Snowdonia & The North Cottages

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    Snowdonia National Park boasts some of the biggest mountains found anywhere in England and Wales, whilst the area also offers visitors the most amazing coastline, rich in sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs and some glorious stretches of estuary. These include the Llŷn Peninsula, a dramatically beautiful 24-mile long strip of land which points out into the Irish Sea and also known as ‘Snowdon’s arm’.

    Things to do in Snowdonia and the North

    The Llŷn Coastal Path links miles of fine beaches, sheltered coves, wide open bays and towering headlands, officially designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Walkers and nature lovers are spoilt for choice. Bardsey Island is a wildlife haven and a National Nature Reserve designated by the Countryside Council for Wales. Meanwhile, the Pilgrim’s Route guides historically-focused visitors through this well-known stronghold of Welsh language, culture and religious heritage.

    Top Destinations

    Criccieth – A most charming seaside town, Criccieth retains its strong Victorian character, blending the best of local landmarks with amazing views across Cardigan Bay.  First begun in 1230, Criccieth Castle still dominates the town, standing high on a rocky perch, and acting as a striking marker, dividing the two local beaches. As with many other remote seaside towns, Criccieth only enjoyed a rise in its prominence as a coastal resort when trains - in the form of the Cambrian Coast Railway - first arrived there in 1867.

    Betws-y-Coed – Perhaps the most popular inland resort in North Wales, this is where the River Conwy meets its three tributaries, the Lledr, the Llygwy and the Machno. Outdoor activity holidays and local crafts make this pretty village a popular centre for visitors; artists have flocked to the area since the Victorian era, and the nearby Swallow Falls, surrounded by dense woodland, magnificent mountain scenery and ancient bridges, make it a particularly ideal location for visiting painters who are interested in capturing the local beauty of this fine natural landscape.

    Conwy – With its amazing dark-stoned fortress castle still evoking an authentic mediaeval atmosphere, Conwy demands the attention of visitors from the moment they catch a glimpse of the skyline. Conwy Castle is seen by many as the most magnificent of all Edward I’s Welsh fortress. Situated high on a natural rock above the Conwy Estuary, the Castle builders adopted a simple design, having no need for concentric walls, with its soaring curtain walls and huge round towers making the castle an intimidating presence even in the 21st century. In addition to the castle, Conwy benefits from being a classic walled town, with the circuit of enclosing walls stretching over three quarters of a mile, guarded by 22 towns. 

    Anglesey – Often referred to as the garden of Wales, due to its fine, agriculturally-rich land, Anglesey has a spectacular coastline as well as an intriguing number of cycle paths and walking routes; the new Copper Trail, or Lôn Las Copr , is part of the National Cycling Network, and runs for 36-miles as a circular tour based around the historic port of Amlwch. In addition to these designated paths, almost the whole of Anglesey can be explored via a network of traffic-free trails and quiet country lanes.

    Holy Island – Although joined to the rest of Anglesey by both rail and road bridges, Holy Island is an island in its own right. The historic port town of Holyhead is Anglesey’s largest town, as well as being the busiest ferry port in the Principality. St Cybi’s Church and the Roman Fort are particular highlights for visitors, in addition to the fine Maritime Museum, the Breakwater Country Park and the Ucheldre Art Centre.

    Caernarfon – On the east banks - and southern end - of the Menai Straits, opposite the Isle of Anglesey, this Royal town also boasts one of the most architecturally impressive of all the castles in Wales, and although it was never intended to be as overtly powerful a symbol as some of the other fortifications built by Edward I, it was always viewed as a seat of power and a symbol of English dominance over the Welsh.

    Portmadog – Known locally as ‘Port’, and to the English as Portmadoc, this small coastal town first developed as a port exporting slate to England. Built across the Glaslyn estuary, the Cob is a substantial embankment created in 1811 to reclaim land for agriculture; by 1836 the Ffestiniog Railway had adopted the embankment as part of its course, making it the main route for slate to reach the new port at Porthmadog.

    Blaenau Ffestiniog – Situated in an elevated natural ‘bowl’ between the Manod and Moelwyn Mountains of Snowdonia, at the centre of the Snowdonia National Park, the town was once a centre of the Welsh slate mining industry, although tourism is now its main focus. Two quarries offer trips into the massive underground caverns that were originally carved by the slate workers, and visitors also flock to the area to take part in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, including mountain biking, climbing, walking and canoeing.

    Colwyn Bay – With a long promenade sweeping from Old Colwyn to Penrhyn Bay, walkers and cyclists can easily enjoy the beautiful unspoilt coastline of Colwyn Bay, making it a particularly good resort for family holidays. Lovers of fishing, sailing and jet skiing are also catered for, with separate slipways located along the promenade offering easy access to the coast.

    Llandudno – The largest resort in Wales is uniquely situated between the Great and Little Ormes, and still retains its Victorian and Edwardian elegance, whilst fully celebrating all the modern attractions it also has to offer. A 300-metre dry ski slope and toboggan run gives the town a national significance, with the Artificial Ski Championships hosted in Llandudno each year. For the less energetic, a cabin lift runs from the ornamental gardens known as the Happy Valley, and is the longest life of its kind in Great Britain. 


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