Where are the best places to live in North Wales?

How well do you know the villages, towns and cities of North Wales?

Beyond the most popular destinations, there are so many places that are excellent spots to call home. This article explores some of the most popular places to live in North Wales, from the beautiful greenery of Gwynedd to the pleasant shores of Anglesey. North Wales is a haven for authentic, Welsh culture, language and history as well as being a particularly beautiful area to call home.

So, let’s explore the options available – some of which you might not know about (in no particular order).

Caernarfon

What's the best place to live north wales

Caernarfon is a historical masterpiece, situating on the Menai Strait. Its incredible 13th century castle is a commanding presence on the shoreline, and the town also boasts the highest proportion of Welsh speakers in Wales. It’s a flourishing town, popular with tourists and locals for its mixture of modern amenities and long-standing historical significance. Palace Street is considered one of the best high-streets in the UK, with its wealth of independent retailers and restaurants.

There are many reasons Caernarfon is an excellent place to live. Here are just a few reasons:

Historical heritage: Caernarfon is best known for its magnificent Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This medieval fortress offers a glimpse into Wales’ past and the town’s historical significance as a cultural and administrative centre in North Wales.

Stunning scenery: Positioned at the mouth of the River Seiont, and on the eastern shore of the Menai Strait, Caernarfon offers breathtaking views across the bay. Equally, there’s easy access to areas of natural beauty, including the nearby Snowdonia National Park.

Community & culture: The town has a strong sense of community with a rich Welsh culture. Residents can enjoy various cultural festivals from the Gwyl Fwyd food festival to the Caernarfon Art Festival. There are also plenty of Welsh language and music events throughout the year.

Great transportation: Caernarfon benefits from good transport connections to other parts of North Wales. The A487 and A499 provide convenient links to Porthmadog and Pwllheli, while plenty of bus services connect to Bangor and other nearby towns.

Education: There are many excellent schools that teach through the medium of Welsh, reflecting Caernarfon’s strong linguistic heritage. Caernarfon is also close to Bangor University.

Holyhead

Holyhead

Holyhead is the largest town on the beautiful isle of Anglesey, delivering all the amenities you could desire – while also giving you the opportunity to discover its rugged coastline and attractive beaches. It’s rightly been named as one of the ‘most connected’ areas in North Wales, especially considering its ferries to Ireland and beyond. Many people come to Holyhead from across Anglesey to take advantage of its shopping, job opportunities and schools.

There are many reasons Holyhead is an excellent place to live. Here are just a few reasons:

Its strategic location: Holyhead is a vital maritime port connecting the UK with Ireland, making it an ideal location for those who need frequent travel between the two. Its position also provides stunning coastal views and easy access to outdoor activities.

The culture & history: The town has plenty of history, evident from sites like the Holyhead Maritime Museum and the ancient Roman fortifications. Holyhead Fort is one of Europe’s only walled Roman Forts, and the 19th-century South Stack Lighthouse also provides spectacular views of the sea.

Outdoor sights & activities: Holyhead is surrounded by remarkable natural beauty, including the Breakwater Country Park and Holyhead Mountain. The mountain provides trails with stunning views across Anglesey and the Irish Sea, and the nearby RSPB South Stack Cliffs nature reserve is a haven for walkers and birdwatchers. Given its coastal location, there are also excellent opportunities for windsurfing, kayaking and swimming.

Community events: Holyhead also has a vibrant community spirit, with local events like the annual Holyhead Festival featuring musical acts, dance, and more. There’s also going on at the Ucheldre Centre, which hosts performances, films and music events across the year.

Great services & transport: Holyhead is well-connected by road and rail to other parts of Wales and England, with additional transport links via its busy ferry terminal. The A55 expressway connects it to the mainland, and it possesses direct rail links to Cardiff and London. The town also provides plenty of key services and amenities, including schools, shops, and healthcare facilities.

Trearddur Bay

Trearddur bay

Trearddur Bay is located on the far west coast of Anglesey, with several settlements orbiting the beautiful Traeth Trearddur (frequently considered one of the best beaches in Anglesey). Homes are mostly detached, white cottages set back far from the road with plenty of land – with many providing gorgeous views of the seafront.

The primary attractions are the beach and Porth Dafarch, both highly regarded for their sandy shores, safe swimming conditions, and ideal environment for water sports like sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and scuba diving. The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path winds its way across Trearddur Bay, making it easy to explore the coast on foot and from the vantage point of the cliffs.

People live here for a calmer pace of life, punctuated by the abundance of seaside activities, sailing opportunities and idyllic scenery.

Llangefni

llangefni

Llangefni has been the cultural and administrative centre for Anglesey since the 16th century, sitting right near the centre of the island, sporting the Oriel Mon arts and culture centre which acts as a hub for the history, arts and archaeology relating to the island.

Llangefni’s central position makes it the ideal place to access the rest of Anglesey, home to the Nant y Pandy nature reserve, surrounded by greenery on all sides, and the picturesque Llyn Cefni lake to the north. It still retains a historic market, reminiscent of the fact that it was once a key trade hub within Anglesey, providing plenty of locally sourced goods.

There’s also a great local sporting tradition, as it is the home to Clwb Rygbi Llangefni Rugby Club and Llangefni Town F.C.. At the same time, there’s good options for education, with a campus of Coleg

Menai on the edge of town. Similarly, there’s great transport links, with the A55 right on the doorstep and ready to take you in or out of Anglesey.

Rhosneigr

best place to live wales

Rhosneigr sits on the south-west coast of Anglesey. This once tiny fishing village has flourished since the 18th century, with a crop of historic buildings constructed and a growing interest in its water sports. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, from the incredibly popular Oyster Catcher to Chaplin’s Ice Cream & Coffee Bar (a summer favourite) – and you’ll find many more options lining Rhosneigr High Street. The town caters brilliantly to both locals and visitors, with its numerous amenities and facilities outmatching its small size.

It has an almost unrivalled offering of sea-based activities to enjoy – from sea swimming and surfing to wing foiling and paddleboarding. Even better, there’s plenty of local tuition available for each of these. Traeth Crigyll and Llydan are the two most prominent beaches, which are perfect for many of these sports – as well as simply relaxing on a sunny afternoon. Anglesey Golf Club also has a very popular course just outside the town, for those who prefer some land-based exercise.

Rhosneigr punches above its weight with many things to do and see, making its attractive stretch coastline even more desirable.

Amlwch

Amlwch

Amlwch is a small town situated on the northern coast of Anglesey, whose historical origins date back to the Bronze Age. Its name is derived from the Welsh “Amlwch”, which means “place by the river” – and is an apt descriptor for this coastal town that thrived due to its maritime access, fishing and copper industry. In the 18th-19th centuries it was one of Anglesey’s largest and busiest towns, due to the nearby Parys Mountain’s mines.

Amlwch is now a more peaceful town with picturesque views out to sea, and much of its earlier history is simply waiting to be explored. You can expect a slower pace of life here compared to Holyhead or Beaumaris, with some beautiful coastal paths to enjoy as well the little Traeth Dynion, Copper Kingdom museum and the nearby Parys Mountain itself.

Properties here are varied, with white cottages, terraces, bungalows and detached properties all in good supply. Equally, there are several local sports clubs to get involved in, with the local (and large) Amlwch Leisure Centre providing a gym and swimming pool.

Menai Bridge

Menai bridge

Menai Bridge (Porthaethwy in Welsh) is a small town located on the southeastern coast of Anglesey. It’s renowned for the iconic Menai Suspension Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in 1826 to connect Anglesey to mainland Wales. Historically, Menai Bridge developed from a small fishing village to a vital crossing for trade and transport. The old town rests along the picturesque banks of the Menai, while newer properties, services and amenities reside further up the hill. Views across the straits are certainly worth pausing for, from the quaint ‘old town’ near the shore, to the surrounding pockets of woodland, and of course – the crystal-clear sea below.

Today, Menai Bridge is a thriving town which is instantly recognised by its iconic bridge. At the same time, its strategic position means it is so much more than this. It’s lively, cosmopolitan and the centre of much activity.

There are plenty of pubs, restaurants and independent shops to serve locals and the many people passing in and out of the strait, bringing jobs and trade to the area. Equally, its coastal position lends itself to many waterside activities – from sailing and swimming to water foiling. At the same time, the nearby Snowdonia National Park provides ample outdoor activities, and the Church Island (Ynys Tysilio) and the local Coed Cyrnol woods also offer scenic retreats.

The town is an excellent gateway to all that Anglesey has to offer, providing residents with plenty of options, whether they want to explore the island or pop across to the mainland.

Beaumaris

Beaumaris

Beaumaris is arguably one of the most picturesque town in Anglesey, from its pastel-coloured homes to its quaint streets and castle. Its origins go as far back as 1295, with the building of the renowned Beaumaris Castle. This unfinished medieval masterpiece is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, standing just adjacent to the town but thoroughly visible. Since Beaumaris rests on the eastern side of the Menai Strait, it’s been used as a trading hub for centuries, still attracting plenty of visitors today.

The town retains a historic charm with its Victorian pier, colourful buildings, and well-preserved cobbled streets. This ambiance, alongside the influx of visitors drawn to the castle, pier, and waterfront, sustains numerous independent shops, restaurants and services.

However, the town contains more than just architectural beauty; its shoreside offers sweeping views of the Eryri (Snowdonia) mountains across the strait. There are plenty of water-based activities to enjoy, including boating, fishing, and wildlife cruises to Puffin Island. The town is also known for its festivals and events – like the boat-racing Beaumaris Regatta, annual food festival and arty Gŵyl Beaumaris Festival.

People enjoy living in Beaumaris for the combination of waterside activities, historical charm, connections to Anglesey and the mainland – and a generally calmer pace of life in an exceptionally picturesque setting.

Bangor

Bangor

Bangor is one of the smallest cities in Wales, situated on northern coast of Gwynedd near the Menai Strait and opposite Anglesey. Its origins date back to the 6th century when Saint Deiniol founded a monastic community. The cathedral, established soon after, remains a historical focal point. During the Victorian era, Bangor grew as a commercial and cultural hub, bolstered by the arrival of the railway and the university, which was established in 1884.

Life in Bangor is particularly dynamic due to the university and student population, which constitutes a significant part of its economy. The town is diverse and multicultural, with an impressive collection of shops, pubs, cafes and numerous other amenities not often present in a city of this size.

There are 4 large supermarkets around Bangor (Tesco, Asda, Lidl and Morrisons), and it also contains its own hospital with an A&E department. There are also plenty of leisure facilities, with the large Arfon and Bangor University sports hall accessible to residents.

Even so, Bangor doesn’t lose out when it comes to its scenery and setting. Bangor Pier extends into the Menai Strait, which offers stunning views of Anglesey, the Snowdonia mountain range and the strait itself.

Y Felinheli

Felinheli

Y Felinheli, also known as Port Dinorwic, is a village situated on the southern coast of the Menai Strait, directly opposite Anglesey. Originally a small milling settlement, its name, “Felinheli,” translates to “salt mill.” Since the 19th century, the original village has grown, attracting many new residents with its peaceful environment, excellent harbour, and views across the coast.

Y Felinheli maintains its historical charm while being a modern, vibrant village characterised by its peaceful, suburban atmosphere – and yet it provides excellent access to the larger settlements of Bangor and Caernarfon. The marina remains a focal point of the town, offering mooring for boats and plenty of opportunity for water-based activities.

Walking paths along the Menai Strait provide scenic views, while the nearby Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre caters to those interested in outdoor sports. There’s also Greenwood Forest Park with its unique, people-powered rollercoaster, and scenic walks available through the Faenol Woods.

The population is diverse, including families, retirees, and commuters to Bangor and Caernarfon.

Llanberis

best place to live in north wales

Llanberis rests at the foot of Y Wyddfa (Snowdon), Wales’s highest peak, with the beautiful landscape of Gwynedd spread out before it. Historically, the area was notable for slate quarrying, particularly in the 19th century with the establishment of the Dinorwic Quarry. This helped the town grow in size and significance, though in the present day it acts as a thriving hub for walkers and lovers of the Welsh countryside.

The village serves as the starting point for multiple paths to the summit of Y Wyddfa. The Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway and Welsh Slate Museum are key points of interest and attraction – both for residents and visitors. Perhaps more importantly, Llanberis resides within some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Wales – from Y Wyddfa itself, to the Llyn Padarn and Peris lakes, to the unspoilt hills, paths and fields surrounding it.

Living in Llanberis means access to scores of outdoor pursuits, drawing in hikers, climbers, and water sports enthusiasts. Its small size fosters a close-knit community, while its tourist industry provides ongoing economic vitality. The local population includes long-standing families, young professionals involved in tourism or outdoor pursuits, and retirees who seek the village’s tranquillity and peaceful environment.

Llanberis is set apart by its mountainous landscape, slate heritage, and strong tourism industry. The village provides a gateway to Y Wyddfa, and remains a hub for those drawn to the area’s natural beauty, adventure activities, and countryside living.

And Finally…

There are so many excellent places to call home in North Wales – far too many to list here. However, if you’re interested in moving in the area, then Williams & Goodwin can help you find your perfect home. Talk to our team today to find out more.

Find your perfect home.

Let us know what you are looking for in your new home and we will tailor our search to your requirements.

Buyers & Tenants Registrations

"*" indicates required fields

What are you registering as?*
What property type are you interested in?*

View our privacy policy regarding website enquiries.

Got a question?

Want to discuss something more specific?
Request a call back with one of our negotiators.

Request a Call Back

"*" indicates required fields

Name*

View our privacy policy regarding website enquiries.

TPPUK

Williams & Goodwin The Property People are members of the Guild of Property Professionals, National Association of Estate Agents, Association of Residential Lettings Agents, National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers and are Chartered Valuation Surveyors we are members of a National Network of approximately 800 independently owned and operated Estate Agents.

Show More...

Related Post

Updates: 4 Mins Read

Anglesey & Gwynedd Property Sales Market Review 2024

It’s time to dive into the latest trends and insights for the Anglesey and Gwynedd property market. With the recent election results

Updates: 5 Mins Read

What is Happening in the Housing Market in Wales?

If you’re thinking about a house move in the popular North Wales areas of Llangefni, Bangor, Holyhead, Gwynedd or Anglesey, you’re probably

Updates: 5 Mins Read

What first time buyers in Wales need to know

If you’re a first-time buyer in Wales, you might be wondering whether now is a good time to get a foot on

English