Have you ever been on a Campervan tour of North Wales? Maybe you plan to visit or would like to find out a little more about the area first.
One things for sure, North Wales is about to get a whole load of publicity, because it’s the new location for the popular TV series “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”.
For us North Wales is the place we call home – it’s where we were born and where we come home to between motorhome adventures across the world.
It’s a place of dramatic mountains falling to the sea, a land filled with historic castles, incredible culture and rolling green hills. Finally, it’s a thrill seeker’s paradise and somewhere we first started touring by van as teenagers, over 30 years ago.
So, without further ado – let’s begin with our locals guide to the Best Campervan tour of North Wales!
The popular seaside town of Llandudno is located between two wide beaches – the West and North Shore. Bringing a unique appeal, it’s no wonder its called “The Queen of Welsh Resorts”.
However, it’s the dominating mass of ancient limestone of “The Great Orme” that’s the real attraction.
Not only does it have miles of walking trails, but it’s also home to those rather famous Goats. Yes, you may have seen them on TV when they became a bit of an attraction in their own right. All thanks to roaming the usually busy streets during the early days of lockdown.
For those not wanting to walk up, they can take either a tram or a cable car ride to the Summit. Here, beside breathtaking coastal and mountain views you can relax in the comfort of the Summit Cafe.
Llandudno may be an elegant destination for day-trippers, but it’s quickly becoming a more long-term holiday location.
This town is changing, attracting younger clientele and active types who come to enjoy a traffic-free promenade and cycle routes.
Stretching along form The Great Orme to its little sibling The Little Orme an outdoor exercise haven awaits. It’s also a good place to make use of the cycle trails linking Llandudno to other coastal resorts such as Colwyn Bay and Conwy.
There’s also plenty to do for history buff’s, from Copper Mines to Museums not forgetting the longest pier in Wales. At 2,220ft it’s definitely one of the best surviving piers in the UK.
In Summer choose between several modes of transport to see those sights! How about taking to a daredevil speedboat or a more sedate open top bus or even a vintage coach or land train.
Last but not least, look out for Dolphins and Seals en-route! Keeping those eyes peeled for the famous goats as they happily roam the grassy banks!
This remarkable walled town and fairly intact 13th Century Castle is a big attraction. Mainly because of it’s World Heritage Site – the 3/4 mile long town walls complete with 22 towers!
“Britains Smallest House” takes pride of place on the harbour-side where a coastal path links the castle to the estuary.
There’s fabulous views too – reaching over the Conwy Estuary and hills of Snowdonia.
Pop into the Conwy Mussel Company next to the lifeboat house. These hand-raked mussels are gathered in a natural way – ensuring a bigger more tasty variety for you to enjoy!
There’s plenty of independant shops to spend your pennies as well as cafe’s and bars. Choose from craft, arts and antiques to wine, a patisserie and just the best butcher at Edwards of Conwy.
You’ll be guaranteed a feast back at the van!
Walks around Conwy are in abundance. Choose from a short stroll around the headland leading from the quay or the more energetic Sychnant Pass or Conwy Mountain.
Pick up leaflets from the tourist office in town.
Finally, numerous festivals and events are held throughout the year, so be sure to check out what’s on before you go!
Motorhome parking – Llanwrst Road – not overnight.
TOILETS: In the above and on the Quay.
Located at the ‘gateway to Snowdonia’ – Betws-Y-Coed boasts everything for the outdoor enthusiast.
From waterfalls and scenic walks to forest trails and mountain bike routes, it’s picturesque surroundings nestled below Gwydir Forest is the stuff of picture postcards.
Once an historical stage coach-stop on the journey to London from Holyhead, Betws-y-Coed became a hub for Victorian artists.
The local tourist office has information on local walks and mountain bike trails, many accessible from the town itself.
Lying in the heart of the Conwy Valley this traditional market town can be found situated beside the River Conwy.
It has a really good Indian restaurant, Asha Balti House and is renowned for the extremely photogenic tea rooms – Ty Hwnt I’r Bont.
This ancient residential dwelling and former courthouse with foliage fronted exterior, glows a glorious gold and red in the Autumn.
There is lots of walking routes including a flat path crossing the flood plains of the valley floor, leading to Trefriw. Here a Woollen Mill and several pubs await.
It’s also a great place for more strenuous walking in the forest at Gwydir or mountain lakes such as LLyn Crafnant and Llyn Gerionydd.
Finally, there’s plenty of mountain bike trails to explore through the forests above LLanwrst. Trails leading to nearby Betws-y-Coed will be sure to keep the adrenaline flowing.
The views around Porthmadog are just dreamy! The town itself is situated beside an idyllic harbour within Snowdonia National park, it’s in an enviable position. The icing on the cake is the backdrop, set amongst the incredibly scenic Glaslyn Estuary.
For those retail types, there’s plenty of shops to stroll around. Above all, the main attraction has to be The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. These narrow gauge railway carriages glide through the most mesmerising scenery.
Black Rock Sands is a prime example of a fabulous beach along the Lleyn Peninsula. Stretching along the coast for what seems like forever it benefits from a fabulous outlook.
The Welsh coast here is open and pure with views as far as the eye can see. Across the water is the historic town of Harlech with its castle just about visible in the distance.
Portmeirion Village about a 3-mile drive away from Porthmadog is another big attraction. It’s not all about the village though, this spectacular peninsula has some of the best beaches in North Wales.
The Welsh architect – Sir Clough William Ellis designed Portmeirion amongst elaborate gardens and some interesting features. There is an admission charge though in order to witness this unique Italian architecture.
Also famed for the 1960’s TV series – The Prisoner and home to Portmeirion Pottery – it’s perfect for a spot of nostalgia and a souvenir!
Our best campervan tour of North Wales wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Abersoch. This is a fabulous and unstoppable upmarket holiday destination.
In Summer it’s thriving vibe gives a feel good factor around town, thanks to a good selection of independent shops and cafes. Best of all are the crisp sandy beaches located either side of the dramatic headland.
Think clear blue waters, stunning mountain scenery and great water sports. Cap it off with colourful beach huts adding to the glamour!
Don’t underestimate the good walking opportunities available here, such as the picturesque route to Mynydd Tir-Cwmwd.
This maybe a bit of a hike but you’re rewarded with amazing coastal and mountain views. At the top you’ll be greeted by the lonely ‘Tin Man’ iron figure who watches over the stunning beaches of Llanbedrog below.
Local walking books are available at the tourist office to help you on your way.
In the centre of Abersoch behind the main street, pay the attendant.
As above in the car park.
Beaumaris is situated in a stunning location, on the mouth of the Menai Straits. This charming town has some very interesting historic buildings, along with a fine selection of shops, cafes’ and restaurants. A charming promenade and small pier can make for a relaxing stroll.
It’s most famous and outstanding structure though is the Castle, one of Edward I’s masterpieces, which was never actually completed, mainly due to this 13th Century Monarch running out of money!
Beaumaris Castle has since stood still and stands today in a majestic state, recognised as a World Heritage Status.
A little further along from the castle sits the Gaol and Courthouse, dating back to 1614 it’s well worth a look.
A Large parking on the sea front is payable to the attendant at the kiosk on entry (no overnight).
In the town centre.
A little further along the coast from Beaumaris (about 7 miles), lies the remains of Penmon Priory, a remarkable, 13th Century monastery.
It’s a narrow road which leads from here, passing the payment point (pay attendant at the gate), soon arriving at the well known Penmon Point, overlooking Puffin Island and Lighthouse.
Look out for dolphins, an abundance of Sea Birds and seals. Puffin Island is an uninhabited site of special scientific interest, therefore visits aren’t permitted. Although a boat trip from Beaumaris, will take you as close as possible.
A cafe provides refreshments and there are some lovely walks from the car park. Buy a walking book from a local store or tourist office.
There’s a Large unsealed car park with overnight parking permitted. Pay the attendant on the gate near the Priory. If there is no one present, just pay on the way out the next day.
No, only for the cafe.
Located just off the A4080 near the village of Newborough is this warren of marked forest trails. Home to vast sand dunes, walks and wildlife and one of the most picturesque beaches, linking up to Llanddwyn Island at the far tip of the sands.
Fabulous on a hot summer’s day. The beach becomes very busy and it’s a stunning location – looking out towards Llanddwyn with the gleaming white lighthouse and Snowdonia mountains in the background.
There’s so much walking here too. All are well marked trails, consisting of a mix of bike, running and walking routes. Paths lead through the forest, crossing the sands to Llanddwyn where low tide provides access to more winding paths, passing rocky coves.
Look out for seals resting upon the rocks, whilst wild ponies graze on the open grassland.
For the romantic types, you’ll be pleased to learn that Llanddwyn actually has its roots in romance.
The name means ‘The church of St.Dwynwen’ – our very own Welsh Valentine which is celebrated on the 25th January each year!
Dwynwen lived in solitude on Llanddwyn in the 5th Century. After falling in love with Maelon, a young man whom she was never to marry after he was turned to ice.
She then became known as the Patron Saint of Lovers. Soon pilgrims flocked to the island to visit her holy well.
A chapel was actually built in the 16th Century with funds raised from these pilgrimages. The remains of which you can still see today.
There’s a large car park adjacent to the beach. It’s down a long forest road. Pay at the machine (no overnight).
In the car park.
One of the most stunning views in North Wales is this one!
Pull into the view point lay-by off the main road to admire this amazing outlook.
Located on the Menai Straits side of the road, it’s easier to approach from the Menai Bridge direction.
It’s Located on the Holyhead Road, just after the Britannia Bridge, but before the Menai Bridge.
This has to be a seabird lovers paradise!
Home to a staggering 4000 sea birds during the Summer months it’s also the location of one of the best lighthouses in Wales. South Stack dominates a rocky headland, it’s been warning ships of the dangers below, since 1809.
It’s open to visitors during the Summer. 400 steps and a bridge cross to Holy Island and the actual lighthouse. If you prefer an easier stroll, there are nature trails at South Stack Reserve with surfaced paths and benches run by the RSPB.
There’s also a visitor centre, guided walks and tearoom. Hopefully you may spot a Puffin or Peregrine, so don’t forget the binoculars.
Take the A55 to Holyhead and follow the brown signs to the reserve, about 3 miles from the town – No overnight
This is such a pretty Snowdonia village with a very special legend. World famous for the story of Gelerts Grave surrounded by mountains along the banks of The Glaslyn river. It’s a magical place with fantastic walking routes.
The “must do” easy walk along a river path leads to Gelert’s Grave itself under an old tree.
As for the legend, here’s a little extract from tomb itself……….
In the centre of Beddgelert next to the Welsh Highland Railway in the National Park car park.
By the stone bridge in the centre of the village.
Situated off the main Caernarfon to Nefyn road. This popular beach is marked as a “site of special scientific interest”. In fine weather there’s a good flat walk along the coast.
It’s a beautiful location overlooking the Lleyn Peninsula and mountains of Nefyn, falling into the sea below. Views stretch over to Llanddwyn Island situated across the water on Anglesey.
Dinas Dinlle is just a good place to park up and enjoy the outlook. But, also there’s some important Iron Age history here and recently excavated by archaeologists.
Caernarfon Airport, has its base at the end of the road. Visit the small museum or take a scenic flights followed by a snack at the cafe, where refreshments are available.
Watch the small planes come and go or the Air Rescue helicopters, as they go about the amazing rescue work across the region.
Plenty along the sea front (no overnight parking)
On the promenade and at the airport.
This little gem of a place is just adorable, it’s a fishing village in one of the most glorious locations imaginable.
The sweeping sandy bay has a breathtaking outlook and charming little pub right on the beach – The Ty Coch Inn. It actually has been listed as one of the Top 10 Beach Bars in the World!
You’ll need to park in the National Trust car park, which is about a 20 minute walk away. This little gem of place has no vehicle access for visitors.
There’s some good walks from here too, perhaps download a route from the National Trust website. A £9.8 million lifeboat station was opened in 2014 by TV veteran David Dimbleby, naming the resident lifeboat at the same time.
Sit and just watch the world go by as the fisherman bring in their little boats, take a picnic on the shore. Lovely!
In the National Trust pay & display car park at Morfa Nefyn. Drive through the village and the car park is on the right – not overnight.
Not only is the traditional Welsh village of Llanberis the gateway to Snowdon, but it’s also home of the idyllic Llyn Padarn.
The combination of the still water of the lake against the backdrop of Snowdonia is simply the most breathtaking setting.
This outdoor enthusiasts paradise is a hub of mountain activity. Encompassing everything that the region has to offer in bucket loads – it’s a natural playground of epic proportions.
If walking, climbing and canoeing are too much to bear. How about a more gentle activity – Yes, The Snowdon Mountain Railway leaves here in Summer to take passengers to the summit of Snowdon without breaking out into a sweat.
There’s also a bit of an interesting look inside a mountain – yes, you heard it right! Electric Mountain to be precise. This is an incredible feat of engineering – a system of hydro electric power, made into a visitor attraction in the process!
Day parking opposite Snowdon Mountain Railway; Llyn Padarn car parks – no overnight.
Toilets: Llyn Padarn
Well Caernarfon has to have one of the best 13th century castles in Wales. Not only that, but it’s here that Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales back in July 1969.
Nowadays, strolling through the stone towers brings a fascinating experience into this incredible structure.
In addition to the history of Edward I, Caernarfon also has strong Roman links. You can still see some of these early ruins at the Segontium on the outskirts of the town.
Last but not least, there’s serene views alongside the coastal paths towards Y Foryd not forgetting another Welsh steam train – The Welsh Highland Railway.
This superb railway now links Caernarfon with Porthmadog, passing through some of Snowdonia’s most impressive mountain scenery. It’s a train journey for more than a train enthusiast – because this little train of Wales is a sightseeing dream.
One last point – Caernarfon is the start of the Menai Straits and with that come some rather incredible views!
On the Quay by the Castle – Pay Attendant
Toilets – On Quay
Bodnant Caravan Park – Tel: 01492 640248
Bron Derw Caravan Park – Tel: 01492 640494
Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Riverside, – Tel: 01690 710310
Rynys Farm – Tel: 01690 710218
Dolgam – Tel: 01690 720228
Dinerth Hall Farm, located between Penrhyn Bay and Rhos on Sea – Tel: 01492 548203
Conwy Touring Park – Tel: 01492 592856
Lots of CL’s and CS’s around the Conwy Valley and several small sites between Conwy and Betws-Y-Coed
Tyddyn Llwyn – Tel: 01766 512205
Black Rock Sands – Tel: 01766 513919
The Caravan and Motorhome Club has a site a few miles outside of Portmeirion, lots of CS & CL sites throughout the LLeyn Peninsula region
Camping in The Forest – Camping and Caravanning Club
Bryn Gloch, Betws Garmon: Tel: 01286 650216
Penrhos Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Marianglas, Benllech: Tel: 01248 852617
Pen-Y-LLyn Caravan Site, near Holyhead : Tel: 01407 740017
Outdoor Alternative, Rhoscolyn Tel: 01407 860469
Llanberis Touring Park – 01286 870700
Unfortunately, Wales has no European style Aire system for motorhomes. However, there is a scheme where you can stay in some private establishments if you contribute to their business!
Here’s the link for the website:
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