Historic Sites & Gardens in North Wales
In a nutshell. Ancient stones, green spaces.
How do you like your history? Mysterious and hidden? Or monumental and mighty? We have it all, from atmospheric stone circles created by prehistoric man to world-class medieval castles.
You’ll have to search out the former – but that’s half the fun. Start off on the lonely moors of Mynydd Hiraethog and follow the Archaeological Trail from the shores of Llyn Brenig, which reveals hidden sites like a Stone Age camp and Bronze Age burial chamber.
Llandudno’s Great Orme headland is spectacular below as well as above ground. Archaeologists have unearthed what is possibly the world’s largest prehistoric copper mine – prepare to be amazed on the underground tour. Llandudno itself is another revelation. It’s picture perfect in the way it faithfully conjures up the architecture and ambience of the Victorian era.
Iron Age and Celtic forts crown many a hilltop. Also prominent in the landscape are castles, something of a local speciality. They range from sturdy mountain strongholds like Dolwyddelan to the soaring World Heritage Site of Conwy Castle.
Conwy gives you even more than you bargained for. The castle is just the start of an epic historic tale that includes a ring of well-preserved town walls and Middle Age gems like Aberconwy House and Plas Mawr – not forgetting Thomas Telford’s magnificent castellated Suspension Bridge.
Down the valley at Llanrwst there’s a very different kind of castle. Gwydir Castle is a fine – and rare – example of a Tudor house, rich in period atmosphere and complete with resident ghost (and peacocks).
Gwydir’s gardens are another highlight. We’re famous for our abundant green spaces – no more so than at Bodnant Garden, the National Trust showpiece that combines immaculate formal areas with wild woodland. The nearby Conwy Water Gardens and quirky Conwy Valley Maze are also worth a visit. And Llandudno cements its reputation as a proper, fully fledged seaside resort with its lovely Happy Valley, winner of the prestigious Green Flag Award. Another floral star is Colwyn Bay, winner for an impressive 11 years in a row of the Wales in Bloom Award.