Top 10 Places To Visit In North Wales
To celebrate Clicky’s 10th birthday this year, the team have been given the task of creating their own Top 10’s. This week, Digital Account Executive, Shannon shares her favourite places to visit in North Wales!
I may be a little biased as I am from North Wales, but I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I haven’t seen all of the world yet of course (I’m slowly working my way around – return visits to Greece are hindering progress I’m afraid), but I think it would take something pretty spectacular to top some of the gorgeous views North Wales has to offer.
I’m kicking off my top ten list with one my favourite places of all time:
1. The Panorama, Llangollen
Not only are the views breathtaking, but there’s also a cute little tea room a short walk away (I’m a sucker for a tea room, mainly because cake is life). If you’re into your outdoor sports such as cycling and rock climbing, then look no further, however I’m more of a leisurely stroller myself – walking the dog is my kind of exercise. If you’re a confident driver, and don’t mind reversing down narrow lanes and avoiding a few sheep (stereotype at its finest), then there really is nothing better than taking a drive up and watching the sunset (soppy, I know, but you won’t regret it).
From the Panorama, you can see panoramic views (hence the name) of Llangollen which sits just underneath. Llangollen, usually pronounced Clangoclen by anyone who’s not used to the Welsh way of pronouncing things, is a popular holiday destination in Denbighshire. It has a steam railway that features Thomas The Tank, the Horseshoe Pass, the Horseshoe Falls, Dinas Bran Castle, and an array of outdoor activities like white water rafting. This is probably number two on my list because I luckily live very close to the village and spent many Sunday’s feeding the ducks and picnicking by the river.
3. Betws Y Coed
You will slowly start to realise as I go through this list that I’m 23 going on 83. There’s not an awful lot going on in Betws Y Coed, it’s a quaint Welsh village with far too many outdoorsy shops that makes me want to buy a new pair of walking boots every time I go (even though I’ve yet to get a spec of mud on mine). If you want a nice walk, to look in a few cute gift shops and to grab yourself an ice cream, head to Betws for the day.
4. Oriel Mostyn, in Llandudno, and Ruthin Craft Centre
I’ve been pretty artistic for most of my life, taking art throughout school and college, before dabbling with graphic design in university, and I used to love nothing more than wandering around art galleries when I had some spare time. Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno and Ruthin Craft Centre are two of my favourite galleries, and always have some great exhibitions. If I had to choose one, Oriel Mostyn would win, but that’s likely because Llandudno is just a great place to visit as it’s also home to the Great Orme, and some pretty cute B&B’s on the seafront (also a sucker for seafront B&B’s).
5. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Again this blog post is mainly me being hugely biased towards by childhood haunts, but Pontcysyllte aqueduct has some fantastic history behind it – it’s actually the tallest aqueduct in the UK, and nearly one of the tallest in the world, impressive eh? You can walk all the way from Chirk to Llangollen, with Pontcysyllte sitting about half way. The best thing? There are a couple of lovely pubs dotted along the stretch of canal, so you can stop for a refreshing pint or some pub grub. If you fancy a trip on a canal boat, you can hire them for the day and venture over the aqueduct, or be horse drawn at the Wharf in Llangollen which takes you all the way up to the Horseshoe falls.
6. Lake Vyrnwy
Lake Vyrnwy was formed when the village of Llanwddyn was submerged to supply Liverpool with fresh water in the 1880’s – the head of the Vyrnwy valley was flooded to create the reservoir that’s there today. The history of Lake Vyrnwy is pretty sad, however, it’s a pretty gorgeous place to visit, where you can drive, walk or cycle around the lake, or boat across it.
It wouldn’t be a top 10 places to visit in North Wales list without Snowdon now would it? The highest mountain in Wales boasts spectacular views whether you make it to the top or not, and has a number of different paths to try depending on how adventurous you’re feeling – or if you’re not feeling adventurous at all, then you can catch the train up have a bite to eat in the cafe and let the train take you back down again.
I finally ticked this one off my bucket list this year, in the freezing cold and rain, but hey I did it and don’t need to do it again for a while (or ever!).
Even if you don’t want to venture up a great big mountain, you can still take a drive through Snowdonia, because it’s stunning.
Anglesey is home to hundreds of miles of unspoilt coast, with beautiful beaches, marshland and woodland. It was always my favourite place to go camping when I was younger, and there’s nothing better than taking the two hour drive and visiting for the day with the dog.
It’s also home to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which apparently is the second longest one-word place name in the world – the long form of the name was made up in the 1860’s to promote the village (cheating in my eyes). If you want to visit a really long train station sign and a gift shop you could visit, but it definitely wouldn’t make my top 10 things to do on the island.
Possibly one of the prettiest villages you’ll ever see, Portmeirion sits near the North West coast of Wales. You have to pay to go into the village, but it’s not pricey and I think it’s worth it – think Disney’s it’s a small world merged with a Mediterranean village – your dream place to live right? You won’t need a holiday to the Amalfi Coast, you can just pop over to Portmeirion.
Not only is it nice to just wander around the village, nosey in the shops and buy ice cream (it would be rude not to), but Portmeirion also hosts a music festival and food festival once a year, and has a hotel and spa that you can book to stay at.
10. Pistyll Rhaeadr
Dubbed one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Wales’, Pistyll Rhaeadr in Powys is one of the tallest waterfalls in Wales. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the top, and of course has one of my favourite things, a tea room. There are some beautiful walks to be had in the area, and there’s nothing better than paddling near the waterfall on a hot summers day.
I promise I don’t work for the North Wales tourist board, although after reading this I think I’d do a pretty good job.
Loved Shannon’s Top 10? Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment or take a look at Heather’s Top 10 SQR’s– all to celebrate Clicky’s 10th birthday!