Over the last few years, many of us have been planning holidays a little closer to home. I’ve always been a big advocate for UK travel, so I couldn’t be happier! If you want to explore a few new places, this guide to the best places to visit in North Wales is full of awesome recommendations.
I asked locals and top travel bloggers for their favourite must-visit spots! From the wild and rugged landscapes of Snowdonia National Park, to quaint villages and pretty seaside towns, there are a lot of incredible gems to discover in this stunning region of Wales.
Although this list is by no means extensive, it certainly covers a few of the most incredible places to visit in the North of Wales. Get ready for some serious travel inspiration!
- Places to Visit in North Wales – Map
- 21 Best Places to Visit in North Wales
- Snowdonia National Park, North Wales
- Mount Snowdon
- Llandudno, Conwy
- Portmeirion, Gwynedd
- Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path
- Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd
- Betws-y-Coed, Conwy
- Talacre, Flintshire
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Wrexham
- Trearddur Bay, Anglesey
- Amlwch, Anglesey
- Menai Strait, Anglesey
- Harlech Castle,
- Beddgelert, Gwynedd
- Aber Falls,
- Porthmadog and Ffestiniog via Welsh Highland Railways, Gwynedd
- Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Gwynedd
- Llandwddyn & Lake Vyrnwy Reservoir, Powys
- Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Gwynedd
- Llyn Peninsula, Caernarvonshire
READ MORE: A Wild Wellness Retreat in North Wales
Places to Visit in North Wales – Map
19 Best Places to Visit in North Wales
Snowdonia National Park, North Wales
Recommended by: Laurence, Travel Photography Course
The Snowdonia National Park is the largest national park in Wales, and one that I’m very familiar with as my grandparents lived here for all the time that I knew them. Whilst many people are familiar with the park for its titular mountain, there is a great deal more to see and do here.
Obviously, hiking and hill-walking are some of the most popular activities. There are many routes to choose from, but one of my favourites is the hike up Cader Idris. This is a fairly easy day hike that departs from near the cute town of Dolgellau at the head of the Mawddach river estuary.
If you’re not a hiker, fear not. From cute seaside towns to impressive castles to copper and slate mine tours to steam-driven rail tours, there is something to do in Snowdonia for everyone!
Mount Snowdon, North Wales
Recommended by: Sophie and Adam, We Dream of Travel
Mount Snowdon is located in the heart of the eponymous Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Known as Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, it stands at 3,560ft (1,085m) and is the highest mountain in Wales and England.
Reaching the peak of Mt Snowdon is one of the best things to do in Snowdonia. For those that are able, hiking is perhaps the most rewarding way of reaching the peak. There are a number of tracks of varying difficulty, and all provide breathtaking views. The Llanberis trail is considered the easiest route. Whichever you choose, expect to be hiking for 5-7 hours.
For a quicker and easier alternative, from April-October you can travel 3/4 of the way up on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. You will still need to hike another hour to reach the summit. Although you can just admire the scenery from the train if you prefer!
READ MORE: Best Things to do in Llanberis
Recommended by: Travel Dave
A trip to North Wales wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the delightful and charming coastal town of Llandudno.
Walk along the North Shore Beach and the 19th-century Llandudno Pier. But make sure you protect your fish and chips from the local seagulls who love a chip or two!
Walk along Mostyn Street for a spot of shopping. Its stunning Victorian facade has been well kept throughout the years and adds a cosy vibe to the town’s main street.
From town, take the tramway constructed in 1902 to the top of the Great Orme for some incredible views overlooking the North Wales coastline.
Keep your eyes open for the local celebrities too! The world-famous Kashmiri goats that live on top of the Great Orme are often roaming about… unless they’re causing havoc in town when it’s empty!
Llandudno is also well connected to Conwy Castle, with a coastal path that will take a few hours from the Westshore.
It’s as though someone has selected the best parts of lots of different styles and mixed them together to create this random but magical village. There are Italian style houses, pastel colours from the British seaside, art-deco designs, Christian monuments next to golden Buddha’s and palm trees next to fern trees.Monica Stott, The Travel Hack
Portmeirion is a magical Welsh village known for its eclectic, colourful architecture and romantic vibes. This Italianate-style village on the coast of North Wales is well known as one of the best places to visit in the country.
This stunning town is so exclusive it requires a day ticket to visit (£12 per adult when booked in advance)! But it’s worth it for the chance to visit one of the prettiest towns in North Wales.
Porthmadog’s Heritage Railways, Gwynedd
The picturesque seaside town of Porthmadog is the historic centre of two of North Wales’ stunning heritage railways. Almost 200 years old, The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, connecting Porthmadog harbour with the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Then there’s the Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage railway, running for 25 miles between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. Along the way, the railway passes through some of Snowdonia’s most spectacular scenery.
Porthmadog on its own is one of the best places to visit in North Wales, with its pretty harbour and rich history. But the two heritage railways mean you can create some amazing day trips as well, making the town an ideal base for exploring the area.
Llanwddyn & Lake Vyrnwy Reservoir, Powys
Llanwddyn has a pretty fascinating history. The original town was completely submerged when the Lake Vyrnwy Reservoir was created in the 1880s. Llanwddyn was rebuilt on the shores of the lake, but the remains of the original village still stand at the bottom of the lake!
On the shores of the reservoir is a very pretty tower rising out of the water. It looks like part of a half-submerged fairy tale castle, but it’s actually the straining tower, where the water leaves the reservoir and enters a 70-mile-long pipeline to Liverpool.
Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path
Recommended by: Nathan, All About Glamping
The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path is a 200km long-distance route that winds along the North Wales island’s coastline. Most visiting walkers tend to partake in a section at a time. But those that complete the entire path are awarded a badge of completion.
There are approximately 20 towns and villages along the coastal walk with the official starting point at Holyhead. The region is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provides an array of dunes, cliffs, farmland, marshes and woodlands to enjoy.
Although you can arrange a local tour company to set up your adventure, each section can be completed using public transportation. You can book B&Bs or glamping spots along the way for each night if you are travelling fairly light.
It takes about 8-15 days to complete the whole thing for most people. There are visible blue tern way-markers along the path to find your way. Make sure to plan your trip from March to September as some sections close in the Winter.
Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd
Recommended by: Victoria, Guide Your Travel
Caernarfon Castle was constructed in the 13th century and is one of the most significant medieval buildings in the world. At the time, the construction of the castle cost more than 90% of the country’s annual income! The building took nearly 50 years to complete.
Today tourists can visit this incredible landmark and explore its impressive interior for a £9 entry fee. Located at the estuary of the River Seiont it’s hard to miss this beautiful building.
You can still see a lot of the castle’s original construction and get a glimpse of what life here used to look like. As one of Wales’ most famous landmarks, this castle is definitely one of the best places to visit in North Wales. Especially if you’re interested in Welsh history.
READ MORE: Top things to do in Caernarfon
Recommended by: Dylan, Shoot From the Trip
A mountain village surrounded by pine forests, Betws-y-Coed is the gateway to Snowdonia from the north. A haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the village is a lively hub of activity. It features numerous natural and purpose-built attractions.
There are riverside walks and beauty spots such as the Fairy Glen and Swallow Falls – one of the most spectacular waterfalls to visit in North Wales. For outdoor adventurers, attractions such as Zip World Fforest and Go Below are on the doorstep.
With a great range of accommodation and hospitality options within the village, Betws-y-Coed has a true alpine vibe. It also makes a great base for visitors to North Wales.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Wrexham
Recommended by: Kathryn, Wandering Bird
If you’re visiting North Wales, be sure to add the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to your itinerary.
This impressive aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the large valley and can be seen from miles around. It was built around 1800 and is now a World Heritage Site.
There are two ways to experience the aqueduct. You can walk from the carpark (which has a museum nearby sharing the story on how it was built). But by far the best way to experience it is by crossing over the aqueduct on the water at the top – either by hiring a canal barge or paddling across in a kayak. The views across the valley and the welsh countryside are well worth the effort.
There is plenty of parking near the aqueduct. There’s space for larger vehicles, so you can still visit even if you’re on a motorhome holiday. There’s also plenty more to see nearby, so be sure to spend a day or two exploring the local area.
Trearddur Bay, Anglesey
Recommended by: Ucman, BrownBoyTravels
Trearddur Bay and its beach are both absolutely stunning. The view of the entire bay on a clear day is with crystal clear water, with emerald green colours slowly dissolving into a sapphire blue.
The beach is barely 20 minutes away from the airport so it’s quite easy to reach. Trearddur Bay also has a caravan park, parking and a cafe close so you’re sorted for logistics. The beach at Trearddur is vast with over 2 miles of soft sand. It is an ideal place for swimming, surfing or just chilling out on a nice day with a good book.
It is not just a beach though. Trearddur also hosts the oldest working lighthouse in the UK: South Stack lighthouse. The view of the entire bay from the old house of Craig Y More is worth the visit alone.
Recommended by: Alex, Career Gappers
In Amlwch, nestled on the peaceful north coast of Anglesey, you can discover the island’s industrial history while enjoying its charming seaside scenery. This pretty town is close to some of the UK’s loveliest secluded coastal spots; Lligwy Beach, a ten-minute drive away, is a particular beauty.
In the 18th century, Amlwch was a thriving mining town and an important port, standing on the doorstep of Parys Mountain, which was the world’s largest copper mine at the time. You can visit the site today and wander its colourful pathways. A new Copper Kingdom Centre in the town itself tells the story of the local mining history dating back to the Bronze Age, featuring a reconstruction of an underground mine.
Amlwych is, in fact, the northernmost town in Wales. With its peculiar harbour, quaint cottages and three old windmills it is perfect for a quiet getaway on the coast.
Recommended by: Jenni, Monopoly Land
Talacre is a village in Flintshire on the North Wales Coast. The main reason to visit Talacre is the beautiful sandy beach. It’s absolutely huge, with plenty of space for kids to play. It’s also dog-friendly all year round. Behind the beach are some sand dunes which are a lot of fun to explore.
The main focal point of Talacre Beach is the lighthouse which dates back to 1776. You can walk to it when the tide is out, but you must be careful not to get cut off as the sea comes in!
In this seaside village, you’ll find a few nice cafes and pubs that serve food, some tourist shops and a couple of arcades. The village is popular with holidaymakers staying in the nearby caravan parks. But it still remains something of a hidden gem and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Recommended by: Shobha, Just Go Places
The small town of Conwy is not only dominated by the enormous shadow of its UNESCO Heritage site listed castle, but also encircled by medieval city walls that reach out from the castle. There is plenty to do in Conwy other than visit Conwy Castle and walk the city walls.
Conwy is full of historical houses, including the smallest house in the UK according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Open for tourism, this small house is only 6 feet wide but has a prime location on Conwy Harbor.
There is also a small Mussels Museum because the area is renowned for pearl fishing. You can also visit the Conwy Suspension Bridge and Tollhouse, one of the first suspension bridges in the world.
Beddgelert is known as one of the loveliest villages in Snowdonia. This picturesque stone-built village, nestled amongst mountains and forests, is ideally positioned for exploring the National Park.
It’s also a place of incredible legend and history. According to local tradition, this pretty village in North Wales is the final resting place of Gelert, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great.
The story may have more myth than truth to it, but it’s a good story nonetheless. And a tombstone along the banks of the Glaslyn river is one of Beddgelert’s most famous attractions.
Menai Strait, Anglesey
Recommended by: Katharina, Beautifully Travelled
If you’re planning a trip to North Wales, then you should definitely consider spending some time on the Menai Strait. This 25km narrow stretch of tidal water separates Anglesey from the mainland. And it’s a wonderful place to spend a day immersed in nature with the family. There is so much wildlife to spot from seals and sea lions to birds, including egrets, oystercatchers, curlews and redshanks.
Furthermore, there’s plenty of history. The Menai Suspension bridge certainly is a highlight. Opened in 1826, it was the first of its kind in the world. Another fantastic historic building on the Menai Strait’s shores is Plas Newydd House. Built in the 18th century, it is now home to a military museum, Whistler’s painting and an Australian Arboretum.
The most fun and adventurous way to explore the Menai Strait is, without a doubt, on a rib ride. But be warned this isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Harlech Castle, Gwynedd
Recommended by: Larch, The Silver Nomad
When it was first built in 1283, one of four royal castles built by Edward the First, the sea came up to the foot of the rocks below Harlech Castle. With a background of the hills of Snowdonia, Harlech Castle still stands on a rocky crag looking out towards Ceredigion Bay, but the sea has now receded.
One of four castles that have been designated as a World Heritage Site, Harlech Castle is an interesting day out. Cross over the floating footbridge into the castle and explore the double-walled interior.
Throughout the castle, there are boards explaining the history and the construction of the castle. As you climb up through the towers, you see slivers of the surrounding area through the windows and arrow slits. On the ramparts, you get to enjoy the spectacular 360-degree view.
Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Gwynedd
Down in the southern half of Snowdonia National Park, the Coed y Brenin Forest Park is known for its world-famous mountain biking trails.
The park was Britain’s first purpose-built mountain biking centre. There are eight trails starting from the visitor centre, ranging from easy to expert level. So this is a brilliant destination if you’re looking for a biking adventure!
It’s not all about bikes, though. There are many walking and running trails in the forest, as well as orienteering courses and geocaching trails.
Llyn Peninsula, Caernarvonshire
Known as “Snowdon’s Arm”, the Llyn Peninsula is a 30-mile stretch of land curling out into the Irish Sea from North West Wales. It’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, known for its stunning beaches, rich wildlife, and brilliant watersports.
Expect pretty seaside towns like Abersoch, Porthdinllaen, and Pwllheli. Spot wildlife from seabirds to seals and dolphins. Or get out in search of adventure: hiking, biking, watersports, and camping are all prolific here.
With so much to see and do, and some seriously stunning scenery to enjoy, it’s easy to see why the Llyn Peninsula is one of the most popular places to visit in North Wales.
READ MORE: Best Beaches on the Llyn Peninsula