North Wales Has So Much To Offer Come And Visit As Soon As It Is Safe



Great Orme

The Great Orme at Llandudno, our local patch, birds, wildlife, scenery, history and more.



North Wales has so much to offer the visitor, whether you are particularly interested in its natural beauty and special wildlife, its history from prehistoric settlement to modern times, its industrial heritage and unique culture, and delicious local produce. We offer our Birdwatching Tours all year round and now we are pleased to offer something a little different, lots of birds, but lots more too these new custom tours provide a wonderful overview of North Wales and all its special birds. Ruth is training as an offical North Wales tour guide and should, virus restrictions willing, qualify later this year, 2020. So we are in the perfect position to offer tailor made tours of this beautiful part of the UK. We offer day trips, five day set departure tours, The Best of North Wales, and custom made tours of any length that you would like. We are very flexible and can include as much birding and culture as you would like, can be all birds, all culture or a mix of both, we are here to make your visit to North Wales perfect.

Puffin on island Norway

Everyone loves to see Puffins and we have them here in North Wales from April to July.



May is a particularly good time to visit as the weather is often mild and dry at this time of year, wildlife is busy with spring migration in full swing and the start of the busy breeding season and gardens are looking fresh and colourful as the plants that favour this area are coming into full bloom. Why not think about planning a visit in May 2021? Here are some ideas that might tempt you and if you have any questions please fire away we are here to help make your visit perfect. Of course North Wales is wonderful to visit all year round and we run our tours throughtout the year so please just ask about dates that suit you.

We have collated some ideas to show you the range of what North Wales has to offer, and here are some of our favourites.

Conwy Castle

North Wales has so many wonderful castles to explore here is Conwy Castle close to RSPB Conwy.



History:

From prehistoric sites and medieval castles to 20th century history, North Wales is blessed with a fascinating history to share with visitors ranging from impressive buildings to atmospheric ruins. Here are just some of the highlights:

Conwy Castle and medieval walled town – perhaps the jewel in North Wales’s crown is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the impressive 13th century castle at Conwy, one of a chain of castles built by the English king Edward I to subjugate the Welsh! The beautiful town itself, also part of the World Heritage Site, is one of the best-preserved walled towns in Europe and features plenty of historic buildings and quirky corners. A walking tour of the town is one of Ruth’s specialities! Conwy town is just a few minutes from RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve so easily cominbuned to enjoy history and great birds.

Penrhyn Castle (National Trust) – the current castle building was built in the 1800s as a symbol of wealth by the Pennant Family who made their fortune from the nearby slate quarry and the family’s sugar plantation in Jamaica. Today the impressive stately home and its grounds and gardens are managed by the National Trust. Beautiful grounds, grand rooms, an impressive art collection including Canaletto, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Gainsborough. And of course, being an NT property there’s another lovely shop and tearoom! The Ogwen Estuary is adjacent to Penrhyn Castle and has great birds all year round and is prehaps the best place to see Kingfisher in North Wales.

Red Squirrel Anagach 1

Plas Newydd (National Trust) – historic house and garden situated on the Menai Strait with stunning views of the Snowdonia mountains. The ancestral home of the Marquis of Anglesey since the 16th century featuring a mural by Whistler, and beautiful woodland gardens where red squirrels are frequently seen. Nearby RSPB Cors Ddyga Nature Reserves is one of the best birdwatching sites on Anglesey with wildfowl, waders, raptors and lots more always worth a visit at any time of year.

Caerhun Church – a 13th century church on the site of a roman fort. Once one of the most important Roman forts in Wales, this site is now a haven of peace overlooking the beautiful Conwy River. The ancient yew trees may be 1500 years old, and the churchyard features many curious and ancient gravestones. Inside the church are interpretation boards showing the history of this beautiful site. This a wonderful place to enjoy birds too you maybe be lucky and see a Hawfinch and the area holds lots of birds of prey including Goshwak, Peregrine and Red Kite.

Llandudno and the Great Orme’s Head – this limestone headland overlooking the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno is not just a dramatic place to walk and enjoy wildlife, it also has a long human history to tell from a Bronze Age Copper Mine, to a Victorian tram, to the World War II gun emplacements. Llandudno itself is a conservation area which has maintained its Victorian heritage, with Wales’s longest pier and a beautiful promenade, as well as many delightful Victorian B&Bs and hotels, the perfect base for your North Wales visit. The headland is a wonderful place to enjoy birds with Red-billed Chough, Peregrine Falcons, Black Guillemots, migrants passing through which annually include Dotterel, Yellow-browed Warbler and Lapland Bunting. Always the chance of rarity too, Alpine Swift in May 2020.

Bodnant laburnum arch group

We love taking our visitors to the beautiful Bodnant Gardens - plenty of birds too.



Gardens: With our mild climate and reliable water supply (!), North Wales has plenty of beautiful gardens to offer. May is a great month in which to enjoy some of our favourites including:

Bodnant Garden (National Trust) – a 32-hectare historic garden on the edge of Snowdonia, created in the 1800s. It features formal planting around the house, established woodland gardens featuring magnolias and rhododendrons, five National Collections and several Champion Trees. Further from the house are more natural areas of woodland and river. Bodnant also hosts the famous Laburnum Arch which usually starts to flower in May. Like most National Trust properties, it also has a shop and several tearooms! Wonderful birds in the gardens too including Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Red Kite.

The Hidden Gardens of Plas Cafnant – restoration work on this 80-hectare site began in the 1990s as features including the Walled Garden, the Valley Garden and the Upper Woodland Garden were discovered and have been lovingly restored to their former glory. This garden was shortlisted for the Historic Houses ‘Garden of the Year’ award in 2019. Like all good gardens, it features a tearoom. At nearby Penmon Point there are seabirds and a great place to look for migrants with Atlantic grey seals often hauled out on the rocks.

Ness Botanic Gardens – was developed in the early 1900s and is now managed by Liverpool University so there is a strong tradition of research, conservation, and public education here. In May these gardens feature blooming herbaceous borders and wildflower meadows, and of course a café! Just a few minutes away is the wonderful RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands Nature Reserve where Avocets breed, raptors hunt in winter and anything can turn up in Spring and Autumn a must visit site.

Group Nant Ffrancon BBC Wildlife

Walks and Wildlife: We have been running our popular Birdwatching Trips here in North Wales for over ten years and know just where to go for a walk within beautiful surroundings with an eye open for wildlife. Here are some suggestions.

Aber Falls – We can enjoy a lovely (and easy) walk from the pretty village of Abergwyngregin where the last Welsh rulers held their court, up through the oak woodland to the waterfalls of Rhaeadr Fawr (big falls). May is a good time of year to look out for such Welsh woodland specialities as Common Redstart and Pied Flycatcher which return here in spring to breed.

Lackford Kingfisher 7

The Common Kingfisher, not so common of course, is a stunning bird well worth seeing.



Aber Ogwen/The Spinnies – this little reserve is managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust and features several hides (blinds) one of which overlooks both a pool on one side and an estuary on the other, so we can enjoy watching plenty of birds in comfort. The place to see a Kingfisher and the estuary has lots of birds including Common Eider, Greenshank, huge flocks of Eurasian Oystercatcher and more, each season is different.

Nant Ffrancon – a stunning U-shaped glaciated valley within the Snowdonia National park with the Carneddau ridge on one side and the Glyderau on the other. In May we have the chance to look for Ring Ouzels, mountain blackbirds which breed on these ridges, and Wheatears passing through. This is an area where Twite, a mountain breeding finch can sometimes be found a rare bird in North Wales.

Gwydir Forest - this is an upland area of mainly coniferous forest with many walks and trails throughout often opening up to impressive vistas of the mountains of Snowdonia. Dotted amongst the trees are remnants of this area’s industrial past when lead ore was mined here, hard to imagine in the peace and quiet of the current day. The forest also holds great birds including Goshawk, Common Crossbill, Eurasian Siskin, Tree Pipit and Eurasian Nightjar.

Hawfinch Roy de Hass

Hawfinch can be seen in North Wales and are wonderful birds to enjoy here a male.



Rest and Refresh: We are famous for knowing the best places for a light lunch, a refreshing cup of coffee or a delicious homemade cake. Here are three of our favourites:

Tu Hwnt i’r Bont – (The House across the Bridge). Once a courthouse, this ivy-clad tearoom is indeed across the bridge over the River Conwy from the rest of the town of Llanrwst. Watch your head on the low beams before sitting down to enjoy the best Welsh Rarebit, carrot cake and scones-jam-and-cream ever! The River Conwy runs right past the tearoom, and in winter floods through it, so lots of birds here to compliment the wonderful cakes! Hawfinch, Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Goshawk are all possible while sitting outside the tearoom.

Ty Hwll/Pot Mel – (The Ugly House/Honey Pot). Allegedly if you could build a cottage overnight and have smoke coming out the chimney the next morning, you could keep the house and the surrounding land. The craggy stones of this characterful cottage may be rough on the outside, but inside the Honeypot tearoom are more delicious cakes, sandwiches, Scotch eggs and salads. The wildlife-friendly gardens are managed by the Snowdonia Society. The woodland here has Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Common Redstart with Dippers and Grey Wagtails on the river.

Ffin y Parc Country House and Gallery – an art gallery and coffee shop combined. The gallery houses rotating exhibitions by local Welsh Artists (artworks are all for sale!) while the coffee shop offers the perfect place for lunch. The nearby woodlands are one of the best places in North Wales to see Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Common Redstart in the spring and have resident Goshawk and Hawfinch.

To book a tour with us please email us at the address below and we can put together the perfect North Wales tour for you on dates that suit you....

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We hope that you like the sound of these suggestions and we look forward to sharing them with you.





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