North Wales is fast becoming the adventure capital of the UK. Despite this being my home town, I had never truly appreciated what was available. Having the chance to experience North Wales as a tourist was an eye-opening experience and I am very excited to share some of the best things to do in North Wales with you.
We spent 48 hours in North Wales this winter with Visit Conwy to showcase the best things to do in North Wales for a weekend away.
One minute we were driving through the lush green countryside and half an hour later we found ourselves zip-lining though a deep underground mine! Our time here was exhilarating to say the least!
We loved the fact that even though it was winter, we could still just get wrapped up in our cosy winter jackets and have an amazing weekend away full of activities, adventure, scenic beauty and some good food to top it off!
Below you will find our 2-day North Wales Itinerary and a list of the best things to do in North Wales:
About North Wales and how to get here
North Wales has so much to offer including dramatic coastlines, rolling green hills, beautiful beaches, adventure activities, plenty of castles and a rich historical culture.
In terms of its size, you could drive along the entire coast in under two hours and enjoy plenty of stunning views along the way.
Many people think Wales is a faraway place which is difficult to travel to; however it is very accessible from anywhere in the UK.
For example, the train from Manchester or London takes roughly two or three hours respectively which is perfect if you want to get away for the weekend and want something different to a standard city break.
Once here we highly recommend hiring a car. We used North Wales Car Hire (based in Llandudno) and got a small car for £70 for 3 days including insurance which we thought was very reasonable. If driving isn’t for you, many attractions can be reached by bus or train. Head to traveline.cymru for tickets and information
North Wales Itinerary (2 days) – Things to do in North Wales
Day 1 of our North Wales Itinerary
Full details of each activity provided below.
|Morning||Pick up hire car (we used North Wales Hire Cars)|
|Drive to Go Below (Blaenau Ffestiniog)|
|Go Below Ultimate Extreme Caving|
|Afternoon||Go Below Ultimate Extreme Caving cont…|
|Drive to Waterloo Hotel (Betws-y-Coed)|
|Arrive at Waterloo Hotel and enjoy the on site spa|
|Meal at Waterloo Hotel on site restaurant|
Day 2 of our North Wales Itinerary
Full details of activities provided below.
|Morning||Drive to Adventure Parc Snowdonia (20 minutes)|
|Adventure Parc Snowdonia (Dolgarrog, Conwy Valley)|
|Afternoon||Adventure Parc Snowdonia cont…|
|Drive to Escape Boutique B&B Llandudno|
|Explore Llandudno – grab a fish and chips lunch on the seafront|
|Visit Mostyn Gallery and café|
|Meal at Y Review|
|Show at Venue Cymru|
Our Top Things to do in North Wales
If you are looking for a unique Welsh adventure then this is the place to go. Having lived in North Wales I am a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t visit earlier!
Go Below is based in Blaenau Ffestiniog and is one of the best underground adventure experiences we have ever done.
We spent the day journeying through disused mines by abseiling deep below the mountain, ziplining over caverns so dark you can’t see the bottom, wading through water (in wellies) and climbing up vertical shafts before finishing with a freefall jump into the dark abyss!
This really tested our nerve and made us feel like real life Tomb Raiders.
Go Below offers three different adventures depending on how long and how challenging you want your day to be.
It’s worth pointing out that this activity is available all year round. Whether its summer or winter, you are inside a mine where the temperature is pretty constant.
Head over to Go Below to find out more.
Adventure Parc Snowdonia
We loved Adventure Parc Snowdonia and had one of the most action-packed days ever during our visit.
We started our day exploring the largest, artificial indoor caving system in the UK before moving on to the indoor adventure area.
There was so much to do in one room we felt a little overwhelmed. The second stop on our agenda was the indoor climbing wall. This had lots of different climbing wall options, varying in difficulty and including a time trial for the competitive amongst you (which includes me!).
We then moved on to the indoor adrenaline park, (think adult ‘jungle gym’) where we raced up towers, swung across balls pits and took a freefall jump (no ropes) from 6.5metres onto a huge airbag.
One of our highlights from the indoor area had to be the kicker slide that flings you high into the air before landing on another huge airbag – this really took our breath away!
We finished by heading outdoors to zipline across the surfing lake and taking another freefall jump from 12 metres (with a rope and harness) to quite literally finish the day on a high!
Adventure Parc Snowdonia has some onsite glamping style accommodation, and a Hilton Hotel is currently being built next door, so you could easily spend a full weekend here! Check out their website.
Llandudno is one of the most popular seaside towns in North Wales and where I have spent a lot of time growing up.
It has a lot to offer with some of its main attractions including:
The Great Orme and the Little Orme
The seafront of Llandudno is sandwiched between two headlands: the Great Orme and the Little Orme.
The Great Orme is the more popular of the two with its iconic trams running up and down the headland to deliver you to the top, as well as its cable car system to take your views to another level.
Here you will also find a year-round artificial ski and toboggan centre for the adventurous amongst you.
The Little Orme is great for scenic walks and for Angel Bay beach where if you are lucky, you might spot the local seals.
For the art lovers, Mostyn Gallery is the place to be. It features internationally renowned artists as well as plenty of local talent. Their exhibits regularly change so you can expect to see something new each time you visit.
If art isn’t for you, make sure you check out their on-site café, Oriel. It’s one of the few places in Llandudno that offers something different to your typical café food, such as Indonesian chick pea soup, as well as plenty of exciting cakes to keep you satisfied.
If you are looking for something different to do on an evening, take a look at what’s on at Venue Cymru.
From Broadway style shows, to pantos and international artists like Bastille, there is always something to see.
They have an on-site restaurant called Y Review offering 2 or three course menus if you want a convenient pre show dinner.
See whats on here.
Llandudno is one of the main areas for shopping in North Wales with Parc Llandudno offering all your typical high street stores.
If you want to get some further advice while in Llandudno head over to the Tourist Information Centre which can be found in the centre of the town. The staff here are really helpful and the centre is full of locally made products including Aber Falls Welsh gin (treat yourself!).
Conwy and Conwy Castle
If you have some extra time, one of my favourite things to do in North Wales is to visit Conwy.
Conwy is a small, world heritage town with its main draw being the very grand Conwy Castle that has stood proud for over 700 years looking over the town and estuary.
You can pay to go inside the castle (c£9.90 for an adult) or walk the walls that surround the town for free for some lovely views.
We spent a couple of hours walking around the town, along the walls, popping into a coffee shop and visiting the smallest house in Great Britain! If you can add this to your North Wales itinerary, please do!
Where to stay in North Wales
For our North Wales itinerary, we stayed for two nights at the following places. There are of course plenty of other options, but we loved both of these hotels so if you are going to follow our itinerary, we highly recommend booking these:
- Waterloo Hotel (Betws-y-Coed) – the Waterloo Hotel is based in the very beautiful and picturesque Betws-y-Coed. The accommodation is akin to lodges but with plush hotel style interiors and plenty of space. We particularly enjoyed the on site spa with pool, jacuzzi, sauna, gym and steam room which is available to all guests.
- Escape Boutique B&B (Llandudno) – named one of the best places to stay in 2019 by The Sunday Times, Escape Boutique B&B is a stylish, nine-bedroom boutique hotel in the seaside resort of Llandudno. Each room is individually decorated and we particularly loved our metal roll top bath in our room. We really enjoyed the breakfast here having porridge with maple syrup followed by smoked salmon and poached eggs.
It has been a privilege to be home in North Wales as a tourist and it has certainly given me a new appreciation for what the destination has to offer. If you are looking for a short break somewhere beautiful and full of adventure in summer or in winter, make sure you come and see for yourself.
A special thank you to Visit Conwy for organising our trip, to Go Below and Adventure Parc Snowdonia for keeping us entertained and to the Waterloo Hotel and Escape Boutique B&B for hosting us – we had the best time!
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Note: We were hosted by and working with Visit Conwy. Please note, all opinions are still our own.