An eggs-travaganza of fun in North Wales this Easter!

With the Easter holidays almost upon us, here’s a round-up of our favourite Easter activities across North Wales. With something for everyone to enjoy, we think this Easter is going to be egg-stra special!

There are Easter eggs hunts and activities taking place right across North Wales this year.

Easter Egg Hunt, Llanberis Lake Railway

Over the easter weekend, the railway is holding an Easter egg hunt with a difference. Jump aboard and search for the eggs, hidden by that cheeky Easter Bunny on the trains and at the stations. Keep your eyes peeled for the sweet rewards and, who knows, you might even get to meet the Easter Bunny too!

Booking is advised as this is one of the most popular events of the year, see website for details.

Easter slate trail, National Slate Museum – Llanberis

A visit to the National Slate Museum, right on our doorstep, is fascinating all year round. This living history museum shows visitors what life was like in Snowdonia during the golden age of slate, when towns and villages like Llanberis were made. This Easter there are two very different trails to enjoy at the museum.

You will be fascinated by the story of the Snowdonia Slate Trail, an 85 mile long walking route due to open this autumn. The route will guide walkers through some of the most iconic North Walian landscapes and local school children have been helping with the project by doing their own research on the trail. See their work around the museum and perhaps be inspired to come back and take a walk along the trail yourself.

If you can tear the youngsters away from the delightful narrow-gauge engines at the museum, visit the workshops and hunt down the hidden eggs. Find them all and claim your sweet reward at the end!

Easter fun at Foel Farm Park, Anglesey

Enjoy spring fever and go gooey over the baby animals at Foel Farm Park, overlooking the Menai Strait on Anglesey.

This family-friendly attraction is a great-value day-out for the whole family. Explore the farm: meet the baby bunnies, feed the lambs, have a tractor ride, take a pony ride, feed the horses and let the little ones run free on the play area, complete with giant bouncy pillow! The farm gets into the Easter spirit with a grand Easter egg hunt to be held at 1pm on Easter Sunday.

Adults will enjoy getting back to nature – but there’s a great onsite cafe and artisan chocolate shop too!

Normal admission fees apply. See the farm’s Facebook page for full details of the event.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts and activities, various National Trust properties

Follow the clues left by that cheeky Easter Bunny for a chocolatey reward at any one of a number of National Trust properties across the region. Nearby Plas NewyddPenrhyn Castle and Bodnant Garden are all hosting trails, plus a feast of Easter activities for children.

Fo adults, a riot of spring colour is the main attraction with the opportunity to see some of the finest gardens in the UK wearing their spring best. Daffodils, tulips, bluebells, primroses, rhododendrons and magnolias are just a few of the plants in full bloom. The historic properties at Plas Newydd and Penrhyn Castle will delight and intrigue, giving you an olde-worlde snapshot of how the other half celebrated at this time of year.

Plas Newydd, Anglesey

Take the family to Plas Newydd on Anglesey for a host of wildlife-themed activities and a chance to tick off a few more of their ‘50 Things‘. Join a walking tour to learn about birds and birdsong, enjoy some fun red-squirrel-style over the Bank Holiday, and get to grips with some of Plas Newydd’s creepy crawly residents too.

Adults are well-catered for with a fascinating talk on the world-famous Whistler mural – this is an art lecture like you’ve never seen before!

Penrhyn Castle, Bangor

If the weather’s unkind, why not join the great Penrhyn Bee Hunt? The bees have escaped the walled garden and are hiding in the castle – it’s a great way for adults to enjoy the house, keeping the kids occupied at the same time! Continuing the apian theme, you can meet the Penrhyn bees and beekeepers on Good Friday with the chance to see inside the hive too.

All Easter, Penrhyn’s resident face painter (her creations are out of this world) will be brightening up little faces, plus you can find out about life in the Victorian kitchen and enjoy storytelling and crafts (selected dates).

Bodnant Garden, Conwy Valley

There’s a long list of things to see and do at Bodnant this Easter, with the garden firmly establishing itself as the go-to place for families to enjoy great-value, fun activities in the school holidays.

Kids can check off a few more adventures on their ’50 Things’ list, playing pooh sticks in the stream and walking barefoot among spring flowers in the Great Park. Every day during the holidays there is a busy programme of activities, including Bug Bingo, pond dipping and storytelling.

For adults, the Easter highlight at Bodnant has to be the grand opening of the Furnace Wood & Meadow by Iolo Williams on 11 April. With various guided walks, including Bodnant’s popular twilight bat walk and a walk with the head-gardener (booking essential, small charge applies), you’ll find yourself coming back again and again.

For the most part, activities are free but normal admission fees apply, see the National Trust website for details. The Cadbury Egg Hunt is £2 per child and Tammy’s face painting at Penrhyn Castle is £3.50 per child.

Easter activities, various CADW monuments

Custodians of Welsh heritage, CADW, are also putting on a packed schedule of events for the Easter break. We’re privileged to enjoy great access to some of the best-preserved fortresses of the medieval period, with Caernarfon, BeaumarisHarlech and Conwy castles all within easy reach of the hotel.

This April, knights, kings and dragons will all converge on Edward I’s Ring of Steel to provide some fabulous Easter fun for visitors!

Caernarfon Castle

There’s a dragon on the loose and the residents of Caernarfon need your help to find it. Join the quest to find the dragon; learn how to use a bow and arrow before exploring the passageways of the castle in search of the fiery reptile and a yummy reward.

Beaumaris Castle

The House of the Black Star will be setting up camp at Beaumaris this Easter, to show visitors what life was like in medieval Wales. Visit the camp, talk to the soldiers, meet birds of prey and even try out the arms and armour. Afterwards, join in with Easter crafts and explore the castle on an egg trail.

Harlech Castle

Meet the heroic Ardudwy Knights at Harlech and experience life as a medieval knight. Get to grips with the weapons of the age: bow and arrow, sword, spear, and watch the experts in action on the combat field. Which knight wins your favour?

Of course, no knight is complete without a quest so get one to help you find the yummy treats on Harlech’s Easter egg trail!

Conwy Castle

Edward I had a taste for the finer things in life. So fine, in fact, that chocolate eggs were no good to him. Instead he commissioned a very special Easter treat for himself and his friends – 400 golden eggs, hand painted and decorated in expensive gold-leaf. Visit Conwy Castle this Easter and join the hunt for Edward’s golden eggs – solve the clues then decorate one for the king’s collection.

Activities are free but normal admission fees apply, see the CADW website for details.

Image courtesy of Donar Reiskoffer via Wikimedia Commons.

Secret Caernarfon: 5 places off the tourist trail you must visit

Caernarfon is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to North Wales and it’s not hard to see why. UNESCO World Heritage status, great shopping, an authentic Welsh feel and some great places to eat and drink, and you have all the makings of a memorable day out. But, look again, and you will see Caernarfon has even more to offer.

Join us for an alternative sightseeing tour of Caernarfon and uncover some new and exciting things to see and do during the Year of Legends.

Secret Caernarfon
  1. 1. Dinas Dinlle

Caernarfon is a town laced with history and just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Castle Square, you will find the equally historic village of Dinas Dinlle. Best known for its picture-perfect stretch of sandy beach, Dinas Dinlle was an important settlement during the Iron Age. The remains overlook the beach and afford breathtaking views of the Llyn Peninsula and Llanddwyn Island off Anglesey.

The saltmarshes of Dinas Dinlle are classified a Site of Special Scientific Interest and form part of an RSPB reserve so it’s an area rich in flora and fauna too. With a couple of shops and cafes (a great one beachside), Dinas Dinlle is a lovely spot to get away from it all for a few hours.

  1. 2. Segontium

It wasn’t just Edward I who saw the strategic importance of Caernarfon. Just outside the town centre lie the remains of Segontium Roman fort. The largest structure of its kind excavated in Wales, the fortress billeted a 1,000 strong regiment of soldiers during the Roman conquest of Wales. Dating from around 70 AD, Segontium was the military and administrative centre for north-west Wales throughout the Roman period.

Today, Segontium is under the care of the CADW and entry is free of charge. Onsite there is an interesting visitor centre (check website for opening dates and times) and several reenactments are held throughout the year – occasions not to be missed!

  1. 3. Ben Twthill

This secret spot stands in full view of all who visit Caernarfon but tourists rarely venture off the beaten path to explore it. Make the effort, though, and you will be rewarded with some of the best views on the coast. The hill that rises behind the town is a small but significant site. It witnessed a fierce battle during the Wars of the Roses and hosts a memorial to those who died in the Boer War.

But the views from Ben Twthill are what it’s all about with great photo opportunities across the rooftops of Caernarfon to Anglesey plus – the icing on the cake – an unobstructed view of Snowdonia.

  1. 4. Porth-yr-Aur

Back in the town centre, the castle and walls provide a day-out in themselves. However, spare some time to visit and – silently – contemplate Porth-yr-Aur or the Golden Gate. One of only two entry points into the town during the medieval period, this harbourside gateway was constructed, like the castle, in the Byzantine style and named in honour of the setting sun. Local legend says those passing through the gate must not speak or bad luck will befall the speaker!

  1. 5. Cae’r Gors

A short drive from Caernarfon will bring you to an important but unassuming site of Welsh historic importance. The quaint, quarryman’s cottage of Cae’r Gors in Rhosgadfan looks like something out of a fairytale.

But this was the childhood home of someone whose feet were planted firmly in the real world. Kate Roberts – writer, teacher and political activist – was a woman ahead of her time. Born in the late 19th century in rural Wales, Kate went on to become owner and editor of Welsh language newspaper, Y Faner. Beloved in Wales for her short stories about daily life in the quarrying villages, she is known affectionately as  brenhines ein llên (queen of our literature).

In a Year of Legends, we think Kate deserves to be recognised internationally as a true Welsh legend and we hope we’ve inspired you to visit her childhood home and other hidden gems of Caernarfon.

Images: Segontium courtesy of Nilfanion via Wikimedia Commons. Cae’r Goes © Copyright Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.