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North Wales Holiday Guide

Epic in scale, jaw-dropping in its beauty and steeped in history, North Wales will awaken your senses and provide you with a whole host of unforgettable memories. Whether it’s because of world-famous Snowdonia, its coastal splendour or rich culture, the region is one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations.

Shielded by the biggest mountains outside Scotland, North Wales is proud and protective of its heritage and its language – more than 60% of its inhabitants speak the native mother tongue, the highest proportion in the country. To the delight of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock to the area every year, there is a tangible Welsh feeling wherever you go.

Snowdonia - the Heart of North Wales

Stretching 50 miles north to south and 35 miles east to west, Snowdonia became Wales’ first national park in 1951. Mount Snowdon itself is the focal point, with 350,000 people either walking, climbing or taking the mountain-side train the 1,085 metres to its summit each year.

The park itself, 75% of which is used for raising sheep and cattle, is full of rivers and coastal areas and is home to the biggest natural lake in Wales. Like the country’s other national parks it is very much lived in, with Bala, Dolgellau, Harlech and Betws-Y-Coed the main populated areas.

The little stone village of Betws-y-Coed has a fabulous Alpine feel and is the perfect base for exploring Snowdonia, while the charming market town of Dolgellau has the highest concentration of listed buildings in Wales. Bala is famous for its water sports and Harlech its spectacularly intimidating grey-stoned castle.

There is an incredible amount to see and do in Snowdonia so you need to spend your time there wisely. As well as Harlech Castle, must-see sights and attractions include the Gwydr Forest, the National Slate Museum in the cheery town of Llanberis and the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, where you can descend into the depths of a Victorian mine.

Out and About

To the west of Snowdonia lies the former slate port of Porthmadog, which enjoys some of the finest views in north Wales. It is also home to the quirky but fabulous Italianate folly of Portmeirion and two famous narrow-gauge steam railways.

The Ffestiniog Railway is the finest line in Wales, winding its way up 650ft over 13 stunning miles from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Welsh Highland Railway connects Porthmadog with Caernarfon, a full round trip giving you five unforgettable hours on the train.

Set at the southern entrance to the Menai Strait, Caernarfon is renowned for its incredible castle, the most impressive link in the chain of 13th Century fortresses across North Wales. When you are done there take your pick from the island of Anglesey and its handsome town of Beaumaris, cosmopolitan Bangor, Conwy and the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno.

North Wales is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and Canal and, collectively, the “Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd”. These include those at Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Conwy and Harlech.

Guide to Exploring North Wales

Top Hotel Deals

See all 332 Hotels in North Wales
Village Hotel St David's, Nr Chester

Village Hotel St David's, Nr Chester

St David's Park, Deeside
of 5, from 132 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Ewloe, this spa hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Deva Stadium, Chester Cathedral, and University of Chester. Chester City Walls and Chester Town Hall are also within 9 mi (15 km).

Ruthin Castle Hotel & Moat Spa

Ruthin Castle Hotel & Moat Spa

Castle Street, Ruthin
of 5, from 81 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Denbighshire, this spa hotel is within 20 mi (32 km) of Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen Scenic Railway, and Llangollen Bridge. Llangollen Canal Trail and Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre are also within 20 mi (32 km).

Château Rhianfa

Château Rhianfa

Beaumaris, Menai Bridge
of 5, from 36 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Cwm Cadnant guesthouse is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Menai Bridge and 3 mi (4.7 km) from Beaumaris Castle. Bangor University and Penrhyn Castle are also within 9 mi (15 km).

Glan Morfa Lodge

Glan Morfa Lodge

Llangaffo, Gaerwen
of 5, from 2 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Dwyran, this eco-friendly lodge is within 16 mi (25 km) of Menai Bridge, Bangor University, and Penrhyn Castle. Beaumaris Castle and Caernarfon Castle are also within 20 mi (32 km).

Llandudno Bay Hotel

Llandudno Bay Hotel

East Parade, Llandudno
of 5, from 53 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Llandudno, this beachfront hotel is in a shopping district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Llandudno Swimming Centre, Bodafon Farm Park, and Llandudno Tourist Information Centre. Llandudno Museum and Home Front Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Belmont Llandudno

Belmont Llandudno

21 N Parade, Llandudno
of 5, from 10 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Llandudno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Llandudno Museum and Llandudno Pier. Great Orme Tramway and Home Front Museum are also within 10 minutes.

The Royal Victoria Hotel

The Royal Victoria Hotel

Llanberis, Caernarfon
of 5, from 300 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Llanberis, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dolbadurn Castle and National Slate Museum. Caernarfon Castle and Menai Bridge are also within 12 mi (20 km).

Prince Llewelyn Hotel

Prince Llewelyn Hotel

Smith Street, Caernarfon
of 5, from 71 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Beddgelert, this hotel is 4.8 mi (7.7 km) from Mount Snowdon and within 12 mi (20 km) of Portmeirion Central Piazza and Portmeirion Sands. Criccieth Castle is 11.3 mi (18.2 km) away.

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