For families that like the outdoors, North Wales is a gold mine. There are so many great things to do all across the region with a massive variety of attractions, great locations and fantastic activities. And the camping is brilliant. North Wales is one of the best camping destinations anywhere in the UK because there is such a lot of choice. From basic, remote sites in the mountains to big holiday parks by the sea, North Wales has it all. And, as they say, a whole lot more besides. Ready? Let’s go…
Here is our list of the very best things to do for families in North Wales.
1. Bounce Below Snowdonia
Kids love trampolines. Kids love caverns. So it was always going to be a winner opening the world’s first underground bouncing play park in a disused slate cavern, wasn’t it? It’s a wonder no one thought of this before! Bounce Below is a one-of-a-kind place, where giant nets, walkways and slides are suspended inside a gigantic underground cavern. All you have to do is play. Kids, of course, love it and the grownups will love it too. There’s also a little version for the 3 to 6 year olds called Bounce Junior, where they can explore a mini underground world on their own – all perfectly safely, of course.
2. Great Orme Mines
Staying underground now, we’re off to a mine that’s much, much older. It’s on the summit of Llandudno’s Great Orme, a spectacular limestone headland that sits to the north west of Llandudno. It’s a popular attraction in its own right, with a visitor centre, cable car and tramway linking it with the town. However, once you reach the summit, the mines are the thing to go for – if archaeology is your thing. The mines are over 4000 years old and offer a stark view of what it was like to work copper in the Bronze Age. A real step back in time!
3. Go green at Greenwood Forest Park
Enjoy the very best of outdoors with a few extra puzzles, rides and adventures thrown in for good measure. There’s a people powered rollercoaster, pedal powered moonkarts, green slides and even a family challenge to negotiate a jungle boat down the river… and it’s all brilliant fun. Oh, and did we mention the pets corner or donkey rides? Or how about the enormous indoor play barn? The theme here is green everything so it’s like a great big eco fun park, but with extra green messages thrown in. Educational, challenging, fun!
4. Dive the depths at Anglesey Sea Zoo
This is the largest aquarium in Wales. It’s home to sharks, rays, lobsters, seahorses and a whole lot more of Wales’ undersea life. You’ll find 150 species here as well as opportunities to learn about conservation, get up close and personal with a few of the aquariums’ favourite creatures during talks and feeding time displays and even to take to the water on safaris out on the open water in the company of a marine biologist guide.
5. Meet the tigers in the Welsh Mountain Zoo
Tigers, of course, aren’t native to North Wales. However you can see them at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, along with snow leopards, sea lions, penguins and red pandas. There are also birds of prey, tamarinds, alligators and even lemurs. And, of course, everyone’s favourite, the meercats. But if that’s not enough to keep the kids entertained, you could always send them off to Jungle Adventure Land where they will be able to explore the Tarzan Trail. It’s perfect for working up an appetite before lunch…
6. Be more than just a number in Portmeirion
It’s been a long time since they made the hit TV series The Prisoner in Portmeirion, but it hasn’t stopped it from drawing the crowds. There’s good reason too. Portmeirion is a beautiful ‘Italianate’ village that was begun in 1925 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis as an experiment in architecture and beauty. It clearly worked, as the village is delightfully pretty and offers everyone a chance to explore nooks and crannies, walk along the river or laze in the sun. Never mind the fact that you might bump into someone famous enjoying a day filming in one of Wales’ most picturesque settings.
7. Learn to sail in Bala
As long as the kids are 8 or over you’ll be able to have a splashing time on Bala Lake with Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre. They can take you out on the lake for a sailing taster course or down the river in a kayak or canoe on a half or full day’s course. It’d be remiss of you not to, as canoeing is North Wales’ number one adventure activity. And when you are done with that they can teach you archery or abseiling too. Never a dull moment.
8. Set your route and climb at The Boardroom
It might seem unusual going to the mountains and then climbing on a man-made climbing wall, but this is as close to the real deal as it gets. It’s warm, safe and there’s plenty of help on hand to show you the ropes (literally) and get you started on an Intro to Climbing course, a taster session or at the kids’ club. From there it’s only 8 metres to the top of the Psicobloc, a very steep and overhanging boulder wall. Don’t worry, they won’t expect you to do that straight away! It's an awesome day out.
9. Ride in comfort through Snowdonia
The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways offer visitors to North Wales the chance to enjoy train travel as it should be! The Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway, was opened in 1832 and operates 13 miles of track from the sea level town of Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, some 700 metres high up in Snowdonia. The journey takes in some of the finest scenery available anywhere. Meanwhile the sister track, The Welsh Highland Railway, which covers 325 miles between Caernarfon to Portmadog, offers some of the most comfortable carriages of any heritage railway anywhere with an at-seat buffet car service and fully licenced bar.
10. Sandcastle building on Abersoch beach
There is something about the sand at Abersoch that makes it perfect for sandcastle building. Or maybe it’s just that Abersoch beach is perfect for families. It’s a fabulous, safe beach with a sweep of golden, dune backed sands and a fantastic backdrop of colourful beach huts. Also, in case of emergencies, there are cafes nearby for top ups and mini treats for tired kids. It’s also just a short walk back to the village centre where there is always lots going on. The whole place has a surprisingly cosmopolitan atmosphere with great shopping and wining and dining nearby.
There is no denying that North Wales will get you off the sofa and out into the outdoors. With [so much to do and see it’s hardly surprising. But don’t forget that there is just as much choice when it comes to camping in North Wales. Glamp, camp or live in luxury with fantastic facilities and you’ll have a wild old time in this most beautiful corner of the British Isles.
And don't forget to check out our additional best of the best things to do in North Wales.