The Welsh north coast is known for its spectacular mountain views and magical tales. On our trip to the highlands of Snowdonia, we experienced the incredible mix and mash of mining towns and fishing villages, situated only a short drive apart. These are Snowdonia’s best activities!
Read about our adventure this weekend in our Welsh Weekend blog!
If you are planning a trip to this amazing part of the country then we have some handy tips for you!
- Make sure you bring your car with you, it is literally impossible to see all of the beautiful sights around this part of the world on public transport. Also account for the “country mile” rule; 10 miles may not seem far, but the winding and narrow roads will mean it will take a long time.
- Pack a tent and camp on one of the many beautiful spots around the farm land.
- Keep all of your possessions in the car. This allowed us to head out in the morning and not return to the tent until it was bedtime, making the most of this incredible countryside.
- Pack a camping stove and cooked meals. Before we set off, we cooked up a huge pot of tasty chilli and packed it in a portable fridge. This meant we could save money on restaurant food and spend more on fun activities!
In the middle of the Snowdonia National Park is the small, slate mining village of Blaenau. This tiny village is built directly into the towering, rocky hills surrounding it, showing a perfect balance between man and nature.
Sitting just outside this town is the above and below ground, adventure park Zipworld. Here are the three Zipworld activities Bounce Below, Titan and Cavern (amongst many other activities). You can check out their website here.
Titan is the above ground, zipline activity comprised of three runs down the mountain, covering a distance of 2000m! In a seated position, you will soar above the surrounding forest with a spectacular view of the surrounding quarries. This zip course will cost you £50 for the full course.
Bounce Below sits underground in the old slate mining caverns of Blaenau. Made up of 6 enclosed bouncy nets and a series of slides and stairways between 3 different levels, this is an incredibly unique way to explore the deep depths of the mountains. A pass will give you one hour of bouncing fun, which for me at least was more than enough due to the incredible sweat you will work up! This will cost you £25 for the hour and is well worth the money as it is such a unique experience!
Another underground adventure is the Cavern climbing course. Set around the old slate mines walls, high up off the ground is an adventure course made up of steps, footholds and even zip lines. Fear not though as you are clipped into a harness the entire way around. This 3 hour course will still give any adrenaline junkie their fix and is suitable for all ages! This course will cost you £65.
Mount Snowdon Railway
This is one part of the Snowdonia experience we never got to experience due to our naivety. Moral of that story is when it tells you to book in advance due to high popularity, you had better do just that! We still got to experience the surrounding area and the beauty of the nearby lake, Llyn Padarn, which makes the perfect pit stop for a picnic.
The railway trip itself will take you up to either a midway stop on Mount Snowdon itself or the very top, depending on the season. The trip is best done on a clear day, with stunning views of the surrounding country side. A trip to the top will cost you between £23 and £29 depending on the season, click here to see their website and full details.
Seaside Village Roadtrip
Along the coast of the north-western cape of Wales sit an incredible number of idyllic, seaside towns and secret hideaways for you to enjoy the beauty of the waves crashing ashore. We spent a full day exploring the north and the south side of this cape and here are the tops spots that we found.
Sitting on the southern cost of the north-east cape of Gwynedd is the small fishing village of Aberdaron. At high tide, there is not much of a beach to brag about, however once the tide goes out the beach expands well into the sea. There are a few pubs and restaurants here, but it generally seems to be a small and quiet seaside town with not a lot going on; the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll.
A large carpark offers the perfect location to ditch your vehicle and explore the coast. As with most places in this area there is a pay and display meter running all year, however with how quiet it was (and the lack of tickets on other cars) we never bothered with a ticket. If you fancy being more honest, then the fare is £1/hr.
For a quick refreshment we stopped in at the Ship Hotel, which delivered cheap drinks (£2.80 for 2 pints of Coca-cola) and bad wifi.
Our next stop was at the beautiful little village of Abersoch. We stopped here for some breakfast and to admire the amazing houses along the water’s edge. The serenity of this small town was incredible first thing in the morning, however it soon gets busier and busier until you will struggle to drive down the street, never mind park.
One evening we came here again for dinner, eating at the Vaynol bar and grill on the main street. At the weekends it seems all of the surrounding villages flock to here for a night out, with the pubs spilling out into the streets and queues for restaurants spreading across the roads.
The last stop on the south coast is the larger town of Pwllheli (pronounced pool-helly). This town has a wide range of large supermarkets to stock up on groceries, as well as a high street with clothing shops. There is also a huge choice of bars and restaurants for a meal, or if you fancy a takeaway like we did, there are loads of fish and chip shops.
The cobbled streets and old timey pubs in this small town make a lovely stop off to stretch your legs and browse the shops. You won’t see much of the sea from here, as the marina is enclosed and a small distance away, however you can see the boats in the distance.
From here you can start to head back to camp along the north coast of the cape. Through the town of Caernarfon and back into the winding, country roads, you will eventually reach Porth Colmon. This spot seems to be a nothing more than a house on the sea edge, however a quick walk round the cliff edge will bring you to the beach.
On our visit here the wind was up and it was bitterly cold, so instead we parked up and watched the waves batter the land before heading to the next beautiful location.
The last spot you can visit before reaching the campsite, or the west coast for a spectacular sunset, is the small beach called Porthor. At the end of the long, winding road you will find a seemingly abandoned café, Caffi Porthor, looking out onto the beach.
We parked up here and enjoyed breakfast one morning, watching the waves hit the beach and relaxing in the beauty.
That is all of our top spots along the coast, except for one more which will deliver unforgettable sunsets. Read about this in the next paragraph!
Sunsets on the West Coast
Right on the tip of the western cape of Wales, in the area called Uwchmynydd, sits the most remote and incredible spot for sunset watching we have ever found (including Fiji). Follow the road towards the setting sun, up the winding, incredibly narrow road to the top of the cliff edge and you will find this secret hideaway.
We parked up here just in time to snap a few photos and enjoy what would be the most spectacular colours we have ever seen during a sunset. With nothing on the horizon but an endless ocean, it is easy to become mesmerised by the beauty.
King Arthurs Labrynth
Our last top sight to see is the King Arthur’s Labrynth adventure, sitting on the south edge of the Snowdonia National Park. This is an underground, walking experience telling the tales of the myths and legends surrounding King Arthur. The setup is spectacularly beautiful, with a longboat bringing you into the caves and through a waterfall, which transports you back to the days of legend. You will then walk between different chasms in the rock, whose size and grandeur alone will leave you in awe, and where the stories will play out before your eyes.
If you enjoy stories from the past about magic and myths, then this is definitely an activity for you. The hour long tour will cost you £12, and you can see the full details of the tour here.
So on your next visit to Wales make sure you head north to the unforgettable Snowdonia National Park, where there is much more than just mountains and sheep (although those are a highlight themselves).
Thank you for reading this guide, and if you enjoyed it check out more of our travel tips and guides here. Also make sure you follow us on social media to see what we are currently up to!
This article may contain affiliate links that provide us with a small income. For more information read our Affiliate page.
Pin it for later!