Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Harlech

Harlech Castle

Edward I finished this intimidating yet aesthetically pleasing castle in 1289, the southernmost of his 'iron ring' of fortresses designed to keep the Welsh firmly beneath his boot. The grey-sandstone castle's massiv…
Top Choice Forest in Betws-y-Coed

Gwydyr Forest

The 28-sq-mile Gwydyr Forest, planted since the 1920s with oak, beech and larch, encircles Betws-y-Coed and is scattered with the remnants of lead and zinc mine workings. Named for a more ancient forest in the same …
Top Choice Museum in Llanberis

National Slate Museum

Even if you're not enraptured by industrial museums, ignore the dull-sounding name and check this one out. At Dinorwig Quarry much of the slate was carved out of the open mountainside – leaving behind a jagged, scul…
Top Choice Arts Centre in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Cellb

Recently opened in the Edwardian-era police station (hence 'Cell B'), this multifunction centre hosts everything from yoga to live bands to screenings in a 40-seat cinema. It's also the town's most appealing dining …
Top Choice Mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Blaenau's main attraction takes you into the bowels of a Victorian slate mine. You descend the UK's steepest mining cable railway into the 1846 network of tunnels and caverns, while 'enhanced-reality technology' bri…
Top Choice Modern British in Bala (Y Bala)

Tyddyn Llan Restaurant

The glowing reputation of this Michelin-starred country restaurant is well-deserved. We are still salivating at the memory of our last visit – some dishes went beyond merely good and approached extraordinary. The pa…
Top Choice Bistro in Beddgelert

Beddgelert Bistro & Antiques

An eccentric gem, this hybrid bistro/antique store offers exceptional home cooking. By day it's more like a tearoom, but at night the tiny dining room at the heart of the 17th-century cottage fills up with happy din…
Top Choice Pub Food in Llanberis

Gallt-y-Glyn

Sure, it serves pasta, pies, burgers and salads, too, but almost everyone comes for the pizza and the free-pint-with-every-main deal. Simply tick what you want on the paper menu and hand it over at the bar. You'll f…
Top Choice Welsh in Betws-y-Coed

Bistro Betws-y-Coed

Perhaps the best place to eat in town, Bistro Betws offers some interesting adaptations of national staples, such as haddock with Welsh-rarebit crumb. Watch out for possible shot pellets in the sautéed breast of wil…
Nature Reserve in Dolgellau

Mawddach Estuary

The Mawddach Estuary is a striking sight, flanked by woodlands, wetlands and the mountains of southern Snowdonia. There are two Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) nature reserves in the valley, both ea…