Since the pandemic, rather than taking our travels abroad, many of us have been appreciating what the UK has to offer. So we’ve put together a STAY-cation series to help you find the best places in the UK to get away for some kind of break this year.
Location: North Wales
Type of Staycation: Seaside/Countryside Break
Best places to stay:
Without being biased my little hometown is the perfect central stay if you want to explore North Wales. We are right in the middle of the coast and home to two beautiful beaches right between the mountains. You can see Snowdon and Puffin Island from West Shore beach and just 5 minutes from the A55 it is the perfect location for travelling to explore our coastline. It isn’t called the Queen of Resorts for nothing.
Conwy the next town over is home to Conwy Castle and the town is situated within the castle walls. There are holiday homes/Airbnb right on the quay so perfect to sit outside listening to waves with your morning coffee. You might even catch a glimpse of our, now famous, Great Orme goats as they roam around getting up to mischief!
The beautiful Isle of Anglesey where you will find some of Wales’ stunning beaches. At the real heart of Wales you can travel back in time to some of the real historic sights of North Wales as Anglesey is home to 6 castles or even shop at the same Waitrose as Prince Wills & Kate as they lived on the Island whilst Prince Wills worked in the RAF. With a great range of food and drink from traditional pubs to Michelin Star restaurant Sosban Fach (you will have to book!) Try your hand at the lingo and see if you can read any of the Welsh signs on your travels huge brownie points if you can say llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Yes it is really a place and no there isn’t much there but a train station!).
I always think of Abersoch as the Jack Wills and Hollister combined twenty-something getaway. It takes me back to the days of Wakestock festival and staying right on the beach with friends bbq’ing and drinking cider in the sun all weekend. Very popular amongst campers, golfers and cyclists you can’t complain when you’re overlooking the sandy beaches and Lleyn Peninsular waves.
Things to do:
If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junky, love a good adventure or just want to try something new North Wales doesn’t disappoint.
The list of activities is endless and suitable for all ages. You can visit their site in Betws Y Coed for the Fforest Coaster or if you’re feeling a little more sense of danger try the Plummet 2 where you’re dropped from 100ft! Or head over to their sit-in Blaenau Ffestiniog and take flight on Europe’s largest zip wire straight through the Quarry and into the mountains.
Watersports in Llanberis
If flying isn’t quite your thing then I can’t recommend enough the watersports over on Llyn Padarn. It has become quite a popular spot for locals to take a very cold morning dip over the summer before a coffee. The perfect place for a picnic in the sunshine after a day of paddleboarding or kayaking. They offer full kit hire should you need it or if you have your own boards then jump straight in. Definitely a place to get the IG shot!
With the coastline running around the whole of North Wales you are spoilt for choice when it comes to your pick of a beach! Llandudno hosts two beaches with the tourist hotspot being the Prom/North Shore if you’re visiting make sure you pop into ‘The Looking Glass Ice Cream Parlour’ the banana ice cream is simply to die for! Us locals definitely prefer the West Shore directly the other side of the town. It can be a little quieter and is the perfect place to watch the sunset with fish and chips. If you’re heading west Rhosneigr beach is one to add to your list, very popular in the watersports department, whilst Newborough beach can’t be missed either. One not to be forgotten about, The Ty Coch Inn in the village of Porthdinllaen on the Lleyn Peninsular is a personal favourite, it definitely wins the best beach bar in Wales and arguably the best pub!
A walker’s paradise
With so many to choose from and often leading to a pub lunch you can’t go wrong. Get your walking boots on and take a trip up Snowdon it’s your call if you walk or take the train. I set you the challenge of finding the Snowdon Infinity Pool (although it is a local secret how to get there) all I’ll say is park up and walk around to the left you’ll pass a bridge and then walk up! It is the perfect hidden gem but please don’t ruin it and remember to keep the exact location a secret for others to find it is a little slice of paradise in the mountains! If you have an hour to spare turn off the A55 to Aber Falls and take a stroll to see the wonders of the waterfall – now famous with its own distillery I highly recommend the Aber Falls Orange Marmalade Gin at the end of your day.
3 fun facts about North Wales:
1. Alice in Wonderland was written here and we have a Little Miss Alice competition every year – You’ll see Alice in Wonderland statues all around Llandudno.
2. Cardigan Bay is home to the UK’s largest dolphin pod you might be able to catch a glimpse of them swimming
3. Popular band Catfish and the Bottlemen were formed in North Wales back in 2007. They come back every tour to gig in their hometown.