As it’s now the Summer holidays and we’re all scratching about trying to think of activities for little ones, how about visiting North Wales?
If you do decide to come you should definitely visit Caernarfon .
Located by the sea ,on the estuary of the afon (river) Seiont, Caernarfon boasts a range of attractions the castle, the foreshore, the excellent pubs, restaurants, independent traders and ‘Galeri’ arts centre.
There’s also the Welsh Highland Railway, national cycle routes, I could go on…. The list of activities is mind boggling, so to help you decide what to do here’s my top 10 things to do in Caernarfon.
- Climb Caernarfon Castle’s Eagle Tower
The current castle was built in the late 1200s. It is a must for any trip to the town and is one of Edward I’s ring of iron castles, well preserved and located right in the centre of town. It’s a great few hours out, there passages and turrets to explore but the highlight has to be the stunning eagle tower which overlooks the mouth of the River Seiont (Afon Seiont). For more information: https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/caernarfon-castle
- Queen of the Sea boat trip
During the Spring, Summer and Autumn the Queen of the Sea sails from the slate key which is not far from the castle, these pleasure tours have been run by the same family since the 1940s. Voyage times vary depending on the tides, but it’s well worth planning your trip to coincide with one of the sailings. The trip offers a different perspective on our beautiful coastline. For more information and sailing times: https://menaicruises.co.uk/
- Coed Helen Play ground
Cross over the swing bridge and the playground at Coed (Forest) Helen offers an hour or more peace and quiet for mums and dads while little ones explore the slides, climbing frames and swings. There is also a skate park and picnic tables if you’d like to spend a little more time. Why not explore the woodland footpaths, climb up to the folly on the hill for a view of the town, or collect shells on the foreshore? Coed Helen is a lovely spot and completely FREE!
- Shop Palace Street and Hole in the Wall Street
Palas Street and Hole in the Wall Street are two characterful little streets that run parallel to each other and open directly on to Caernarfon Castle. They are crammed full of gorgeous little independent traders including Lotti a Wren. Owned by a friend with impeccable taste and Lotti a Wren stocks beautiful mugs, quirky cards, jewellery and gifts. Next door is ‘Palace Print’ is a well-known local Welsh book shop full of Welsh and English titles, ‘Scoops’ a Dutch pancake house serving fabulous coffee, ‘Bonta Deli’, ‘Y Iard’ a collective of local artists and ‘Siop Manon’ for Vintage gifts. ‘Hole in the Wall’ Street is home to ‘Iechyd Da’ (Good Health in Welsh) purveyors of top quality beer and wine, and excellent range of craft Gin including local brands. To eat on hole in the wall street try ‘Osteria Caernarfon’ for laid back Tuscan cuisine and ‘Ouzo and Olive’ which serves genuine Greek mezze – both restaurants are excellent value for money.
- Go for a walk along the foreshore over the swing bridge: http://walestrails.com/sea-spray-caernarfon-walk/
- Have drink, there are plenty of excellent bars. A firm favourite with locals and visitors alike is the historic ‘Black Boy’ a pub that’s so steeped in history that you probably need a tour guide, it’s also rumoured to be the most haunted building in Caernarfon. On a hot evening you can’t beat the Anglesey Arms for atmosphere and sunsets.
- Why not go on a historical walking tour? Book local guide, Emrys Llewelyn to take you back in time through Caernarfon’s Old Town. Visit http://caernarfonwalks.com/ to make your booking
- Hire a bike and take a ride down Lon Eifion: http://walestrails.com/gwynedd-caernarfon-to-dinas-the-steam-train-way/
- Catch a show at Y Galeri, or if you’re passing at sunset then pull up a seat outside, order a drink and watch the sun sink down below the horizon. For a full what’s on guide visit: https://www.galericaernarfon.com/eng/whats-on.php
- Speak some Welsh
Caernarfon is one of the Welshest places you’ll ever visit, most people speak Welsh as a first language. If you are visiting and would like to know more about Welsh, then just ask. A simple Bore Da (Good Morning), Diolch (Thank you) or Pnawn Da (Good afternoon) is a good place to start.