Not many people know this, but sometimes here in Wales we get a bit of rain! So as much as we love the Great Outdoors and all our spectacular scenery, sometimes we need somewhere a bit more… indoors.
That being said, even when it’s bright and sunny outside there’s not much that can beat really great art, and we’re lucky in North Wales to have a number of superb galleries to wander through, come rain or shine.
Read on and discover some of our cultural hotspots…
Oriel Ynys Môn, Llangefni
Situated on Anglesey, this gallery (Oriel in Welsh) and museum hosts a variety of exhibitions and events, and there’s always something fascinating to discover.
The art on display changes regularly, meaning repeat visitors will experience a range of genres; upcoming exhibitions for 2018 include a portrait series by Welsh international footballer Owain Fon Williams and a collection of wood engravings by Charles Tunnicliffe.
One thing that does stay the same is the huge display of work by Sir Kyffin Williams, the world-famous artist who was born in the area. For a change of pace, stop by the History Gallery to learn about Anglesey’s history. Those with little ones will love the great play area and excellent Café Blas Mwy.
Behind Mostyn’s Edwardian exterior lies fascinating modern architecture and a superb collection of modern art. Mostyn was reopened after a £1.5 million investment in 2010, and houses six separate galleries which display contemporary arts and crafts from around the globe.
Changing with the seasons, exhibitions are invariably diverse, showcasing conceptual art, huge themed shows and individual pieces. Should you be particularly inspired by the art on display (and we’re sure you will be), head to the shop where you’ll find a range of artworks, prints and handmade souvenirs you can take home with you!
After immersing yourself in the contemporary art, settle in at the Gallery Café to refuel.
Plas Glyn y Weddw, Llanbedrog
At Plas Glyn y Weddw, the setting is just as striking as the art itself. This arts centre’s Gothic, Grade II-listed exterior is the perfect pre-cursor to the array of artworks to be found within. Wandering the halls here is like stepping back in time; the spacious rooms and wooden staircases are wonderfully historic, and complemented perfectly by an array of modern and contemporary art.
Managed by an independent charitable trust, the centre also owns Winllan Woodland. The woodland features lots of beautiful walking trails and an outdoor theatre where guests can watch a variety of performances. An impressive collection of art adorns the walls here, with exhibitions celebrating history and culture always worth a few hours’ perusal.
Ffin y Parc, Llanrwst
A spectacular showcase for Welsh art, Ffin y Parc displays the best works from more than 40 artists working in Wales, and also displays art by some of the most preeminent Welsh artists from the 20th century.
Wales’ diversity is beautifully shown in the sheer variety of styles, media and subject matters on show within the gallery – you’ll encounter striking sculpture, moving paintings, bold prints and inspiring sketches. A dozen exhibitions with art for sale are held each year, granting visitors the chance to bring some artistic inspiration into their own homes.
For a refreshment break pre, mid or post wandering, you’ll find a selection of coffee, handmade cakes and light bites in the lovely café.
Oriel Brondanw, Penrhyndeudraeth
Plas Brondanw was the home of the famous Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect and designer of the world-famous Portmeirion Italianate village.
It was also the home of his eldest daughter, the artist Susan Williams-Ellis. Oriel Brondanw makes use of its unusual setting – a mix of spaces, lights and architecture that makes up this 16th/17th century manor house. Susan Williams-Ellis founded the famous Portmeirion Pottery, and you can see examples of this and her other work on display in the gallery, alongside exhibits by other artists.
While you’re visiting the gallery, why not stop by the lovely Plas Brondanw café (a separate organisation) for refreshments?
Ty Pawb, Wrexham
A multidimensional space that functions as an art exhibition area, food court, events venue, art gallery and market, in tribute to Wrexham’s history as a market town.
Formerly Oriel Wrecsam and Wrexham Arts Centre, this community cultural centre regularly holds a variety of events and exhibitions, with a changing programme featuring commissioned artworks, degree art shows, tutorials, workshops and classes on everything from dance to finance for artists.
Fascinating programmes include Souvenirs, which focusses on the locals’ experience of Wrexham, and Designer Maker, in which participants from HMP Berwyn work with a charity to create art.
Galeri Caernarfon, Caernarfon
Should you find yourself in Caernarfon, if you don’t fancy a visit to the castle, we can’t recommend a visit to Galeri Caernarfon enough. A gallery, theatre and cinema, the building also houses rehearsal space, work units and art spaces.
Of note here is the Sbarc Galeri project, which puts on performance and music classes for local school-age children and young people. The exhibition space holds a rotating residency and a range of media and styles, while visitors can also enjoy a schedule of movies, broadcasts of plays and special events on the big screen.
To make the most of your visit, make sure to stop by the Café Bar, which looks out over the stunning Menai Strait.
To start exploring North Wales’ many artistic venues and cultural gems, why not book a stay at the Royal Victoria to find yourself in the heart of the region?