North Wales is such a great part of the UK to visit. I love it because there are so many different places to visit in North Wales and so many activities in North Wales to do!
Whether you want beaches, mountains, villages, towns, waterfalls, zip-lining, water-sports or train journeys, North Wales has it!
And best of all, many of the top things to do in North Wales are close enough so you can see and do quite a lot with just one day in North Wales if that’s all you have.
Plus, with North Wales being so easily accessible from cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, it’s a great place to go to get into nature and see some of the best beautiful scenery we have here in the UK!
In this guide to North Wales, I give you my best and favourite places to go in North Wales and a variety of top tourist attractions in North Wales to help you plan your visit, holiday, or day out!
Places to Visit in North Wales
North Wales Map
Here is a map of North Wales with all of the North Wales places to visit that I have mentioned below. This will help you work out where to visit in North Wales with the time that you have and where you are staying.
How to get to North Wales
Getting to North Wales By Car:
From England, North Wales is most easily accessed from Northern cities such as Manchester and Liverpool (which is one of the reasons I love living in Manchester!).
Birmingham to North Wales is relatively easy too because you can go through Shrewsbury and into North Wales that way.
From South Wales to North Wales, depending on where you travel from and to, you can go along the West Coast of Wales which provides some epic coastal views, through mid-Wales, or you can head into England and take the motorway up to North Wales.
Getting to North Wales By Train and bus:
As I’ll mention below, North Wales has much less public transport options than South Wales or England, because it has far fewer big cities. Bangor is the main city in North Wales and a place you might want to use as a base if using public transport to get around Wales.
Bangor it is well located by Snowdonia National Park and Anglesey where many of the top places to visit in North Wales are, but it is right in the far Northern corner of North Wales!
Looking to take the train to Wales??
For your upcoming trip to Wales, Transport for Wales has a fantastic advance sale starting from 15th January so you can book cheaper trains to and around Wales by clicking here!
Why not start planning your Wales trip for this year now!
And for more help on where to visit in Wales by train? Read my 10 best places to visit in Wales by train post!
Get 12 train tickets for the price of 6!
TfW is having a Multiflex sale between 9th January and 31st January. Customers will be able to get 12 journeys for the price of 6! Multiflex can be used in any direction between a chosen origin and destination station at any time of day and are available to buy on the TfW app.
Click here to find out more and purchase your half-price tickets available to use between stations in Mid-Glamorgan, South Glamorgan, RCT & Vale of Glamorgan.
How to get around North Wales
Driving is definitely the best way to get around North Wales and if you have a car, you’re all good!
If you need to hire a car for your North Wales trip you might want to search for car hire in places like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham or Cardiff and then drive into Wales since North Wales doesn’t have an airport or any big cities where car hire is usually better from.
There are plenty of places to hire a car in Cardiff if you decide to get public transport to Cardiff from where you live if you don’t own a car. Check out car hire from Manchester Airport here and from Liverpool Airport here.
If you don’t drive or you are visiting overseas and don’t want to drive, the public transport in North Wales isn’t the best because many places are much more remote. South Wales is much better for transport in my experience and opinion.
That being said, there is a train line that runs along the North Coast of Wales, along the West Coast and into Snowdonia. And there are many bus stops and stations in North Wales. Both bus and train will take you longer to get around and will be a bit limiting on where to go in North Wales.
If you have to rely on trains in North Wales, check out The Train Line first to see where you can go before planning your trip too much! And check out Arriva Bus for buses in North Wales.
Roads in North Wales
As for the roads in North Wales, we use the North Wales Expressway to get from Chester along the top of North Wales and it is such a good road and gets you across to North West Wales quickly and easily.
There are many A roads in North Wales too which are good and not hard to navigate. As you get into the countryside and mountain areas though there are many country lanes which you often have to take at the end to get to your final destination. These can be tight and a bit tricky but fine if you are cautious and careful.
CAR HIRE IN WALES
If you’re reading this post with future dreams of doing a Wales road trip but don’t have a car, visit Rentalcars to get a quote. They search all of the top rental companies like Budget and Hertz to get you the best price!
North Wales Attractions
North Wales is where the action happens, there are so many activities in North Wales to do, especially adrenaline activities and water activities!
North Wales has a bit of something for everyone which you’ll soon see in this list of best places to visit in North Wales.
If you want a trip into nature with lots of long walks and barely any phone signal you can do that!
If you want a trip where you can keep the kids busy, there are lots of things to do in North Wales with kids like this, so you can do that!
If you want a romantic getaway in a nice hotel, you can do this too!
North Wales Itinerary
Maybe you want to spend 1 week in North Wales, stay in 1 places and do lots of North Wales day trips. Or maybe you are visiting for a few days and want to do a Wales road trip visiting many different places to go in North Wales.
Or maybe you have just one day in North Wales and are looking for the best North Wales days out.
This list of North Wales places to visit will help you work out where to visit in North Wales with the time you have and depending on how fast you want to travel,
I also recommend checking out my North Wales itinerary posts below to give you a better idea of how much of North Wales you can see in 1 trip.
- More of my Wales posts to help you plan your trip:
- 16 Beautiful Staycations in Wales To Feel Like You’re Abroad
- Best Time To Visit Wales By Weather & Things To Do
- 11 Amazing North Wales Glamping Pods with Hot Tubs!
- TOP 20 Things To Do In Cardiff, Cardiff Bay & Near Cardiff!
- Wales Road Trip Itinerary & Places To Stop On Your Wales Road Trip!
Best Places To Visit in North Wales
Now let’s go into my complete list of the best places to visit in North Wales to help you plan your North Wales trip or holiday!
1. Mount Snowdon (Snowdonia National Park)
If the weather is on your side, climbing Mount Snowdon should be on top of the list on your North Wales itinerary! Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and although climbing it is hard work, it is do-able for many people and such a great achievement!
There are a few routes to the top, I have done it from Pen Y Pass a few times which I recommend, and if you don’t fancy the walk you can use the Snowdon Mountain Railway train to help you which is especially good if you’re in North Wales with children.
Related Post: Climbing Snowdon From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!
2. Llanberis (Snowdonia National Park)
Llanberis is the town most people will pass through on the way to Mount Snowdon and many people park in Llanberis and start the hike up Snowdon from here too.
Therefore if you are looking for things to do near Snowdon, Llanberis is a good place to visit.
Llanberis has a huge lake which is popular for watersports and many families come to relax on the grassy bank along the lake which has play areas too.
Tourist attractions in Llanberis include the Llanberis Lake Railway, National Slate Museum and Dolbadarn Castle. Overall it’s a perfect place for families to visit in North Wales.
3. Dinorwig Quarry (Snowdonia National Park)
Also in Llanberis is Dinorwig Quarry but I’m adding this as it’s own place to visit in North Wales because it’s a full day out on it’s own.
We had a great afternoon hiking here last year. We parked up in Llanberis main car park and headed straight into the forest between the two lakes here. If you search for Dinorwig Quarry on Google maps, you’ll find it easily.
We were so surprised by what we saw here. There are lots of old mining buildings within the forest, also known as the Anglesey Barracks as workers from Angelesey used to stay here. Dali’s Hole is a lake right at the top of the mountain and forest which you can walk to and then you can head over into the footpaths through the old Quarry.
On google it’s hard to see where to go, but trust me when you are there there are many places for walking here, with amazing views of the Snowdon Mountains in front.
4. Watkins Path Waterfalls (Snowdonia National Park)
Now wild swimming is all the range, one of the super unique and cool places for wild swimming in North Wales and in Snowdonia is the Watkin Path Waterfalls!
The Watkins Path is another route to the top of Mount Snowdon but close-ish to the start of the walk you’ll find lots of pools one after each other than run down the mountain. They’re basically natural infinity pools in North Wales and the best places for swimming in Snowdonia.
5. Cwmorthin Lake (Snowdonia National Park)
Snowdonia National Park is made up of so many lakes and it will be hard to drive past them on your North Wales trip without wanting to stop! One of the good lakes to stop at is Cwmorthin Lake because of its history.
This used to be a slate mine so when you visit the lake you can see the former Cwmorthin Slate Mine, there is also Cwmorthin Waterfall down the river from the lake so it makes a great place to stop for a walk in nature.
If you fancy some wild swimming in North Wales, this place is for you too!
6. Betsw-y-Coed (Snowdonia National Park)
If you’re travelling around North Wales by train, tourist villages in Snowdonia like Betws-y-Coed are great places to visit because of the central train station they have and from here, although you are not completely remote in North Wales, you ca still do walks up to viewpoints, lakes and probably find a waterfall.
Betws-y-Coed has lots of facilities compared to other smaller villages so it’s a great place to stop on a Wales Road Trip too!
You can walk up to Cyrau Viewpoint, walk across the beautiful Pont-y-Pair bridge, visit Conwy Valley Railway Museum and take a bus further into the depths of Snowdonia national park if you wish.
7. Zip-Line at Zip World (Snowdonia National Park)
One of the top places to visit in Wales for a lot of fun is Zip World in North Wales.
Zip World have 4 locations in North Wales 3 of which are in Snowdonia National Park.
The activities in each of them change from a roller coaster through the forest, sky rides, velocity ziplines and so much more, so pick which ones sound most appealing to you and book in because this will give your Wales road trip a huge adrenaline hit!
8. Slate Cavern Gold and Bouncing at Zip World (Snowdonia National Park)
Zip World have revamped their North Wales activities quite a lot recently and now, in their Slate Cavern location in Snowdonia National Park you can play underground golf and go on trampolines inside the cavern!
It’s best to book all Zip-World activities in Wales online in advance so you don’t miss out, especially for weekends and school holidays!
9. Adventure Parc Snowdonia (Snowdonia National Park)
Adventure Parc Snowdonia has something for everyone in the family and you don’t have to have children to enjoy it! It’s an adults adventure playground too!
For high class, adrenaline activities in North Wales like surfing on a man-made surfing pool, rock climbing walls, high ropes, indoor caves, soft play, paddle boarding, zip lines, biking and coasteering, check Adventure Parc Snowdonia out for all of the best water activities in North Wales!
10. Mount Tryfan (Snowdonia National Park)
If you are up for an intense hike, be sure to add Mount Tryfan to your list of places to go in North Wales and places for hiking in North Wales.
In fact, it’s not a hike, it’s a scramble to the top! It took me 5 hours and although it was hard and scary at times, it was so rewarding!
My Related Post: A Guide to Climbing Tryfan & Hiking Tryfan for Non-Climbers in North Wales!
11. Portmeirion Tourist Village (Gwynedd)
Aside from Snowdon, I’d say this is the top of the list in tourist attractions in North Wales.
For a slice of Italy in Wales, you can visit Portmeirion. It is a pretty iconic place so you may have seen photos of it before online and it’s definitely one of the most iconic places to visit in North Wales.
It is a tourist village and it does get very busy so don’t go expecting a quaint village, it also costs £12.00 per adult to enter but for a unique experience to see some nice buildings and gardens it’s worth going.
Porthmadog is the closest town to Portmeirion which is quite a popular tourist town, so this place works as one of the great places to visit near Porthmadog.
12. Harlech Beach (Gwynedd)
For one of the best beaches in North Wales with a beautiful stretch of white sand and clear blue water head to Harlech Beach! It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales I have seen and I love that it has the sand dunes behind it.
Whilst you’re in Harlech you can check out the local town and definitely take a visit to Harlech Castle which stands prominently on the hill and another great North Wales attractions.
Harlech is a good place to visit before or after Portmeirion as they are quite close together.
13. Black Rock Sands Beach (Gwynedd)
Black Rock Sands Beach is a really cool and different beach to visit because you can drive onto it!! It’s so amazing and fun, especially if you have always wanted to experience driving on a huge beach!
It costs £5.00 to enter the beach and after that, you have the whole beach to decide where to drive and park up. There is a chance you could get stuck in wet sand but there are people there to help pull you out!
This is another one of the good places to visit near Porthmadog as it isn’t far away at all.
14. Aber Falls (Gwynedd)
Wales is all about waterfalls and one of the most visited waterfalls in North Wales is Aber Falls! It’s a great place to stop as you are leaving Snowdon to go into North England or Conwy or Llandudno because it’s just off the main North Wales Expressway.
Aber Falls is popular because it is fairly easily accessible so it’s good for kids to walk with an impressive waterfall at the end so get this on your list of things to see in North Wales!
15. Abersoch Beach (Llyn Peninsula)
The beaches in North Wales are some of the top places to visit in North Wales all year round.
For a calm and sandy beach, Abersoch is the beach for you. You can head here in all seasons for a sunny day on the beach and a winters walk.
If you have children this is a good beach to add to your places to visit in North Wales with kids as it is family friendly and safe.
16. Ty Coch Inn (Llyn Peninsula)
A Beach Bar might not be what you expect to see in North Wales, but this is why this part of the UK is so great because it offers surprise after surprise.
Ty Coch Inn has been voted in the top ten beach bars in the world because this typical Welsh pub is located on a beautiful stretch of beach.
It’s definitely one of the unique places to visit in North Wales because there are not many other places you find a pub in such an incredible location.
17. Traeth Porthor (Llyn Peninsula)
Porthor Beach on the far coast of the Llyn Peninsula is known for its whistling sands!
This bay of beautiful sands is one of the fairly secluded beaches in North Wales and is a total gem because of that. When the weather is good and the waves are good and safe, it is perfect for sports like surfing, bodyboarding and kayaking.
The National Trust say that Dolphins and Seals can often be seen too so it’s a great beach for a family day out in Wales in a beautiful location.
18. Pen-Llyn Riding Centre (Llyn Peninsula)
If you want to add some horse riding in North Wales to your list of things to do in North Wales, I went out on a hack with Pen-Llyn Riding Centre last year and it was such a great way to see see this part of the Llyn Peninsula which is called Pwllheli.
19. Beaumaris (Anglesey Island)
Anglesey is an island off of the North-West coast of Wales connected by a bridge in Bangor, and if there is one place you should visit in Anglesey it’s Beaumaris.
Beaumaris is a charming seaside town with a mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture and lots of them are painted in bright colours!
For tourist attractions in Anglesey, you can visit Beaumaris Castle, take a Puffin Island boat trip, walk along the seafront and get some fish and chips from one of the many shops!
20. Newborough Beach (Anglesey Island)
This is one of my favourite beaches in North Wales! To get there you drive through Newborough National Nature Reserve, followed by a quick walk over sand dunes before getting to a long stretch of white sand!
The Snowdonia National Park Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to this beach. It’s perfect for water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding and you can do a great walk to the end of the peninsula to see the lighthouses.
21. Holyhead (Anglesey Island)
Holyhead is the harbour port where you get the boat over to Ireland. It is the biggest town on Anglesey Island and a great place to base yourself on this Wales road trip if you want to see a lot of Angelsey.
It has a bustling town with nearby beaches and activities like cycling, golf, a lighthouse walk and a Maritime Museum!
22. South Stack Lighthouse (Anglesey Island)
This is one of my husbands top places to visit in North Wales. He just loves seeing South Stack Lighthouse perched right on the last edge of the West Coast of Wales so remotely and it’s amazing that it was built in 1809.
We also love the drive to South Stack Lighthouse, it’s so scenic and totally worth the extra time it takes you get here as it’s a one of the best places to see in Anglesey.
Once here, you can visit inside the lighthouse with a ticket, there are walking paths along the coast and you can check out Elin’s Tower.
23. Parys Mountain (Anglesey Island)
This is a really unique place to go North Wales and in Anglesey! It’s an historic copper mining site and because of this the ground and rocks are striking colours of gold and copper!
It’s a great place to go walking on Anglesey Island!
24. Conway City (Conwy)
Conway is a walled market town and worth visiting a few reasons. The main reason being Conwy Castle. There are many Castles in North Wales but this one is hugely impressive and if you only visit one castle in Wales it should be this one!
Conway is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain and still has it’s town walls intact so it’s a great place to visit for history in North Wales if you don’t fancy a beach day or the weather is not on your side for exploring the wild outdoors.
25. LLandudno (Conwy)
Llandudno is an old British seaside resort but it is still thriving today and is clean and tidy to visit.
I love the old victorian buildings that line the huge promenade and beach. Llandudno pier is easily the top of the list of Llandudno tourist attractions is a good place for some typical seaside fun!
It is a resort town so there are lots of activities near Llandudno like a ski slope and one of the popular things to do in Llandudno is to drive up to and around the Great Orme rock that stands out beside the town. Be sure to look for seals in the ocean below too!
For one of the great places to visit near Llandudno you can go to Conwy city or one of the many nearby beaches like Colwyn Bay Beach.
We have some paddle boards and recently took them out onto the sea from Llandudno beach. We found it easy to park right by the beach and get to the water carrying the boards. The water was a bit choppy for us but if it was a nice still day, this is a great paddle boarding spot in North Wales.
26. Gwrych Castle (Conwy)
Another one of the top Castles to visit in North Wales is Gwrych Castle. This is a beautiful castle to visit anyway, however it has now become even more popular due to it being where “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” was filmed for two consecutive years.
You need to purchase tickets to enter Gwrych Castle and if you want to know what it’s like to stay overnight in a castle, you can book to stay in one of their lodges!
27. Rhyl (Denbighshire)
From what I have seen and heard, Rhyl isn’t one of the prettiest places in North Wales and is quite commercial, it’s a bit like the Barry Island of South Wales. Some people will enjoy it, others won’t.
However, for North Wales with children, you will find some attractions in Rhyl to keep children busy like the beach, water parks, Aquarium and there’s also a zip world in Rhyl for some adrenaline activities in North Wales!
28. Llangollen (Denbighshire)
Llangollen has become one of my favourite places in North Wales recently. It’s really well located on the border or England and Wales making it really easy to get to from Manchester.
We went first to see Dinas Bran Castle (more on that below) and then popped into the town for some food.
After seeing the River Dee rushing through Llangollen we decided to plan a white water rafting day out with friends in Llangollen and it was great fun! We booked it through White Water Active who I recommend.
Not only does Llangollen offer lots of nice cafes and amazing water activities in North Wales but it as aqueduct which is so unique to see!
A canal runs along the aqueduct high above the trees and you can walk along it, take a canal boat trip or kayak along it with one of the companies in town. Click here for visitor info.
Make sure you include Llangollen on your places to visit in North Wales, especially for a day trip coming from England as it’s so easy to get to!
29. Castell Dinas Bran (Denbighshire)
Perched high above Llangollen is Castell Dinas Bran and you can’t miss it as you drive into the town.
Luckily, there is a windy country lane you can drive up away from the town with places to park at the top, this means you don’t have to walk as far and as high to reach the castle.
The castle is completely in ruins and therefore free to enter. The ruins are from a 13th century castle built on an earlier Iron Age hill fort.
We loved walking up here recently and taking in the spectacular views.
Its one of the good places to visit in North Wales with children but do be warned that it’s a steep walk to the top!
Wrexham doesn’t compare to the beautiful beaches and the prettiest villages in North Wales but if you are visiting Wales for a few days, a stop in a city offering culture might be good for you and it’s definitely a good place to consider if you’re travelling with children and looking for things to do in North Wales when it rains!
There are a number of things to do in Wrexham like visiting Churches, Castles, Parks, Country Parks and Museums like Xplore Science which is a great place to take children!
FAQ about places in North Wales
What is the best time to visit North Wales?
The summer is always going to be the best time to visit Wales in general for good weather, however I have visited North Wales on some beautiful spring and autumn days too.
In terms of crowds and cars, if you can go to North Wales mid-week it will be less busy that weekends.
Here is my full post on the best time to visit Wales and why!
Is North Wales worth visiting?
Absolutely! If you have ever doubted that the UK isn’t spectacular then you haven’t been to North Wales! I love that you can see so much natural beauty in Wales and it’s all fairly accessible and easy to get to with limited time.
What is the most beautiful part of North Wales?
I’d have to say Snowdonia National Park. Seeing the rolling mountains, all the lakes and pretty villages makes it easily one of the top most beautiful places in the UK!
Is North or South Wales better?
Both are stunning! I do love South Wales, particularly because of Pembrokeshire which is filled with beaches, but North Wales has incredible beaches too! To be honest, I think the best side is the side that is easiest to get to for you. Although North Wales is much more natural and less built up than South Wales so it does win in this sense!
I hope this list of places to visit in North Wales and North Wales tourist attractions has helped you plan your trip!
- For more of my Wales posts see:
- 30 TOP Places To Visit in South Wales & South Wales Attractions!
- How To Spend 3 Days in Wales! Perfect 3 Day Wales Itinerary!
- 16 Beautiful Staycations in Wales To Feel Like You’re Abroad!
- TOP 20 Things To Do In Cardiff, Cardiff Bay & Near Cardiff!
- 16 Beaches Near Cardiff To Visit. All 1 Hour From Cardiff!
- How To Climb Snowdon From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!