Chester is just minutes from the Welsh border with its sandy beaches, dramatic scenery and historic buildings all in easy reach by car or train. Wales is well known for its many castles which vary from rugged ruins to well preserved buildings complete with moats. There are over a dozen Welsh castles to explore between 20 minutes and an hour and a half drive from Chester.

If you like seaside resorts then on a sunny day drive the 35 miles to Prestatyn beach and don’t forget the buckets and spades and a picnic. When you’ve had enough of the sand try out the local crazy golf. Or take a stroll along the Victorian pier at Llandudno, just under 50 miles away, followed by a cable car or tram ride to the top of the Great Orme.

You can drive over a hairy mountain pass to Llangollen to walk up to the ruined Dinas Bran castle that overlooks the town or visit the 18th Century Plas Newydd house, take a trip on a horse drawn canal barge or in a steam train.

The Welsh countryside also has a lot to offer walkers, especially in the Clwydian hills, a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty only 20 miles from Chester. From the top of Moel Famau you get sweeping views across North Wales to the West and the Wirral and Merseyside to the North.

Some interesting places to explore in North Wales:

Bodnant Gardens | Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5RE | Tel: +44 (0)1492 650460

These beautiful National Trust owned gardens are about an hour’s drive from Chester. They are set in a steep sided valley with dramatic waterfalls, woodlands and formal gardens. Be prepared to do a lot of walking to fully explore the gardens! There are accessible routes throughout. There’s also a café and a garden centre by the entrance.

Chirk Castle | Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5AF | Tel: +44 (0)1691 777701

Chirk Castle dates back to the 13th Century and is in North Wales, just 30 minutes drive from Chester. You can explore the house and gardens, eat at the café and go on longer walks on the surrounding estate.


A well preserved medieval walled town with a castle and quayside overlooking the Conwy estuary on one side and Snowdonian mountains on the other. We recommend a walk around the top of the town walls to get your bearings (if you’re OK with steps and heights!). Follow that with a visit to the 13th Century castle and Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan town house.

Erddig house | Near Wrexham | Tel: +44 (0)1978 355314.

The ‘Servants House’, Erddig, is near Wrexham and gives a fascinating insight to life below stairs in the 18th century. There are also gardens to explore and, of course, a café.

Llandudno has local information on Llandudno, Conwy and the surrounding area.

A classic seaside resort with beaches on both sides, a Victorian pier, cable car and tram rides up to the top of the Great Orme. From Chester it’s easy to reach by road or rail.

Xplore! Science discovery centre in Wrexham | 17 Henblas Street, Wrexham, LL13 8AE

A great option for families, especially on a rainy day. You’ll find masses of hands-on science based activities that will keep primary school age children occupied for 2 or 3 hours. There’s a cafe and there are also plenty of places to eat in Wrexham town centre.

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) Mountain Railway | Llanberis, Gwynedd | Tel: +44 (0)844 493 8120

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is Wales highest mountain and one of the easiest ways to get to the summit is by the mountain railway from Llanberis. There’s a visitor centre at the top where you can take a break to enjoy the spectacular views across North Wales. Note that the railway and summit visitor centre are both closed during the Winter and the mountain can get very busy at peak holiday times in the Summer.

What some of Baker’s Cottage guests thought about North Wales:

{Recommendations for visiting North Wales: Erddig Hall, Conway, Bodnant Gardens, Chirk Castle, Bangor, Llandudno, Anglesey, Snowdonia, the Moors.
Christine M from York, February 2023
{We visited Bodnant Gardens which was lovely.
Carole C from Hastings, March 2022
{Newborough beach on Anglesey is beautiful & well worth the drive. Super long & scenic beach & forest trails.
Julie & Dave W from Ontario, June 2019
{Chirk castle very pleasant. Also recommend a trip to Llandudno.
Marian & Mark F from London, 2018

Where to find out more about visiting North Wales

  • is your first port of call for tourist information.
  • also has plenty of information for visitors.
  • is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and you’ll find maps and an itinerary planner including castles and other historic buildings that are open to the public.
  • lists historic buildings in Wales.