I'm planning to take a ferry to Holyhead from Dublin in late May, but I'll only have two nights before a morning return to DUB for my flight to the US. So probably two days to see a bit of North Wales, but only risking one night there to ensure a timely return. Does anyone know of a resource for tourists who won't be renting a car but would love to see some nearby sites? Thanks for any guidance.
Just checked the web and there seem to be a number of bus day trips that synchronize with ship arrivals. Check by which ferry you are riding to bring up your choice of tours. Holyhead itself is not noted to be that exciting. If you did want to do more than brief stops and drive-bys of Castles, it would be better to rent a car in Wales. Did you know that you can also go to Liverpool from Dublin? This would put you on the ground to see a lot of things without having to book tours.
I believe you can get to Conwy from Holy Head with a short ride on the train. Conwy is supposed to be one of the best castles in North Wales. It also has the fantastic Plas Mawr!
Yes, you can easily go to Conwy (Conway) by train from Holyhead. See www.nationalrail.co.uk
(The Virgin trains do not stop in Conwy but the Arrival Trains Wales services do - but you must inform the guard that you wish to get off at that station well in advance). The nearby seaside town of Llandudno is also worth a look. This can be reached by bus from Conwy or train from Llandudno Junction - which 1 mile east of Conwy. http://www.visitllandudno.org.uk
Also consider going from Holyhead (which is not worth staying in) to Bangor and then bus to Caernarfon for a brief stay. Caernarfon has a huge medieval castle and you could take a trip through the Snowdonia National Park on the Welsh Highland Railway. See www.festrail.co.uk Consider staying in the Premier Inn in Caernarfon.
For bus services in Wales:>https://www.traveline.cymru
If your worry about getting a rental car is adding wait time and complexity to the trip, there are rental car offices at the ferry depot at Holyhead which make it pretty easy to pick up and drop off a car.