Snowdonia National Park
Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people. As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.
Snowdonia attracts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy its amazing landscapes and the wealth of outdoor activities on offer. The National Park Authority’s aims are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area; promote opportunities to understand and enjoy its special qualities; and to foster the economic and social wellbeing of its communities.
North Wales Beaches
The coastline of North Wales is a strange mix of wild and urban, ancient and modern, as if the land is shrugging off human development as fast as it can be constructed. Major seaside resorts, ancient fortress settlements and bustling university towns rub shoulders with empty beaches, holy islands and a thriving sailing community, all watched over by the impressive peaks of the Snowdonia National Park, at times barely six miles from the coast.
Aberystwyth, where a small local population swells significantly during the university term-time, is a major Welsh cultural centre as well as a seaside resort. At the nearby village of Borth a long, sandy beach shelters the remains of a submerged forest that dates back to 1500 BC, while a National Nature Reserve on the banks of the River Dyfi protects a range of habitats from sand dunes to mudflats.
Barmouth, once a slate port, is now a popular tourist centre with a six-mile-long beach that stretches north to the village of Tal-y-Bont.
Harlech Castle is truly spectacular, with battlements that spring out of a near-vertical cliff-face, now half a mile from the sea.
Porthmadog, on the Glaslyn estuary, is a stone’s throw from Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales, and an excellent base form which to explore the coast and the mountains. Porthmadog is just four miles east of Pwheli, the unofficial capital of the Lleyn Peninsula, much of which falls within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Anglesey is roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, but far less populated. Regarded as a holy place by the ancient Celts, Anglesey boasts twenty six unspoilt beaches and the main route to Dublin, via Holyhead.
Conwy Castle is reckoned one of the best surviving Medieval castles in the world, while Llandudno is the largest resort in Wales, complete with cable car and donkey rides.
Castles In North Wales
North Wales has some of the most well preserved castles in the whole of Europe, often with breathtaking scenery and fascinating history to discover.
From defensive beginnings and the invasion of Wales to Tudor banqueting and Victorian decadence, the region is steeped in heritage, architectural splendour and culture with thousands visiting them each year.