The North Wales Way - 4 day itinerary

The North Wales Way follows an old trading route for 75 miles (120km) along the northern coast into Anglesey. It’s the trio of huge castles that immediately grab your attention: Beaumaris, Caernarfon and the walled citadel of Conwy. Together with Harlech, this cluster of immense 13th-century fortresses forms a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This route takes in many of the wonderful and fresh produce in North Wales, as well as sampling some of the regional distilleries of the area.

Getting There

Snowdonia and Llandudno are easily reached by train from most major cities. Direct services run to Llandudno Junction from London Euston (3 hrs), Cardiff (4 hrs), Manchester (2 hrs) and Liverpool (2 hrs). Take the shuttle train (10 mins) from Llandudno Junction to Llandudno town centre.

Day 1

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen, and Conwy

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen

Day one of The North Wales Way starts at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a spectacular piece of engineering, completed in the 19th century to carry the canal over the River Dee. This is the largest aqueduct in Britain, designed by Thomas Telford and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, At 38 metres high, and 307m long, visitors can either walk across (it takes about a 30 minute round trip) or take a leisurely canal boat ride (between 45 minutes or a longer 2 hour chartered boats for groups). One essential item for explorers is a camera because the views are stunning!

Conwy Brewery

Then it’s time for a tour and tasting at Conwy Brewery, a brewery that opened in 2003 which uses the soft water that flows from the Snowdonia mountains to make delicious cask and bottled ales.

Supplier Information

Name Conwy Brewery
Category Attraction
Profile We have been brewing in North Wales since 2003, using the soft water that flows from the Snowdonia mountains to make delicious cask and bottled ales. Brewery tours & Brewery Tap are available.
Phone +44 (0)1492 514 305
Email enquiries@conwybrewery.co.uk
Website http://conwybrewery.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity: Tours usually run with a minimum of 8 people however please get in touch and we will try and accommodate your group
Frequency: Monday - Friday: From 3pm Saturday & Sunday: From 1pm Please note all tours are required to be pre-booked.
Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: Groups

Conwy town

The afternoon begins with a visit to the historic town of Conwy, dominated by the 13th century castle and walls, which stretch for over three quarters of a mile  and are guarded by 22 towers. Suggested visiting time for this UNESCO World Heritage Site is approx. 1 hour. Explorer passes are available for the travel trade.

Conway is home to a charming quayside, and not only the smallest house in Britain (1.8m wide!), but also the nation’s finest Elizabethan town house, at Plas Mawr,  famed for its elaborate and colourful plaster work.

Lobster Safaris with Sea Fishing Trips

For the final activity of the day, skipper Carl Davies, a qualified Marine Biologist with over twenty years’ experience of commercial fishing, will show visitors what happens behind the scenes on a lobster potting boat and will explain in detail about the life and conservation of lobsters. Visitors can experience first-hand the anticipation of the pots breaking the water to discover whether they contain what’s known as the Black Gold of the sea.

Supplier Information

Name Lobster Safaris with Sea Fishing Trips - North Wales
Category Guided Tours
Profile Join Marine Biologist Carl Davies on an unforgettable and fascinating two-hour trip to learn all there is to know about the mysterious world of the lobster.
Phone +44 (0) 7710 819747
Email carl@sea-fishing-trips.co.uk
Website http://www.sea-fishing-trips.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity: Max 12 passengers Ideal minimum group size is 7 but if you have a smaller group please get in touch to discuss further.
Frequency: Lobster Safaris can launch daily 5.00pm - 7.00pm between Easter and October. Trips at other times, as well as longer fishing trips are also possible - please enquire and we will try and accommodate you.
Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: Groups
Extra information: Our 11 metre charter boat licensed for 12 anglers. A comfortable boat with ample deck space. Forward wheelhouse with a large overhang to provide shelter from spray and rain. The vessel has a MCA Category 2 certificate and is licensed to travel 60 miles from a safe haven. All safety equipment is carried onboard as part of this licence. All trips start from Beacon's Jetty at Conwy Morfa. On arrival you will see two car parks. Beacon's Jetty is beyond the right hand car park towards the Conwy River. You should park in the left hand car park. The following link shows Beacon's Way which leads to Beacon's jetty.
Day 2

Llandudno and Bodnant

Llandudno

Day two begins at Llandudno, Wales’s largest resort, with its Victorian and Edwardian elegance and two beaches; the award winning North Shore and the quiet sand duned West Shore Visitors can take a ride on The ‘San Francisco style’ Great Orme Tramway (one of only three still in existence in the world today).

Bodnant Garden

The neighbouring Bodnant Garden (National Trust) is a must-see stop for garden enthusiasts with botanical collections from around the globe. It has five Italianate terraces and formal lawns on its upper level, leading down to a wooded valley with a stream running through a secluded wild garden. Booking in advance is essential for groups 15+ for which there is also a group rate. There is adequate parking for coaches.

Supplier Information

Name Bodnant Garden
Category Attraction
Profile A world-famous garden home to National Collections and Champion Trees. With intimate corners, sweeping lawns, grand terraces and verdant woodland, there are many gardens in one at Bodnant.
Phone +44 (0)1492 650460
Email emma.baxendale@nationaltrust.org.uk
Website https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
Min - Max capacity: N/A
Frequency: Please see below for our 2018 opening hours
Private tours: No - operators are welcome to provide their own guides
FIT or Groups: FIT or Groups
Extra information: OPENING DATES & TIMES: 1st January – 28th February: daily 10am – 4pm 1st March – 30th April: daily 10am – 5pm 1st May – 30th June: daily 9am – 5pm 1st July – 31st October: daily 10am – 5pm 1st November – 31st December: daily 10am – 4pm Wednesdays April – September: open late until 8pm Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day - CLOSED Last entry 30 minutes before closing, gates are locked at closing time. During the winter months opening may be restricted by the weather.

Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard

Then the last stop of the day is  Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard, set against the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.

Supplier Information

Name Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard
Category Attraction
Profile First planted in 2012, Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard offers a unique vineyard experience with the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.
Phone +44 (0) 1492 545 596
Email conwyvineyard@btinternet.com
Website https://gwinllanconwy.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity: Max 25 for scheduled tours Please enquire for larger group bookings
Frequency: Please check our website for scheduled events. We can host private groups Monday - Sunday. Please contact us to arrange.
Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: FIT or Groups
Day 3

Penrhyn Castle, the Slate Caverns at Llechwedd and the Snowdon Mountain Railway

Penrhyn Castle & Zip World Velocity

North Wales is an adventure playground – both above and below ground.

Starting at Penrhyn Castle (National Trust) visitors can admire the unique architecture and fine art collection of this “neo-Norman” building. Group tours must be booked in advance and both coach parking and ticket collection are at the visitor centre 10 minutes’ drive away, and in total contrast to the opulent interiors of this imposing castle, is Zip World Velocity – the fastest zip line on the planet. Flying head-first for just under a mile at speeds exceeding 100mph down a mountain and over a cliff edge to soar 500 feet above an old quarry lake, visitors can experience the closest a human can get to skydiving without actually leaping out of a plane.

The Slate Caverns at Llechwedd

From up above, to down below (or for those who don’t have a head for heights!), the Slate Caverns at Llechwedd, take visitors down the steepest cable railway in Britain on the deep mine tour to discover what life was like for a 19th century slate worker. Visitors can also experience the new off road adventure to the top of the man-made summits and extreme landscape 1400ft (427m) above sea level. Suitable for groups and coach parking

The Snowdon Mountain Railway

Alternatively, as time permits, visitors  can travel to Llanberis and board the Snowdon Mountain Railway for a 2½ hour round trip to the top of Mount Snowdon. This will involve travelling on Britain’s only rack and pinion railway to Hafod Eryri, the new visitor centre at the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales at 1086m (3560ft). Tickets are best booked in advance to guarantee availability.

Day 4

The Island of Anglesey

Beaumaris Castle

Day four is all about exploring the island of Anglesey – off the northwest coast of Wales – accessed via the Britannia Bridge (designed by Robert Stephenson) or the Menai Suspension Bridge (designed by Thomas Telford).

For those who fancy a gentle pace, we suggest starting the day at Beaumaris Castle, with its perfectly symmetrical concentric walls within walls design. Even though construction lasted 35 years it was never actually finished. However it has survived in amazing condition, and is regarded by many as the best example of military architecture in Britain today. The nearby Beaumaris Gaol is also well worth a visit, providing a fascinating insight into the life of prisoners in Victorian times.

Supplier Information

Name Beaumaris Castle
Category Attraction
Profile The most technically impressive castle in Britain has few equals. Beaumaris was the last castle of Edward I’s massive building programme in north Wales.
Phone +44 (0)300 0256000
Email cadw@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Website http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/beaumaris-castle/
Min - Max capacity: N/A
Frequency: Castle open daily - please check website for seasonal opening hours
Private tours: No - however group operators are welcome to provide their own guide
FIT or Groups: Groups

Llanfair PG & Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt

Next is a quick photo stop at Llanfair PG – the longest place name in Europe. The full name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, translated as “St Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio by the red cave”.

After the photoshoot it’s time for something more practical, at Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt. This one-of-a-kind behind the scenes tour is recommended for anyone interested in salt’s place in history, culture, food and in what makes Halen Môn Sea Salt PDO the world’s finest seasoning. Led by a trained guide, the tour includes a tutored salt tasting (including our delicious salted fudge) and lasts approximately 50 minutes. Visitors can hand-harvest their own salt before blending their own unique flavours.

Supplier Information

Name Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt
Category Attraction
Profile Tŷ Halen is our unique, bespoke Saltcote and Visitor Centre. It is a first for Anglesey, Wales and the UK, and lies on the banks of the Menai Strait next door to the Anglesey Sea Zoo
Phone +44 (0) 1248 430871
Email hello@halenmon.com
Website https://www.halenmon.com
Min - Max capacity: Max 12 for standard tours. Larger groups can be accommodated with advance notice.
Frequency: Daily: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm (other times and Blending Experiences by arrangement)
Private tours: Yes
FIT or Groups: FIT or Groups

RIB riding and Coasteering

For those who prefer a more action packed style of exploration, adventurers can enjoy an exhilarating RIB Ride boat ride from St George’s Pier, Menai Bridge.Various rides are available including a journey under the historic Menai and Britannia Bridges, Caernarfon, Beaumaris & Puffin Island and further afield to Llanddwyn Island.

Alternatively , the rocky coastline of Anglesey is the perfect place to try the sport invented in Wales ‘Coasteering’. After being kitted up in a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet, the important safety briefing, adventurers will scramble and climb along the rugged coastline and finally jump into the sea – seals, porpoise and dolphins are often spotted too!

Caernarfon Castle

The day comes to a close back on the Welsh mainland at Caernarfon Castle. In 1969 the investiture of the current Prince of Wales took place at this imposing castle  and today, along with three other North Wales Castles, it makes up a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Supplier Information

Name Caernarfon Castle
Category Attraction
Profile After all these years Caernarfon’s immense strength remains undimmed. Picking a fight with this massive structure would have been a daunting prospect.
Phone +44 (0)300 0256000
Email cadw@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Website http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/caernarfon-castle/
Min - Max capacity: N/A
Frequency: Open daily - please check website for seasonal opening times
Private tours: No - however group operators are welcome to provide their own guide Public tours available on certain dates - please check website for more details
FIT or Groups: Groups