North Wales is not just home to the highest mountain in Wales and some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, although that on it’s own would be pretty awesome. It also has some interesting and fascinating history. From a Grade 1 listed suspension bridge to mines that quarried the famous Welsh slate, there are many places steeped in history to visit.
Here’s some of our favourite historical gems. For a relaxing break whilst discovering the history that North Wales has to offer, why not come and stay in our accommodation in Porthmadog?
Menai Suspension Bridge
Completed in 1826 and designed by Thomas Telford, the bridge connected the mainland of Wales with the island of Anglesey where previously the only access had been by ferry across the perilous Menai Straits. The bridge stands majestically over the water as a Grade I listed structure and is a sight to behold from a distance. The bridge itself is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
At the height of the Welsh mining industry 17,000 men were employed to excavate the slate deep under the Welsh mountains, which was then transported all across the world.
The Llechwedd Slate Caverns offers a range of tours including a walking tour where you can literally walk in the footsteps of the miners as you head underground to the mine. With a guide to tell you all about the history, you’ll learn the story of the Welsh miners as they worked the mine and split the slate day after day.
Great Orme copper mine
The Great Orme mine in Llandudno was discovered in 1987 when landscaping of the Great Orme area unearthed the discovery of a Bronze Age copper mine. Over time a team of archaeologists and engineers have been uncovering more and more areas of the mine and it is now thought to be the largest prehistoric mine so far discovered in the world.
The tunnels were mined over 3500 years ago and you can walk through them as you imagine prehistoric man searching for the copper that would have been deep in the rock.
Portmeirion often features in our recommendations and that is because it’s such a unique place. Built between 1925 and 1976, bit by bit, by architect Clough Williams-Ellis his vision was to see the village compliment the surrounding natural environment without ruining it. The Mediterranean style village nestles onto the cliff, and is a beautiful place to wander through with a range of accommodation, places to eat and areas to explore.
Gelert’s Grave (Beddgelert)
In the heart of Snowdonia National Park, Gelert’s Grave is the stuff of myth and legend. The story goes that Llewellyn, Prince of North Wales discovered his faithful hound covered in blood and his son missing from his cot.
In a fit of anger thinking his dog had harmed his son he plunged a dagger into the hound’s side. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. The Prince found his child unharmed, and a wolf nearby which Gelert had slain to protect the child. Legend has it that the Prince never smiled again.
All images supplied with thanks to Sian Davies photography!