Top 10 Country Parks in North Wales for Nature Lovers
Below, we spotlight the top 10 country parks in North Wales, ranging from uncrowded reserves to family-friendly parks complete with visitor centres, paved trails, cafes and high ropes courses.
Wales is renowned for its wild and rugged natural beauty, with parks playing an important role in protecting and preserving the pristine landscapes. As well as the country’s three signature national parks – Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and the Brecon Beacons – you’ll find a constellation of country parks dotted across Wales.
Reconnect with nature at these North Wales country parks
1. Coed y Brenin Forest Park
Set in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, Coed y Brenin Forest Park is one of the top mountain biking destinations in Wales. There are eight exhilarating MTB trails to hit up, ranging from beginner-friendly routes to gnarly tracks for experienced riders.
There’s also a bike rental shop within the park, making it easy to explore Coed y Brenin on two wheels. You’ll also find family-friendly facilities like a café, children’s playground and picnic tables.
2. Gwydir Forest Park
Gwydir Forest Park is another Snowdonia National Park gem nestled in the Conwy Valley. It’s named after nearby Gwydir Castle, a handsome Tudor mansion that’s been reimagined as a museum and boutique hotel.
Betws-y-coed is a great base for exploring this country park in North Wales, with easy access to waymarked trails. Plus, it’s one of the prettiest villages in Wales! The family-friendly Coed Tan Dinas Walk winds through a sun-dappled Douglas Fir forest and takes you to a riverside picnic site.
3. Alyn Waters Country Park
This reserve is named after the River Alyn, which meanders through the park and past the chocolate-box village of Bradley. The protected grassland, woodland and riverbank habitats are home to a variety of wildlife, including foxes, otters and newts. Plus, birdwatchers can spot kingfishers, kestrels, buzzards and more here too!
4. Waun Y Llyn Country Park
If you want to work up a sweat, Waun Y Llyn Country Park features a challenging trail to the summit of Hope Mountain. From the top, you’ll unlock sweeping views over the surrounding countryside. Watch for dragonflies and butterflies as you hike. The trail is dog-friendly, making Waun Y Llyn Country Park popular with local pet owners.
5. Penrhos Country Park
Penrhos Country Park may be marooned on Anglesey, but that doesn’t stop it from attracting around 100,000 visitors per year. This 200-acre country park in North Wales protects beautiful coastal and forest habitats, including wildflower-filled meadows and bluebell-strewn woods. There are even some hidden follies to discover on its scenic walking trails, and the park is cross-crossed with great cycling tracks.
6. Tŷ Mawr Country Park
Tŷ Mawr Country Park is set on the banks of the River Dee, beneath the historic Cefn Viaduct dating back to the 1800s. The miniature farm here is a hit with kids, with the chance to meet sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, llamas and other friendly animals. Explore the family-friendly trails and enjoy a picnic by the river at lunchtime.
7. Loggerheads Country Park
Loggerheads Country Park North Wales combines beautiful woodland scenery with rural charm. The park is anchored by charm-soaked Loggerheads village and is laced with well-marked trails that take you into the surrounding hills and valleys. Some of the prettiest trails skirt the banks of the River Alyn and showcase dramatic limestone cliffs and steep gorges. Others pass by the ruins of old mills and lead mines.
8. Wepre Country Park
Ewloe Castle is the jewel of Wepre Country Park, a 160-acre reserve in Flintshire, North Wales. The award-winning park boasts some of the most beautiful woodland walks in the region, as well as a fantastic children’s playground. Cast a line in the fishing pool and head to the visitor centre to find out more about the ancient woodland and the wildlife it supports.
9. Etna Country Park
Once an industrial clay hole, today Etna Country Park has been reimagined as one of the top green spaces in North Wales. Paved walking paths make it ideal for a wide range of visitors, from young families with strollers to seniors with electric scooters. However you choose to explore the park, you’ll love the wildflower-strewn meadows and woodlands it houses.
For a longer walk, set off on the three-mile Buckley Heritage Trail. It loops around the hamlet and is dotted with information boards that spotlight the town’s past as a pottery and brickmaking powerhouse. You can even stop in the village of Buckley for a cream tea or a pint at the local pub if you like!
10. Parc Gwledig Padarn
Parc Gwledig Padarn occupies an enormous 800-acres and protects some of the most dramatic scenery in North Wales. Glacier-carved Padarn Lake is set in the heart of the park and surrounded by ancient oak woodlands. Explore the ruins of centuries-old Dolbadarn Castle and step back in time at the Quarry Hospital Museum, where you can view original medical equipment from the 19th century.
The eight-kilometre trail around the lake is a great introduction to this country park. There are also some great family-friendly trails to explore. Get your pulse racing on the high ropes course, which is a hit with kids and adults alike. You can even pick up a fishing licence and cast a line for Arctic char!
Whatever your travel style, you’ll find country parks in North Wales for every age, interest and fitness level. Heading to South Wales? Find more inspiration in our countdown of the six must-see country parks and gardens in South Wales.