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North Wales - base will be in Porthmadog

Thank you in advance any advice or information that can be given.
It will be a party of 10 - 6 adults & 4 kids 5 - 8yrs old. We are there for a wk - Sat to a Fri.
We will have rented a car for the month that we are visiting so going by car is not a problem.

My brother-in-law (who lives in the UK) has already booked us one day where we get to do Bounce Below in Llechwedd Slate Caverns & they are doing the zipline near the Llechwedd Slate Caverns as well that day.

I would also like to climb Snowdon mountain if possible even if it we were not hiking it the whole way since we have the kids with us. I know we want to visit at least one of the train lines since my son is obsessed with them and I'm wanting to visit at least one castle in the area. Possibly a beach visit one day as well. Any advice on any of these idea or maybe is there something else we need to consider? It will be the first time I have been to North Wales for an extended visit along with my kids. My husband & his family have been there on more then one occasion since they live in the UK & enjoy a good hike. :)
Thanks again in advance.

Posted by
1838 posts

Borth-Y-Gest has a nice beach just SW of the village - but beware of going in the water due to tidal nature of estuary. Anyway, it is sheltered from most winds & south facing. (Borth-Y-Gest is right by Porthmadog). Nearby Portmeirion is unmissable.

I reckon that one of the best beaches in Britain is at Porth Dinllaen - which you can reach from Nefyn - which is also an excellent beach. These beaches face north & west so could be cool if the wind is from that direction. These beaches could be combined with a visit to Caernarvon Castle.

Bodnant Gardens - near Conway/Conwy are also well worth a visit - so combine these with Conway Castle and perhaps a look at the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno.

I would also drive south - down the coast road to visit Harlech Castle. Then continue south to Barmouth = seaside town with harbour. From Barmouth, head east along the stunning Mawddach estuary towards Dolgellau before heading back to base via A470.

Posted by
8391 posts

If you do visit Llandudno as James suggested you might want to take the tram up to the Great Orme Mine. I thought that was a very interesting visit to a prehistoric mine and it might be entertaining for the kids.

Posted by
135 posts


If you are interested in old working trains in North Wales, you have an immense choice of lines to consider riding on; in fact, probably the widest choice of heritage lines in the whole UK. They are expensive for families, but worth it if you like that kind of thing (I do!). See 'Great Little Trains of Wales' web information as a point from which to do more research.

Any of the four famous Edwardian English Castles (Harlech; Conwy; Caernarfon; Beaumaris) are worth a visit, but the Welsh also built castles and, although far more ruinous, are just as historically interesting (Dolbadarn; Dolwyddelan). As mentioned by others, Great Orme Head, near Llandudno also contains a number of different attractions worth considering , and the views from it are good too. Sygun Copper Mine is worth a look if you don't want to see any more slate mines and, if you want to go inside a mountain and see a hydro-electric powerstation, visit 'Electric Mountain'. Lastly, for 5 to 8 year olds, the Anglesey Sea Zoo (across the Menai from Caernarfon) may please - just don't expect sea life like you see in Florida or California!

Posted by
48 posts

Just returned from Llandudno which was outstanding. There is plenty of hiking and the tram as mentioned previously. There is also a terrific pier with all sorts of fun things for kids and adults to do, you could spend a day between the pier/tram and the beach. The hop-on hop-off tour was fantastic, great way to see the area including town of Conway and the castle. The tour stops right at the Llandudno pier.