When my friend told me she was going to be in Wales for a year — attending graduate school — I decided it would be a great destination to travel to. And as I read about North Wales where she would be living, I knew I had to go. So what does North Wales have to offer? Well, quite a lot. But I’m going to focus on the areas I visited. So here are some the of the best things to do in North Wales — in my humble opinion.
This little hamlet — on the Isle of Anglesey — is where my friend actually lives. And it sits on the Menai Straight and is the home of the famous Menai Bridge that spans across the straight over to the mainland. It’s a small town with a couple of pubs, some nice restaurants (we ate at Dylan’s which is quite good) and a few shops. You can take a boat tour from here. One of the places I should have visited is the Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens. They even have a guesthouse and cottages you can stay in. It looks gorgeous! I did go to Church Island which is just a short walk along the water from the center of town. There’s a lovely old church and graveyard here. And a big old tree I fell in love with. Of course, the bridge itself is definitely worth checking out.
A bit more touristy and resorty, this North Wales village is still a charmer with it’s waterfront area, colorful buildings and nice array of shops, restaurants and places to stay. I took a boat trip from here out to Puffin Island which I highly recommend. For £9.50 you have a good chance of seeing loads of birds, seals, porpoises and dolphins. Seacoast Safaris is the outfitter I recommend. Midland Tapas and Wine Bar is fabulous. The food is delicious and the wine list extensive and very good. Be sure to make a reservation during busy times. It’s quite popular. Beaumaris Castle is one of about 9 castles in North Wales and you’ll want to pay this one a visit. I just saw the outside of it, but it’s picturesque as hell.
The above 2 towns actually sit on the island of Anglesey. Anglesey is the far northwestern part of Wales. Look closely at a map and you can see that the Menai Straight separates mainland Wales from Anglesey making it an island. And you definitely want to check out this island. While the mountains (my first love) are on the mainland, Anglesey is flatter with some rolling hills. It’s very agricultural. But it’s beautiful in that pastoral way. Angelsey also has an amazing coastline. There are lots of little seaside towns and beaches of all sort — some very rocky and some more sandy. It’s a wonderful place for bird watchers and for all kinds of sea creatures. I really didn’t know a whole lot about it, but I learned more — courtesy of my friend. And I really loved it! Towns like Rhosneigr, Red Wharf Bay and Moelfre along with the 2 mentioned above are wonderful spots for time along the water.