The Top Historic Places to Visit in North Wales
Embark on an epic holiday to North Wales that you’ll never forget. Start planning with this guide to the top historic sites you can’t miss.
Leisure homes and caravans are very popular across the UK, with over 1 million estimated to be in use by keen travelers and holiday-goers year-round.
In fact, The NCC estimates that there are 555,000 touring caravans, 365,000 static caravans, and 225,000 motorhomes across the UK.
One popular holiday location is North Wales and there's no wonder why.
North Wales is home to gorgeous sweeping beaches, idyllic countryside, tonnes of history and a wealth of wildlife. Making it the perfect destination for families and individuals alike.
If you're thinking of combining your love of beaches, countryside, history, and wildlife with caravanning, then you should consider North Wales as your next destination.
Why Holiday in North Wales?
North Wales travel is on the rise and pre covid was the most popular part of Wales to visit, with tourism boards reporting almost 30 million visitors in 2018.
Why is North Wales so popular?
Well, because there's something for everyone, no matter your tastes, hobbies or budget.
Families looking for budget-friendly holidays can stay in static caravans and spend days enjoying the beautiful beaches or countryside walks. While those seeking something a little more upmarket can find luxury lodges in North Wales in the peaceful countryside or closer to the beaches too.
If you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there's nowhere better than the beach. Some amazing beaches in North Wales include:
- Llandudno beach - West Shore beach
- Trearddur Bay
- Talacre Beach
- Colwyn Bay beach
- Harlech beach
- Llanbedrog beach
- Barmouth beach
- Llanddwyn beach
All these North Wales beaches are great spots for relaxing and soaking up the sun or taking a dip into the cool Irish sea.
City-lovers can explore the wonders of Bangor and Wrexham, which are full of history and high street shops! You can also also enjoy the smaller towns of Llandudno, Rhyl and Prestatyn where again you can find an abundance of shops, restaurants and bars.
If you manage to head over to Bangor, be sure to keep your eyes open for Bangor Cathedral and likewise Wrexham…make sure you have a ride on Wrexham's historic steam railway to unearth local villages.
North Wales is also perfect for those on the go; it has Snowdonia National Park, which is ideal for hiking and mountain biking.
You can also find a number of exciting and exhilarating sports to try in North Wales, such as jet-skiing, kayaking, or even flying through the air on Europe's longest zip wire at Zip World.
However if you're looking for some historic places to visit in North Wales, please read on.
5 Unmissable Historic Places to See in North Wales
History enthusiasts are truly spoilt for choice in North Wales.
So much so, that you’ll want to stay longer or come back sooner, just to take it all in.
These are our favourite historic places of interest that you should visit when you're in North Wales:
Greenfield Valley Heritage Site and Winefride’s Well
Located near Holywell, off the A548 coast road to Rhyl and Prestatyn, Greenfield Valley Heritage Site is a 70 acre site that comprises woodland, ruins and monuments, mills and reservoirs.
Drenched in pastimes of the Industrial Revolution, every corner is a node to it’s past.
Near the car park on the A458, you’ll see the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey. This community was inhibited by monks way back in 1132 for 400 years where they used waterpower to process wool and grind corn. In 1536 it was shut down and left for ruins.
Don’t forget to visit one of the seven wonders of Wales: St Winefride's Well while you're there. For 1000’s of years people make a pilgrimage for it’s presumed healing powers.
Moel Famau and Jubilee Tower, Mold
For amazing walks that cater for all ability and ages, make sure Moel Famau and Jubilee Tower, (located between Mold and Ruthin) is on your list of places to visit!
Meaning ‘Mother Mountain’, Moel Famau is 554 meters high and is the biggest in the Clwydian range, although not strictly a mountain (as its not high enough), this gigantic hill is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and you can understand why.
What is particularly interesting about this attraction, and why it makes it on this list, is the reward waiting for you when you reach the top!
Jubilee Tower, or what is left of it, was built in 1810 to mark the golden jubilee of George lll. However it was never finished, and what had been completed, was mostly torn down by a strong storm in 1862. What you see today are the remains of the Tower high up on the hill.
The Roman Bath House, Prestatyn
If you’re looking for a quick historic fix, then why not visit the Roman Bath House in Prestatyn.
This ancient structure dating back 2,000 years sits in the middle of a residential area now called Melyd Avenue, just off Meliden Road and sits in it’s own garden.
The site, discovered in 1984, was built of masonry and had three rooms which included a changing room with a cold plunge bath attached and two other rooms heated by a furnace.
These Roman baths provided a great place for the Romans to come and socialise in addition to cleaning and relaxing.
Small in size but definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Llangollen
Marvel at the 19-arch Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, in Llangollen. The aqueduct was built in 1805 by Thomas Telford and it stands 30 metres tall over the River Dee.
You can walk over the aqueduct and take in glorious views over the surrounding areas, or you can enjoy a boat ride along the canal.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was named a World Heritage Site in 2009. You can currently walk over and look up from underneath the aqueduct to take in the beautiful views and awe-inspiring engineering, however, due to COVID-19 you can't go in a boat along the canal.
Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I
Are you a fan of castles? Well, thank King Edward I, for the many beautiful castles that you can explore in North Wales to include Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech castle,Abergele Gwrych castle (also potential site for ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’) and Denbigh castle
You'll also find historic town walls such as the ones in Conwy and Caernarfon.
Collectively, these majestic castles and town walls have been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status and are known as the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward who led two military campaigns in Wales from 1276 to 1283.
During which time the king built and repaired many castles and town walls.
All of which you can still view today and discover more about the heroic king.
Llanddwyn Island , Anglesey
Duped as one of the most beautiful places in Wales, Llanddwyn Island is located South West of Anglesey. A medieval marvel of derelict chapels, historic lighthouses, a holy well and shrine, and a beautiful love story of the Welsh Valentine's day.
As the story goes the ruined chapel was built on the presumed location of a Celtic nunnery founded by St Dwynwen, the daughter of prince Brecon from the 5th century, whose lover ‘Maelon’ in an unfortunate event, became frozen and died.
Llanddwyn Island is now a place of pilgrimage, especially for lovers and young women who want to seek answers to their current relationship.
Accessible only by foot, head through Newborough Forest and once you reach the sandy beach, head over to the islet where you’ll see magnificent views.
The Copper Kingdom Centre, Amlwch
The Copper Kingdom Centre is located in Anglesey, in a town called Amlwch. The museum is great for families who want to learn more about Anglesey's days of being a world-leading copper producer.
Inside the museum, you'll find a range of interactive displays and activities, such as strolling along the harbour and experiencing what working life was like for the Copper Lady, Miner, Smelter, and others who worked in the mines during the 18th and 19th century.
On-site you can also grab a bite to eat or learn about how ships were built in the Sail Loft, which is a beautiful listed building.
However currently, due to COVID-19, the museum is temporarily closed.
Explore More of North Wales
Everyone knows about the amazing walks and views to enjoy in Snowdonia, but not many people know about the other incredible things to see and do in North Wales.
But with our guide, you'll never be stumped with what to do again. With so much to do and see in North Wales, isn't it time you started planning your next Welsh getaway?