Here’s our pick of some of the best ways to spend summer holidays in North Wales, come rain or shine.
Ways to spend summer holidays in North Wales
Alice Town Trails, Llandudno
The Alice in Wonderland Town Trail is a great way to see the sights of Llandudno, a resort which the real Alice Liddell visited and met Lewis Carroll during the 1860s.
The trail takes in a variety of sculptures and art installations inspired by the book, and if you can’t get hold of a map from the Tourist Information Centre, just follow the 55 bronze rabbit footprints along the route.
From Happy Valley on the north shore to the famous Alice monument on the west, this trail will not only take you down the Rabbit Hole but give you a great introduction to this historic seaside town too!
And to literally go to Wonderland, we suggest you visit The Looking Glass Ice Cream Parlour on Upper Mostyn Street for some of the best sweet treats we’ve ever tasted!
Llandudno Cable Car
If you’re in town for the Alice Trail, why not make a day of it with a trip to the summit of Llandudno’s iconic Great Orme?
We think one of the most spectacular ways to make the ascent is to take the cable car which departs from North Parade, near the Pier, and climbs at a leisurely pace from Happy Valley to the summit at 679 feet.
You’ll cover a mile in just under ten minutes, taking in views of the Irish Sea, Happy Valley’s formal gardens and the dry ski slope along the way. Once at the top, the views continue with jaw dropping vistas up the Conwy Valley, towards Anglesey and the Snowdonia Mountain Range.
Spend an hour or two exploring the Summit Complex: there’s an interesting visitor centre, an adventure playground, a cafe and pub, plus numerous guided walks.
Conwy Estuary Boat Tours
We think a local boat tour offers a really unique angle from which to experience Llandudno and the Great Orme. Departing several times a day from the North Shore Jetty, adjacent to the Pier Gates, climb aboard the Queen Victoria or Princess Christina and take a boat tour of the Conwy Estuary.
There are a wide selection of cruises to choose from, with the half hour Great Orme Tour being one of the most popular, with sailings take place (weather permitting) daily from April until October.
Fishermen, photographers or wildlife enthusiasts may prefer a longer trip. Conwy Boat Tours offer a two hour trip upriver to Tal Y Cafn and even a Turbine Tour out to sea to visit the offshore wind farms.
Explore historic Conwy
No visit to North Wales is complete without a trip to the beautiful walled town of Conwy. Rising to prominence in the 13th century, this little market town was once a Norman stronghold, designed to subjugate and intimidate the Welsh. Thankfully, times are more peaceful now but the historic legacy of Conwy endures and it is well-deserving of its coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Spend a day exploring Conwy and lose yourself in the atmospheric alleyways and lanes. There are not one, but three fabulous heritage attractions within the town walls (don’t forget to walk them too!) that we think no visitor should miss.
Aberconwy House is on Castle Street, Conwy, just 300 yards from the railway station, and is a National Trust hidden gem.
It’s half a millennium old, dating back to the 14th century when it was a merchant dwelling, and is the only example of its type to survive in Conwy.
The interior is furnished in keeping with various time periods throughout its history, with information presented in sound and visually to give an idea of the events that have taken place in the house down the ages. There’s also a well-stocked National Trust shop in the basement, perfect for taking home a quality souvenir of your visit.
It’s hard to miss Conwy Castle standing sentinel over the Conwy Estuary, and it’s as fine a structure today as when it was built at a cost of around £15,000 (just short of £8 million in today’s money) at the turn of the 14th century.
The castle is often regarded as the best of Edward I’s fortifications, and it is unusual in that it only has one set of walls – the high rock outcrop on which it stands provided enough defence that secondary walls were not needed.
Since 1986, along with several other Edward I castles, Conwy has been classed as a World Heritage Site, symbolising its historic value and its appeal for tourism too.
Plas Mawr offers similar finery on a smaller scale, and is considered the best town house of its time in Britain.
It dates from around 1580, the creation of Robert Wynn, a merchant with a love of lavish flair, and you can spot his initials carved into the plasterwork throughout the building.
This is a place that defies the ages – its plaster friezes and walls have been restored to their original colours, while touchscreen displays now guide visitors around the rooms.
- How do you like to spend summer holidays in North Wales? Are they all-action or relaxing?