North Wales

Travel Guide
Llandudno which includes a square or plaza and a small town or village

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 WalesStretching 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 AboutTo 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.

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.

The Royal Victoria Hotel
The Royal Victoria Hotel
3 out of 5
Llanberis, Gwynedd, Caernarfon, Wales, LL55 4TY
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £105 per night from 17 Jul to 18 Jul
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Caernarfon. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the bar in their ...
4/5 Very Good! (979 reviews)
"Was attending a family wedding it was a great venue and lovely setting the scenery from bedroom window just wonderful. Food was really lovely and staff was great and helpful."

Reviewed on 3 Jun 2022

The Royal Victoria Hotel
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel
4 out of 5
Vaughan Street, The Promenade, Llandudno, Wales, LL30 1AP
The price is £129 per night from 10 Jul to 11 Jul
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Llandudno. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and a beach locale. Our guests praise the pool and the bar in their reviews. Popular ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (526 reviews)
"The terrace was lovely as it had a great view of the sea."

Reviewed on 26 Jun 2022

Imperial Hotel
Château Rhianfa
Château Rhianfa
5 out of 5
Beaumaris, Menai Bridge, Wales, LL59 5NS
The price is £178 per night from 12 Jul to 13 Jul
Stay at this 5-star luxury guesthouse in Menai Bridge. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the restaurant in ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (333 reviews)
"We enjoyed staying at this beautiful chateau. The building is fascinating and we loved the gardens. We had a perfect view of The Menai Straights from our room. Breakfast and dinner was excellent, the staff very good. We enjoyed chatting with Tom,the barman."

Reviewed on 25 May 2022

Château Rhianfa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Cozy  Norwegian log cabin in Snowdonia on Trawsfynydd Holiday Village
Cozy Norwegian log cabin in Snowdonia on Trawsfynydd Holiday Village
Blaenau Ffestiniog, WLS
Stay at this family-friendly cabin in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Enjoy free WiFi, on-site parking and an in-room DVD player. Popular attraction Snowdonia National Park ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (58 reviews)
Needs some TLC
"More detail to cleanliness between each visitor should be addressed, lissue with patio doors hard to close, furniture not comfortable lights not very bright to read by. Overal needs bit of tlc."

Reviewed on 20 Jun 2022

Cozy Norwegian log cabin in Snowdonia on Trawsfynydd Holiday Village
3 bedroom caravan 5 minute walk from the door  to beach
3 bedroom caravan 5 minute walk from the door to beach
Rhyl, WLS
Stay at this golf property in Rhyl. Enjoy free WiFi, a fitness centre and on-site parking. Popular attractions Rhyl Golf Club and Prestatyn Beach are located ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Excellent
"Lovely host , couldn't ask for more. Holiday Park was decent as was the location."

Reviewed on 8 Jun 2022

3 bedroom caravan 5 minute walk from the door to beach
Ty Felin
Ty Felin
3.5 out of 5
Beaumaris, Wales
Stay at this 3.5-star golf cottage in Beaumaris. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a TV. Popular attractions Beaumaris Castle and Red Wharf Bay are located nearby. ...
Ty Felin
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in North Wales

Top things to do in North Wales

Cities near North Wales