by Menai Holidays
1. Conwy Castle
North Wales has its fair share of these formidable fortresses, being home to no less than 4 of Edward I’s ‘Iron Ring of Castles’ that were built to subdue us unruly Welsh. What makes Conwy my favourite among them all, however, are the spectacular views from various points throughout the castle. What’s more, the town in which it’s nestled is an absolute gem; a friendly atmosphere, interesting local shops, and plenty of great places to eat and drink!
2. Welsh Mountain Zoo
I absolutely love the Welsh Mountain Zoo; my niece loved this place, but so did my parents and grandparents, too! No matter how old you are, being able to get so close to so many exotic animals is always so fascinating and makes for a brilliant day out. The zoo is suitable for all ages and there are outdoor as well as indoor sections, so it’s a real all-year-round attraction. What’s more, you’ll be supporting a charity (The National Zoo of Wales) who care for a wide range of animals, some of whom are on the endangered list.
3. Puffin Island Cruise
I love a good boat trip because you get to soak up some stunning views, learn all sorts of new titbits and I find cruising along on the water so relaxing! If you’re staying in Beaumaris or popping along for the day, I’d highly recommend a trip out on the water. You can head along to the pier and join one of these trips, which last around 75 minutes. You’ll have the chance to see a wide range of local wildlife and take in some stunning vistas; Puffin Island, the Snowdonia Mountain Range and Penmon Lighthouse to name a few!
4. Newborough Beach
North Wales boasts many a splendid beach, but Newborough is right up there with some of the best our region has to offer. The forest you drive through on your journey to the beach itself is home to many a red squirrel; the forest then gives way to a wide, sweeping sandy beach. Take a picnic, ride your bikes through the forest, play in the dunes, build some sandcastles or even paddle in the sea. You can walk along to the picturesque Llanddwyn Island too, if you’d like.
5. Sygun Copper Mine
Whilst I wouldn’t recommend you take very young children here, it is a fun way to while away an afternoon for those aged 4+. Whilst the mine stopped operating in 1903, the doors have since reopened, allowing you to explore the stunning caverns that were left behind. Self-guided audio tours mean that you can take things at your own pace as you traverse the many tunnels and take in incredible chambers with some of the richest colours imaginable. Look out for the copper veins which have hints of gold and silver, as well as other precious metals. The stalactites and stalagmites are always a joy to see, too (and I’m no geologist!).
6. Greenwood Forest Park
All ages are welcome here and because it was voted the best family attraction in North Wales for five years running, you can head along safely knowing that you’ll have a fab time! There’s a solar-powered water ride, the world’s first roller coaster powered by people (I know, right?!) and more furry friends to pet if that’s of interest, too.
7. The Children’s Farm Park
Yes, there is a bit of a theme in North Wales – we love a farm park! They are always a lot of fun and whether you’re staying on Anglesey, the Llyn or in Snowdonia, there should be one close by. This farm is based in Harlech, overlooking glorious Cardigan Bay and in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. You and the family will come face to face with lambs, calves and all sorts of farm animals! You might even get to feed some of them, too.
8. Llandudno City Sightseeing Tour
Getting around a new place and managing to take in all of the sites can sometimes be tricky (or expensive!), which is why I absolutely love a bus tour! You can hop on and off as many times as you like and the tours tend to take you to the best spots, as well as showing you some stunning views along the way. This trip actually takes in the famous pier in Llandudno, Bodlondeb Park which is a nature reserve, as well taking you to see the delights of Conwy (such as an Elizabethan townhouse and of course the castle itself). Do note, that this might be more suitable for families with older children unless you’ve little ones that are happy to sit and take in the scenery on a double decker!
9. Barmouth beach & town
If you’re staying in Snowdonia then a trip to this gorgeous beach should definitely be on your list of places to visit! Or, if you’re staying on the Llyn Peninsula or on Anglesey, you could always make a day of it and stop off in Harlech, too. Barmouth has a wonderful sandy beach to make the most of, plenty of interesting shops as well as great places to eat and drink. It is a little gem of a place and well worth the trip!
10. Welsh Highland / Ffestiniog Railways
No matter how old you are, jumping aboard a steam train is always a lot of fun! You can chug along enjoying the beautiful scenery across North Wales; there are a few lines to choose from across Snowdonia, so take your pick! There’s the Welsh Highland Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway or the Festiniog Railway to choose from.
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