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Hotels in North Wales (Wales, United Kingdom)

Hotels in North Wales

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Have unforgettable adventures in beautiful North Wales

Welcome to North Wales or Croeso i Gogledd Cymru . With a stunning coastline, dramatic mountains, fantastic medieval castles and a rich industrial heritage, this action-packed rural region is a bastion of the Welsh language brimming with opportunities for adventurous types to enjoy walking, surfing, climbing, mountain-biking, birdwatching and water sports. Alternatively, holidaymakers can relax on beaches, ride regional railways or visit picture postcard villages. Wherever your hotel is, unspoilt scenery in the Snowdonia National Park is never far away. North Wales is well served by road and rail, including the breath-taking Cambrian Coast Line.

Marvel at wonderful scenery or get active

Spellbinding North Wales is dominated by short, fast-flowing rivers, lonesome lakes and Britain’s mightiest mountains outside Scotland. Whether you just want to absorb the beautiful landscape or enjoy outdoor pursuits, this rugged area won’t disappoint. The Snowdonia National Park, characterized by lush scenery, wild mountains and herds of sheep, has some of Britain’s wettest weather. It stretches from the River Dovey in the south to the River Conwy in the north and covers sparsely-populated countryside boasting rare plants and birds like ospreys. Its highest peak, Mount Snowdon, regularly attracts walkers and mountaineers and is Wales’s tallest at 1,085 metres. Other notable peaks in Snowdonia include imposing Cadair Idris to the south, the remote Rhinogydd range east of Harlech and rocky Tryfan, which is famed for its twin summit monoliths nicknamed Adam and Eve, or Siôn a Siân in Welsh.

Besides walking and climbing, outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy numerous activities in North Wales, no matter where their hotel is. Thrill-seekers can hurtle down white-knuckle zip lines at Zip World. Sites include the slate quarry at Penrhyn, which boasts the world’s fastest and Europe’s longest zip line, and Llechwedd Slate Caverns near Blaenau Ffestiniog, which has a four-person zip line. Mountain-biking devotees can test themselves on scenic woodland trails in the Rhinogydd foothills at Coed-y-Brenin forest north of Dolgellau. Even surfers are catered for at Surf Snowdonia in Dolgarrog between Betws-y-Coed and Conwy. Framed by an unrivalled mountainous backdrop, it boasts a custom-built inland wave pool. Canoeists will love gorgeous Bala Lake, Wales’s largest natural lake. Nearby is the National White Water Centre, a magnet for white-water rafting and kayaking.

Let the train take the strain

Whether climbing mountains or visiting the beach, travellers often harness the railways of North Wales. The Cambrian Coast Line connects Dovey Junction, near Machynlleth, and Pwllheli on the remote Llŷn Peninsula, which is a Welsh language stronghold. It hugs the Cardigan Bay coast and is one of Britain’s most scenic mainlines. It calls at seaside resorts including family-friendly Aberdovey with its pretty harbour, charming Criccieth with its ruined medieval castle overlooking the Irish Sea and bustling Barmouth with its sandy beaches on the stunning River Mawddach estuary, which William Wordsworth described as “glorious”. Meanwhile, the northern coast mainline serves popular resorts like Colwyn Bay and Llandudno with its attractive Victorian promenade. For ferry connections to Ireland, trains continue to Holyhead via beautiful Anglesey island, which boasts the tongue-twisting village with Europe’s longest place name; Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch. Helpfully for non-Welsh speakers, its railway station displays a phonetic pronunciation guide.

Rail enthusiasts can also ride on North Wales’s historic narrow gauge steam railways. These preserved heritage lines turned popular tourist attractions were built to link isolated mines with coastal ports and mainline junctions during the Industrial Revolution. One of the best-known is the Talyllyn Railway between Tywyn on Cardigan Bay and slate quarries near the base of Cadair Idris. Opened in 1866, it runs for roughly seven miles and became the world’s first heritage railway to be preserved by volunteers, who rescued it from closure in 1951. At Porthmadog, visitors can ride the restored Welsh Highland Railway, which heads to Caernarfon via Snowdonia mountain passes, or take the famous Ffestiniog Railway for about 13 miles to Blaenau Ffestiniog. At remote Dduallt station, this line features a rare spiral loop designed to overcome a sharp incline. Meanwhile, the Snowdon Mountain Railway carries passengers effortlessly from Llanberis to the mountain’s summit.

Explore World Heritage Sites

North Wales features two World Heritage Sites. Near Wrexham, travellers with a head for heights can cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on foot or by narrow boat. This aesthetically-pleasing marvel of civil engineering built by Thomas Telford carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee and was completed in 1805. Standing 38 metres tall, it’s Britain’s tallest and longest aqueduct. It features on the Offa’s Dyke Path, taking walkers along the Welsh border to Prestatyn on the northern coast.

In Gwynedd, history buffs can step back in time at superb castles, which collectively form the region’s second World Heritage Site. These fortifications built for Edward I after England invaded Wales during the late 13th century are among the finest examples of military architecture in Europe. Highlights include Harlech Castle, perched atop a rocky outcrop, and wonderful Beaumaris Castle with its concentric defences and moat. The impressive castles and town walls at Conwy and Caernarfon are also listed.

Discover an Italian outpost

Portmeirion, near Porthmadog, is an Italian-style village famed for its pottery. Built by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, this tourist attraction strung around a handsome plaza overlooks the River Dwyryd estuary. Despite its North Wales location, it oozes Mediterranean atmosphere, and many of its buildings offer hotel accommodation. Paying visitors are also welcome to walk around and enjoy its tearooms, grab an ice cream or purchase the distinctive Portmeirion pottery sold in its souvenir shops.

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