Snowdonia National Park
The Snowdonia National Park boasts vast areas of natural beauty and unique scenery. It is known as Eryri by Welsh a name that can be translated as “the place of the eagles”. The park which covers 838 square miles is one of the three natural parks found in Wales and the oldest one being designated as one in 1951.
Portmeirion and Porthmadog
Clough Williams-Ellis built Portmeirion from 1925 to 1975 on a peninsula off the coast of Snowdonia, to show how “the development of a naturally beautiful site need not lead to its defilement”. He fought for “Beauty - that strange necessity”. The gardens in and around the Italianate village of Portmeirion have been cultivated since Victorian times. Porthmadog, a harbour town situated on the Glaslyn Estuary, is rich in maritime history and has a number of craft shops, tea-rooms and restaurants.
Conwy & Beaumaris
Conwy is a true one-off. Well-preserved ancient walls, the most intact in Europe, enclose a town of narrow cobbled streets, nooks and crannies chock-full of historic buildings. And that’s just the half of it. The walls radiate out from a gritty, dark-stoned castle that, even after all these years, still preserves an authentic medieval atmosphere – and still has the power to dominate and intimidate. Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site, was a key part of the ‘iron ring’ of fortresses built around Snowdonia in the 13th century by Edward I to contain the Welsh.
Beaumaris is a captivating seaside town on the island of Anglesey, featuring a mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Its name is based on the Norman ‘beau marais’, meaning ‘fair marsh’, a description of the site chosen by Edward 1 for the last of his ‘Iron ring’ of castles, constructed in his bid to control the Welsh. The charming streets with their picturesque cottages, many painted in soft pastel colours. Beaumaris Castle is a United Nations World Heritage site andalso not to be missed.