5 beautiful nature spots in North Wales
OK, so I’m totally fangirling about Wales right now – particularly north Wales. We went there for a week-long family break last month and I honestly think it’s so underrated! Every time I told someone where we were going it was usually met with some degree of confusion as it’s possibly not the most obvious choice for your Easter break. So, I’d really like to help us all get past that and let you know why I think Wales is a great choice of holiday destination if you want somewhere to go in the UK.
I think that anyone who’s familiar with Wales will agree that it really is up there for having some of the most beautiful scenery the UK has to offer. It’s very different to the Highlands in Scotland and the Lake District in England, but really does hold its own for outstanding scenery. We were based in Llandudno, right in the north and we were able to explore quite a few places in the region during the week. So, if you find yourself in the North Wales area at any point and want to spend time getting to know the Welsh great outdoors, here are 5 beautiful nature spots that you shouldn’t miss:
I don’t know what it is (maybe it’s my inner basic travel blogger?) but I absolutely can’t resist going to see a waterfall. So if you’re looking for one of nature’s most glorious water features in north Wales, you should definitely put Aber Falls at the top of your list. It’s located around 40 minutes’ drive from Llandudno, just on the edge of Snowdonia national park. We spent an afternoon there, and even though the weather wasn’t the best, we still had a lovely time. There’s a fairly decent hike along a well-established footpath to reach the falls and there’s plenty of parking where the trail starts in Abergwyngregyn. There is quite a bit of an ascent as you follow the path, but it’s worth it for the spectacular scenery at the falls themselves. A lot of people also don’t realise that if you cross the river, you can walk a little bit further and see a second waterfall that’s also really pretty. There is the option to carry on and do a circular walk past this point, but it was pretty cold and damp so we headed back the way we came. And if you have some time spare, you can also visit Aber Falls Distillery where they make gin, whisky and liqueurs.
The Snowdonia region is actually pretty large and spans over 2,000km of north Wales. It’s a national park and is, of course, named after one of the UK’s most famous mountains: Snowdon. Last month we climbed Snowdon when we visited, but there are of course lots of other places to visit in Snowdonia (some of which I mention in this post). Having said that, I really do think climbing Snowdon is an experience everyone should have. There are up to 8 different routes you can choose from to reach the summit and the views are spectacular. Each track/route varies in difficulty, so it’s worth doing your research beforehand. I’ve previously taken the Llanberis path (the easiest route), the Pyg and Miners’ tracks (medium difficulty and the shortest ascent) and Rhyd Ddu (sheer drops and stunning views). Expect to spend a full day if you’re going to walk up Snowdon; most hikes will talk around 6-8 hours to complete and you’ll certainly want a rest when you get back down the mountain!
Betws-y-Coed is a beautiful village around 30 minutes’ drive from Llandudno, so we couldn’t miss stopping off here one day. It’s quite the tourist trap in the region and bills itself as ‘the gateway to Snowdonia’ on its website. The village itself has no shortage of places to grab some food, including our old favourite for ice cream in Wales, Cadwaladers. It’s surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, and there are lots of different options for pleasant walks in the area. We did the Miners’ bridge walk, which takes you out of the village along a boardwalk to start with, crosses some more open grassy spaces before talking you into the woods and following the river. It’s not too strenuous and probably took us around an hour to go down to the bridge and come back, but you can go further than this if you want. We did do this the day after we’d hiked Snowdon, so we weren’t keen on doing another huge walk!
The Great Orme, Llandudno
The Great Orme is one of two great spots to experience north Wales nature that I’m including in this post. Llandudno might not be an obvious nature hotspot, but it does have a lot to offer. If you’re in Llandudno, you can’t miss the Great Orme. It’s a limestone headland that rises 207 metres out of the sea and is one of the most distinctive nature features in the region. It’s home to lots of different nature habitats and it’s a great place to spot local wildlife, including birds and seals. When we went up the Great Orme, we had great weather and the views over the mountains in Snowdonia were spectacular. If you’re planning a trip up there, you can walk, drive, take the tram or ride the cable car and enjoy those sea views.
Llandudno sea front
The final spot on this list that I found really beautiful is the sea front in Llandudno. The pebbled beach stretches for around 3 miles from the Great Orme to the Little Orme around Llandudno Bay. It was so lovely to spend time on the promenade, feeling that sea breeze and listening to the waves. I’ve never lived by the sea but I love spending time there as I find it really relaxing. You also get fabulous views of the sea front and bay from the Great Orme on a clear day.
Have you been to north Wales before and have a favourite nature spot? Let me know in the comments below!