Photo Essay: A Day in North Wales

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Prior to this past May, I had been to Wales precisely once — and I hadn’t seen much more than a fire in the ferry terminal and hot Welsh firemen to the rescue.

So I knew I had to get back to Wales! Luckily, Chester is located right on the Welsh border.  While many Brits prefer to find cheap holidays abroad, even more stay within the country, and often visit Wales.  Dave grew up spending time in Abersoch on the southwest Welsh coast.

But on this day, we stuck to North Wales.  Here is a collection of photos from that day.

Our journey first took us to Conwy Castle.

Conwy (pronounced Conway) is located on the central north coast of Wales. The Castle was built in the 13th century and defended both the city and the harbor for generations.


Most spectacular were the views from the castle — they alone were worth the price of admission.

Conwy is a lovely little town — perhaps a bit on the touristy side, but quite charming.

Conwy is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain.  They measured it.

Believe me, it was small. There’s no point of showing a photo of the inside because there was no space to take a picture!

From the way the owl was looking at that little dog, we thought it was going to eat it!

After exploring Conwy, we took a long drive through the countryside, passing through blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small towns like this one.

But mostly it was farmland, punctuated with ancient rock walls that kept the sheep penned in.

Llangollen was our evening stop. This small town is picture-perfect and straddles the River Dee — which ends up in Chester!

This says something along the lines of “This is the longest store name in Llangollen.”

Another lovely view.

I’ve been pondering it for months, and I still can’t imagine what horse-drawn boat trips look like!

This trailer was one of the best examples of trompe l’oeuil art I’ve ever seen.

It was a lovely day, and a perfect day trip from northwest England.  If you’re a fan of driving around through beautiful countryside and charming towns, North Wales is definitely worth exploring!A Day in North Wales

21 thoughts on “Photo Essay: A Day in North Wales”

  1. Driving through the UK is one of the greatest ways to explore the country, and Wales is no exception! I love the quirkiness of this place. Looks like you had a good time 🙂

  2. I loved and adored North Wales! The name on that sign is hilarious. One of the things that struck me the most about Wales was that their language seemed to consist almost entirely of consonants. I hope they’re working on keeping their language alive and not letting it die out like Latin…

  3. I pretty much know nothing about Wales, but I’d definitely love to visit it one day. That store name is hilarious. Did you ask anyone how to pronounce it?

    1. Okay, being a native welsh speaker living in Wales I will translate. The sign says “Thesmallcardshopby thebridgeovertheriverdeeinllangollen”. The sign is a joke. There should be spaces in the name, since the name is actually a sentence, but they have been removed. It is a take on the fact that some welsh place names are indeed very long.

  4. Sunny North Wales! I was able to visit Cardiff last Christmas and the snow was so bad didn’t enjoy it much except the part that it was my first white christmas hehe 😛 I’ll take note of this entry and might as well gallivant there next year. Will not go on a winter next time LOL.

  5. Hi Kate
    Lovely pictures. Funnily enough, a trip to Wales is first on my schedule when I leave work soon. We will do the south of Wales, visiting the Brecon Beacons National Park, thePembrokeshire National Park AND Snowdonia National Park. Looking so forward to the fresh air and the green hills and stunning coastline.
    It most definitely does snow in UK. More the further north you go especially Scotland.

    Take care and happy travelling.

  6. So lovely to see these photos! Now living in Spain it was a reminder of home for me (English) and my Welsh hubby! We used to live just outside of Llangollen and infact I used to work just beyond the bridge shown on your first Llangollen photo and would often eat my sandwiches at lunchtime not far from where you would have stood to take the photo! Thanks so much. 🙂

  7. I have been here and it was the first castle that I ever saw, (none here in Australia)
    It is great to see it again through someone elses (and much younger ) eyes I love your website and look forward to reading your new posts

  8. I have so loved your northern England posts – these are the places I grew up! My dad and I used to take a trip from Cheshire over to Conwy, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno every summer. I think touristy but charming pretty much sums it up.

  9. Thanks for a lovely little photo essay on my home country. As always, your photography captures the spirit of the places you visit. We pronounce Conwy “con-wee” by the way 😉

    If you go back to Llangollen, make sure you give yourself at least half a day there and walk along the canal from its starting point just north of the town. It’s a pleasant stroll and you may even see a horse-drawn boat while you’re about it (it’s a narrow boat being pulled by a horse walking along the side of the canal; it’s how all canal boats were powered at one time).

    Best of all, the canal turns south and crosses the Dee valley by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is one of the most spectacular works of engineering in the UK. I’d recommend walking over it and then getting a canal boat back if you can. There is something surreal about floating along 100s of feet above the ground!

    Finally, drive north from Llangollen and up the Horseshoe Pass, another of North Wales’ natural wonders. I sometimes drive that way to my parents in North Wales even though it takes half an hour longer, just because it’s such a beautiful drive.


    PS If you ever need a native guide…

  10. As a native of Llangollen, I am extremely glad you enjoyed it! If ever you go again you should climb up Dinas Bran (on a clear day you can see as far as Liverpool). Also, the horse drawn boat trips are adorable; a horse pulls the boat down the canal.

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