WGU Insiders: Exploring North Wales
Hi! I'm Ebony - one of the WGU Insiders. I’m in my second year of studying Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management at Wrexham Glyndwr University. After organising my year 11 prom, then studying travel and tourism, business psychology and Drama at A-Levels I knew this was definitely the course for me, as it covers such a wide variety of topics.
For the last 6 years before moving to university, I've got to experience first-hand the very best that North Wales has to offer. From the incredible mountains, to the breath-taking beaches found along the entirety of the coastline. Here's my insider’s guide to exploring North Wales.
Getting around North Wales
There are a lot of ways to travel to around North Wales. To drive, the main route is typically following the A55 however if you’re a lover of a scenic drive why not try the A5 which travels through beautiful rural towns that surround Wrexham such as Llangollen and further afield to Betws-Y-Coed.
The direct train which runs from Wrexham General to Holyhead goes through most little towns and villages along the North Wales coastline. The return train to Holyhead would cost £27.00 (Holyhead is the end of the line any stops before Holyhead are slightly cheaper), however by buying a 16-25 Railcard for £30 you can save a third on all train travel.
Busses run regularly throughout the towns and villages around North Wales so make sure to get around and explore all there is to offer!
Arthur the Parson Terrier prefers to travel by Kayak at Llyn Padarn, Llanberis
The Best Beaches
The main thing I miss about living further up in North Wales in the numerous beautiful beaches. My personal favourite is, Newborough Beach (also known as Llanddwyn Beach) on Anglesey. This stunning location has easily one of the most breath-taking beaches in the area, there is also a large expanse of protected forest land which is home to local, protected red squirrels.
There are countless quiet and secluded beaches dotted across the whole of North Wales, Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr have long beaches with golden sands and stunning blue seas with views over towards Puffin Island and Beaumaris.
Further down the coast past Caernarfon, heading towards the Llŷn Peninsular, is surfers paradise, Dinas Dinlle beach. With it's large waves, this quiet location is home to a few cafes and some stunning views!
Sunset at Llanfairfechan beach
Llandudno is home to the largest pier in Wales, at an amazing 2,295ft long! This beautiful coastal town is perfect for those who enjoy a relaxed day at the seaside with countless small businesses, cafés and ice cream shops.
For those who are feeling more adventurous I would highly recommend a trip up the Great Orme. The summit can be reached by foot if you’re feeling fit, or by tram/cable car for those who love a spectacular view. If you’re up there make sure to keep an eye out for the heard of Kashmiri goats!
Other towns on my must visit list include Conwy, Betws-Y-Coed and Beaumaris, all of these little towns and villages have loads to offer!
Driving near Harlech
Walking & hiking
For those of you who, like me, love to get into a pair of walking boots and trek for hours across mountain peaks, North Wales is the place for you! At the very heart of North Wales, you have Snowdonia National Park, home to the tallest mountain in Wales. Snowdon is very popular walking spot, so if you’re looking for something a bit more secluded Cwm Idwal is perfect. This beautiful location is a National Trust walking trail, the trail follows a path around the large lake called Llyn Idwal.
Other places which are beautiful to explore include Aber Falls, Tryfan, the North Wales path via the Conwy Valley and all the mountain which lay behind my home village of Llanfairfechan, where if you’re lucky, you may spot some of the stunning local Carneddau ponies!
North Wales is a thrill seekers haven. Over the last few years Visit Wales launched their ‘find your epic’ campaign and they surely haven’t disappointed with some wonderful new adventure playgrounds being introduced, including; Zip world (Europe’s fastest and longest zip line), Bounce below (underground trampolining), Surf Snowdonia and many more!
The best advice I could give is to go and explore for yourself, you’re sure to find something you love!