Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.Babs Hoffman
North Wales is one of the most scenic places we have travelled to. Rolling hills, green meadows, sublime lakes – A perfect place to unwind and let go off all the stress of a monotonous life.
One of our intention to travel to North Wales was of course to hike Snowdon (Read more) and other was to visit few of the sleepy countryside villages of North Wales which are usually never mentioned, left in obscurity, but a real treasure trove.
We finished our Snowdon hike around 2PM in the afternoon and we still had a lot left in our tanks to go visit the Caernarfon Castle, which is small drive away from Snowdon. The castle nicknamed ‘The Castle of Wales’ is a medieval fortress in the town of Caernarfon. Created by King Edward 1 – this is one of the most impressive castles in Wales showing its brute force with its high walls and exterior. Build on the shores of river Seiont, this has been the location for The Investiture of the Prince of Wales.
- Admission Charge: Adults £7.95
- Address: Castle Ditch, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 2AY
- Parking: Free street parking is available for up to 6 cars at the front of the castle. Long stay public car park is available at the waterfront at the rear of the castle.
After a visit to the castle, we head back to our hotel in Bangor where we crashed for the night and rested our tired legs and worn out bodies. The next morning we rose up to a sore body but were equally excited as we were to change bases and head out to see the real beauty of North Wales.
We drove to Anglesey – a small island off the North West Coast of Wales. It is connected by two bridges over the Menai Strait to the mainland. Anglesey contains the Holy Island – our first destination for the day. The reason why its called ‘Holy’ is because of the high number of standing stones, burial chambers, and various religious sites on this small island.
We headed straight to the South stack lighthouse – famous for the scenic views over the Irish sea and also a spot loved by bird watchers to see the beautiful puffins, rare breeding pair of Choughs among the colonies of guillemots and razorbills clinging to the cliffs.
- Address: South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead, LL65 1YH
- Timings – 10.30am to 5.30pm
- Parking – Free car parking available at the South Stack Kitchen Café.
- Tickets to lighthouse – Adults £5.50
When we arrived, the lighthouse was closed as the council was looking for new owners to run the lighthouse. Access to the Lighthouse is via a steep stone stairway of over 400 steps. Please wear flat shoes. This place seems like being on the edge of the world.
After taking in the magnificent views, we head straight to the town of Beaumaris. It’s a very beautiful drive along the coast on narrow roads which reminds me of coastal towns of Spain. The main reason why we head to Beaumaris was that it was the location from which we could take a boat trip to the Puffin Island. Sadly, the UK weather played up and all boats were cancelled. So, we decided to stroll along the pier, across the Beaumaris castle, and take in some local markets.
- Address – Castle St, Beaumaris LL58 8AP
- Adults £6.00
- Parking: There is limited street parking, but there is a pay and display car park located across the Castle.
We then drove to the nearby town of Conwy famous for the Conwy Quay, Conwy Castle and The smallest house in Britain. The biggest challenge in Conwy is the limited parking space – it’s more like an old fortified fishing town. We had a nice local lunch of Fish and chips which was the icing on the cake.
Finally, we head to our pit stop for the day – Llandudno – A seaside resort town known aptly by the name – “Queen of Welsh Resorts”. After checking in to our hotel we got to know that it’s the weekend of Victorian Extravaganza festival. So we head straight to the beach to see this unique festival featuring Victorian street fair, old time fair rides, fun stalls, steam engines, people dressed in Victorian costume, street parades, and street entertainment. Surrounded by hills, this town is no doubt the queen of resorts – looks absolutely stunning.
North Wales was absolutely stunning and the most relaxing. It amazed and surprised us in many ways and we left back with very fond memories – though we almost had a car breakdown to add to the memories on our way back.
Read our full Wales exploration here – Click here
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