A little corner of Italy in Wales
Built over decades from the 1920s, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed this utterly unique village on a corner of Italy, built in homage to the spirit of the Mediterranean. Portmeirion's maze of elaborate villas, scattered domes and neatly-placed squares are set within gardens and an encompassing area of unbeatable natural beauty. Discover this unusual hidden secret.
Experience ancient mines at Minera
Although there is evidence of prehistoric lead mining at Minera Quarry as far back as the 13th century, it really became an epicentre of production 600 years later. Closed in 1914, these days Minera Lead Mines, near Wrexham, is the starting point for trails through the woods and along the rivers, preserved to allow everyone to take in its industrious history.
Views from a Princely castle
Criccieth Castle is a picturesque landmark, known for its two-towered gatehouse, and its past is as tumultuous as the sea below it. Built by Prince Llywelyn the Great, Criccieth Castle was captured and burnt in the Welsh rebellion during the 15th century. Stand back and take in the astonishing sea view.
Make friends with lemurs
The home of a new walk-through lemur enclosure, the Welsh Mountain Zoo stands high above Colwyn Bay, with panoramic views, breathtaking scenery, beautiful gardens and plenty of insights into some of the world's most unusual and at-risk species. Relax in the surroundings and get closer to wildlife.
See Wales in steam-powered style
Choose from seven main stations and six stopping points between the coasts of Caernarfon and Porthmadog on the outskirts of the Snowdonia National Park. A restoration of the legendary Welsh Highland Railway which closed during the 1930s, there are chances to travel in open carriages, take a stroll or head off along cycle paths.
The Menai Heritage Experience
You won't be able to miss the two magnificent bridges spanning the Menai Strait – Thomas Telford's Suspension bridge was built in 1826, and Robert Stephenson's Britannia design arrived in 1840. Find out more and discover the history of the Strait in the Menai Heritage Experience, then take a closer look for yourself.
A dream for birdwatchers
Paradise for birdwatchers and nature fans along the cliff, leading to the famous Ellin's Tower. South Stack Cliffs Reserve is full of colour during the summer months, not to mention adders and porpoises. During the winter, look out for flocks of starlings clashing with the resident peregrines, as well as choughs and ravens.
A showcase of contemporary art
Although its early 20th century architecture is a splendid sight, Oriel MOSTYN Gallery's redevelopment, in 2010, has created a world-class gallery of contemporary art. Expect several exhibitions from the best local and international artists in a regularly-revolving programme, plus spaces to unwind in, food and drink and a colourful shop.
A crafty way to find King Arthur
At Corris Craft Centre (just over the border into Mid Wales) there are eight studios making jewellery, furniture, candles and chocolate, some which offer you the opportunity to turn your hand to making your own crafts. The Crochan café specialises in local produce and the Craft Centre is also the starting point for the King Arthur’s Labyrinth and Corris Mine Explorers tours.
Great Orme Tramway
The only cable-hauled tramway on British roads has been running for over a century, transporting visitors to the Great Orme, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Among the many natural sights to look out for are dozens of bird colonies and a 150-strong herd of Kashmiri goats, who’ve lived wild here as long as the tram has been in operation. Learn more about the Great Orme Tramway.