractions and activities;
- The largest natural lake in Wales is Bala Lake where you can take part in a variety of water sport activities including fishing, kayaking and sailing.
- Cycling – with many different routes for all different levels of abilities. Choose from family friendly routes, world class mountain bike trails as well as other varying different levels of off road cycle tracks. Detailed routes and further information can be found here.
- Zip wires (see below)
- Local heritage, farms, adventure parks, restaurants, shops and cafes.
Related: National Parks In The UK
Conwy Castle is well worth a visit when you are in North Wales. The 700 year old Medieval fortress is quite breath taking – it is certainly one of the most magnificent fortresses in Europe.
The famous castle stands watch over the narrow streets and harbour of the town of Conwy. Now a World Heritage Site, the castle and walls was built in just 4 years by King Edward 1 and his architect Master James of St George.
The restored spiral staircases mean that you can explore the circuit around the battlements of Conwy Castle.
The Centre For Alternative Technology
Located in the foothills of the South Snowdonia National Park and within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a world-renowned eco centre.
CAT has been open to visitors for 40 years and offers “seven acres of hands-on displays, examples of environmentally responsible buildings, renewable energy, organically managed gardens and family holiday activities, there is something for everyone at CAT.” – CAT
The visitor centre is a fantastic way to explore and learn about how we can all live respectfully on the planet.
There are plenty of family friendly activities to take part in, organic and sustainable gardens to explore, woodlands to roam through – as well as a water powered funicular railway.
Great Orme Country Park
The Great Orme is a huge chunk of limestone that rises out of the sea – at 2 miles long and 1 mile wide, the headland rises 207 metres (679 feet) from the sea. The area has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast, and so us managed as a Country Park and Local Nature Reserve.
Great Orme, the name was given by the Vikings and quite literally means ‘sea monster,’ is adjacent to the small coastal town of Llandudno.
The headland is thought to be over 350 million years old and is a fantastic place to explore the interesting history, geology and wildlife of the area. You can reach the top by riding in the cable car, using the Great Orme tramway, or, if you prefer, walk or drive.
From the visitor centre at the top is a nature trail to follow with stop off points along the way where you can learn more about the area’s fascinating history.
Spread across 3 different locations, Zip World offers the ultimate adventures for thrill seekers of all ages.
- Zip World Fforest can be found in the Conwy Valley, offering a variety of forest adventures including – Fforest Coaster (an alpine coaster – the only of it’s kind in the UK), Treetop Nets, Zip Safari, Tree Hoppers, Plummet 2 and Europe’s highest giant swing, Skyride.
- Penrhyn Quarry is home to Velocity 2, the fastest zip line in the world. Located in the world’s largest slate quarry, the super speedy zipwire takes you 500m above the blue quarry lake below, at a speeds of over 100mph. If heights and speed are not quite your thing, there are alternative adventures to choose from – Quarry Karts, Quarry Tour and Big Red (a mobile zipping experience).
- Slate Caverns is home to both above ground and underground adventures. Choose from Titan, Bounce Below and Caverns (an underground adventure zip line and adventure course).
The Llangollen Canal is a 200 year old attraction that crosses the border between England and Wales. Visitors have been coming to visit the beautiful area to both admire the breath-taking engineering and the stunning countryside that surrounds it.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was awarded World Heritage Site status in 2009, together with the 11 miles of canal. The aqueduct is 126 feet tall and is the tallest navigable aqueduct in Britain. Incredibly, it carries 1.5 million litres of water, fed from the nearby Horseshoe Falls.
Explore the area with a family picnic, a kayak on the canal, a spot of fishing or a canal walk.
Rhyl Miniature Railway
Rhyl Miniature Railway opened in 1911, making it Britain’s oldest. Enjoy a pleasurable trip on one of the steam trains around Marine Lake, returning to ‘Central Station’ to learn more about the history of the railway. The museum is enjoyable for all with hands on interactive exhibits for younger children to enjoy.
Aside from the fun railway to enjoy, there are also other activities including crabbing, a nature trail and play area.
North Wales is home to the longest, and some of the most scenic railways in the UK. Exploring North Wales by heritage train is the ideal way to sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery rolling past your window.
Enjoy the views as you travel to the top of Snowdon, 3,506ft high, on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Or, hop aboard the oldest narrow gauge railway in the world, Ffestiniog, dating back two centuries.
Fans of Thomas the Tank Engine can ride aboard at Llangollen through a scenic 10 mile journey along the Dee Valley.
One thing is for sure, using the heritage railways in North Wales is about both the journey and the destination.
The popular tourist village of Portmeirion is in Gwynedd, North Wales.The village was designed and built between 1925 and 1975 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village.
The village is now owned by a charitable trust and is home to a wide selection of shops, cafes, a pretty piazza, colourful buildings and more.
Other attractions include;
- 70 acres of exotic woodlands with 19 miles of pathways
- Y Gwyllt – a sub tropical woodland garden, home to some of Wales’s largest and rarest trees
- The white sandy beaches of the Dwyryd Estuary
- The Amis Reunis, the perfect place for the children to play pirates!
Llanfairpwll Train Station
Even if you are not catching a train, many tourists likes to visit this train station simply to get their pictures taken next to the station name – the longest name in Europe.
The station attracts thousands, owing to the length of the sign name – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – can you try saying it?!
The station is on the North Wales coast line and was opened in 1848.
St Cwyfan’s Church – The Church in the Sea
The Grade II listed medieval church is located on the small tidal island of Cribinau, in Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, North Wales. The church dates back to the 12 century and can be visited on foot when the tide is out by crossing a stone causeway.
The idyllic spot is well worth a visit to enjoy the simplicity of the serene white church.