Heading to North Wales?

Growing up and going on caravan holidays to Greenacres in Black Rock Sands I used to feel hard done to! All my friends would go abroad and I was stuck in the UK.

Of course, at that moment in time, I did not realise how much it actually costs to buy and keep a static caravan on a Haven site. Initially, when I found out the cost I used to think ‘why not save that money for a trip to Florida every couple of years?’

Now I have grown up and I have my son things have completely changed. Having a place to escape to every month is worth every penny, even if you only travel for an hour. I definitely want to see the world but if you can’t have it both ways it’s a choice between multiple trips a year and one 2 week holiday. Even though I choose the second option, as I think it’s more of an experience, I’m not completely against the idea of having a place to escape to on the weekends and here’s why…

There are many places in the UK you could choose to visit but for me, North Wales has all my family needs for a peaceful weekend retreat. It may be on my doorstep but the beaches along the Llyn Peninsula and Cardigan Bay are glorious and if the sun is shining they’re perfect.

Morfa Nefyn

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A beautiful beach, that for many years was relatively unknown and therefore was a peaceful and tranquil place. Nowadays more people know about the area but it is still a wonderful place. Situated just beneath a golf course the sea is blue and the sands are golden when the sun is shining it’s like being in France.

There is a small pub on the edge of the beach that serves food and drink and there’s a shop on the road leading down. From the golf course perched on the green cliffs, there is an unspoilt view of the sea and sky – making it the perfect spot to relax.

As Morfa Nefyn can be a little confusing to get to, due to the small lanes I don’t get the opportunity to go very often but it’s definitely worth the journey. When I was a child my mum and dad found the beach by accident when they got lost going somewhere else – but everything happens for a reason and now this is one of my favourite places.

Abersoch

Probably in my top 5 beaches, this is a vibrant beach – the atmosphere is more youthful and the beach attracts those who love watersports. Rather than being relaxing and tranquil like Morfa Nefyn, I would come to this beach if I fancied a more eventful experience.

The village of Abersoch is worth a walk round too, with quaint shops and a local harbour it’s a lovely place to visit.

Llanbedrgoch

Another beach my parents found by accident! The first time I explored this beach as a child, I thought I was abroad. The vibrant beach huts and it’s hidden off road spot make this beach unique and special, growing up I thought it was the beach from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – for some reason! Never the less this made it all the more intriguing to me.

North Wales isn’t just home to some lovely beaches but also some scenic and adventurous walks. I use the word ‘adventurous’ because as a child my dad would tell use the myths and legends as we wondered explored the area, and sometimes we’d even act them out!

Beddgelert

A place of myths and legends, Beddgelert is home to one of the most popular Welsh legends. The legend of Gelert is taught is almost every school in North Wales and for some reason, it’s a story I have never forgotten.

As a small girl, my dad would enjoy taking us to see Gelerts grave, before walking along the stream and through its footpath. We would then enjoy a picnic in the field before taking a walk into the hills, where you’d see Celtic ruins (well that’s what we thought they were) and be reminded of Welsh history.

Once the walk was over we’d visit the local shop (not sure if it’s still there) where Rupert Bear would be in the window – as this is where the illustrator Mr. Alfred Edmeades Bestall M.B.E. was from. We’d then enjoy an ice cream in the from the ice cream shop.

Snowdonia

Perhaps one of, if not the most well-known place in North Wales the walk up Snowdonia can be tiring, so we would generally take the train or walk until we were tired. I personally don’t like taking the train as it goes very slow and I’m worried it’ll give in at any minute and roll back down!

The view on a clear day is well worth the walk and there’s a shop along the way. More recently than when I was a youngster, there’s also Surf Snowdonia which I haven’t had the pleasure in visiting just yet – but it’s on my summer list.

Criccieth

Porthmadog’s neighbouring town that can be reached by simply walking across the beach, when the tied in out. Although the beach is made up of many pebbles it is a lovely place to take in the scenery and enjoy an ice cream – and when I say ice cream I mean the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Still, I visit Criccieth every summer just to have an ice cream!

Overlooking the beach on the hillside is the castle which makes for picture perfect scenery. There’s also a cafe and shop just off the beach.

Llangollen

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During the summertimeI regularly take to this part of North Wales for a walk along the river. Along this path, there’s a playground – where I remember stopping in the rain and eating fish and chips as a girl! There’s also water sporting activities for you to enjoy, I have only ever taken part in white water rafting which was really fun.

Llangollen also has a canal which is a peaceful walk because fewer people seem to go to this area. You will see lots of barges along here which makes me want to experience a canal holiday.

Other than walking and visiting the beautiful beaches lining the coast there are also some attractions for you to visit.

Ffestiniog

Back in the day, Ffestiniog used to be a slate caverns and as a child, I used to visit the caverns and go underground. Now the underground mines are home to Zip World Bounce Below, which is soooooo much fun! Underground trampolines make you feel suspended in the air which is both fun and terrifying at the same time.

Portmeirion

A multi-coloured world took straight from a TV show – not that the colour really made that much difference back then! There are lovely shops, cafes and even a hotel. The views near the lighthouse are amazing, overlooking the bay.

A family holiday to North Wales wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a castle, and there are plenty to choose from. Here are some of my favourites.

Bodelwyddan Castle

A beautiful Jacobean castle in North Wales that provides a fantastic day out. In the grounds the castle has a play area, maze and a chess board – don’t know why I love this so much, but I do.

There are even a few resident pets and a bird watching area. There is something for everyone here but it’s not situated on the Llyn Peninsula instead it is just off the A550 in Denbighshire.

Chirk Castle

My favourite castle, the grounds are perfectly manicured and if I had the cash to marry here I would. Built in 1295 it is steeped in history whilst also being quite modern. There are several events held here each year the last one I went to was the WRC.

The courtyard is spectacular and leads to many areas of the castle. Surrounding the castle, just below the hill are woodland walks, picnic areas and a few shops. Again, this castle isn’t located in the Llyn peninsula but is near Wrexham.

Caernarfon Castle

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A very large castle located next to a harbour, this area is picturesque, especially on a sunny day. Across the water, you can see Anglesey and the scenery are even better from the top of the castle walls.

This whole area brings back happy memories from my childhood, spending time with my cousins, friends and family friends.

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