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North Wales is a must visit, its mountainous, its wild, it has islands, it has the highest peak in England & Wales, it has pretty seaside towns, it has beaches, it has friendly people, and so much more. Luckily you can see a lot of North Wales in just 2 days by car. Of course you will not be able to see all of it but you will be able to Climb Snowdon, visit the island of Anglesey, see some Beaches and nice Towns, and you might even have time to fit in an adrenaline activity!
I spent a lovely 48 hours in North Wales recently so I have based this itinerary on my time there which I really enjoyed. I was on a road trip all around Wales. I started in Cardiff and did a Day Tour to see some South Wales Highlights, then I drove over to Pembrokeshire to experience some beautiful beaches and Ramsey Island. Afterwards I drove all the way up the coast of Wales to North Wales, and my 2 days in North Wales was a great way to end this Wales Road Trip!
I spent 2 nights, 1 full day and 2 half days in North Wales which is why this North Wales Itinerary looks the way it does, but if you want a weekend itinerary for North Wales and therefore 2 full days you can combine Day 1 & 3, and mix and match the ideas to suit your schedule, and the weather!
How To Spend 2 Days in North Wales:
I would recommend staying in accommodation in the Snowdonia National Park, firstly because it’s stunning, but secondly, it’s a great central area. I stayed at YHA Snowdon Pen-Y-Pass Hostel which was a great hostel to base myself in in North Wales because it was right on a selection of trails that lead up to the top of Snowdon. But more on that later.
Whether you’re staying in accommodation in the Snowdonia National Park or not, be sure to plan a drive that takes you through the National Park. You’ll be surrounded by Mountains, go in and out of Valleys and it will probably make you wonder why you’ve never been here before! Even if you aren’t visiting North Wales for a ‘Road Trip’ enjoying it from a car is a great way to explore the area.
I decided to drive right to the tip of North West Wales and cross the bridge onto Anglesey Island on my first afternoon, it was a great choice and this is what I recommend you do too. Anglesey is known for its beaches and ancient sites and is accessed by crossing the 19th Century suspension bridge onto the island. It’s pretty impressive!
Beaumaris is a town on the Eastern side of Anglesey and I decided to go here because it was pretty easy to get to from the bridge onto the island. It took me just 20 minutes to reach after crossing the bridge.
Beaumaris is a pretty town with a seaside feel to it, it has lots of colourful buildings, a castle, and views looking over the water to Snowdonia on the mainland of Wales. Beaumaris has a harbour which offers popular boat trips to Puffin Island. If you have children going to Puffin Island from Beaumaris would be a great thing to do! And of course you can still visit without Children!
Just 20 minutes down the coast is Penmon Beach and Penmon Point, the stoney beach is only small but it has a really relaxed atmosphere as well as being very pretty and also having incredible views across the water to Snowdonia. There is an iconic Lighthouse and a nice Cafe. It cost’s £3.00 to access the point at a toll road but it’s worth paying it.
I recommend these places in Anglesey because they are close to the bridge that accesses the island and if you are short on time they are the best places to visit on Anglesey due to this, however if you have more time you could go to Holyhead and Holy Island, which is pretty much another island off of Anglesey.
Alternatively you could visit the town of Bangor which is just across the water from Anglesey back on mainland Wales.
For more ideas on what to do in Anglesey including great places to Eat and Drink in Anglesey, see my friend Sophie’s blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Anglesey
You’ll need a car to see everything I have recommended, if you need to hire a car check out Rental Cars here who compare prices and options with all the popular companies.
Your second day in North Wales has to be spent by climbing to the highest peak in England & Wales – Snowdon.
There are 8 trails to get to the top of Snowdon which is really great as it helps keep walkers dispersed, if everyone had to walk the same track it would be pretty busy!
3 of these routes leave from Pen-Y-Pass which is literally across the road from the YHA Snowdon Pen-Y-Pass Hostel, I told you it was a good location!
If you’re not looking for a hostel stay on your trip to North Wales, check out other accommodation options in Snowdonia National Park here. Either way, I recommend you stay in the park and ideally close to one of the walking trails, otherwise you can drive and park at one of the car parks at the base of the trail.
To SEE my day Climbing Snowdon, watch my YouTube video here:
Obviously I don’t have anything to compare it to but I loved by walk up Snowdon via the Pen-Y-Pass route and therefore would recommend it to you. There are 3 routes – the Pyg Track, Crib Goch and the Miners’ Track.
Basically stay away from Crib Goch (not that there are signs anyway), this is a tough hike that takes you all the way over a really high ridge.
Instead what I did, and loved, is walk up the PYG Track to the summit and then down the Miners Track to the end. They both meet about two-thirds of the way up anyway and become the same route to the top, but the Miners Track is very flat for about three-quarters of the walk and then the incline at the end is short-ish but steep, whereas the PYG Track starts of steep and then flattens out with inclines that are not as steep.. Although still steep! This is a rough walk, without a doubt.
The official sign recommends giving yourself 6 hours to do the walk which I agree with, I did it in 5 hours with a 45 minute stop at the top. There is a Cafe and Toilets but don’t trust that they’re always open, especially in low season.
If you don’t fancy walking to the top or you have children, you can get the Snowdon Mountain Railway which will take you all the way to the top! Be warned though that if you think getting it up and walking down will be best, keep in mind that walking down is still very tricky thanks to the many rocks and still requires a good level of fitness.
For more details on the Pen-Y-Pass routes and what to expect, Hannah Outside wrote this blog post which really helped me out!
I started the walk at 9:30 and finished at 14:30 and if you do the same, or you head out even earlier, you’ll still have all afternoon to explore more of the Snowdonia National Park.
A 15 minute drive from Pen-Y-Pass is the town of Llanberis. It’s home to the National Slate Museum which I found really interesting. Slate is such a big part of North Wales, it’s economy and history so it was interesting learning about it and being able to recognise the slate mountains when I drove passed them.
Llanberis is a small town but it has a few cafes that you could get some well needed lunch at after the walk and it has a nice lake if you can walk anymore and a children’s play area.
You just did one adventure activity hiking to the top of Snowdon so why not do another adventure activity in North Wales?! Whether you do this before you go home or combined with Day 1 of your trip to North Wales this will really complete the trip!
One of the most popular adrenaline activities to do in North Wales is go Zip Lining with Zip World! They now have 3 locations in North Wales all offering slightly different things, you can do a Zip Safari, a Forest Rollercoaster, go on a Quarry Tour or go on Velocity 2 which is the fastest Zip Line in the world right now!
Surf Snowdonia is another cool and unique thing to do in North Wales! It’s an artificial Wave Pool perfect for surf lessons whether you’re a beginner or a pro!
If this isn’t your thing and you’d rather see more beaches, waterfalls and towns, some places close by that you could visit that Abbie Jade Wanders recommends in her North Wales Bucket List blog post are: Fairy Glen – a magical Gorge, Swallow Falls– an incredible waterfall, and Watkin Path Waterfalls – more waterfalls which a short but nice walking route to them.
(Newborough Beach from Abbie Jade Wanders’ post)
All of this will give you a great 2 days in Wales!
As I said you can mix and match these ideas to fit in with your schedule (and the weather!) but hopefully they give you some ideas of things to do in North Wales and specifically some unique things to do in North Wales!
Let me know if you found this useful in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!
Accommodation in North Wales – Check out the YHA Pen-Y-Pass Hostel Rates & Availability on Booking.com here.
Car Hire in North Wales – You’ll need a car to see everything I have recommended, if you need to hire a car check out Rental Cars here who compare prices and options with all the popular companies.
For more of my Wales Posts see:
I was a guest at YHA Snowdon Pen-Y-Pass but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links but at no extra cost to you.