Day one

Dramatic Conwy is your first port of call, an historic town overlooking a broad estuary. The massive towers of the 13th century Conwy Castle, which was built by 1,500 craftsmen between 1283-87, stand out beautifully against the backdrop of mountainous Snowdonia. Don’t miss the turreted bridge which traverses the estuary on which the castle stands – recipient of the prestigious Europa Nostra Award for Built Heritage.

While you’re in Conwy pay a visit to Plas Mawr - Conwy’s second most well known building. This wonderfully restored Elizabethan townhouse is worth a visit for its ornate plasterwork and fine furnishings.

Exterior shot of Plas Mawr
The imposing Conwy Castle
Plas Mawr and Conwy Castle

After lunch, take the A55 towards Bangor stopping en route at Penrhyn Castle - a gigantic Neo-Norman fantasy castle built by the stonemasons, joiners and carvers of North Wales. It provides endless fascination with its industrial railway museum, collection of old master pictures and Victorian walled garden.

Approx. distance: Conwy - Bangor 18 miles (29km)
Approx. driving time: 30 minutes

Day two

Start your second day at Caernarfon Castle – built by Edward 1 in 1283 and the venue for the current Prince of Wales’ Investiture in 1969. Mighty Caernarfon is a World Heritage listed site and was conceived not just as a military fortification, but also as a royal palace and seat of government.

Inside Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle

Follow up your morning in Caernarfon with a trip via the A499 and B4113 to the restored National Trust property Plas yn Rhiw on the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula. 

Approx. distance: Caernarfon to Plas yn Rhiw - 21.5 miles (34.5km)
Approx. driving time: 45 minutes

Day three

Today you move inland to Wales’ ancient capital Machynlleth and visit The Owain Glyndŵr Centre where the charismatic Owain Glyndŵr was crowned Prince of Wales in 1404 and briefly held parliament.

View from the inside of Owain Glyndŵr Centre
Owain Glyndŵr Centre

Explore Machynlleth’s streets and shops before you continue east to Powis Castle and Garden near Welshpool – taking either the southerly route via the A470 and Newtown, or the northerly A458 approach passing through Llanfair Caereinion. Perched on a rock above the garden terraces, the castle contains a wealth of fine paintings and furniture and also has one of the world’s finest gardens.

Approx. distance: Machynlleth to Welshpool - 37 miles (59kms)
Approx. driving time: 55 minutes

Aerial view of Powis Castle and the terraced gardens.
Powis Castle and Garden

Related stories