My great British road trip has started strong with stops in some of England’s most beautiful destinations. But after a week on the road, it’s time to head to Wales. I’ve spent time in the Brecon Beacons and the south over the last few years, and I’ve been itching to explore more of the north. Now my patience is being rewarded with the discovery of 7 great places on my road trip in North Wales.

Road Trip in North Wales

Road Trip in North Wales

After traveling to the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and Chester, my boyfriend and I hop in our camper van and spend 5 days driving around North Wales. Here’s what we find.

Camper Van in North Wales

1. Denbigh

We choose Denbigh as our first stop, mostly because it’s a good place to break up the drive from Chester to Snowdonia National Park. But when we arrive we discover it’s a lot more than that. The high street is lovely, and the side street we park on is called Love Lane. Swoon. Add to that the ruins of a hilltop castle and Denbigh becomes a highlight of our time in North Wales.

Love Lane, Denbigh, Wales

2. Snowdonia National Park

But what comes next is even better. The drive from Denbigh to Snowdonia is nothing short of breathtaking. As flat ground gives way to rolling hills and mountains, the drama unfolds as the road curves.

Camper Van in North Wales

Once in Snowdonia, we spend two days doing as much outdoor exploration as we can. We’re unlucky with the weather on our first day, but it doesn’t stop us from walking around Llyn Idwal lake. The two-hour hike takes us by stunning peaks and past the Idwal Slabs, a mountaineering training area for serious climbers including Everest conqueror Edmund Hillary.

Llyn Idwal Lake

Down south, we walk in the Coed Ganllwyd National Nature Reserve. The three-hour hike takes us along the River Gamlan and past the magical Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls. Heavy rain the previous night means the water is gushing and the views are spectacular.

Rhaeadr Ddu Waterfalls

3. Penrhyn Castle

Traveling north, we leave Snowdonia for the next stop on our road trip in North Wales: Penrhyn Castle. Built in the 19th century, it’s less a fortification than a fantasy. But that’s okay with me, because it’s pretty spectacular to see a Victorian interpretation of a medieval fortress.

Penrhyn Castle

4. Anglesey

Beyond the castle lies Anglesey, an island at the edge of North Wales. We spend a night here, exploring everything we can while we’re in the area. From crescent beaches to stunning lighthouses, the island’s wild beauty and remoteness capture our hearts.

South Stack Lighthouse

5. Caernarfon

After Anglesea we head back across the Menai Strait to the fortified town of Caernarfon.

Caernarfon

The town is known for its castle, which we could spend all day exploring. But we also find a lot of pretty streets, hilltop views, and cozy pubs to enjoy while we’re here.

Caernarfon

6. Portmeirion

Driving south again, we spend two nights in one of the most hotly anticipated places to visit in North Wales—for me, anyway. The coastal village of Portmeirion is straight out of a fairy tale. Or a picture of seaside Italy. Brightly colored buildings of all styles climb the hillside, and everywhere I look I find some new detail that delights.

Portmeirion

7. Powis Castle

As if Portmeirion isn’t impressive enough, the last stop on our road trip in North Wales is Powis Castle. Perched on a hill above topiary yews and fanciful sculptures, the castle is the stuff of dreams.

Powis Castle

It’s the perfect place to end our time in North Wales, and gives us a great send-off as we continue our trip in England. I’ll be writing more about some of these places over the next week, so make sure to come back for the rest of the story.

Denbigh, Wales

In the meantime, the next stop on our great British road trip is Wiltshire. Stay tuned…

How about you? Where would you go on a road trip in North Wales?

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Road Trip in North Wales

12 comments on “Lady’s 7 Places that Will Make You Want to Take a Road Trip in North Wales”

  1. I had already picked North Wales as a future trip and knew about several of these places but you added a few I hadn’t heard of too. It looks spectacular in your photos. I’m going to need to take a months off work someday just to visit the places I most want to see on Great Britain alone, thanks to you! 🙂

  2. I love Wales! If I didn’t already have family property in Ireland, I’d gladly move to Wales and settle there. Wales has such a soft spot in my heart.

    These pictures are wonderful and that VW van makes me nostalgic for time spent in Wales and Ireland!.

  3. As a resident of North Wales I’m very happy that you enjoyed your visit and hope you will decide to return again in the future. During that visit you may be able to fully appreciate the language and culture of this wonderful part of the world as well as its undoubted scenic beauty. We have our own language, reputed to be the oldest language in Europe, and Caernarfon is the Welsh speaking capital of the world!

    Felly tan y tro nesaf, pob hwyl a iechyd da!
    So until the next time, good luck and good health!

  4. I love Wales. It has so many places that have not been spoiled. Given the choice, I would go and live there tomorrow, but work commitments mean it’s out of the question

  5. The Llyn peninsula is also a spectacular corner of North Wales. Stunning coastal views, beaches and villages. Well worth a visit.

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