North Wales

North Wales (Welsh: Gogledd Cymru) is in the United Kingdom.

Counties

Cities and Towns

North Wales has many picturesque towns. Below is a list of the most notable. For others, please see specific county articles.

City

Towns

Other destinations

National Parks

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Three of Wales' five AONBs are in North Wales.

Talk

North Wales is bilingual. While almost 100% of the people you meet can speak and understand English, you are also quite likely to hear Welsh being spoken, especially as you travel further west within the region. According to the census of 2005, 68.7% of the people in Gwynedd can speak Welsh. You're least likely to encounter Welsh speakers on the north coast east of Conwy.

Get in

By Rail

Mainline train services within North Wales are run by Arriva Trains Wales .

By Sea

By Air

There is an air service connecting RAF Valley in Anglesey to Cardiff International Airport in South Wales. For flights from other destinations, Manchester and Liverpool airports (across the border in England) are the closest bet, or Birmingham airport for the Cambrian Coast area.

By Car

The main roads into North Wales from England are the A55 which runs along the north coast, connecting with the M56 and M53 near Chester, and the A5, which leaves the M54 at Shrewsbury and heads west to Betws y Coed and then north-west to Bangor.

From South and Mid Wales the A470 runs south to north through the centre of the country, from Cardiff to Llandudno via Dolgellau and Betws y Coed, while the A483 runs south-west to north-east, from Swansea to Wrexham and on across the border to Chester. The A487 runs along the coast to Aberystwyth, Cardigan and St. Davids.

Note that only the A55 is a dual carriageway, and that overtaking on the other A-roads is not always possible. If time is of the essence, it is generally a good idea to travel on the A55 as far as possible. If not, the other roads are much more scenic.

By Bus

Get around

By Rail

(See also Get In above for details of lines into and across North Wales)

By Bus

See

Castles

There are a number of castles from the 12th and 13th centuries spread across North Wales. These date back to the time of the battles by the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd to resist the rule of King John, and more significantly, King Edward I of England. Most of the castles are in the care of Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Stately Homes

Heritage Railways

For many visitors to North Wales, the main draw is the number of historic steam railways in the area. Some, such as the Bala Lake Railway and Llangollen Railway, run on stretches of lines that were part of the national railways network until the infamous "Beeching cuts" closed many lines in the 1960s. Others, including the Talyllyn and Ffestiniog Railways, were built by mine or quarry owners to transport their goods (usually slate) down to a port or to a mainline train station. Most of the railways are owned and run by societies of volunteer enthusiasts.

Standard gauge

Narrow gauge

Miniature railways

Do

Eat

The Wales the True Taste campaign has been very successful in promoting the use of local ingredients in recent years, and even fairly low-key restaurants and pubs will often have a sign telling you where all of their ingredients are sourced.

Perhaps the most high-profile local ingredient is lamb, and you certainly won't spend long in North Wales before you see your first sheep! Artisan cheeses abound, look out for the Snowdonia Creamery range, among others. Fresh, local seafood can be excellent, especially on the Lleyn.

Drink

There are a number on independent breweries across North Wales, brewing a range of traditional ales. Porthmadog based microbrewery Purple Moose (Bragdy Mws Piws) is well worth looking out for.

Wrexham Lager has re-launched after over a decade and the owners have re-introduced the much loved recipe, which was discontinued when Carlsberg-Tetley took over the brewery. The owners of Wrexham Lager are hoping to bring back the original logo as soon as they possibly can.

Go next

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