Wales Journals

North Welsh Weekends

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2009 trip to Wales by Liam Hetherington

Conwy Castle Photo, Conwy, Wales More Photos
Quote: The north of Wales has two big selling points. Firstly, it is liberally sprinkled with castles and other monuments telling of its rich, deep history. Secondly, it has some of Britain's most majestic landscapes, which transform from brooding to beautiful in the passing of a cloud.

North Wales, from East to West

Moel Famau Country Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "On a Clear Day You Can See for (70!) Miles..."

Moel Famau Country Park Photo, Flintshire, Wales
Quote:
The Clwydian range of hills forms an eastern spine to Wales, separating out the fertile Cheshire plains in England from the lush Vale of Clwyd. The coastal A55 skirts to the north of the upland area, the A5 runs through Llangollen to the south, and the A494 winds from Mold to Ruthin through the middle. It is off the latter route that you will find the Moel Famau Country Park.At 554m (1818 feet) Moel Famau (pronounced something akin to ‘Mor Vamma’ in Welsh) is the highest peak in the Clwydians and indeed the entire area. From where I live in Cheshire I can make out its silhouette on the horizon. It is now surrounded by a 2000 acre park that straddles the borders between Flintshire an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Moel Famau Country Park
Bwlch Penbarras, Off The A494
Mold, Wales

Llandudno Seaside Resort and Town

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Llandudno: the Queen of the Welsh Resorts"

Llandudno Seaside Resort and Town Photo, Llandudno, Wales
Quote:
The north coast of Wales is lined with resorts that lost their function with the advent of package holidays and budget airlines. A string of resorts – Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay – still struggle on, a down-at-heel wasteland of tacky souvenir stalls, fairground attractions, caravan parks and holiday ‘chalets’. The beaches are undeniably nice however and so for a few brief months over the unpredictable British summer they boom before collapsing back into a boarded up 1960s timewarp.The western-most town of this stretch, however, possesses something that none of the others do. The best word for it would be gentility. Here the streetscapes and vistas hark back not to the post-war perio...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Llandudno Seaside Resort and Town

Conwy County Borough, Wales

Bodnant Garden

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "A Mill, a Dell and a Bottle of Beer"

Bodnant Garden Photo, Tal-y-Cafn, Wales
Quote:
North Wales’s most impressive gardens are located at Bodnant in the Vale of Conwy, seven miles south of Colwyn Bay just off the A470. The gardens were developed around Bodnant Hall (which is not open to the public) by the Lords Aberconway from the late 19th century onwards; they were gifted to the National Trust in 1949. They cover an area of 80 acres and range from formally manicured flowerbeds and garden terraces on the upper levels to more romantic wooded tangles as the visitor descends into ‘the Dell’, a steep valley around the bubbling river Hiraethlyn.Entry is £8.50 for adults, £4.25 for children (though this includes an optional 10% charitable donation; you can reduce the pri...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Bodnant Garden
East Side Of Conwy Valley Off A470
Colwyn Bay, Conway LL28 5RE
01492 650460

Conwy Castle

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Keeping the Welsh Down for 825 Years"

Conwy Castle Photo, Conwy, Wales
Quote:
King Edward I ruled England between 1272 and 1307. He was a warlike king. As a young man he had fought Simon de Montford’s rebellion against his father, Henry III, and he had journeyed to the Holy Land on Crusade. His battles didn’t end when he inherited the throne. From 1290 onwards took advantage of a power vacuum in Scotland to try and unite the English and Scottish crowns, or at the very least appoint a Scottish king of his own choosing; his opponents in this era were men like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace for this was the period depicted in the film Braveheart. But he had gained the taste for territorial expansion in the first half of his reign, in Wales.The borde...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Conwy Castle
Coast Road - A55
Conwy, Wales
44 1492 592358

Mount Snowdon

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Where Seagulls Dare: One of Britain's Top Hikes"

Mount Snowdon Photo, Llanberis, Wales
Quote:
On a nice day the summit of Mount Snowdon can be as congested as Oxford Street in London. Over 350,000 people visit it per year. This is despite the fact that, at 1,085m, it is one of the highest peaks in the United Kingdom. In fact it is the highest peak in the British Isles outside Scotland.Snowdon is actually only the 57th highest mountain in the British Isles; however to find anywhere taller you have a very long trip up to the Scottish Highlands. Part of its popularity then is that it is the highest mountain in the UK that people can easily get to. The Snowdonia National Park, which lies in the north-western tip of Wales, is convenient for the Welsh holiday resorts. It li...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Mount Snowdon
Snowdonia National Park
Llanberis, Gwynedd

A Little Further South Along the Border

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Stream in the Sky"

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Photo, Llangollen, Wales
Quote:
The 206-year-old Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has the honour to being not only the longest but also the highest aqueduct in the UK. It belongs to the great 19th-century burst of investment in the national economy stimulated by the industrial revolution. Unlike classical aqueducts such as the Pont du Gard in France, Pontcysyllte’s role was not to transport water from one place to another, but rather for the water it contained to allow the transport of goods over that route instead. In the 18th century Britain gave the world the Industrial Revolution. I...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2011

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Between Trevor And Froncysyllte
Llangollen, Wales