The River Conwy runs a course of 27 miles through a broad, forest-flanked valley that cuts through the heart of Snowdonia. The scenery here is among the most beautiful in the whole of Snowdonia: tumbling falls, wooded gorges, mountain lakes, moors, and even parts of the North Wales Coast.
But what is there to see and do in the Conwy Valley? Plenty, as a matter of fact; here are just ten suggestions.
1. Trefriw Woollen Mills
Entry is free at Trefriw Woolen Mills, a delightful attraction where it's fun to watch raw wool being magically transformed into bedspreads, tapestries and tweeds (you can buy similar finished joints in the shop once you've finished touring the museum). Check their website for what's on at different times of year – for example, over the summer you can see hand spinning demonstrations and try your hand at weaving on a small hand loom.
2. Swallow Falls
Swallow Falls, an area of outstanding natural beauty, is well worth a visit. The river Llugwy, flowing through a narrow chasm, creates a spectacular waterfall in a beautiful wooded area that's especially popular with photographers. There's a viewing area above the river if you do not fancy much of a walk; If you're feeling energetic, walk down the steep steps to the viewing platform close to the edge of the river.
3. Ty Mawr Wybrnant
Ty Mawr Wybrnant played an important role in Welsh history, as it was here that Bishop William Morgan was born. He translated the Bible into Welsh, which played a huge part in safeguarding the language. This beautiful old house has been restored to how it probably looked during the 16th century, and boasts a lovely woodland walk as well as a fascinating collection of bibles in over a hundred languages.
4. Conwy Valley Railway Museum
A great little attraction for the whole family, Conwy Valley Railway Museum has a lovely little railway that takes passengers on a fun trip through a model village and pleasant grounds. Inside, there are model railways that visitors can operate, some fantastic old and rare model railway pieces on display, and a shop where you can buy everything you need to start your own model railway.
5. Tree Top Adventure
Give your little monkeys an outlet for their excess energy at Tree Top Adventure – it's a fun, safe way to keep kids active, and adults seem to enjoy it too! Even if you've no head for heights, there's still plenty to do at Tree Top Adventure – like abseiling, Coasteering and gorge scrambling, which are all popular activities here.
6. Bodnant Garden
Perched above the River Conwy and reflecting 80 acres of beautifully sculpted and tended grounds, Bodnant Garden is one of Britain's most attractive gardens and one of the top Snowdonia attractions. The gardens at Bodnant are split into two sections; terraced gardens with informal lawns, and a wild river valley garden. Bodnant is a great place to see exotic plants from all over the world, especially Chinese and Japanese plants which seem to enjoy Snowdonia's climate.
7. Conwy Town
You can not visit the Conwy Valley without popping up to the medieval walled town of Conwy for a few hours. There's actually much more than a few hours' worth of things to see and do in the town; there's the UNESCO World Heritage castle and town walls, Plas Mawr, Aberconwy House, Britain's Smallest House, the Royal Cambrian Academy and much, much more. There's so much to see in Conwy, perhaps a few days would be more appropriate than a few hours!
8. Gwydir Castle
There are many good reasons to visit Gwydir Castle; the history, the architecture, the beautiful grounds … but if you're visiting around Halloween, chances are you'll be hoping for a glimpse of a ghost or two! Gwydir Castle is said to be one of Snowdonia's most haunted properties, and over the years all sorts of spooky sightings have been reported – not to mention strange smells and sounds …
9. Capel Garmon Neolithic Chambers
Capel Garmon's burial chamber is thousands of years old and a fascinating place to visit if you have an interest in ancient history. At the burial chamber a passage leads to a rectangular space which has circular chambers branching off it. The current entrance was originally an inner chamber but was renovated in the 19th century, when (and this may shock you) the tomb was used as a stable!
10. Conwy Valley Maze
Covering about two acres, Conwy Valley Maze is the largest garden maze in the world. The maze harbors several charming surprises, including 200 roses and a tropical garden. There's also a lovely woodland walk, and the opportunity to buy some fascinating architectural items. Finish off your visit at the cafe – the Italian coffee is very popular.