What’s on in North Wales this Christmas

christmas-market-563199_960_720

For a traditional Christmas experience, visit North Wales this December.

 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and where better to spend it than in the magical and picturesque surroundings of North Wales?

Sumptuous feasting and enchanting atmosphere are a must, and the Royal Victoria Hotel will help you celebrate this Christmas in style.

Step into the Jazz Age as we celebrate a sparkling festive season with our 1920s-themed soirées with showstopping dinners and drinks. Prefer a more traditional experience? There will be delicious seasonal fayre on our menus throughout December plus a fabulous Christmas Day Lunch on the big day. Why not make a stay of it and choose from a range of festive accommodation packages?

Guarded by the craggy Welsh peaks of the Snowdonia National Park and nestled between two stunning lakes, our hotel boasts one of the finest locations in Llanberis. With such an unrivalled aspect, be sure to bring a camera for some fantastic winter photo opportunities.

Snowdonia during the winter is a wonderland in every sense of the word. From exploring the myths and legends of the region, many within a stones’ throw of the hotel, to simply roaming the snow covered hills on a crisp December’s day, there’s no need to stray far from the warmth and hospitality of our hotel!

If you’re keen to get the most from your visit, you’ve come to the right place. There is so much going on across North Wales this Christmas it could be difficult to decide what to do! To help, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Christmas events and activities within a short drive of the Royal Victoria.

What’s on this Christmas

Extended to four days this year by popular demand, the Plas Newydd Christmas Fair promises to deliver a sackful of unique craft and food gifts to treat yourself and loved ones to.

Running right up to Christmas Week, Penrhyn Castle’s Victorian Christmas will provide a charming look back at the origins of some of our most treasured seasonal traditions.

Take a trip to yesteryear at the Beaumaris Victorian Christmas event at the end of November. For one day, Victoriana takes over the town, with gift stalls and local food vendors, plus horse and carriage rides, people in period costume and even the prospect of a blizzard (created with slightly more modern technology)!

While the jolly red elf himself has his main mode of transport in for repair, you’ll find Santa on a very special train at the lake railway near Bala, between the 4-18 of December. Book to avoid disappointment, as to quote Thomas the Tank Engine himself, these are ‘very special specials’!

Prefer Christmas to have additional thrills to what you’ll find in your stocking? Head along to the very first Surf Snowdonia Christmas Market. The wave garden may be closed for the winter but there’ll be warming fire pits, some great live music, stalls selling local produce and handmade wares, plus a real ale tent for a well-earned pint after some extreme Christmas shopping.

Within walking distance of the hotel, the National Slate Museum is hosting a winter fair with a Welsh flavour. First, wander around the site visiting the Quarrymen’s Houses, many traditionally decorated for Christmas, then join in with seasonal crafting sessions, post a letter to Santa, listen to a spellbinding storyteller and generally get in the mood for Christmas!

Staying close to the hotel, the Llanberis Christmas Fair is a annual event not to be missed. The evening commences with a dazzling lantern parade before the grand lighting ceremony, with Santa the guest of honour. Carol singing around the Christmas tree, plus lashings of mulled wine and mice pies, makes this a really special local tradition we would love to share with you.

Pontio Arts Centre in Bangor is hosting an impressive programme of events suitable for all the family this Christmas. Head along to see a unique world-screening of The Nutcracker between the 8 -11 December, resplendent with Tchaikovsky’s mesmerising score and a host of dancers. Meanwhile, the little princesses in your life will love the sing-along screening of Disney’s Frozen on the 10 December, while for grown-ups a performance of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony from Bangor University Symphony Orchestra takes place later that same day.

If Christmas is a family affair, you should make a date to visit Greenwood Forest Park. North Wales’ premier amusement park is playing host to a whole range of Christmas-themed events suitable for children big and small. Join Santa for afternoon tea or pop into the grotto for a photo opp and a gift, then head to the Enchanted Woodbarn, Greenwood’s impressive soft play facility for hours of fun.

Be our guest

We look forward to welcoming you to North Wales this Christmas and while we can’t promise snow, we can promise warm Welsh hospitality and an unforgettable visit with memories to treasure this Christmas and many more.

Snowdonia’s sparkling winter wonderlands

Christmas in Betws y Coed

Betws y Coed looks as good as trendy French ski resorts Morzine or Courchevel in the snow.

 

In the words of our very own national treasure, Tom Jones, baby, it’s cold outside!

If, as many weather pundits are predicting, Winter 16/17 turns out to be a bit on the chilly side (remember 2010?) people everywhere will be talking about the prospect of a white Christmas.

Because of our small size and proximity to the coast, North Wales enjoys an extremely temperate climate all year round making white Christmasses here few and far between. Even in mountainous parts of our region – thankfully – hard winters are rare; although snow on the peaks of the Snowdonia National Park is a view we are privileged to enjoy from the hotel year in year out!

Snow, wherever and whenever it falls, transforms our surroundings and there is no greater transformation than when it falls here. North Wales, a rugged and gentle landscape by turns, becomes a truly magical place. Wander the streets of Betws y Coed and you could be mistaken for thinking you are in a stylish Alpine resort. Hike the hills surrounding Llanberis and you could be ‘north of the wall’ in a bleak and dramatic scene from blockbuster TV show, Game of Thrones.

Come with us on a sparkly seasonal walk through some of our favourite North Wales winter wonderlands. Grab a warm coat, pop on your toasty socks, and let’s make some snow angels!

An alpine stroll in Betws y Coed

Lit up by twinkling Christmas lights and decorated to celebrate the season of goodwill, Betws y Coed looks as good as trendy French ski resorts Morzine or Courchevel in the snow. This village, pretty any time of the year, really comes into its own dressed up with a covering of the white stuff.

Take a walk along the riverbank from Pont y Pair to the Miner’s Bridge. It’s accessible part of the way and takes in a variety of winter scenery including icicle-laden waterfalls, icing sugar meadows and silent, sparkling evergreen forest. A visit to Betws in the snow is as close to taking stroll through a Christmas card as you’ll ever get, this side of the North Pole!

After your walk, warm up with a hot drink and a hearty meal at the popular Stables Bar at the Royal Oak Hotel, a mecca for hikers, bikers and shoppers to Betws y Coed.

Ffestiniog Railway – the magic begins!

The Harry Potter movies have become synonymous with Christmas TV and we invite you and the family to recreate the snowy journey of the Hogwarts Express right here in Snowdonia.

Take a trip on the historic Ffestiniog Railway, from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, for a blizzarding, wizarding experience. Along the way you will see frozen lakes and waterfalls, magically turned to gold by the piercing winter sunlight. Look up and the view will quite literally take your breath away; white mountain tops wreathed in mysterious winter mists.

Throughout December, you can join Santa at one of several special events held on the Welsh Highland Railway as he trades in his sleigh for steam to meet children, young and old, on a special festive trip. With presents for the believers and mince pies for everyone else, it’s a really fun and memorable family occasion. Owing to the popularity of the Santa Trains, booking is essential!

Pace or peace in the Gwydir forest

If just the sight of the white stuff starts you daydreaming about hitting the slopes, then you should make the perilous journey up to Nant Bwlch yr Haearn when the snow sets in. Okay, so you can’t strap on your skis but you can take advantage of the Marin Trail and all the thrills this world-renowned mountain biking trail has to offer. A test of skills in any weather, the route is particularly tricky and even more challenging in icy conditions.

If you’re more aprés-ski than thrillseeker, you might prefer to explore the area on foot. Managed by Natural Resources Wales, the Gwydir Forest has well-maintained paths through brooding pine forest and across sparkling, silver moorland.

With the snow lying all around, a pale blue sky above and silence, but for the drip-drip of melting icicles, we think it’s as close to a winter winter wonderland as you’ll ever get.

Image courtesy of: Bob Abell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.