My husband and I and my in-laws are traveling to the UK for 2 weeks in May. We are spending 3 nights in Northern Wales (staying in Llandudno) and I am trying to plan our itinerary. We will definitely be hitting Conwy castle and the walls, The Great Orme and would like to spend a day driving around to see some other castles/Snowdonia region. I just can't seem to figure out an exact driving loop. Any suggestions/must sees? Also, the men will be heading to a soccer game on a Sunday and I'm trying to come up with a fun day for my mother-in-law and I. Possibilities are Bodnant Garden, day trip to Chester or Ruthin, possible day trip to Dublin, or Portmerion (but I think it might be a little far). Just wondering what anyone suggests. We are very active people and like to see as much as possible on our vacations. Thanks!
A loop from Llandudno through Conwy, Caernarfon, Harleigh, and Betws-y-Coed gets you Snowdonia and three of the best castles in the country and involves about three hours of driving time. Remove Harleigh and you're down to less than two hours, but miss the best castle in the world except maybe for Chevalier or La Mota. You probably should eliminate Dublin. The ferry alone is more than three hours each way, plus whatever time it takes you to get back and forth to Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire.
I'd give Dublin and Chester a pass. My favourites in Northern Wales... Conwy, Beaumaris, and Caernarfon. Llanberis was also enjoyable. For your day, consider taking taking the train up Mt. Snowdon.
I enjoyed Chester; Roman ruins, walls, and the Rows.
Bodnant Garden is gorgeous and very impressive. Portmerion underwhelmed me-very Disneyesque really. Loved Powis Castle which you may be able to include. Enjoy!
Of all the sites we saw and experienced in Northern Wales, perhaps the most memorable time we had was attending a performance by a Welsh chorus. Before the trip I had Google'd "Welsh Chorus" and found a performance in Llandudno our first night at the Methodist church...amazing! We were the only Americans in attendance and their concert closed with "An American Trilogy." If there is no performance during your timeframe, check to see if there are rehearsals you can attend.