by Katy Barley
Day Out Guides
The wide range of free things to do in North Wales makes this the perfect holiday destination whatever your budget.
There are many places to visit in North Wales for free, from historic castles and contemporary museums to scenic hikes and idyllic beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice during your next North Wales getaway.
Keep reading to discover 14 free things to do in North Wales…
Snowdonia National Park is packed with magnificent mountains waiting to be explored. In fact, Snowdonia is home to fifteen spectacular peaks that stand over 3,000ft high, including England and Wales’ highest mountain!
Snowdon is a magnet for adventure lovers from all over the world. The iconic peak stands at an impressive 1085m tall and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The hike to the summit can be challenging, however, the views from the mountaintop make your efforts all worthwhile.
Aside from the mighty Snowdon, some of our favourite mountain walks in the area include Tryfan, Cadair Idris and Y Llethr. Check out our top 8 walks in Snowdonia for some extra inspiration on free things to do in North Wales!
Take a step back in time and discover the story of slate and the way of life for thousands of slate workers and their families. The National Slate Museum is housed in the Industrial Victorian Workshops that once served the Dinorwig Slate Quarry and holds one of the largest water wheels built by Victorian industrialists.
Explore the Chief Engineer’s House and the row of Quarrymen houses, watch a slate-splitting demonstration or witness the in-house blacksmith create iron dragons and give talks about his craft.
With regular walks and talks, The National Slate Museum is a fantastic free activity in North Wales, perfect for a rainy day.
One of the best known and most loved folk-tales in Wales is the story of Gelert the dog. Gelert’s Grave lies in the charming village of Beddgelert. The legend states that in the thirteenth-century Prince Llywelyn the Great went out hunting and on return found his beloved hound covered in blood and his son missing.
The Prince assumed that his favourite dog had killed his heir, so took a sword to Gelert’s heart. Upon killing his beloved hound, The Prince heard a cry and found his son underneath the upturned cradle, besides a wolf that had been killed by the courageous Gelert.
The grave and bronze statue of Gelert are just a short walk from the delightful village of Beddgelert.
Beaumaris is a colourful seaside town full of charming streets and picturesque cottages. A walk through the town and along the seafront provides remarkable views of the Menai Strait and Snowdonia National Park.
Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, take a stroll along the pier or spend some time browsing the independent boutiques and quaint gift shops in the town centre.
The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers 130 miles of stunning scenery along the Anglesey coastline. The full route has been split into 12 sections that can be enjoyed as individual walks or combined for a multi-day adventure.
Highlights include passing the South Stack lighthouse with incredible coastline views, walking up Holyhead mountain – the highest point on Anglesey and experiencing the wonder of Menai Suspension Bridge.
Cemlyn Bay is a wildlife haven and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The lagoon is home to one of the UK’s largest Sandwich and Arctic tern colonies as well as being an important habitat for specialist plant species including sea kale, sea campion and yellow horned poppy.
Cemlyn Bay is a great place to bring the whole family and if you’re lucky you might even spot a seal, porpoise or dolphin!
Located in the seaside resort of Llandudno, Mostyn Art Gallery is found behind a traditional Edwardian facade and is the largest contemporary art gallery in Wales.
The six galleries exhibit contemporary art and craft from Wales and beyond, located within an award-winning architectural design. The gallery is free of charge and open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Conwy Town Walls are the most complete in Europe, extending to the north and west of Edward I’s famous castle. A walk along this impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site provides stunning views of Conwy Castle, Conwy Estuary and Snowdonia National Park.
The walls stretch for three-quarters of a mile and are a fine example of medieval architecture. Wander along the walls and pass the 21 towers and three original gateways – a great free activity for the whole family.
Whether you’re interested in geology, wildlife or archaeology, or simply want to admire the spectacular views, the Great Orme has something to suit everyone. A limestone headland, located beside Llandudno, the Great Orme is home to colonies of seabirds, little owls and several endangered species of butterflies.
Take on one of the many circular walks up to and around the Great Orme summit and admire views of the Carneddau range, the Menai Strait and Anglesey.
Tre’r Ceiri Hillfort is one of the best-preserved hill forts in Britain, dating back to the Iron Age. One of the most spectacular ancient monuments in Wales, the hillfort covers 2.5 hectares, encircled by a dry stone wall originally standing over 4 metres high. Tre’r Ceiri, meaning ‘Town of the Giants’ encloses over 150 stone houses, 485 meters above sea level.
Take the 20-minute walk from the foot of Yr Eifi and follow the path to Tre’r Ceiri to be rewarded with magnificent views. For those looking for a longer hike, take on all three of Yr Eifi’s peaks; Tre’r Ceiri (485m), Garn Ganol (564m) and Garn For (444m). On a clear day you’ll be able to see the spectacular full outline of the Llyn Peninsula.
The Llyn Peninsula is famous for its stunning views, spectacular landscape and picture-perfect beaches. With over 100 miles of coastline, it’s not hard to find the perfect spot to sit, relax and soak up the views.
Enjoy the delights of the sandy beach and clear blue waters at Porth Iago Beach or enjoy a relaxing coastal walk with views of the Cambrian mountains from Pwllheli Beach.
For those interested in watersports, head to Porth Neigwl, known as Hell’s Mouth. This long stretch of sand, popular amongst surfers and kayakers is ideal for beginners and expert surfers alike. Check out our favourite Llyn Peninsula beaches and enjoy a day of sea, sand and scenery!
Designed and built by Thomas Telford and Williams Jessop, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is one of the most remarkable achievements in the industrial revolution. Brave the short walk along the aqueduct and enjoy breathtaking views across Llangollen – try not to look down and don’t forget your camera!
Whilst you’re in the area, take the one-mile walk along the River Dee from Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to Ty Mawr Country Park or climb to the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran. Another great free day out in North Wales!
Gladstone Library, based in Hawarden, is the only residential library in the UK. The library houses the collection of its founder, Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, who wanted to ensure his collection remained in Wales.
Anyone can join the library, free of charge, and explore Gladstone’s annotated books as well as over 200,000 other publications and journals. Join a regular tour of the library or spend the afternoon engrossed in a dreamy novel.
Moel Famau is a popular hill (not quite a mountain at 554m high) found between Mold and Ruthin. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Jubilee Tower stands proudly at the peak of Moel Famau.
The tower was built in 1810 to commemorate the golden jubilee of George III and offers glorious views of North Wales and out to Snowdon on a clear day. At the base of Moel Famau, you’ll find plenty of picnic benches, so make sure you pack some refreshments to enjoy with the whole family.
With plenty of free days out in North Wales, you’ll be spoilt for choice during your next North Wales getaway. Make sure you find the perfect base from which to explore this diverse region and book one of our self-catering cottages in North Wales.
Images Courtesy of: Andy Harback, Gavin Stewart, Christine und Hagen Graf, Danny’s Bus Photos – (CC BY 2.0); Samwalton9, H. Sellmoene – (CC-BY-SA-4.0); Harshil Shah – (CC BY-ND 2.0); Tom Parnell, Eric Jones, Tom Parnell, Tim Heaton – (CC BY-SA 2.0); Michael D Becwith – (CC0 1.0)
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Hi, I'm Katy and I joined the SEO team in February 2020.
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