North Wales isn’t a touristy place but it is definitely worth a trip. Its gigantic and magnificent landscapes will astonish you! In Wales there is a special atmosphere, freedom and evasion are the words that best describe this wild countryside. Here are 5 places that can’t be missed when coming to Wales.
1. Spend the afternoon at Newborough beach, Anglesey
Newborough is a small village located on the Isle of Anglesey, the biggest island in Wales. You can access the village by car or bus. If you take the bus you’ll arrive in the tiny city centre and it takes approximately 40 minutes of walking to reach the beach, but it is a really nice walk through the forest. If you rent a car, there is a car park just near by the beach. Newborough beach, also known as “Llanddwyn Beach”, is a really long beach with sand dunes and a lighthouse. It is also an entrance to the Menai Strait. On a sunny day, we can admire Snowdon’s mountains in the background. The bravest can have a diving trip into the Irish sea.
2. Stop at Bangor University, which looks like Hogwarts
Bangor is a small Welsh city located in Gwynedd. The main particularity of the town is the university, ranked among the top 15 best universities in the UK. More than half of the inhabitants are students, which make the city very lively. The university is really impressive as it looks like a castle with a view over the sea. The main arts library has the appearance of a set from a Harry Potter film. I recommend a nice café called “Teras” (located in the Main Arts building) where you can have a cup of tea with delicious strawberry scones. Apart from the university, Bangor is quite small but there is a magnificent viewing point at Garth Pier. According to the nice pancake-baker located on Garth Pier, Prince Harry himself went on the pier a couple of years ago.’
3. Feel like a king in Caernarfon castle
Caernarfon is a medieval castle not far from Bangor and Anglesey in North Wales. Edward I of England had built this fortress in the 13th century, one of many that he built in North Wales in order to show his power and dominion over Wales. The famous castles of Beaumaris and Conwy are also the demonstration of the English conquests. The castle is classified as a Unesco world heritage site; an adult ticket costs 7.95 GBP (11.05 USD).
4. Discover Italian architecture in Portmeirion
Portmeirion is a tiny village located in Snowdonia National Park. It was built by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who wanted to reproduce the city of Portofino in Italy. It’s nevertheless really different because it is located in the middle of nowhere in the wild Welsh countryside and of course the Italian climate is not the same as the Welsh climate. However, the village is located on the coast, just upon an estuary and it gives off a strange atmosphere. Indeed, the famous British series “The Village” was shot here. The plot is about a British spy held captive in an isolated village who has to escape. The adult entrance fee is 11 GBP (15.3 USD).
5. Walk to Anglesey Island on foot crossing Menai Bridge
Anglesey Island belongs to North Wales, however it is separated by the Menai Detroit that you can reach on foot from Bangor. This huge bridge was built in 1826. Before that, people used to cross by ferryboat or on foot at low tide but it was risky and not practical. Menai Bridge is impressive and the view is quite incredible up there, better not have vertigo! Just after the bridge on the right, there is the nice little town of Menai Bridge where you can grab a cup of tea. On Anglesey, you can have a look at Beaumaris, a small city with a castle and a port. There is also a village called “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”. Only Welsh people can pronounce it, and it is one of the longest city name in the world. The biggest city in Anglesey is Holyhead; the city from which you can get the ferry to Dublin, Ireland. There are 27 miles between Menai Bridge and Holyhead.
Put on your wellies and come to North Wales!
As you probably understand, North Wales is a wild and remote area, and not touristy at all yet. If you just want to clear your spirit and discover somewhere different, North Wales is waiting for you. Do not forget your warm clothes but in the end, even the cold wind will miss you after leaving Wales!
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