My top 7 festive things to do in north Wales

Published: Friday 1st Dec 2017

There are so many things to do here in north Wales to keep you entertained over the festive period. Here are some of the things I have enjoyed. Make sure you double check everything is open before going but most are only closed on the bank holidays!

  1. The Italianate village of Portmeirion is magical at Christmas time with its interesting gardens and grounds to explore, quirky architecture, stunning views plus some good cafes, shops, a restaurant…and of course Santa. The very popular Food and Craft fair is held on the 1st - 3rd December.
  2. Santa is on his travels again and can be found touring the little trains of north Wales. He can be found on the Lake Railway in Llanberis, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway in Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog, at the Tal y Llyn Railway near Tywyn and at the Bala Railway. He is a busy man!
  3. There are so many stunning winter walks to be had, these three all involve cafes for that extra festive treat. Aber Falls is not to be missed (and is wheelchair/pram friendly), even more spectacular in the rain when the waterfall is at its best, and with the Old Mill Café to warm up in afterwards. A walk around the Padarn lake in Llanberis can take in several cafes should you wish, including the new Mafon café, Y Pantri in Llanberis itself, Y Caban at the end of the lake and, worth a detour, is Lodge Dinorwig up near the slate quarries.
  4. Beaumaris on Anglesey if fabulous for shopping, with many independent shops, art galleries, a fantastic jewellery shop and great places to eat. The castle is open during the winter, stroll along the beach or take a short drive to Penmon Point for crashing waves and great views.
  5. The National Trusts Bodnant Garden has beautiful winter gardens, elf craft workshops and a roaring brazier for toasting marshmallows on. Afterwards drive to Ffin y Parc gallery and café for a sophisticated afternoon lunch or tea.
  6. Caernarfon is another good place for some interesting shops and of course the Castle. Take a walk or bike ride along the Foryd nature reserve which borders the Menai Straits or follow the cycle path to Fron Goch garden centre for some award winning food and festive shopping.
  7. Finally our family tradition on Boxing Day is to go to the beach at Newborough on Anglesey, regardless of weather, to play rounder’s on the beach. This is a really popular Boxing Day venue and there’s always a great atmosphere regardless of conditions.