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25 brilliant family days out in Anglesey and North Wales

Come rain or shine, there are so many brilliant ideas for family days out in Anglesey and North Wales, to suit all ages and budgets. From the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park to the rolling landscapes of the Llyn Peninsula and the ever-popular holiday island of Anglesey; there is an incredible array of tourist attractions, hidden beaches and accessible walks waiting to be discovered.

Jenny
September 10, 2021

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It's just a short hop over the Menai Straits to Anglesey

Whether you are staying on the mainland or taking the short hop over the Menai Straits to Anglesey; North Wales generally has fantastic transport links including an excellent public bus service and mainline train network allowing even those without a car, the opportunity to discover many of the top attractions that this area has to offer. With the UK weather notoriously unpredictable, many attractions also feature both indoor and outdoor cover to allow for year-round access.

After holidaying in this beautiful part of Wales for over 20 years, and now with two young children myself, join me as I share 25 brilliant family days out in Anglesey and North Wales to enjoy at any time of the year:

Brilliant family days out in Anglesey and North Wales

Pili Palas - a firm family favourite, particularly on a rainy day. The offering at Pili Palas close to Menai Bridge gets bigger every year; starting life as a modest butterfly house with a small selection of tropical reptiles and farm animals, nowadays the soft play and outdoor adventure play areas alone are enough to tempt you in. Stay for an hour or a full day, animal-lovers will enjoy the cheeky meerkats, beautiful butterflies, and noisy parrots. Picnics are welcome and there is an on-site cafe together with a coffee shop in the soft play area.

Foel Farm - sitting in spectacular countryside overlooking the Menai Straits, with views towards the Caernarfon Castle, Foel Farm is a quaint family-run farm which opens its doors to an enthusiastic public keen to feed the lambs, chickens, and horses. Tractor and quad trailer rides are included in your ticket price with animal feed available to purchase for a nominal fee. Alongside the animals. children will enjoy the inflatable pillow, sandpit, and miniature ride-on tractors. Picnics are welcome and there is also an on-site cafe and chocolate shop.

Gypsy Wood - situated on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, just outside Caernarfon, the magical Gypsy Wood is an impressive attraction, perfect for younger children. Filled with whimsical touches including a musical tree, miniature train, and rainbow walk; the vast woodland site offers something for everyone. There’s a go kart racetrack, farm animals, donkey rides (additional fee), trampolines and a large playground. Picnics are welcome and there is an on-site cafe. We loved this place so much, we re-visited twice within a week last Summer!

Greenwood Forest Park - nestled in woodland just outside Caernarfon, Greenwood is an old fashioned theme park on a modest scale, perfect for children of all ages. The ticket price covers the majority of rides including the World’s first people-powered rollercoaster and the enchanted indoor play barn, ideal on rainy days. The Park has a magical feel with the rides and attractions dotted across ancient woodland telling the story of old Glyn, a legendary giant of Snowdonia. Picnics are welcome and there are also on-site snack bars dotted across the park.

Anglesey Sea Zoo - a small yet perfectly formed offering, the much-loved Sea Zoo located on the Menai Straits close to Halen Mon, remains a popular choice for a family-friendly day out in Anglesey. Focusing on showcasing the sea life that habitats the waters in the Straits it overlooks and the seas surrounding the Island, there are lobsters a-plenty, a wave simulator and shark exhibition. Outside the play area, crazy golf and bouncy castle are a big hit with little ones. Picnics are welcome and there is an on-site cafe.

Step back in time in Anglesey and North Wales

Beaumaris - the colourful coastal town of Beaumaris draws the crowds throughout the year, taking advantage of its excellent eateries, connection to and location of resident artist Janet Bell and of course, crabbing on the pier. This town has all the markings of a traditional holiday resort, albeit a very classy one, complete with a medieval moated castle and Victorian Gaol. Packed with history at every turn, Beaumaris offers something for everyone with a brilliant children’s playground in the shadows of the castle, independent shops, and a cobbled beach. Tourists can also join the local wildlife cruises that run from her along the Straits to Puffin Island, with the opportunity of spotting sea birds and seals.

Zip World - this internationally renowned tourist attraction has utilised the disused slate mines and quarries across the now UNESCO world-heritage areas of the Snowdonia National Park and created world-class adrenaline pumping zip lines, roller coasters, treetop nets and underground trampolines. With the treetop nets allowing young adventurers from 3 years old a chance to get involved, the more extreme rides allow children to participate from 8 years old and upwards. For the teenagers and adults, there is the opportunity to hurtle down a mountain at break-neck speed attached only to a metal cable. Not for the faint-hearted but thoroughly enjoyable!

Snowdonia Mountain Railway - for little legs, scaling the heights of Snowden might be a little out of reach. So instead, jump on board the famous Snowdonia Mountain Railway and allow the train to carry you through the stunning scenery to Clogwyn Station, three-quarters of the distance to the summit. Currently running the traditional Diesel engines, the steam railway will hopefully return in 2022, but the journey is no the less atmospheric in the meantime.

The National Slate Museum - this fantastic free attraction sits on the water’s edge in Llanberis, set within the Padarn Country Park. Housed in the shadows of the now closed Dinorwig Quarry, the museum tells the important history of the Welsh slate mining industry through the generations; the ways it has shaped the landscape and people of North Wales. It is easy to spend a full day in Llanberis, enjoying the calm water at Lake Padarn, perfect for kayaking and SUP, the Lake Railway and Electric Mountain. Also, the terminus for the Snowdon Mountain Railway is just outside the centre of the village, making it the perfect stop for train enthusiasts keen to catch a glimpse of the beautiful steam engines.

Caernarfon Castle - Standing proudly in defence of this Northwest Wales town, Caernarfon Castle is a magnificent medieval fortress, and its near-complete structure makes for a fascinating day trip while incorporating the winding streets, pleasant marina and quirky shops of its name-sake town. Considered one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages, ensure any visit to North Wales takes in a stop at Caernarfon Castle, the gateway to the Llyn Peninsula and Snowdonia National Park.

Plas Newydd House & Gardens - overlooking the Menai Straits, this National Trust property is an oasis of calm; established formal gardens and woodland surround the mansion house with views across the water to Snowdonia. For younger children, there is a wonderful woodland play area, den building and frisbee golf course (bring your own frisbee) to occupy and entertain. The elevated position of the property produces multiple hills to roll down, vast grassed areas for picnics and space to roam.

Penrhyn Castle - another National Trust property but this time on the mainland, close to Bangor. Penrhyn Castle is not a castle in the traditional sense, built on a dark history and the profits of the slave trade, the Pennant family rebuilt the castle in the 17th Century as their family seat. Nowadays entrusted to the National Trust, Penrhyn Castle offers vast grounds and gardens to explore including a couple of play areas for little ones. Picnics are welcome and there is an on-site cafe.

From Snowdonia to the Coast in Anglesey and North Wales

Adventure Parc Snowdonia - quite literally making waves across North Wales and the wider UK, the newly rebranded Adventure Parc Snowdonia (was Surf Snowdonia) is quickly growing into an all-year-round visitor attraction complete with on-site hotel and spa. Adventure Parc Snowdonia is an action-packed watery playground with both indoor and outdoor adventure sports to cater to all ages and abilities. Don’t worry however, surfing still very much remains at the very heart of its offerings making it the ideal place to get your practice in.

Air World Museum - possibly slightly grander in name than nature, this modest aviation museum is set on an active airfield and sits on the site of the former RAF Llandwrog. Just down the coast from Caernarfon and close to the long pebbled beach at Dinas Dinlle, Air World houses an impressive collection of aircraft including a decommissioned RAF rescue helicopter, together with Hawker and Harrier jets. With the opportunity to get up close and personal to these fascinating pieces of kit, including a vast model-aircraft gift shop, it’s a must-see for aircraft enthusiasts.

RNLI Moelfre Lifeboat Station and Seawatch Centre - switching attention from air to sea, the RNLI lifeboat station and associated Seawatch centre in Moelfre, on the East Coast of Anglesey, is a great stop along the Coastal Path. Incorporate a visit to see the magnificent lifeboat with a walk along the coast from Moelfre to Lligwy taking in the seabirds and pebble beaches along the way. For those looking for a less testing path, park at the ice cream parlour in the centre of the village and nip around the headland, finishing your walk with a visit to Ann’s Pantry for tea and cake.

Rib Ride and Menai Bridge - the ultimate adrenaline junkie’s dream, these turbo charged power boats whizz up and down the Menai Straits at terrifying speed. For older children and teenagers, strap yourselves in and prepare for a heart-rate busting tour along the Straits, under both the Menai and Britannia Bridges, towards Puffin Island and Beaumaris. Finish your rib ride with a Red Boat ice cream or meal at Dylan’s in Menai Bridge. For a quieter pace, enjoy the accessible Belgian Promenade at Menai Bridge; an easy walkway perfect for prams and scooters that skirts the Menai Straits, providing picture postcard views along the route.

Llandudno - this traditional holiday resort, home to an impressive Victoria Pier and promenade, holds happy memories for so many. Standing in the shadows of the Great Orme, a former copper mine, there are a variety of ways to climb and descend the summit including a tram, cable car and even toboggan. Down at ground level, Bodafon Farm Park is a delightful place to visit with younger children and for a rainy day, Bonkerz Fun Centre, is a solid soft play offering.

Some more brilliant family days out in Anglesey and North Wales

Conwy - Standing on the banks of the River Conwy, this magnificent walled market town complete with its own Castle and suspension bridge is a worthy place to spend a few hours. Walk the castle walls, visit the smallest house in the UK and pick up an excellent ice cream from Parisellas before taking in the sights of the harbour front. Close by, the National Trust’s Bodnant Gardens should be high on the list, particularly for their Laburnum Arch during the months of May/June. These spectacular tiered gardens are a wonderful place to explore and a fantastic stop for a picnic.

Welsh Mountain Zoo - covering over 37 acres of mountainside overlooking Colwyn Bay, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is home to a wide range of endangered and rare species. The zoo works hard as an education and conservation charity to protect a number of big cats, primates, mammals, tropical birds, reptiles and amphibians. Alongside the exotic creatures at the zoo, there are farm animals together with an adventure playground, on-site cafe, and picnic area.

Welsh Mountain Railway - operating the World’s oldest narrow gauge railway, the Festiniog Railway is an incredible piece of over 200-year history which navigates 13.5 miles of track from the coastal village of Porthmadog to the once, quarry mining town of Blaenau Festiniog. Cutting through the mountains, climbing 700 feet through forest and alongside lakes, this journey is dramatic in any weather. Alternatively, visitors can ride the Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage railway, the 25 miles from Caernarfon to the picture postcard village of Bedgellert in the Snowdonia National Park.

SC2 Rhyl - located in the coastal town of Rhyl, SC2 is an impressive water park offering both indoor and outdoor water play for all ages. There are numerous water slides, a splash park and beach-style paddling together with a soft play and ninja tag. This facility is the perfect way to entertain children of all ages in any weathers, with themed dining options, you can easily spend an hour or longer at SC2.

Anglesey Model Village - this delightful low-key offering on the road to Newborough Forest is a brilliant stop off for lunch and a wander through the model village. Since taking over in 2019, the team have completely transformed the cafe and seating areas alongside repairing many of the intricate models in the village. Smaller children will enjoy a look at the miniature local scenes, a play in the maze and a ride on the miniature railway. The food here is great and visitors can enjoy this with or without a ticket to the model village.

THE DETAILS

Visit Anglesey

The official tourist board website for the Isle of Anglesey.

Visit Wales

The official tourist board for Wales.

Menai Holidays

Self-catering accommodation in Anglesey.

Boltholes and Hideaways

Self-catering accommodation in Anglesey.

Visit Snowdonia

The official website for the Snowdonia National Park.

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Jenny
September 10, 2021
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