Caernarfon, North Wales:
Like all of Wales, the north has no limits to what you can do and see on your stay there whether it be only one night or a whole week. If you are lucky enough to be heading this way then let me tell you some of the best places to go and where to go for some truly one of a kind adventures.
What to do:
This castle is at the heart of the story of Britain, surviving centuries of attempted rebellions, wars and becoming the birthplace of the very first prince of wales. This Castle was built 740 years ago in 1282 by the infamous King Edward 1st signifying the English occupation of Wales, something no King had been able to do in over 200 years. Despite the many centuries that have passed since this impressive fortice was built, it still looks just as imposing and you yourself can walk along the same corridors, winding staircases and ascending towers as the many English Kings and Queens from times past long ago. This Castle was so well built that even when the Welsh rebels joined forces with the French army in 1403, the mere 28 men guarding the castle were able to defend the castle easily with very little damage. It’s very easy to wander around this historic monument and get lost in the history that is concealed, imagining what it was like all those hundreds of years ago.
Crazy Climbing- Beacon centre:
We all know wales’ reputation of being rainy, in fact, the first time I passed the welcome to Wales sign the temperature dropped 12 degrees and it started raining! Don’t let the rain put you off from visiting, there’s so many indoor activities that will be just as fun to do. Crazy climbing was one of my favourite activities. For you parents, you can grab a bite to eat with a coffee and watch your little ones excite themselves with these one of a kind climbing walls which are themed to be crazy and provide so much fun. I promise your children will love it. Beacon climbing also provides massive, standard climbing walls for those who wish to challenge themselves to learn how to climb rocks plus the added fun of abseiling down again.
The Great Orme is a headland that is actually a massive chunk of limestone that rises 207m/679ft straight out of the sea earning it its name which was given by the vikings and mean ‘sea monster’ . it is rich in both natural and man made history and is believed to be 350 million years old! This is a great place to go to see some truly rare wildlife with species like the silver-studded blue butterfly being unique to the area as well as that You will have no problem spotting the famous wild Kashmir goats with their shaggy white coats and fearsome horns. Also at the Orme is the ancient, and worlds largest, bronze age mine. Whilst walking amongst the fields of heather at the top of the Orme, I even came across a fossil. There is so much to explore in this area of the country. Although not at Caernarfon town, 30 miles away, this makes for a fantastic day trip and the 45 minute drive is one that won’t be boring with panoramic scenic vows of the wild countryside.
Tree top adventures:
Come and climb to the very top of the trees and compleet the high levels adventure course including zip lines, obstacle courses and a final 106ft jump at the end at tree top adventures near the village of Betws-Y-Coed. This thrilling adventure will be one you never forget and is far from the only excursion they offer with other activities such as the giant swing on offer, there is something for everyone and the perfect recipe for a wonderful day. Challenge your fear of heights and go for it, you don’t have to do any of the activities you don’t want to do however the sense of achievement you get when you touch the ground for the first time afterwards makes you feel like a whole new person.
Much like tree top adventures, zip world offers you adrenaline based adventures with a massive zip line covering 1555 meters as you soar over the Penrhyn Quarry, reaching speeds of over 100 mph making it the fastest zip line in the world. Remember to take in the breathtaking views and enjoy the freedom of flight. In direct contrast to flying over the valley, you can venture down into their underground cavern which has been transformed into a trampoline park! Unleash Your inner thrill sleeker and jump your way through this disguised mine for a unique experience. Alternatively, you can always take their cavern experience where you traverse your way through the slate mine on an underground obstacle course. Do you dare venture below?
Where to stay?
Hafoty farm cottages:
Stay in a converted farm cottage removed just far enough away from town to provide a tranquil retreat in the countryside but only a 5 minute drive from Caernarfon town itself, with the garden views overlooking the Castle in the distance. These cottages have been my home for all the times I have been to Wales and I have loved staying there with your own outside space capturing the last moments of the sunlight before it sinks below the horizon and a spacious, clean interior making the perfect home away from home. It’s a picturesque place with the lovely farmhouse cottage containing all the essentials you will need on your holiday as well as brochures of things to do to read on your first evening.
Where to eat:
Wow. well what can i say, the amount of amazing food i ate on my travels to wales was incredible! The food was second to none. Here is a list of my favourite eateries in North Wales:
Black boy inn- Caernarfon:
Being built in 1522 makes this one of the oldest pubs in north Wales and everyone knows you can’t visit the U.K without trying one of the old pubs. This pub also offers accommodation but even if you decide not to stay here, it’s definitely worth a visit to try there many delicious dishes. In fact, This pub is where royalists used to secretly meet during the English civil war which is thought to be the origins of its name as it refers to a nickname given to Charles II by his mother.
Scoops – Caernarfon:
This is a family run artisan ice cream and dutch pancake parlour in the midst of Caernarfon town. It’s the perfect place to go for a delicious snack and what many quote to be the best coffee in Caernarfon. The first time that I went there was to shelter from a cloud burst and greeting us with warm blankets, hot cocoa and fresh warm pancakes was Scoops. The lovely atmosphere of this parlour entices you to want to go back time and time again.
Although this one is in Conwy, it definitely deserves a mention here. This family run ice cream parlour has been delighting locals and tourists with the best ice cream since 1952 in the enchanting castle town of Conwy, about an hour’s drive from Caenarfon. With so many flavours it’s hard to pick one! Well, good thing you don’t have to. Parisellas offers a unique torch cone which allows you to have up to 12 scoops of ice cream at one time! You can follow that up with one of their fresh crepes as well if you can handle the sugar.