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Wales travel help

We want to visit Northern Wales for 8 days and need advise on where to go and which national trust sites are the best to see. We are two adults and no children who are fairly active. We are traveling in June, and will be renting a car for the duration. We watched the Rick Steve's episode on North Wales and are interested in Conwy castle, Snowdon, Plas Mawr, and Caenarfon castle. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

Posted by
9681 posts

Agree with Emma's question on your other thread regarding driving and where you are before and after.

I stayed in Conwy for 2 nights on the Rick Steves Best of England tour last fall and enjoyed Plas Mawr. I did not allow enough time, had to go there quickly after we finished touring for the day and only had about an hour. I did not listen to the Audio Guide for all the rooms as they were ready to close. I would suggest allowing 2 hours for this site.

I had visited Conwy Castle a few years ago on a Road Scholar tour and really enjoyed that as well. It needs a good 2 hours too.

The other things we saw on the Road Scholar tour included Beaumaris and the medieval Penmon Priory which was really interesting but needs a car to get to. The medieval misericords from Penmon are now in St Mary's Church in Beaumaris. There are lots of other interesting sights on Anglesey that my tour did not get to but would be accessible to you with a car.

We also did a tour of the bronze age Great Orme Copper Mine near Llandudno. I am not really big on mine tours or close spaces but this was very interesting. The amateur archeologists who were going in to the mine were looking for the Victorian era mine shafts their grandfathers and great grand fathers worked. They accidentally came upon the Bronze age shafts that were unknown to them.

I also enjoyed Betws-y-Coed with it's very interesting medieval church (de consecrated I think) built on a pagan site.

Bodnant Gardens is also wonderful.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks so much for the information. I am looking at Caernarfon for a home base or Pembrokeshire because after reading other threads people really felt they were central. The castles and church sites sound really appealing to us as well.

Posted by
27709 posts

What sort of National Trust properties are you after? Castles, shoreline, manor houses, gardens, below stairs?

There's all sorts in Wales.

How far are you intending to travel each day from your base?

Posted by
80 posts

I went to North Wales last year and saw Caenarfon Castle. This is a great castle to tour, we spent several hours there. It is rich with history. I learned so much just looking at the displays. The Prince of Wales (who is always the male heir to the throne) is given his title there. I did not spend as much time as I would like to have in North Wales but found the people there to be warm and friendly.

Posted by
5 posts

We are interested in gardens and castles mostly. Some shoreline would be equally as interesting.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Nancy for the old thread to visit for our planning. Thanks to everyone else for the information. We will also be visiting Scotland on this trip. We have been to London and the seashore area around Southend on our last trip to the UK. This time, we want to visit north Wales and Scotland. We are in the planning stages for both, so any information is helpful. We have a total of 17 days in all for our trip. We thought that 8 days in Wales and 9 in Scotland or surrounding areas would be a good way to break up our visit. Husband is also interested in maybe a ferry to Ireland for an overnight if there is time. Any thoughts?

Posted by
9681 posts

As Emma notes, Pembrokeshire is pretty far from Caernarfon and altho I was not driving, the roads seemed pretty slow for a commute to the north for sightseeing. Googlemaps gives it 4 hours from St Davids to Caernarfon but I'll bet that is an optimistic driving (wheels turning) time.

Posted by
7124 posts

Most people would do Wales in 2 parts ...
North Wales from Chester/Liverpool
South Wales from Bristol/Bath

Together, something like this...
Day 1 - Via Conwy to Llandudno - 2nts
Day 2 - Excursion to Anglesey and Beaumaris
Day 3 - Via Caernarfon to Portmeiron - 2nts
Day 4 - Excursion to Snowdonia
Day 5 - Via Harlech to Pembrokeshire (St Davids) - 1nt
Day 6 - To Brecon Beacons - 2nts
Day 7 - Excursion to Wye Valley (Tintern Abbey, Chepstow)
Day 8 - Via Caerphilly to Cardiff - 1nt