The North Wales Way: A Long Weekend in North Wales
Starting at the Wales/England border and running westwards for 75 miles/120km to the tip of Anglesey, The North Wales Way is one of three Wales Way touring routes created to guide and inspire visitors. Each ‘Way’ has been designed as a fluid experience, not a route that’s set in stone, with plenty of diversions off the main path that allow you to explore further and deeper.
This four-day itinerary gives you plenty of ideas for things to see and do on your North Wales short break, from exhilarating outdoor activities and beautiful beaches to industrial heritage and ancient history.
Start out at Meliden in Denbighshire, a major mining centre in the 18th century. Explore the village to see the remnants of its industrial past and then take a walk up to Graig Fawr, a limestone outcrop high above the village with fantastic views of the North Wales coast. Next, drive via Holywell to pick up the Flint to Mold section of the 83-mile/134km Flintshire Leisure Tour. This 10.5-mile/17km stretch is a great introduction to the tour, featuring landmarks like Flint Castle and plenty of opportunities to explore the shore (on foot or by bike).
Travel on from Mold via Ruthin and the Horseshoe Pass then on through Llangollen to visit the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site. A walk across the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, which carries the Llangollen Canal 128ft/39m above the River Dee, is an unmissable experience (provided you have a head for heights).
Suggested overnight: Llangollen
Begin with a drive up the Vale of Clwyd to Abergele. Here you’ll find the atmospheric remains of Gwrych Castle, a 19th-century manor that played host to the 2020 edition of TV show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
Carry on to the classy seaside resort of Llandudno to explore the Great Orme Country Park, Llandudno’s mini mountain which is rich in natural and man-made history. Ride to the summit on the Great Orme Tramway or Alpine-style Cable Car for a truly memorable visit. Next head to Conwy and The Smallest House in Great Britain. Sitting on Conwy’s harbour, this miniature cottage measures just 6ft/1.8m wide by 10.2ft/3.1m high.
Suggested overnight: Conwy
Begin by backtracking a few miles to Aber Falls Distillery in Abergwyngregyn, to see how it makes its award-winning whisky, gin and vodka (and maybe taste some for yourself). Then take a walk up to the spectacular waterfalls that give the distillery its name.
Next, head along the A55/A5 to Bethesda and a high-flying visit to Zip World, where you can ride the world’s fastest zip line, bounce down rocky trails on big-wheeled carts and explore the quarry in a rugged off-road truck. Finish your day with a meal at The Slate/Y Llechan, a stylish, contemporary hotel and kitchen near Bangor.
Suggested overnight: Bangor
Head over to Anglesey to visit Plas Cadnant Gardens. Perched on a hill overlooking the Menai Strait, this historic garden lay overgrown and untouched for years before being restored to its current glory. Next, take a boat trip along the Menai Strait (choose from the pulse-pounding RibRide from Menai Bridge or the more sedate Seacoast Safaris in Beaumaris). Finally, travel west across Anglesey for a beach walk from Newborough Forest (home to red squirrels and huge roosts of ravens) to Llanddwyn Island – a mini-peninsula associated with St Dwynwen, Wales’s patron saint of lovers. To see things in different light, wait till after sunset for some out-of-this-world Dark Skies stargazing.
Suggested overnight: Menai Bridge