I’ve just come back from a few days in North Wales. This was my very first time visiting the country and I’m so pleased I finally had the opportunity to go. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we drove there last week; The feedback I had received from friends and colleagues when I announced I was going wasn’t overly positive (mostly due to the renowned rainy weather, which doesn’t make it an obvious summer holiday destination). Yet, from my hours researching the internet and reading guide books, it sounded so wonderful. Well, I’m happy to report that it is indeed a beautiful country (at least what I’ve seen of it) and I can also say that we were very lucky with the weather (we only had one morning of rain).
Our cottage was by the water in a little town near Bangor. The town itself wasn’t all that special but it is ideally located to explore the North Coast and the Isle of Anglesey. We only had 3 full days there and looking back, I wish we’d stayed for an extra day or two. If you are traveling from afar like us (the drive from Norwich is about 5 hours), you’ll definitely want to add a couple of extra days to your trip just for the journey to and from (I found it quite tiring). We did manage to cram quite a lot into our 3 days though so today I’d like to share with you my top 5 highlights of the trip:
Conwy is a lovely town, mostly renowned for its castle. Go early if you’re planning on visiting it. We arrived at the opening and had the whole place to ourself. When we left, there was a long line of people queuing to get in and dozens of buses getting into the village. The views from the castle are stunning so it’s definitely worth the entrance fee, even just for the sole purpose of taking some cracking photos of the panoramic views. After visiting the castle, you’ll want to stroll through the little streets, nipping in and out of independent shops. Make sure you have a walk along the harbour a well. Oh and grab a fish and chips of course.
I didn’t initially plan on visiting Caernarfon. It is another town famous for its castle. So is Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey. Of the 3 castles, Conwy was my favourite. It is in my opinion the most pleasing one aesthetically speaking. The town itself is charming with rows of brightly coloured houses, bunting crossing the streets and a beautiful waterfront. It also boasts some gorgeous views over Snowdonia. If you happen to be in the area, make sure you stop by.
3. Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia took my breath away. We first drove past on our way to Portmeirion and then eventually drove through the park on our way back. I was literally glued to the window. The sky was all dark and dramatic with thin rays of sunshine, which contrasted with the green of the trees. It was an incredible experience.
4. Newborough beach & Llanddwyn (Isle of Anglesey)
It’s perfect for a long walk. Park at the beach car park near the town of Newborough and then walk along the beach towards Llanddwyn island. You’ll want to make sure you go when the tide is low because the Llanddwyn peninsula gets cut off from the main beach at high tide. I don’t know if it’s because the weather was a bit grey and foggy on that day or because of the cost of the car park (a whopping £4) but we had the beach all to ourselves!
You’ve probably seen photos of this village before. It’s very colourful and looks like it’s straight out of some county in Italy, except it’s in Wales. This blog post doesn’t include any photos of it but that’s because I have another blog post dedicated to it coming up soon. Watch this space!
I’d love to know, have you been to Wales yet? Where do you recommend going?