Fast ferries and slows boats, cycling on-road or off, hiking in the hills or along the coast – there are plenty of car-free options to explore the adventure capital of Wales.
There's plenty to discover on The North Wales Way...
By rail, by sea
Holyhead station connects with all the big cities in the Midlands/Northwest England, while the direct train from London Euston takes less than four hours, and calls at all the major resorts along the north coast. It’s even quicker by sea: Holyhead is the UK’s main ferry port from Ireland, and between them Stena Line and Irish Ferries run around 10 sailings a day, the fastest in less than two hours.
The sheer quality and variety of walking/hiking is what brings many visitors to North Wales. There’s Snowdonia, obviously, which has everything from gentle family rambles to hardcore Everest-training ascents for experienced walkers with guides. There are also the softer pleasures of the Clwydian Range. The Wales Coast Path runs across the top and around Anglesey. To complete a lap of Wales, the Offa's Dyke Path starts in Prestatyn and goes all the way to Chepstow.
Two wheels (road)
The godfather of modern British cycling, Sir Dave Brailsford, grew up in Snowdonia, and the Brailsford Way runs along his favourite roads which he bombed around as a kid, with 50 and 75-mile (80 and 120km) options. Anglesey is a good option for flatter rides, while the Wales Coast Path shares space with cyclists for most of the north coast.
Two wheels (muddy)
The northeast corner of Wales has some of the best mountain biking terrain in the UK, and the know-how to make the most of it. There are rides along mountains, lakes, forests and valleys where you can take on challenging climbs, technical singletrack and swooping descents. Coed Llandegla is a good starting point, with bike hire and tuition for beginners, and black runs and freeride area for experts.
The Llangollen Canal flows for 46 miles (74km) from Cheshire into Wales, but only its final 11 miles (18km) between Chirk and Llangollen are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, the canal crosses the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a 38m-high ‘stream in the sky’. Llangollen’s also famous for its annual International Eisteddfod, a peerless gathering of world musicians.
Exploring the outdoors is fantastic fun, but please read up on the risks and make sure you are prepared.