© The National White Water Centre

Snowdonia and North Wales family holidays and breaks

Overview

Snowdonia and north Wales as a whole offer an astonishing mixture of mountains and coast, quiet getaways and seaside jollity. You can take a coastal break and stay by the sea and make a day trip to Snowdon – at 1085m the loftiest mountain in England and Wales – or you can hide away in a forest and make a dash for the beach. The scenery is superb, whether you’re looking down or looking up, and there’s a mass of options for family holidays, from lazy fun to family activity breaks.

Things to do with kids in Snowdonia and North Wales

Head to the Adventure Parc Snowdonia for its nature-inspired adventures including surfing on the world’s first inland surf lagoon, ziplining and climbing. There are glamping pods so you can stay on-site, or a new Hilton hotel and spa was in the works at the time of writing.

Take the tiny cog steam-train with open-air carriages to the top of Snowdon, though it’s not cheap and gets hugely crowded. An £8-million visitor centre and café in rugged stone crowns the peak. The train goes from the busy village of Llanberis, which has plenty of other things to do – Electric Mountain, a power station deep underground (good for older children), the National Slate Museum (free, with things for youngsters to see and climb on in a lakeside setting), lake cruises, easy meadow walks and the Llanberis Lake Railway steam train.

In Snowdonia National Park children love Sygun Copper Mine, Dolgoch waterfall (a stop on the beautiful Talyllyn Railway), and the twin, tiny train-rides inside Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Active families with kids 12+ can try Canolfan Tryweryn National Whitewater Centre near the lakeside town of Bala – 8km of foaming excitement fed by the Llyn Celyn reservoir so able to operate virtually year-round. See our white-water rafting with kids tips page. There are plenty of other activity centres in Llanberis and elsewhere, along with biking and hiking trails. For younger children, GreenWood Forest Park is an eco-world of climbing, with a human-powered rollercoaster!

The north coast is a different world, with the Victorian prom of Llandudno with its own mini-mountain attractions (tramway, copper mine) and Rhyl with its kiss-me-quick feel. Anglesey is quiet and cut off, while on the west coast you’ve got delightful little resorts such as Abersoch, Aberdovey and Barmouth.

Menai Bridge looking towards Snowdonia© VisitBritain

the Menai Bridge looking towards Snowdonia

Eat

Snowdonia and north Wales have lots of farmers’ markets selling local produce, including children’s barbie favourites such as sausages and burgers – all very good quality. On the west coast you’ll find lots of good seafood, while in Rhyl there’s endless chips and candyfloss. 

Good restaurants can be found, not least the Castell Deudraeth brasserie at Portmeirion (see Where to Stay) and the famed comfort-food café Pete’s Eats in Llanberis.

Anglesey© VisitBritain

Anglesey

When to go to Snowdonia and North Wales

Summer is the peak time to visit Snowdonia and north Wales, although you have to trade off the best weather against the traffic. The low-lying western extremities of Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula can be good options out of season.

Snowdon Mountain Railway© VisitBritain

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Cost

Though popular for family holidays, Snowdonia and north Wales is a relatively inexpensive option, especially if you choose self-catering accommodation.

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