Are you planning a trip to North Wales? If not, you definitely should put it on your list. North Wales is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Lonely Planet have recently included it on their list of 2017’s top ten regions to visit, and it is easy to see why. It has some of the world’s best adventure activities, and beautiful beaches ideal for those rare days when it isn’t raining.
The area is steeped in history. For nearly 1,000 years it was known as the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The Welsh War of Independence in 1283 led to an uneasy union with England. However, that period has left behind some of North Wales’ most iconic sites.
The mountainous Snowdonia region is home to some of the finest natural landscapes in the world. They are remarkably unspoiled, and offer views that are hard to beat. North Wales is also a great place to explore Welsh culture, with the Welsh language heard everywhere you go. We have spent quite a bit of time in North Wales recently, exploring the places that we feel that couples would enjoy, and here are our must-sees.
The literal high point of a trip to North Wales is climbing to the top of Snowdon, if you are able. The highest (and busiest) mountain in Wales, it has are six official routes to the top with different difficulty levels. It is no walk in the park, however. Edmund Hillary even used Snowdon to train for his groundbreaking journey to the top of Mount Everest. The views are unbeatable, and you will adore sharing them with your partner.
This iconic medieval fortress is one of King Edward I’s series of Welsh castles that now form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nowadays, the castle is a set of well-preserved, and ultra romantic ruins. Stroll around the wall walks together, explore the nooks and crannies, and atmospheric corridors leading off everywhere, and pretend to be a knight and a princess for the day.
Llandudno is the Queen of Welsh resorts, and has been a hub for tourism since Victorian times. It is immensely romantic strolling along the wide promenade that curves along the shore. The vintage pier is a wonderful place to spend some time together, having a go on the penny arcade and air hockey machines. The majestic Great Orme makes for a dramatic backdrop too.
DEEP SEA FISHING
North Wales is an ideal place to go deep sea fishing, and there are plenty of boats to take you. We have done this twice actually. Once, in Conwy, on a private charter for just the two of us. This is ultra-romantic, since you have the boat to yourself (apart from the skipper of course). Another time we joined a group excursion in Deganwy, which still offers a great experience, for a lower price.
The highest navigable aqueduct in the world, it is also Britain’s oldest and longest. It carries the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee, and was completed in 1805 by famed engineer Thomas Telford. There is something very romantic about a ride on a canal boat, and the views from here are something else.
Plas Mawr is an Elizabethan townhouse in Conwy, and one of the finest examples of its kind in the world. The house retains much of its original character, thanks to a lot of luck in terms of its usage in the intervening years and cataloguing of its seventeenth century contents. A stroll in the Elizabethan garden on a nice day is the height of romance.
Just down the road from Plas Mawr, Conwy Castle cuts an iconic figure. This romantic vision of medieval splendour is, like Caernarfon, in well-preserved ruins. From the tops of its towers, you can see the most beautiful views. It is one of our favourite castles in the entire world. Make sure to stroll on top of the majestic Town Walls too.
With the wind in your hair and the sun in your eyes, a ride on a RIB Powerboat is a memorable occasion. We tried the Bear Grylls Ribrides, which depart from Holyhead. If you time it right, you will visit rocky outcrops teeming with arctic terns, which is an unforgettable experience. You will feel like you are in a Bond movie together as you speed across the water.
NATIONAL SLATE MUSEUM
For something a bit more educational, learn about the Welsh slate industry together at this fantastic free museum in Llanberis. It is housed in the 19th century former workshops of the Dinorwic slate quarry. As well as seeing the workshops, you can watch a slate splitting demonstration, and see the largest working water wheel on mainland Britain.
This charming harbourfront restaurant in Holyhead is housed in a former lifeboat house. A large window overlooks the seascape, so can provide a very special atmosphere if you can snag a table by it. The interior is cute and rustic, and the food is really top rate. The dining room is so small that it makes for a very intimate environment for dinner.
We actually came up with so many amazing and romantic things to do in North Wales that we’ve got enough for another post, so watch this space for Part Two!
What are your North Wales recommendations? Have you tried any of ours?