North and Mid Wales

Darwin visited Wales many times during his lifetime for holidays and field trips.

Welsh holidays

During his childhood and student days, Darwin spent several family holidays in North Wales, staying, on different occasions, near Abergele, Tywyn, Pistyll Rhayader, Barmouth and Mount Snowdon. He enjoyed riding and beetle collecting.

After graduating from Cambridge, in 1831, he was Adam Sedgwick’s assistant on a field trip to North Wales surveying red sandstone in Llangollen, Ruthin, Conwy, Bangor and Capel Curig. He returned in 1842 to study the geology at Capel Curig, Bangor and Caernarfon. Darwin’s last visit to Wales was for a family holiday in 1869 to Caerdeon and Barmouth.

Cartoon image of lab coats with T.rex name label

Our fossil insect collection includes Rhyniognatha hirsti, the world's oldest fossil insect, dating back some 400 million years.