For sheer variety of experiences, North Wales crams more into one small corner than any other region of Britain. I’ve tried to reflect that in this four-day motorhome or campervan tour. It begins in the Borderlands, just 1hr from our Manchester depot but you know immediately that you’re in another country, with its own pace of life, traditions, language & food.
Day 1 – Morning – Chirk Castle: The border between England and Wales has the richest concentration of castles in the world, and considering they were often built to keep us uppity Welsh in check, it’s ironic that we’ve now adopted them as beloved tourism attractions. Chirk Castle is a great example: built 700 years ago as part of Edward I’s ‘ring of steel’, it evolved into a Welsh stately home and is now in the care of the National Trust. The clipped yew hedges have something of the ‘In the Night Garden’ about them, there’s also a children’s play area and giant-sized family puzzles on the lawn.
Afternoon – Llangollen: Llangollen is barely seven miles from the border, but with a name like that, you know for sure you’re in Wales. It’s a swarthily handsome place, built on a major crossing of the River Dee, whose white waters boils picturesquely through the town centre. There are several companies that run thrilling rafting expeditions here, along with other adventure sports, wet and dry.
Day 2 – Morning – Snowdonia: Betws y Coed is Snowdonia’s main road hub, but this pretty town is much more than just a picturesque crossroads. It’s great just for mooching around, and there are good, short walks up to Llyn Elsi, or down to the Swallow Falls. Families with younger children will enjoy a trip to pretty Beddgelert, where they can seek the grave of Gelert, a legendary hound whose tragic tale is either, a) totally true, or b) totally made up by a 19th-century innkeeper to lure tourists. I’ll let you make up your mind on that one.
Afternoon – Portmeirion: Take the steam-powered Ffestiniog Railway to Minffordd, the nearest station to Portmeirion, an extraordinary Italianate fantasy village made famous by the surreally sinister 1960s TV series, The Prisoner. When the sun sets over the estuary, with the mountains looming behind, there’s really no place like it on earth.
Day 3 – Morning – Llŷn Peninsula: The Llŷn Peninsula has almost 100 miles of coastline, with dozens of beaches and coves to choose from. The south coast offers the region’s best water sports, notably at Abersoch, while the north and western coasts are wilder and more rugged. Do stop for a walk on the ‘whistling sands’ of Porth Oer, which squeak as you walk on them (it’s one of only two beaches in Europe with this special type of sand). Then head for lunch at Caernarfon, home to a magnificent castle and the Welsh Highland Railway, which steams down to Porthmadog along Snowdon’s western flanks.
Afternoon – Anglesey: Head for Llanddwyn Island, which is arguably Wales’s most romantic spot, with a lighthouse and ruined chapel dedicated to the Welsh patron saint of love. On the way, take your pick between Plas Newydd country house, Anglesey Sea Zoo and Foel Farm, before heading back up the Strait to Beaumaris, which has another castle, as well as some great shops and restaurants.
Day 4 – Conwy and Llandudno: Conwy is another classic castle with the added bonus of being set in a classic medieval walled town. It’s a chic, likeable town, with a lively River Festival every summer. Just along the coast, Great Orme is the perfect place for a family muck-around, with a tramway or cable car to the summit, and lots to do when you get there. Carry on a bit further and you reach the Welsh Mountain Zoo at Colwyn Bay, whose exotic species include snow leopards, chimpanzees, red pandas and Sumatran tigers.
Once you’ve exhausted the motorhome or campervan itinerary it’ll be time to head back to our Manchester depot.
If you’d like any information on hiring one of our motorhomes or campervans or to book one, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Campervan & Motorhome Hire Manchester.