Wales Northern Attractions Cymru
Top Tourist Attractions in Wales Northern
Counties: Gwynedd and ClwydNorth Wales, one of Britain's oldest established tourist regions, offers an abundance of holiday attractions within a relatively small area.
Road signs proclaiming "Croeso i Gymru" ("Welcome to Wales") greet the visitor as he enters the country and bear witness to the warm hospitality of the Welsh. The elegant little town of Llandudno is one of Britain's longest established seaside resorts, and the North Wales coast offers a great variety of scenery, with its spacious beaches and lively bathing resorts, rugged cliffs, little fishing villages and secluded bays. Snowdonia National Park, with Wales' highest mountain, Snowdon (3560ft/1085m) has for centuries attracted climbers and walkers. The Lleyn Peninsula and the Clwydian Range are also designated as "areas of outstanding natural beauty", and there are many historical sites and charming little towns, deep ravines and picturesque valleys, which turn any outing into a voyage of discovery.North Wales comprises the former counties of Caernarfon and Merioneth, which after reorganization formed the county of Gwynedd, and the former counties of Denbigh and Flint, which after reorganization became the county of Clwyd. The Tudor dynasty, which ascended the English throne, originally came from North Wales, while today the British heir to the throne is proclaimed "Prince of Wales" at Caernarfon Castle - the present Prince Charles' investiture took place there in 1969. The nationalist party of Wales, Plaid Cymru, was also founded in North Wales in 1925. In 1966 the party sent its first member of parliament to the House of Commons at Westminster: Gwynfor Evans (b. 1912), a symbolic figure for the newly awakened Welsh nationalism.Many Welsh place-names begin with the syllable "llan", which means "church". Other common beginnings are "aber" = "river-mouth"; "afon" = "river"; "bryn" = "hill"; "craig" = "rock"; "llyn" = "lake"; "rhos" = "moorland".
The eisteddfod is the cultural and political high point of the Welsh year, as well as being a national institution full of tradition. The festival has been held every year since 1860, alternating between North and South Wales and always at a different place which, for the duration of the week, becomes the cultural capital of Wales. The ceremony of the "crowning of the bard", which is similar to medieval mastersinger contests, has its origins in a contest first held at Cardigan Castle. In the middle of the 16th century, during the reign of Elizabeth I, this contest became a recognized public competition for poets, subsequently developing into the national festival week which we know today. This contest for the bard's throne, which up to now has always been conducted exclusively in Welsh, includes singing competitions, poetry readings, drama, folk dancing and popular music forms.
North Wales - Lovespoons Tradition
A popular souvenir from Wales are "lovespoons", hand-carved spoons made of wood, which since the 17th C have been traditionally given to the beloved as a sign of love and fidelity. These engagement gifts, which are elaborately decorated with initials, hearts (= "my heart is yours"), anchors (= "lasting power of love"), Celtic crosses (= "wedding"), keys (= "my house belongs to you"), lucky horseshoes and other symbols, are fashioned from a single piece of wood - sycamore, oak, beech or rowan. Even today these spoons are still a popular present for family occasions, weddings and other occasions, being a mark of affection.
Wales - Great Little Trains
It is still quite an adventure to take a ride on one of these colorful "great little trains of Wales", with their ancient locomotives and carriages, which chug across the countryside at full steam, even today. A nostalgic relic of the slate-mining age, when they were used for transporting slate from the mines, these 10 narrow-gauge railroads now carry millions of visitors every year through some of the most scenically impressive parts of Wales.
The Coast Road offers a pleasant drive past intense coastal scenery, and small towns and resorts. A highlight along this stretch is the popular resort town of Llandudno.