For many of us Brits, a summer holiday in North Wales is an essential a part of our childhood as Lego. Families have converged on North Wales for so long with good reason – miles of golden sands, extraordinary landscapes and a bountiful history.
The names just roll off the tongue – Pwllheli, Llandudno, Llanbedrog, Porthmadog, Prestatyn, Cricceith and many more.
Okay, so easily-pronounceable they may not always be, but they’re distinguished destinations which, between them, offer something for everyone.
Wales’ varied coastline ranges from the classic seaside resorts of Rhyl and Prestatyn to peaceful pockets of seclusion such as Rhoscolyn.
The range of accommodation in these parts is dazzling - from seaside B&Bs to remote farmhouses and cosy holiday cottages in north wales. Furthermore, with over 20 Blue Flag beaches and marinas along the North Wales coast, visitors are truly spoiled for choice.
The monopoly on awards and acclaimed areas of attraction doesn’t end with its beaches. No less than three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) reside in North Wales – The Clwydian Range, the Llŷn Peninsula, and the ancient Isle of Anglesey.
Watersports are central to the local economy. Whether it’s Abersoch’s surf, sailing the straits of the Menai or scuba diving in Rhyl, the world of watersports is your oyster in North Wales.
The coastal town of Porthmadog is the gateway to the Snowdonia National Park, with the Ffestiniog Railway line beginning here and travelling into the mountains and through Snowdonia.
Situated on the famous Menai Strait in Anglesey is a village famous worldwide for being the longest place name on earth, the unfathomable mouthful that is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (!). Visitors come here mainly to have their photograph taken next to the sign at the local railway station. Fitting the whole of the sign into the shot might be as difficult as pronouncing it.
North Wales is soaked in history - well-chronicled in the abundance of castles, both ruined and preserved, that are generously scattered across the region.
Wales fell under the sporting spotlight in 2010 as the Ryder Cup came to Celtic Manor, near Newport in South Wales. For golfers, the coast means links - and there’s no shortage of high class courses in North Wales.
26 hole Championship course Nefyn & District is arguably the most celebrated. Playing against a stunning Snowdonian backdrop, with sea views from every single tee, and even able to pop off the 12th green for a quick pint in a pub on the beach below (!), Nefyn is truly unique in more ways than one.
North Wales’ idiosyncrasies are epitomised by the fact that its’ so-called capitals (it is sometimes purported to have not one, but two!) – the charismatic cities of Liverpool and Chester – are of course in another country!
There's a commonly told tale that pub locals will start speaking Welsh when an Englishman walks in. We’ve all heard it, but it is, of course, a myth. The Welsh language, as one might expect, is everywhere and why not? From a visitors’ perspective it helps to maintain the authenticity and its unique culture. The people, however, are of course friendly and welcoming.
Whether you’re a family, a history hound, a surfer, a sailor, golfer or walker, North Wales is sure to be the place for you.
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