After the mayhem of the festive season, you might be dreaming of a change of scenery and a chance to get away from it all. With its breath-taking scenery and endless adventures to be had, North Wales is the perfect remedy for your winter blues. If you still need a little persuasion, then we have listed our top seven reasons to visit North Wales:
1. The Ultimate Playground
North Wales has gained a reputation for being the Adventure Capital of the UK with attractions like Zip World. Boasting the world’s fastest zip line, you not only soar over Penrhyn Quarry but get to take in the spectacular views of Snowdonia. Head for heights? Why not also try the giant swing at Zip World which is set 80-feet in the air overlooking Conwy Valley. With Adventure Parc Snowdonia’s Ninja Assault/Extreme Slides and Indoor Caving there’s plenty to get your adrenaline pumping. But for those who want to take things a little easier Zip World also offers a Tour of Penrhyn Quarry. Taking you to the top of the quarry at 1,500 feet above sea level, not only will you get to take in the stunning views of the Ogwen Valley, Menai Strait and Snowdonia National Park but you will get to find out about the fascinating history of this part of the World.
2. Enjoy Live Entertainment at Venue Cymru
Just a short walk from the hotel, Venue Cymru in Llandudno has some of the biggest names in music, theatre and comedy and this season is no different. From Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever to Jimmy Carr, Queen Extravaganza and The Royal Ballet the Imperial Hotel is perfectly placed to get the whole family together.
3. Culinary Delights
Take time out on your visit to relish the very best Welsh produce. Noted for its Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef as well as award winning cheeses and fresh fish our two AA Rosette awarded Chantrey’s Restaurant is a must. The seasonal menu is impressive in imagination, concept and skill and allows diners to enjoy a unique and relaxed dining experience of memorable dishes using the finest Welsh produce.
4. Explore Breathtaking Scenery
The Imperial Hotel is perfectly placed between two famous headlands, the Great Orme and the Little Orme. At a mere 350 million years old and sitting 679 feet above sea level, the Great Orme is the perfect spot to enjoy views of Anglesey, Puffin Island, the Isle of Man and the Lake District. With its fascinating geology, archaeology, wildlife and history the Great Orme has a number of protective designations including Heritage Coast and Site of Special Scientific Interest. Perfect for hiking, the Great Orme has an abundance of superb walks that take you up and around the headland, including part of the 800-mile-long Wales Coastal Path as well as the Summit, Nature and Historic Trails.
The diverse habitat of the Great Orme makes it a home to native and rare flora, over 400 different types, as well as copious wildlife which is why it’s a popular filming spot for TV programmes like BBC Countryfile. One of the most popular animals you could see on the Great Orme is the Kashmiri goats who have roamed the headland for over 200 years. They’re descended from a pair of goats presented by the Shah of Persia to Queen Victoria shortly after her coronation in 1837. They’re also the source of the regimental goat of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers who were first presented with one by Queen Victoria in 1844.
5. Explore Snowdonia by Horseback
Arguably one of the best ways to view Snowdon is by horse back and with access to miles of traffic-free bridleways which take you amongst the foothills of Snowdon, we couldn’t agree more. Snowdonia Riding Stables is situated between Snowdon and the Irish Sea and offers various activities from a one-hour introductory ride which is perfect for beginners and children, up to a full day mountain ride which takes you deeper into the mountains for those experienced riders.
6. Castle Spotting
Wales is renowned for its magnificent castles – in fact there are over 600 and 32 of those are in North Wales. King Edward I constructed or rebuilt many of these impressive fortresses in the 13th Century when he launched two military campaigns to defeat the Welsh princes and bring the country under English rule. After each campaign he built a castle to maintain a hold of the land that he’d captured and as Snowdonia was seen as the heartland of the Welsh, he surrounded it with a ring of castles. Just ten minutes from the hotel is Conwy Castle which is a must to visit. An impressive architectural feat, the castle and wall were built in just four years from 1283 to 1287. The castle is extremely well preserved and still stands as proudly as it did over 700 years ago.
6. Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Known as the National Zoo of Wales, the Welsh Mountain Zoo was established by the Jackson family in 1936. Occupying 37 acres of land overlooking Colwyn Bay and the Carneddau Mountains, the zoo has conservation at its heart and is home to over 140 species. This includes the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger, endangered Chimpanzee and vulnerable Snow Leopard as well as the Eurasian Brown Bear and California Sea Lion. The Welsh Mountain Zoo also offers various experiences including animal encounters and photography courses. At just 6 miles from The Imperial, it makes for the perfect family day out.