Top things to see and do in North Wales


Posted by Kate W on 26th January 2020

This enchanting destination is overflowing with excitement and intrigue, and is ideal for families, couples or big groups of friends to enjoy a fantastic holiday together.

If you are wondering what to do and where to go in North Wales, we will soon help you figure that out as there are so many top spots to recommend. With a whole host of fun things to do in North Wales, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Enjoy a thrill ride on a zipline, step out and explore exquisite wetlands, or investigate the history of the country’s ancient castles.

Discover a few of the best things to do in North Wales in our top ten list, then begin browsing through our wonderful collection of holiday cottages in North Wales and start planning your perfect getaway.

North Wales cottages

1.     Caernarfon Castle – for the historians

Caernarfon Castle

On the banks of the River Seiont, medieval Caernarfon Castle has a romantic past; it’s a great place to visit with the whole family and is truly a top North Wales attraction. Climb up to the Queen’s Tower to explore the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regimental Museum or let the kids have a go at the 3D experience, Legends of the Sky, where you can swoop across the sky on the back of a virtual dragon.

  • Price: Adults £9.90, Juniors (between 5-17) £6.00, Family £28.90
  • Location: Caernarfon Castle, Castle Ditch, Caernarfon LL55 2AY
  • Facilities: Disabled access throughout lower floor and wheelchair-friendly toilets, charging car park, gift shop.
  • Cottage nearby: Bryn Afon, Caernarfon | sleeps 4

Wales is otherwise known as the Land of Castles for the sheer number of these magnificent structures scattered across the landscape. If you love history and legends, take a look through our guide to the top castles in Wales. 

Magnificent Welsh castles

2.     Bounce Below – for the thrill seekers

Bounce Below

Delve underground at Zip World Slate Caverns into these exciting caves where you can bounce on a giant trampoline – it’s an absolute must-see in North Wales! Located in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, this attraction is one of the best places to visit in North Wales if you have young adventurers in tow.

Zip World actually has three locations in North Wales including Penrhyn Quarry where you’ll find Zip World Velocity 2 (the longest zip line in Europe!), and Fforest where there are treetop nets and a zip safari – so take your pick!

  • Price: Enjoy the Bounce Below experience from £20
  • Location: Zip World Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3NB
  • Facilities: Free car parking, toilets, cafe and outdoor picnic benches, gift shop.
  • Cottage nearby: Llenfa, Blaenau Ffestiniog | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

3.     Harlech Beach – for the beach lovers

Harlech Beach

The far-reaching sandy flats of Harlech Beach are set to the west of Snowdonia National Park and occupy a wonderful position – and when thinking of places to go and things to see in North Wales, the beaches have to be top of your list. With the open sea ahead of you and the towering slopes of Snowdonia behind, you are right at the precipice of two beautiful natural environments. Enjoy a blustery walk with the dog by your side in the colder months and sunbathe and swim when it gets warm. Harlech Castle is also just 1,000m from this beach so do venture over while you’re here.  

  • Price: Free!
  • Location: LL46 2UG
  • Facilities: Car park with seasonal toilets, and a train station and places to eat around a mile away in the town of Harlech.
  • Cottage nearby: Ty Nansi, Harlech, North Wales | sleeps 5 and 1 dog

4.     Knightly's Fun Park – for the kids

Knightly's Fun Park

Families can enjoy an exciting day out at Knightly’s Fun Park with plenty of rides to enjoy, an arcade and bingo, and even a restaurant and bar with plenty of entertainment. This coastal attraction is always a favourite place to go in North Wales with children! Boasting classics like dodgems to race around on, a swinging pirate’s ship and the exhilarating Extreme Machine, there’s plenty for all ages to experience. There are trampolines, a beach fun slide, waltzers, Dragon Coaster, go-karts, and mini teacups for youngsters; you and your family can have a fun and unforgettable holiday!

  • Price: Starting from £10
  • Location: Knightly's Fun Park, Sandbank Rd, Towyn, Abergele LL22 9LD
  • Facilities: Long Bar and Restaurant, shops, cafes and pubs in the seaside resort of Towyn just behind the fun park, Towyn Beach and Rhyl Beach both within 3 miles.
  • Cottage nearby: Old Colwyn Coastal Retreat, Old Colwyn | sleeps 2 + 1 dog

For more inspiration on where to go with the children for great days out during your next holiday, take a look at our guide to free days out for kids in Wales. 

Free days out for kids!

5.     Bodnant Garden – for the green-fingered

Bodnant Garden

Wind your way through the magnificent grounds of Bodnant Garden before popping inside one of their two tearooms for a sweet treat during a stay in North Wales. Explore sweeping lawns, scenic woodland, grand terraces and intimate areas planted up with a wonderful variety of flora at this delightful North Wales attraction. With plants on site from all over the world that have been collected over the last 150 years, there’s a wealth of scents, textures and colours to discover in this beautiful garden.

  • Price: Adult £14.80, Child £7.40
  • Location: Tal-y-Cafn, near Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL28 5RE
  • Facilities: Two tearooms, gift shop, car park, bicycle rack available, picnic areas – please note, this attraction is situated on the side of a valley and therefore has steep areas to navigate. 
  • Cottage nearby: Conwy Valley Manor House, Conwy | sleeps 8 and 1 dog

The National Trust have plenty of wonderful places to visit all across the region so discover more in our guide to National Trust places in North Wales. 

National Trust in Wales

6.      Aber Falls Distillery – for the connoisseurs

Aber Falls

Just 3 miles from the magnificent Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall and the northern coastline, Aber Falls Distillery specialises in whisky using locally sourced ingredients from their exquisite Welsh surroundings. For those in your group who prefer something different, they also produce gin and liquors. Take a tour of the distillery to see how it all comes together, then stop off in the Visitor Centre to pick out your own bottle to take home.

  • Price: £8
  • Location: Aber Falls Distillery, Station Road, Abergwyngregyn, North Wales, LL33 0LB
  • Facilities: Visitor Centre with shop.
  • Cottage nearby: Werdnas Cottage, Conwy | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

7.     Conwy Valley Railway Museum – for the train buffs 

Conwy Valley Railway Museum

Hop aboard the miniature railway at Conwy Valley Railway Museum for a short 8-minute ride around the beautiful grounds of the museum. Discover the fantastic variety of locomotives in the museum from across the ages; you can even step inside an MK1 coach which acts as a small café for tea and coffee. There’s a great selection of model trains in the shop too, including Thomas and friends for younger enthusiasts.

  • Price: Tickets to ride on the train coast £2.50 each, while museum tickets are £2 for adults and £1.50 for children and senior citizens.
  • Location: Conwy Valley Railway Museum, The Old Goods Yard, Betws-Y-Coed, Conwy, LL24 0AL
  • Facilities: Carpark, disabled-friendly (get in touch before you go to check wheelchair access to trains), toilets, small café.
  • Cottage nearby: Min Y Don, Betws-y-Coed | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

8.     RSPB Conwy – for the wild at heart

RSPB Conwy

Step out on this beautiful nature reserve of RSPB Conwy to discover the natural world – this excellent spot is another must-see in North Wales. RSPB Conwy is a wetland that sits on the east bank of the Conwy estuary and is a wonderful place to introduce families to nature. Take youngsters for a family walk through the beautiful scenery or head out on your own with binoculars in hand to spot the wealth of birdlife that make this habitat their home. The black-tailed godwit, lapwing and sedge warbler are just a few of the species you may get to see.

  • Price: Adult £6.00, Child £3.00
  • Location: Llandudno Junction, N Wales Expy, Conwy LL31 9XZ
  • Facilities: Visitor centre, car park, shop, accessible toilets, café, viewing point, picnic area, play area even binocular hie!
  • Cottage nearby: Pen Y Bryn, Conwy | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs

9.     The Candle Alchemist – for the crafters 

The Candle Alchemist

If you’re crafty and would enjoy a creative project during your time away head over to The Candle Alchemist. They run adult and children’s candle making workshops so you can enjoy making you very own holiday souvenir to bring home after your trip. They offer a few other crafty activities for kids too including paint a pot and bracelet making - a wonderful way to entertain any budding artists out there.

  • Price: Candle-making activities begins at £6 for children.  
  • Location: The Candle Alchemist, Bwthyn Cannwyll, Dwyran, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, LL61 6RP
  • Facilities: On-site shop, beach 3 miles away.
  • Cottage nearby: Snowdon View Vineyard, Newborough | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

10. Portmeirion – for the whole family

The unique tourist village of Portmeirion is a colourful paradise set right on the beautiful coast and is one of the most popular North Wales places to visit. Built by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis in the mid 20th century, it’s become a real must-visit destination for anyone taking a trip to the North Wales with gardens to explore, iconic architecture to discover and cafes and an ice cream parlour to dine in. When evening comes, pop into one of the restaurants before heading down for a walk on the beach.

  • Location: Portmeirion, Minffordd, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, LL48 6ER
  • Facilities: A disabled car park, wheelchairs to borrow, and plenty of flat paths that are accessibility friendly – take a look at their access plan before you go to check where the steep areas are. There are also cafes, restaurants, shops, an ice cream parlour and even a spa!
  • Cottage nearby: Black Lake Cottage, Porthmadog | sleeps 8 and 1 dog

If you haven’t yet decided whether to head to North Wales or South Wales – or simply want more holiday inspiration for your break! – take a look at our blog covering activities across the whole country.

Top 10 things to do in Wales

Now you’ve decided what to do in North Wales, you can pick out the perfect holiday cottage for your exciting break!

North Wales cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.