The North Wales Way: A Welsh Journey
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 highlights uniquely Welsh places and experiences. As you travel, you’ll explore a language, culture and heritage that can only be found here in Wales.
Begin your trip with some real Welsh flavour at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, where you’ll find shelves laden with delicious local produce. Take your pick from a tempting selection of lovingly crafted treats (including honey from the estate’s hive and pesto made from foraged wild garlic) and grab a sandwich made with freshly baked bread to keep you going on your journey. Carry on to Theatr Clwyd in Mold, a lively arts venue and cultural hub with a packed programme of music, theatre, comedy and talks. Then it’s a spectacular drive on the A451 across the Clwydian Range to reach St Asaph Cathedral. Still a thriving place of worship, the cathedral has a turbulent history stretching all the way back to the 6th century.
Suggested overnight: Llandudno or Conwy
Explore historic Conwy. Visit the Church of St Mary and All Saints (home to the ruins of the great Aberconwy Abbey and burial place of some of the ancient Princes of Gwynedd) and wander the narrow streets to see the statue of Llywelyn the Great, former ruler of Wales. Next, drive along the B1506 to Trefriw Woollen Mill – run by the same family since 1859 – to see traditional Welsh tapestry bedspreads being woven in the workshop (and pick up some uniquely Welsh gifts and keepsakes).
Carry on via Betws-y-Coed to the National Trust’s Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant in the hills near Penmachno. This modest stone cottage is hugely influential as the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, who first translated the Bible into Welsh in the 16th century.
Suggested overnight: Bangor
Spend a day on the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn to the locals). Start by calling into the Menai Bridges Exhibition in Menai Bridge which tells the story of the crossing of the Menai Strait by its two iconic bridges (Menai and Britannia). You can walk between the two along a picturesque stretch of the Wales and Anglesey Coast Paths. Next head to South Stack Lighthouse near Holyhead and the beginning of the North Anglesey Maritime Circular Drive. It stretches for 46 miles/74km, taking you past some of the island’s best-loved beauty spots and attractions. These include Melin Llynnon, an 18th-century windmill turned treasure trove of Anglesey-made food and drink.
Suggested overnight: Moelfre or Benllech
Return to Bangor on the mainland to visit STORIEL, a museum and cultural centre that’s home to a wide-ranging collection of more than 10,000 artefacts – everything from artworks and archaeology to furniture and photography. Next head to Caernarfon to see historic sites like Segontium Roman fort (a stronghold that pre-dates the castle by a thousand years) and browse independent Welsh shops in Stryd y Plas. Then take the B4418 through the dramatic landscape of Dyffryn Nantlle, one of the traditional centres of the Welsh slate industry (stop at Inigo Jones Slate Works, Penygroes, to find out more). Both Caernarfon and Dyffryn Nantlle are also majority Welsh speaking, giving you an opportunity to hear our unique language in everyday use.
Suggested overnight: Porthmadog
More itineraries are also available under the headings of adventure, walking, heritage, landscape, food and drink, castles and historic places, town and villages, golf and a long weekend in North Wales.