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all the must-see historical attractions in north wales

  • places to visit
July 1, 2018

North Wales is teeming with historical sites just waiting to be explored, from sticking slate mines and picturesque stately gardens to endless castles. With 4 unique locations to choose from, Darwin Escapes will have the perfect destination for you to explore the beautiful and historic North Wales region.

Note: settle in with a cuppa for this post, you’ll get sucked in reading all about these 13 historical attractions

conwy castle

Where: LL32 8AY / Open: 9.30am – 5pm / Prices: Adult £9.50. Child £5.70

Built by King Edward I between 1283 – 1289, Conwy Castle is a stunning Medieval fortification along the North Wales Coastline. It has been classed as a World Heritage Site and has been described as the “finest examples of late 13th Century military architecture in Europe” by UNESCO. Conwy Castle is truly a breath-taking castle to stroll through with beautiful views across the town and picturesque marina.

caernarfon castle

Where: LL55 2AY / Open: 9.30am – 5pm / Prices: Adult £9.50. Child £5.70

Another beautiful World Heritage Site along the North Wales Coastline, this impressive castle would have made any enemies of King Edward I think twice. The first English Prince of Wales was actually born at the castle in 1284, helping King Edward stamp his supremacy on the native rebellion. In 1969, Prince Charles’s investiture was held in this historic and picturesque castle.

bodnant gardens

Where: LL28 5RE / Open: 9am – 4.30pm / Prices: Adult £14.60. Child £7.30

In 1792 Colonel Forbes built a beautiful Italianate mansion and developed the surrounding parkland, it was then passed on to William Hamer in 1820 who added to the current Old Mill and extended the upper garden. In 1874, Victorian industrialist Henry Davis Pochin bought Bodnant at auction and, with the help of his head gardener Edward Milner, shaped the gardens to the stunning state they are in today.

llechwedd slate caverns

Where: LL41 3NB / Open: 9am – 5.30pm / Prices vary on tour choice

Learn all about the fascinating hidden slate story buried deep beneath the Snowdonia Mountain Range. You’ll explore a fabulous way of life which paved the way for generations of North Wales families, with over 17,000 men employed by the Welsh slate industry. There are 3 tours to choose from, explore the far reaches and rich history on the Quarry Explorer Tour, or learn about the impressive skill of the Llechwedd Story, or you can go along on the thrilling and emotional journey of the Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour.

smallest house in great britain

Where: LL32 8BE / Open: 10am – 4pm / Prices: Adult £1. Child 50p

Built in the 16th Century, this tiny dwelling is only 72 inches wide and 122 inches high. It was occupied as a home until May of 1900, which was by a local 6foot 3inch fisherman! Although small, the house is very practical with room for a bed and fire, and it really is a must-see when you visit North Wales.

bodelwyddan castle

Where: LL18 5YA / Open: 10.30am – 5pm / Prices: Adult £16. Child £9.50

Bodelwyddan Castle is older than it appears, with timber samples in the attic dating back to the 15th Century, it is beautifully preserved museum where you’ll hear many interesting tales about various owners and the grounds. Owned by the Williams family in 1690, the house became hugely extravagant, but it was then scaled back and was eventually requisitioned by the army during World War I for training and a recuperation hospital.

great orme mines

Where: LL30 2XG / Open: 9:30am – 4:30pm / Prices: Adult £7. Child £5

The Great Orme Copper Mines were discovered in 1987 and date as far back as 4000 years to the Bronze Age! Over the last 30 years archaeologists have been excavating a network of tunnels and larger caverns, revealing what is thought to be the largest Prehistoric mine discovered in the world. The self-guided tour takes around 45 minutes and you’ll get the chance to explore one of the most outstanding archaeological discoveries in recent years.

penrhyn castle

Where: LL57 4HT / Open: 12noon – 5pm / Prices: Adult £13.50. Child £6.75

Built between 1820 and 1833 by famous architect Thomas Hopper, Penrhyn Castle is known for its unique neo-Norman style. Hopper was very hands-on as an architect and even made sure the interior furniture would suit the design of the castle, using local Welsh craftsmen to create many of the pieces.

plas cadnant hidden gardens

Where: LL59 5NH / Open: 12noon – 5pm / Prices: Adult £7.50. Child £2

This one requires a bit of travel, but you won’t be disappointed in the beautiful hidden gardens on the Isle of Anglesey. Known as the best kept secret garden in North Wales, the gardens began life in 1804, with the picturesque walled garden being used as the kitchen gardens for John Price’s grand Georgian house. The on-going restoration work has discovered an upper woodland garden and a picturesque, secret valley garden with a river and 3 waterfalls.

st winefride’s well

Where: CH8 7PN / Open: 10am – 4pm / Prices: Adults £1. Child 40p

A pilgrimage to St Winefride’s Well has taken place for over 1,300 years, visiting the site where St Winefride was brought back to life. Around the year 630AD, Caradoc who was a chieftain from Hawarden, tried to seduce Winefride, she then fled to the church where Caradoc cut off her head. Her uncle, St Beuno, came from the church and placed her head back on her body and prayed over her body, St Winefride was resurrected with a thin white scar as a reminder of the miracle. A spring of water erupted from the ground where her head fell to the ground, and to this day people visit in hopes of healing health ailments and swim in the spring water.

flint castle

Where: CH6 5PF / Open: 10am – 4pm / Free

Famously featuring in Shakespere’s Richard II, Flint Castle is a striking ruin along the North Wales Coastline. The first castle to be constructed in King Edward’s ‘Iron Ring’ across North Wales was built in 1277. With a unique design of a solitary ‘Donjon’ tower, Flint Castle is steeped in history as the place where Richard II met his cousin, and rival to the throne, Henry Bolingbroke, who later became King Henry IV.

plas newydd – ladies of llangollen

Where: LL20 8AW / Open: 10.30am – 5pm / Prices: Adult £6. Child £5

Miss Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler captured the Regency imagination by shunning society norms and living together in this beautiful Welsh cottage. Over the years they put their personal stamp on the little cottage, transforming it into a Gothic fantasy of expertly carved oak and picturesque stained glass windows. Explore the cottage and gardens while discovering everything about these two wonderfully interesting ladies, and their many famous guests.

plas newydd – anglesey

Where: LL61 6DQ / Open: 10.30am – 5pm / Prices: Adult £12.76 Child £6.38

A beautiful house and grounds with a rich history, including being built by Henry William, the 1st Marquess of Anglesey. Henry William is best known for playing a key role in the historic Battle of Waterloo, when he returned he was renowned in the country as a hero, he lost his leg in the battle and was the first person to have a fully articulated leg replacement. The house has had many lives, previously being a Victorian ‘party house’ due to the 5th Marquess’ extravagant behaviour, but it is now known as a wonderful family home with a colourful history.

With so much history all across the North Wales region and more being discovered every day, it’s easy to see why it has been such a popular holiday destination for centuries. Why not book your holiday to North Wales with Darwin Escapes today?

Take your time and go at your own pace to explore all that North Wales has to offer when you own your own holiday home with Darwin Escapes. We offer holiday home ownership at all our North Wales locations, so why not call our dedicated Ownership Team on 01745 858010 or talk to an advisor via our Live Chat service for more information about ownership in North Wales.

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