Attractions

The Snowdonia national park covers 823 square miles of beautiful North Wales, including mountains, coastline and lowland areas. It was the first of the three national parks of Wales to be designated in 1951.



Portmeirion Village

Portmeirion was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976. We wanted to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. For many years he had conceived of a tightly grouped coastal village on some romantic clifftop site, perhaps on an island or a remote estuary. This idea stayed with him for about 20 years until in 1925 he found the Aber Iâ estate on the Dwyryd estuary near his home. It was more or less exactly what he had been hoping for, and it was for sale - he bought if for what is said to be around £3,500. The first thing he did was change the name to Portmeirion. He did not feel Aber Iâ was approprite as it could mean 'frozen river mouth' which was not ideal for a holiday resort. The name Portmeirion comes from 'Port' to put it on the coast and 'Meirion' the correct spelling of Merioneth, the county in which is was located. Portmeirion was built in two stages, from 1925 to 1939 and then once post war building restrictions had been lifted, from 1954-76. Today Portmeirion is one of Wales' premier visitor attractions, welcoming around 250,000 visitors every year. Surrounding the village are 70 acres of exotic woodlands with miles of woodland and coastal walks. Portmeirion is open every day of the year from 9.30am to 7.30pm. >>Portmeirion

 

The Ultimate Underground Adventure

Test your nerve by journeying through a mountain via a series of exciting adventurous challenges on one of our three epic underground adventures. Try your hand at zip-lining through caverns, or climbing up a vertical shaft, boating across a lake, traverse over an abyss, scale a waterfall or abseil your way down to the deepest point in the UK! It’s Adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, pulse jumping fun, guided by the most fun, experienced and qualified instructors in the country!

>>Go Below

The Snowdonia National Park

Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people. As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.

Snowdonia attracts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy its amazing landscapes and the wealth of outdoor activities on offer. The National Park Authority’s aims are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area; promote opportunities to understand and enjoy its special qualities; and to foster the economic and social wellbeing of its communities.

>>National Park

Ffestiniog and Welsh highland trains

The Welsh Highland Railway is Snowdonia’s newest railway. Trains start a spectacular 25 mile scenic journey from beneath the castle walls at Caernarfon. The trains - hauled by the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives - climb from sea level to over 650ft on the foothills of Snowdon, before zig-zagging dramatically down the steep hillside to reach Beddgelert, nestling in the heart of the National Park, then through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. The final section of the UK's most exciting railway project – the 25 mile Welsh Highland Railway running from beneath the castle walls in Caernarfon to the historic harbour town of Porthmadog – is now open.

The WHR now links up with the world's oldest independent railway, the Ffestiniog, at Porthmadog Harbour and creates the UK's longest heritage railway by far, offering the chance to experience 40 miles of narrow gauge steam. Trains offer unprecedented comfort with luxury Pullman carriages and freshly-cooked hot food; at seat buffet service with hot and cold drinks and locally-brewed beers. Including magnificent views of Snowdon and delightful villages such as Beddgelert, the WHR crosses the full width of the Snowdonia National Park using the most comfortable narrow gauge carriages in the UK, with at-seat buffet service and on-train toilets, hauled by the world's most powerful narrow gauge locomotives. The Independent describes the railway as 'the closest any heritage railway gets to Club World standards of comfort and not to be missed', while the Sunday Times simply called it 'the sexiest ride in Britain'.

>>Ffestiniog and Welsh highland railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway

A Majestic Mountain Top Adventure

Let Snowdon Mountain Railway take you on a journey of a lifetime to the rooftop of Wales. Snowdon, at 3,560ft dominates the landscape of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Claim this mountain peak, the highest in Wales, as a lifetime’s achievement. With stunning scenery and awe-inspiring views it's all part of a great day out for you and your family in North Wales.

 

The Ultimate Underground Adventure

Test your nerve by journeying through a mountain via a series of exciting adventurous challenges on one of our three epic underground adventures. Try your hand at zip-lining through caverns, or climbing up a vertical shaft, boating across a lake, traverse over an abyss, scale a waterfall or abseil your way down to the deepest point in the UK! It’s Adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, pulse jumping fun, guided by the most fun, experienced and qualified instructors in the country!

ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN LLANBERIS

Set against a magnificent backdrop of the towering mountains and the magnificent scenery of Snowdonia, Electric Mountain is First Hydro Company's Visitor centre in Llanberis. Its split level layout contains a gift shop and café and is the starting point for the tour of Dinorwig Power Station. Admission to the visitor centre is free, there is a charge for the hour long tour of Dinorwig Power Station.

National Slate Museum

Dinorwig Quarry closed in 1969. Today – rather than fashioning wagons and forging rails – the workshops tell a very special story: the story of the Welsh slate industry. The National Slate Museum is sited in the Victorian workshops built in the shadow of Elidir mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig quarry. Here you can travel into the past of an industry and a way of life that has chiselled itself into the very being of this country.

The lottery grant made possible unique features and facilities, offering the visitor an unparalleled day out in the richly wooded lakeside landscape of the Padarn Country Park. A day full of enjoyment and education awaits in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn, and at the terminus of the Llanberis Lake Railway, one of the 'Great Little Trains of Wales', which runs along the waters port shoreline.

Castles Of Wales

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Looking for a family day out with a difference? Cadw offers a range of exciting places to explore near you. We've got some of the best castles in the world in Wales and some of the most beautiful ones too. We have abbeys, churches and chapels and some of the most atmospheric ancient monuments that visitors have been seeking out for thousands of years.

We have monuments that remind us of Wales’s proud heritage as one of the first industrial nations in the world and sites that tell the stories of the medieval Welsh princes. And now we’re joining these stories up so that you can find out more about the rich history of Wales and what makes it special and unique for all of us. We’ll keep you posted with progress.

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