At a time when sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in our travel choices, a walking holiday ensures we can explore more of our planet with less of a carbon footprint. A tour of the North Wales Coast’s 80-mile-long route on foot gives you the flexibility to go off the beaten track and truly appreciate the standout scenery on offer.
To make sure you make the most of each destination, we’ve collated a list of all the highlights for each stop, according to global travellers.*
History in Chester
A row of 17th-century houses facing the eastern side of the ancient city walls
Right on the border with Wales, this ancient English town is a must-visit for history buffs. Its age-old walls date back to 70 CE when they were used as a Roman fortress to protect the city from invaders. As you stroll along the two miles of local red sandstone, consider the fact that Chester is the only city in the UK to still have a full circuit of its original fort. Just outside the city walls, you’ll find a Roman amphitheatre – the largest ever constructed on British soil – where troops once practised their manoeuvres and mastered their weapons. If you have time for some shopping before you leave, keep the history theme going with a visit to The Rows – half-timbered houses filled with a mix of independent stores, high-street favourites and original 13th-century buildings. Accommodation doesn’t come much more historic than The Pied Bull, a beautiful pub dating back to 1155, serving beers from its on-site microbrewery.
Countryside in Flint
Flint’s walking trails are filled with scenic lookout points
The charming Welsh town of Flint is surrounded by rolling green hills and beautiful woodland walking trails, collectively known as the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s safe to say the best way to explore the Flintshire countryside is on foot, with trails tailored for gentle strolls to ambitious climbs. If you take a route north from Flint’s 13th-century castle, you can take in great views over Dee Estuary, accompanied by the sounds of local birdlife and the scent of fresh sea air. Located on the North Wales Coast path, Oakenholt Farm Bed and Breakfast ensures you can start your day on nature’s doorstep.
Seaside Vibes in Rhyl
Take in fresh sea air along Rhyl’s tranquil beachfront
Developed into a traditional seaside town in the 1880s for Victorian day-trippers, Rhyl takes pride in its abundance of coastal charm. Rhyl Beach has around two miles of sandy shores to explore, filled with typical seaside amusement arcades and a large aquarium where you can observe harbour seals, moon jellyfish, small sharks and more. If you feel like taking a dip in the ocean, there are zoned bathing areas where lifeguards are present from mid-May to early September. Wake up to the sound of the sea at the OYO Pier Hotel Rhyl.
Scenery in Llandudno
Numerous vantage points offer sweeping views over Llandudno
Perched on the coast of the Irish Sea, Llandudno is one of Wales’s oldest and most scenic coastal destinations. For some of the best views, hop aboard a beautifully restored tramcar and ride up to the peak of the Great Orme – a limestone headland which is home to Bronze Age copper mines. If you’d rather head there on foot, there are three clearly marked trails offering great views over the town and beyond. If time allows, you can explore the Great Orme’s smaller sibling, the Little Orme, filled with flora and fauna and views over limestone cliffs formed over 320 million years ago. Stay close to the main sights at the Victorian-era St George's Hotel, with some rooms offering views of the sea and the Great Orme.
Castles in Conwy
Conwy’s imposing medieval castle is surrounded by an unbroken ring of walls
Take a walk back through time in the walled town of Conwy, dominated by its well-preserved medieval castle built over 700 years ago. A complete circuit of the multi-tiered ancient fortress includes a chance to explore its immaculately restored spiral staircases and imposing towers, as well as taking in the craggy mountains of Snowdonia in the distance. An on-site exhibition will teach you all about the site’s incredible history, from the moment it was constructed by Edward I’s master castle builder to its present form as one of Europe’s most complete medieval fortresses. The unbroken ring of town walls stretches from the castle to the quayside, where you can find some of the best-preserved sections and wonderful views of Conwy Estuary towards Deganwy and Llandudno. For a short walk home after a day of exploring, stay at the aptly named Castle Hotel, just five minutes away from its namesake monument.
Mountains in Bangor
Bangor Mountain can be reached via signposted nature trails
Bangor is a thriving university town surrounded by glorious scenery, making it a perfect place to end your journey along the Wales Coast Path. Although relatively small compared to other Welsh peaks, Bangor Mountain still offers several viewpoints with sweeping views over the city and its wonderful cathedral, the Menai Strait and towards the east of Anglesey. The signposted trail leads you along the River Cegin towards the pretty coastline, where you have the option to head east through a pretty woodland area and visit the Neo-Norman-style Penrhyn Castle. If you’re keen to bag a few more peaks before you end your trip, head east into the Snowdonia National Park for plenty more picturesque trails. Set up camp at The Management Centre, a Grade II-listed Edwardian building in the heart of Bangor.
*Destinations featured were chosen as stops along the North Wales Coast walking route. Then the most popular feature of each town was calculated using internal endorsement data.