Wales’ north coast is a collection of long sandy beaches, seaside resorts, windswept headlands and historic towns.
Backed by the hills of Great and Little Orme and retaining much of its Victorian charm from its heyday in the eighteenth century, Llandudno remains a good spot for some seaside fun. The town is a pleasant mixture of endearingly tacky, traditional seaside attractions – fairground rides, candyfloss, deck chairs – some good beaches and an increasing number of upmarket shops and restaurants.
Further west, with a backdrop of the mountains of Snowdonia, the delightful town of Conwy is framed by its incredibly intact thirteenth century town walls. At the eastern corner of the walls, grand, menacing Conwy Castle stands proudly on the banks of the River Conwy. The town centre is a lovely jumble of medieval and Victorian architecture.
The Llyn peninsula, jutting out into the Irish sea, is Wales’ most westerly point. Its main draw is its beaches along the cliff-lined coast. The major settlements are at the eastern end of the Peninsula: beautifully situated Porthmadog is the starting point for two stunning steam railway trips on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway lines as well as the gateway to the hard-to-believe Italiante village of Portmeirion; Caernarfon , on the banks of the Menai Straight, is home to the most impressive castle in Edward I’s ‘Iron Ring’ (others are nearby).
Across the Menai Straight, the rural island of Anglesey offers excellent coastline and sealife, and some interesting heritage sites, among them the unusual Beaumaris Castle and several prehistoric monuments. This is also the jumping off point for ferries to Ireland.
Image© VisitBritain / Lee Beel