If the extended Easter weekend has become nothing more than a memory, why not turn your thoughts to the upcoming Early May Bank Holiday? Taking place this year between Saturday 2 and Monday 4 May, the first Spring Bank Holiday weekend is an extremely busy one for North Wales. Not only does it play host to one the biggest and best-loved events of the year, it’s also getting busier out-and-about as the tourist season really starts to kick off. It’s an exciting time for us!
If you’re planning a trip to North Wales let us proffer a little inspiration Great Escapes-style. Whether you’re bringing the whole family, hoping to get close to nature, planning a romantic gourmet getaway, or just kicking back and relaxing North Wales has some excellent things to do over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend.
The best bit of all? No school on Monday.
Victorian Extravaganza and Transport Fair – Llandudno
Over the Early May Bank Holiday, the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno welcomes not one but two fabulous festivals to its streets. The town’s Victorian Extravaganza, now in its twenty-ninth year, was originally intended to showcase Llandudno’s heritage, and it remains the most vibrant weekend of the year for the town. The festival has evolved over the years, and now includes many twenty-first century attractions, but staying true to the original concept many enthusiasts still dress in period costume and promenade up and down Mostyn Street to the delight of the visitors.
If that’s not enough to keep you entertained the Extravaganza also showcases the diverse talent that exists in our local community. Taking to one of the town’s many stages you will catch dance troupes, percussion groups and local rock bands performing daily, plus keep your eyes peeled for the many performers and sideshows littering the streets.
One of the highlights of the Victorian Extravaganza is the daily parade. The parade commences at 1pm daily and is heralded by the Llandudno Town Band playing the Welsh National Anthem. The parade is made up of a vast array of performers, marching bands and vintage vehicles, including showman’s road locomotives and steam wagons. Be warned, it’s very entertaining but very loud!
What’s more, the Victorian Extravaganza coincides with another major event in the Llandudno calendar. The Llandudno Transport Festival is the largest festival of vintage vehicles in Wales and you can expect to see everything from classic sports cars and motorbikes, to tractors and early commercial vehicles. Taking place on Bodafon Fields on the outskirts of Llandudno, there is a small fee to visit the fair but it’s well worth it if you’re in town for the Extravaganza. A complimentary bus service (a vintage double decker, of course) runs between Bodafon Fields and Llandudno town until late each day.
Snowdonia National Park
Covering 823 square miles, the Snowdonia National Park is something of a record breaker. Home to the highest peak in England and Wales (Snowdon) and the largest lake (Lake Bala) in Wales the park is glutted with mountains, lakes and picturesque countryside just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a thrillseeker, twitcher, painter, hiker or biker a visit to Snowdonia at any time of the year is an amazing experience. We think Eryri (as it’s known in Welsh) is most beautiful in late spring when the lower slopes of the park are awash with spring flowers and frolicking lambs but, cast your eyes to heaven, and you’ll still catch a glimpse of snowcapped peaks in the mist.
On a flying Bank Holiday visit you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do and see. Conquering Snowdon is a must, whether you do it the hard way (there are 5 routes of varying difficulty to the summit) or in comfort, aboard the one-hundred-year-old Mountain Railway. Adrenaline junkies can whoosh on Europe’s longest and fastest zip wire at Zip World (Bethesda and Blaenau Ffestiniog) or have a subterranean adventure at Bounce Below, Blaenau Ffestiniog. If you prefer to take things easy, visits to the historic village of Beddgelert, burial place of a very loyal, royal hound (read the tragic story by his grave), and Betws Y Coed, an alpine retreat in the Conwy Valley, should be top of your list. And if you can’t fit all that in, you’ve got the perfect excuse to come again soon!
Escape to Ynys Mon – Anglesey
There is no one place we can recommend along the hundred miles of Anglesey coast; we just recommend you visit for as long as you can and enjoy the island. Anglesey really has it all – you could say history in buckets and sand in spades – and we’re not lying when we say there is something for everyone to enjoy here.
The beaches on Anglesey are arguably the best in Wales; long stretches of white sand to build sandcastles or walk the dog – vast Newborough and pretty Church Bay being two of our particular favourites.
For culture vultures, there is medieval Beaumaris Castle, National Trust gem Plas Newydd and ancient Llynnon Mill. For kids and animals lovers of all ages Foel Farm Park, Anglesey Sea Zoo and Pili Palas offer fun-packed days out whatever the weather.
And, if you have a taste for the finer things in life, Anglesey is home to some amazing eateries and is fast establishing itself as the culinary capital of North Wales. Family-friendly Dylan’s of Menai Bridge overlooks the Straits and offers fresh seafood and home-made pizzas. The Pier House Bistro on Beaumaris seafront has mouthwatering views of Snowdonia and a delicious, ever-changing locally-sourced menu, including Welsh lamb and beef, and Anglesey sea bass. Open for breakfast, lunch and evening meal the Bistro regularly hosts themed evenings and is child and dog friendly.
So if you haven’t got a destination for your Bank Holiday escape sorted, make sure you put North Wales at the top of your “preferred” list!