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Our guide to Conwy and Llandudno

The Victorians and Edwardians called Llandudno the Queen of the Welsh resorts and it was graced with some of the most elegant seaside architecture in Britain. Neighbouring Conwy is one of Britain’s finest examples of a medieval walled town and home to a fabulous medieval fortress.

Llandudno today is experiencing a revival as a tourist resort as the British ‘staycation’ becomes more and more popular. It’s a proper, traditional, British seaside resort with a pier, Punch and Judy Shows and even donkey rides on the beach. Llandudno’s classic Victorian pier was originally built in 1876 and its traditional arcades remain a wonderful place to grab an ice cream or a traditional fish ‘n’ chip dinner and enjoy the spectacular sea views. Llandudno was the destination of choice for Lewis Carrol who lived for periods in the town which is said to have inspired certain characters and settings for Alice Wonderland – today this connection can be explored on the town’s popular Alice in Wonderland town trail (with accompanying app). For those who love history and countryside you can enjoy a tram-ride to the protected coastline of the Great Orme Headland which offers stunning sea views as well as vistas inland to the Snowdonia National Park. The tram is an experience in itself as the only operating Victorian cable-hauled tramway in Britain. Colwyn Bay beach and Llandudno beach are both blue flag sandy beaches with buckets of natural beauty where you can take a walk or enjoy a picnic.

By Contrast, the history of Conwy town reaches long before the Victorians; the town is truly one of Britain’s hidden gems. Set on the Conwy Estuary it is a quaint medieval harbour town of cobbled streets and squares, and can appear almost frozen in time with its medieval town walls and dominating 13th century fortress at Conwy Castle. Ther is certainly no shortage of things to do; explore the preserved Elizabethan house as Plas Mawr, climb to the top of one of Conwy castle’s 8 towers to get a stunning view over the town and then explore the castle walls with their 21 towers that still enclose Conwy town to this day. Look out for the Quay House, Britain’s smallest house which measures only 3.05m x 1.83m, or take a stroll down to Conwy Marina and Quay for a fish and chip supper and a drink outside the Liverpool Arms.

Llandudno and Conwy are also within easy reach of the spectacular scenery of the Conwy Valley and the Snowdonia National Park. Here you can choose to take in the majestic views with a ride on a mountain train at the funicular railway at Blaenau Ffestiniog or visit the National Slate Museum. Another World Heritage site not far away is Caernarfon Castle which was used for the investiture of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales in 1969.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail, North Wales has it all: spectacular scenery, ancient monuments and true British culture.

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