4 Must-See Sites in Wales

4 Must-See Sites in Wales

At Headwater, we’re proud to live in a nation steeped in centuries of fascinating history and tradition. We believe that one of the best ways to discover all of the hidden gems, charms and distinct local flavours the United Kingdom has to offer is on foot and by bike. This is why we’ve carefully designed a range of Self-Guided Walking and Cycling routes in the United Kingdom that offer well-waymarked paths for those looking to explore their own backyard at their own pace.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently added two new trips to our United Kingdom Self-Guided Holidays, that allow our customers to explore the breath-taking landscapes, National Parks and charming villages of North Wales.

Christian Locke, Head of Product at Headwater, was keen to comment, “One of the big things for Headwater launching the North Wales trips was the proximity to our office in Cheshire. The Headwater team all enjoy going for walks in North Wales, with some having their own caravans that they take over to Anglesey, so they know the area pretty well.” He continued, “Working closely with an agent in Ruthin, we were able to create expertly-crafted itineraries that showcases the region’s most idyllic routes, hidden gems and authentic accommodation. We’re delighted to share the highlights and scenery of North Wales with our customers.”

With a seemingly endless amount of rugged mountain trails, rejuvenated seaside towns and World Heritage castles to explore, you’ll find that North Wales holds its own allure against the larger cities and attractions further south. Read on to see our top 4 must-see sites in North Wales that may help inspire your next getaway closer to home.

1. Snowdon Summit

One of North Wales’ most breath-taking spots is undoubtably the 360° views you’ll see when you make the rewarding trek to the summit of Snowdonia National Park’s highest peak. Standing proud at approximately 1,085m above sea level, Snowdon peak is known as the tallest point in the British Isles, outside the Scottish Highlands. Aside from an extensive network of great walking trails, over 100 serene lakes and the iconic rocky peaks of Tryfan and Cader Idris, you’ll find that the surrounding Ll?n Peninsula and the ancient island enclave of Anglesey have been beautifully preserved, with their fascinating Welsh culture and ancient language remaining largely intact.

On our new Walking the Welsh Highland Railway Holiday, your self-guided route takes you towards the most breath-taking ridges and lakes in Snowdonia National Park, where you can explore at your own pace and stop to admire the beautiful vistas before enjoying the exhilarating ascent to Snowdon Peak. Voted the best view in the UK, Snowdon’s summit offers views stretching out to Llyn Llydaw, which is known as one of the legendary locations of King Arthur, his sword Excalibur and the Lady of the Lake.

2. The charming village of Beddgelert

You can’t venture to the North of Wales without making a pit-stop in the enchanting conservation village of Beddgelert. Take your time to admire its beautiful dark stone cottages overlooking the River Colwyn and the ivy-covered bridge, located just upstream from the River Glaslyn. The best time to visit is during the spring and summer months, when vibrant flower blossoms festoon the village come spring and become covered in a purple blaze of heather around summertime. Legend has it, that this village is also the final resting place of Gelert, the faithful dog of medieval Welsh prince, Llywelyn.

Beddgelert itself may be small, but it boasts a range of quaint local arts and crafts shops, traditional pubs and great restaurants where you can try their local fare. On our new Walking the Welsh Highland Railway trip, we walk inland from the maritime town of Porthmadog and make a stop at this picturesque village, where you’ll get the opportunity to explore the neighbouring farmlands and Beddgelert’s lush woodland forest before taking the historic Heritage steam train to Rhyd Ddu. 

3. The Iron Age site of Foel Fenlli

Standing at 1,677 ft above sea level, this hill located in Denbighshire, is said to be the second highest peak in the Clwydian Range – but that’s not why visitors flock to this area. It’s the remains of an Iron Age hillfort located on its peak that makes this hill a must-see when you’re wandering through the spectacular Clwydian Range. Legend has it, that the iniquitous King Benlli lived here, but that he and his castle were consumed by a fire from heaven because he opposed the bishop, Saint Germanus of Auxerre. The site was later said to have been reoccupied during the Dark Ages.

On our North East Wales Heritage Trail, we get the opportunity to visit this historical site for ourselves, with a circular walk from Ruthin in the Clwydian range, where you can explore the Iron Age site of Foel Fenlli, the Jubilee Tower atop Moel Famau and the small village of Gellifor before returning back to Ruthin along the riverside, at your own leisure.

4. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal

Built in 1805 by Georgian engineer, Thomas Telford, this impressive 18-arch aqueduct was constructed to carry the canal over the River Dee. Taking a decade to complete, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is one of the most spectacular pieces of engineering in the UK, gaining a well-deserved spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Horse-drawn canal barge was once the best way for transporting goods over long distances, but since the advent of the railway, most aqueducts across the country fell into disrepair, which is why this well-preserved historical site is a must-visit when you’re exploring the area. The adjacent riverbank also makes for the perfect picnic pit-stop in the afternoon.

On our new North East Wales Heritage Trail, the route takes you on a fascinating journey past the beautiful rolling hills, heather-clad moors and limestone outcrops in the Clwydian and Berwyn ranges, where you can stop to admire Telford’s structural masterpiece, before returning to the quaint town of Llangollen come evening. Known as the historic gateway to North Wales, Llangollen is steeped in medieval and industrial history and is brimming with characterful restaurants dotted along its riverside. The riverside area is actually an extension of the River Dee that flows all the way from the peaks of Snowdonia through the Clwydian Range into this delightful town.

No matter where you choose to roam in North Wales with Headwater, you can expect a warm welcome, hearty breakfasts every day in characterful accommodation with endless opportunities to explore the beautiful Welsh landscapes.

To find out more about our Self-Guided Holidays in North Wales and other walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom, click here.