We’re not at all surprised to learn that North Wales was named one of the top places in the world to visit in 2017 according to every traveller’s trusted guide, The Lonely Planet. Several new attractions no doubt caught the eye of the publisher’s experts. What’s not to love about a region steeped in history and ancient natural wonders combined with what must be the most exciting trampoline park ever, situated in an underground cavern? North Wales has developed with the times and done it with aplomb, confidently offering attractions to suit all age groups.
Age comes before beauty but the Great Orme combines both in equal measure. An unfamiliar word to most, ‘orme’ is the Norse word for ‘worm’ or ‘serpent’ and is a fitting title for this limestone headland that thrusts itself up out of the sea, flanking Llandudno and looking rather like a crocodile with its nose poking out to sea. Rising up some 207 metres there are three trails leading to the summit (of which the Haulfre Gardens Trail is the easiest). Put your best foot forward and strike out for the top, or take the original 1902 tramcar.
It’s impossible to go to North Wales and not visit the beach. One of our favourite walks and beaches is one that takes in Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn Island. Both form an extensive nature reserve with ‘the island’ proffering sand dunes and wide-open beaches peppered with ancient lighthouses and a museum tucked away in an old pilot’s cottage.
Part of North Wales’ rejuvenation happened a couple of years with the intriguing opening of ‘Surf Snowdonia’. Surfing up a mountain? Not quite. But you don’t need to be in the sea to do it. The surf is manufactured at a purpose built 300 metre outdoor lagoon. The lagoon accommodates all abilities by generating different wave heights. Those experienced surfers can take the 2m wave, intermediate, the 1 metre, and beginners can learn to ‘pop’ on the white water at the edge. For mixed ability groups and families it’s great.
Trampoline parks have enjoyed a boom in recent years. Plenty of fun for all ages across 20+ trampolines in warehouses across the UK – its big business. But surely none have been constructed on quite such a visually exciting plot as Bounce Below created by Zip World at Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog. With helmets donned, children are encouraged to climb through caves before accessing six levels of trampolines suspended at various heights in the caverns. This is not for the faint of heart, but thrill seekers will love it.
Exhausted from your exploration of the area, your North Wales cottage will be a peaceful haven of tranquillity and a perfect way to relax before your next adventure begins!