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Things to do
Wales offers something for everyone be it beaches, mountains, museums or markets
Aberdovey (7 miles away) is home to the famous Aberdovey Golf Club of which my Great Great Grandfather was a founding member. Now over 100 years old, it is one of the best links courses in the UK and no golfer ever tires of playing there. The green of the par 3 12th hole is pictured on the right; it overlooks the spectacular Aberdovey beach – 5 miles of golden sand and dunes.
Aberdovey is also home to the Dovey Yacht Club where many sailors learn the art of handling boats in tidal water.
Wales is famous for its castles, both English and Welsh. It has, I believe, more castles per square mile than any other country in the world. The English castles were built mostly by Edward I as his “Ring of Stone” to subdue the troublesome.
Two of these castles are close. The closest is Castell-y-Bere only five miles from the house, but this was knocked down by Edward I and little remains. The castle pictured opposite is Harlech Castle and although further away is in much better shape and was garrisoned as recently as the English Civil War.
These castles represent the pinnacle of Medieval castle building and were built at huge expense by craftsmen from all over Europe in the 13th Century. You can see more castles here.
Adrenalin activities - Thrills and Spills in Wales!
Wales is well known for its activity holidays like climbing, walking, sailing, cycling and golf. But did you know about the really exciting new activities that have been developed for those people that require a bit more of the thrill? Here are 6 of the best!
Bounce Below is set within an historic disused slate cavern, installed with massive bouncy nets to jump around in – completely unlike anything seen before. These huge nets are like vast trampolines, hung within two ginormous chambers at varying levels and linked together by walkways and slides. The biggest of which is a 60 foot slide. To add to the experience, the cavern is lit up with a brilliant light display that illuminates the cavern with vibrant colours showing off the remains of the Victorian slate mine. Open all year!
Zip World Titan is situated near the historic slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog at the world famous underground Slate Caverns. Zip line riders fly high over moor, mountain and mine. The experience lasts approximately 2 hours and riders are supplied with all safety equipment and kitted up by a trained instructor before being taken by vehicle to the start of the first zip line – the longest of three. There are over 8km of cable and participants descend each zip line in unison in teams of four.
Bear Grylls Survival Academy run half day survival courses on the stunning Lleyn Peninsula here in North Wales. It is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in over 30 acres of prime forest with undulating and difficult terrain. There are many challenging features here including steep ascents, water, thick and dense forest.
The National White Water Centre is based on the River Tryweryn in the heart of Snowdonia. As a centre of excellence for paddlesport, it is known as the home of white water rafting and kayaking. Although the Tryweryn is a truly wild mountain river, water levels are dam-controlled so it’s rapids still thunder in the summer. Unlike any other UK venue, on the Tryweryn you can enjoy the best of both worlds with fantastic water conditions in a beautiful, natural environment.
Rib Rides is (probably!) Wales’ best adventure boat tour company. Based in Anglesey, they offer a variety of different adventure boat tours, from Castles and Islands, Puffin and Seals, Around Anglesey Adventure, Bridges and Swellies, Sea Cliffs and Sea Birds, and a Bear Grylls Rib Ride.
Or for land lubbers, try Coed y Brenin, the original mountain biking centre where it all began. From retro, rocky, classics to modern contemporary trails, there are rides to satisfy first timers to seasoned pros!
Places to visit
Listings under nearest town or village, in alphabetical order, with approximate distances
- Beaches, excellent beaches
- Golf, 18 hole course tel 01654 767210
- For more info, take a look at the Aberdyfi (or Aberdovey) website.
- Bala Lake Railway, 4.5 mile lakeside ride, tel 01678 540666
- Golf, Bala Lake Hotel, 9 hole course tel 01678 520359
- Bala Golf Club, 18 hole course
- Glassblobbery, glass blowing and gallery, 9 miles north of Bala tel 01490 460440
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01678 521222
- Adventure and Watersport Centre, at Bala Lake, tel 01678 521059
- Bangor Museum and Art Gallery, town centre location, disabled access, tel 01248 353368
- Penrhyn Castle,Neo-Norman fantasy built 1840, tel 01248 353084
- Golf, St Deniniol Golf Club, tel 01248 353098
- Golf, Treborth Driving Range, tel 01248 371170
- GreenWood Centre, 17 acrea woodland/garden/activities, situated mid-way between Bangor and Caernarfon on B4366 at Y Felinheli, tel 01248 671493
- Beaches, excellent beaches
- Leisure Center call for details, tel 01341 280111
- Beics Beddgelert, bike hire, tel 01766 890434
- Woodcraft Gallery, clocks, barometers, exhibitions tel 01766 890586
- Sygun Copper Mine, award winning underground tour, tel 01766 510100.
- Walking, good choice of routes
- Bike Hire, Marin mountain bikes from Beics Betws, tel 01690 710766
- Golf,Betws y Coed Golf Club, 9 hole tel 01690 710556
- Eating, wide choice of venue and cuisine
- Railway Conwy Valley Railway, for details, tel 01690 710568
- Swallow Falls, visit the waterfalls
- Shopping, excellent gift items
- Penmachno Woollen Mill, south of the town, tel 01690 710545
- Trefriw Wells Spa, situated on B5106 to Conwy, open all year, self guided tour,tearooms, shop; tel 01492 640057
- Trefriw Woollen Mills, also situated on B5106 to Conwy, weaving, spinning, shop, cafe, tel 01492 640462
- Motor Museum, at Royal Oak Farm, tel 01690 710760
- Power Station for tour details, tel 01766 830465
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01766 831953
- Mountain Railway 13 mile journey to Porthmadog, tel01766 512340
- Caernarfon Castle, explore the 13th century castle, tel 01286 677617 open all year
- Brynbras Castle,at Llanrug, tel 01286 870210
- Flying, scenic flights from Caernarfon Airworld, tel 01286 830800
- Golf,Caernarfon Golf Club, tel 01286 678359
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01286 676451
- Gwynedd Archives, Cyngor Sir Gwynedd, tel 01286 679089
- Cym Pottery, at Trefor, tel 01286 660545
- Inigo Jones slate workshops, craftsmen at work, tour, exhibition, shop, tel 01286 830242
- Oriel Pendeitsh, exhibition/gallery, opposite Castle entrance, tel 01286 676451
- Plas Menai National Watersport Centre, instructors, equipment, en-suite rooms, tel 01286 670964
- Snowdonia Riding Stables, at Waunfawr, tel 01286 650342
- Butterfly Jungle call for details, tel 01492 593149
- Conway Castle, World Heritage Site, open year round tel 01492 592358
- Academy of Art, the Royal Cambrian on Crown Lane, tel 01492 593413
- Plas Mawr, superb Elizabethan town house, tel 01492 580167
- Bodnant Garden, 80 acre gardens open March-Oct, tel 01492 650460
- Fishing, at Tyddyn Mawr Trout Farm, tel 01492 650302
- Golf, Conwy Golf Club, tel 01492 593400
- Golf, 9 hole, Old Conwy Golf Club, tel 01492 515581
- Zoo, Welsh Mountain Zoo, endangered species, reptile house, chimps and more, located at Colwyn Bay on B5113, tel 01492 532938
- Meirion Mill,specialist woollen retailer, tel 01650 531311
- Dolgellau Golf Club, 9/18 hole course, pay and play, memberships available tel 01341 422603
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01341 423579
- Museum, Quaker Heritage Centre and Tourist Information, free admission, tel 01341 424442
- Cymer Abbey, ruins near Dolgellau, tel 01341 422854
- Bryn Melyn,Studio, Gallery Pottery, at Llanelltyd, tel 01341 440651
- Abergwynant Farm award winning riding centre, tel 01341 422377
- Beaches, (less busy) beaches
- Golf, 9 hole course
- Railway, Steam Railway since 1895, tel 01341 250362
- Harlech Pottery, and White Room Gallery, Located off High Street in Upper Harlech, tel 01341 247397
- Golf, Royal St Davids, 18 hole course tel 01766780361
- Leisure Center, call for details, tel 01766 780576
- Lake Railway, narrow gauge steam, along lakeshore, tel 01286 870549
- Honey Farm, at Stryd Fawr, tel 01286 870218
- Welsh Slate Museum, industrial and social history from the 1860’s to the present day.
- Mountain Railway, train service to top of Snowdon, tel 01286 870223
- Paragliding, experienced instructors at Snowdonia Paragliding School tel 01248 602103
- Lakes and Walks, good scenery and waterside activities.
- Electric Mountain, hydro electric tour inside a mountain, tel 01286 870636, Email: email@example.com
- Art Centre, Y Tabernacle, free gallery, tel 01654 703355
- Centre for Alternative Technology, A 7 acre site exploring better ways of living, hands on exhibits, wind and solar energy, gardens, cafe, shop, tel 01654 702400, open all year.
- Corris Craft Centre, workshops/exhibitions/cafe/gifts, located 6 miles north of Machynlleth on A487, tel 01654 761437
- King Arthur’s Labyrinth, underground tour, located at Corris Craft centre
- Senedd-Dy-Owain, Parliament House, tel 01654 702827
- Celtica, exhibition centre/cafe/gifts, tel 01654 702702
- Felin Crewi Watermill, at Penegoes, tel 01654 703113
- Golf, Machynlleth Golf Club, 9 hole, tel 01654 702000
- Leisure Centre
- Dovey Valley Activity Centre, clay shooting and quad bikes, tel 01650 511252
- Walking, excellent views from Mawddach trail
- Biking, as above, Bike hire available in Dolgellau
- RSPB bird reserve and visitor centre
- Gallery, Rob Pierce’s mountain paintings, Snowdon Street, tel 01766 513833
- Motor Museum, tel 01766 713618
- Snowdon Mill, Art and Craft Centre, working pottery, exhibition centre/cafe/gifts, tel 01766512137, email: snowdon.mill @ bt internet.com
- Golf, 18 hole, tel (clubhouse) 01766 512037
- Golf, driving range, tel 01766 514499
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01766 512711
- Mountain Railway 13 mile journey to Blaenau Ffestiniog, tel 01766 512340
- Railway short steam ride, footplate passes, tel 01766 513402
- Portmeirion, architectural gem, with restaurant and shops, south of Porthmadog, tel 01766 770000
- Mountain Railway, train service to top of Snowdon, tel 01286 870223
- Walking, many routes to the top, and surrounding area, buy an Ordance Survey map.
- Cafe, mountain top refreshment at the summit.
- Cruise, on the lake, beautiful views, tel 01766 540375.
- Power Station, free tour of Magnox Nuclear Power Station. Open March/October, or by appointment, tel 01766 540622.
- Beaches, good beaches,
- Halo Foods, factory shop for ice cream, tel 01654 711171
- Fishing, on Talyllyn Lake, call Tynycornel Hotel, tel 01654 782282
- Tywyn Pottery, unit 8, Pendre Ind Est, tel 01654 711905
- Leisure Centre call for details, tel 01654 711763
- Railway, Talyllyn Steam Railway opened 1865, tel 01654 710472
- Walking, various trails and views
- Biking, bike hire available
- Boating, boats and canoes for hire
- Birdwatching, RSPB hides around lake, for all above activities, tel 01691 870278