Culture, Heritage and Sightseeing across North Wales
North Wales offers sweeping mountains, breathtaking scenery and a fabulous coastline, not to mention its unique cultural heritage, and right on our doorstep you will find castles, famous gardens and a world heritage site so a holiday at The Imperial provides a truly memorable experience.
Only a 12 minute drive from Llandudno is Conwy, a World Heritage Site.
This charming walled town on North Wales’ rustic coastline boasts the medieval Conwy Castle, and a ring of well-preserved town walls which are over three-quarters of a mile long and guarded by no less than 22 towers, making them one of the finest in the world.
Conwy Suspension Bridge and Toll House is adjacent to Conwy Castle. Designed and built by Thomas Telford, this elegant suspension bridge was completed in 1826 and the restored Toll House is furnished as it would have been a century ago.
The medieval Conwy Castle has the rare ability to evoke an authentic medieval atmosphere. It was constructed by the English monarch Edward I between 1283 and 1289 as one of his key North Wales fortresses. Soaring curtain walls and eight huge round towers give the castle an intimidating presence undimmed by the passage of time. The views from the battlements are breathtaking, looking out across mountains and sea and down to the roofless shell of the castle's 125ft Great Hall.
Did you know there are 32 castles in North Wales, so once you've visited Conwy Castle if you'd like to visit some more you'll find details of them all on our blog.
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Plas Mawr & Great Britain's Smallest House
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Anglesey is Wales' largest island. It has 125 miles of spectacular coastline within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is connected to the North Wales coast by two bridges which are a feat of engineering – the Menai Suspension Bridge was designed by Thomas Telford in 1826 and Britannia Bridge, which was built by Robert Stephenson in 1850. Visitors will also find a wealth of history and heritage including the village with the longest name in Europe - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch, Llanddwyn Island which is the home of St Dwywen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and South Stack, one of Wales' most spectacular lighthouses.
Beaumaris is a pretty town on the South East Coast of Anglesey. Its Castle was the last to be built by King Edward I but unlike all the others it was never completed yet it is still rated as being technically perfect. The Gaol provides a fascinating insight into the world of the prisoner during the 1800s and we recommend taking a Puffin Island Cruise to discover as many as 12 species of sea birds and basking seals in their natural habitat while enjoying one of the finest views of the North Wales coastline overlooked by the stunning mountainous backdrop of Snowdonia. Beaumaris is only a 45 minute drive.
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Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways are two unique narrow gauge railways offering some of the most picturesque and spectacular scenery anywhere in Britain, and a unique way to experience the beauty of the Snowdonia National Park.
The Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway takes you on a 13½ mile journey from the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour in Porthmadog. The historic train clings to the side of the mountain or tunnels through it, round horseshoe bends (even a complete spiral), past lakes and waterfalls, through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, before heading down from the mountains to almost sea level at Porthmadog.
The driving time is only 50 minutes to Blaenau Ffestiniog and an hour to Porthmadog.
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Welsh Highland Railway
The Welsh Highland Railway takes you from Porthmadog on an exciting and spectacular 25 mile scenic journey to beneath the castle walls of Caernarfon. The trains hauled by the world’s most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives leave Porthmadog going through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass, zig-zagging dramatically up the steep hillside to reach Beddgelert, nestling in the heart of the National Park, before descending from over 650ft on the foothills of Snowdon down to sea level at Caernarfon.
The driving time is only 40 minutes to Caernarfon and an hour to Porthmadog.
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Snowdonia National Park
No visit to North Wales is complete without a visit to Snowdonia National Park. Just a 20 minute drive from the hotel and you’re in the heart of the Park which offers mile upon mile of breathtaking scenery and a network of walking trails to suit all abilities.
Take a drive through the winding roads stopping at the viewing points to truly enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the beautiful mountainous terrain and unbelievable scenery. Whether you prefer to tour by car, bicycle, foot or train, the National Park has a view for everyone.
Whether you’re a walker or not, a trip up Snowdon is a right of passage. Wales’ largest mountain stands at 3,560ft and the journey through the winding roads immerses you in the heart of the breathtaking mountainous terrain. To scale the summit you have a choice of going by foot on the many routes from the easy to the strenuous Pyg and Miner's tracks or taking the Snowdon Mountain Railway. You'll be rewarded for your endeavours with breathtaking views from the summit to as far as the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
The Snowdon Mountain Railway is Britain’s highest Rack Railway offering return trips to the summit during the summer. The train departs from Llanberis which is about a 40 minute drive from Llandudno.
Caernarfon Castle was built by King Edward I in the 1280s to boldly impress and intimidate, striking a hammerblow into the hearts of any locals who dared question his authority. The main King’s Gate was designed to be defended by a drawbridge and no less than six portcullisses, plus arrow loops, spy holes and murder holes, through which deadly substances and objects could be hurled down onto attackers.
In 1969, the investiture of the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles took place at Caernarfon Castle and the highly collectable "Investiture Chair" resides at The Imperial Hotel. The castle is only a 40 minute drive away.
Guided Tours and Walks
Celticos will show you the hidden secrets of North Wales with its guided themed and nature walks around the Conwy Valley, Snowdonia and Anglesey.
Experience foraging, the natural world, creative art & hobbies and so much more with Celticos. Guided minibus tours also available.
Visit www.celticos.com or call 02920 676748 for more details.
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