Take the tiny cog steam-trainwith open-air carriages to the top of Snowdon, though it’s not cheap and gets hugely crowded. An £8-million visitor centre and café in rugged stone now crowns the peak. The train goes from the busy village of Llanberis, which has plenty of other things to do – Electric Mountain, a power station deep underground (good for older children), the National Slate Museum (free, with things for youngsters to see and climb on in a lakeside setting), lake cruises, easy meadow walks and the Llanberis Lake Railway steam train.
In Snowdonia National Park children love Sygun Copper Mine, Dolgoch waterfall (a stop on the beautiful Talyllyn Railway), and the twin, tiny train-rides inside Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Active families with kids 12+ can try Canolfan Tryweryn National Whitewater Centre near the lakeside town of Bala – 8km of foaming excitement fed by the Llyn Celyn reservoir so able to operate virtually year-round. See our white-water rafting with kids tips page. There are plenty of other activity centres in Llanberis and elsewhere, along with biking and hiking trails. For younger children, Greenwood Forest Park is an eco-world of climbing, with a human-powered rollercoaster!
The north coast is a different world, with the Victorian prom of Llandudno with its own mini-mountain attractions (tramway, copper mine) and Rhyl with its kiss-me-quick feel. Anglesey is quiet and cut off, while on the west coast you’ve got delightful little resorts such as Abersoch, Aberdovey and Barmouth.