Day 1 in Llandudno
Welcome to Llandudno, one of the most beautiful seaside resort towns in Wales. Some of you will be self-driving, and others will be visiting by train or regional bus. Those who will be arriving via train will be arriving in Llandudno Junction, three miles to the south. Take a one-way trip to Llandudno station (£4) and take a taxi to your hotel if you are arriving by train. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to any residual jet (or road, or train) lag! There is a lot for you to see and do!
Explore the Victorian front street facing the Irish Sea, which stretches for nearly a mile and is called The Parade (also referred to by such names as North Parade, South Parade, Mostyn Crescent, Nevill Crescent, Penrhyn Crescent, East Parade, and Craig-y-Don Parade). The oldest buildings date from the 1860s when Llandudno first rose to prominence as a seaside town. On the eastern end of The Parade sits the Venue Cymru complex, which hosts national traveling theatre productions and is also home to the Cardiff-based Welsh National Opera when they are in residence in Llandudno. The pedestrian walk that runs parallel to The Parade is called the Llandudno Promenade, and is accessible via crosswalks from The Parade if you want to experience a walk closer to the seaside.
Walk up to the northern end of the Promenade, where you will see The Floral Clock, the first of many stops along The Alice Trail, sites that commemorate the historical significance of Llandudno in the crafting of Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll. The inspiration for Alice, a little girl named Alice Liddell, vacationed here with her family and Carroll was good friends with the Liddells. The 20-foot-wide Floral Clock commemorates the pocket watch as carried by the March Hare in the novel.
Adjacent to the Floral Clock is the biggest and most popular beach in Llandudno, North Shore Beach. You can take some time to enjoy the water and beachside ambience, or you can head north to see the Grand Hotel, the very first Victorian resort in town, open over 150 years. Close by is the Llandudno Cable Car station, which takes you a mile up to the summit of the Great Orme headland and back again, all while suspended 80 feet in the air. You will enjoy beautiful views of the town and the countryside.
Spend the early evening walking Llandudno Pier, the longest seaside pier in Wales. You can access the pier by the North Parade or Happy Valley Road. There are 11 locally-owned fast food outlets, many souvenir shops, and a number of arcades featuring video games and other amusements. If you`re looking for some more substantial food, or more exciting nightlife, you will not go wrong if you explore the length of Mostyn Street. Return to your accommodations at the end of the evening.
Day 2 in Llandudno
If you are interested in exploring some more of the various statues and sights on The Alice Trail, start your day at West Shore Beach, where just behind the promenade near Gloddaeth Street/Gloddaeth Avenue, you will see the White Rabbit statue, installed by Llandudno town government in 1932 on the centenary of Lewis Carroll`s birth. This statue was so well-received that it spawned dozens of art installations across town, such as the Floral Clock you saw yesterday, and the Cheshire Cat statue across the street from the White Rabbit. (You will find a statue of Alice closer to Llandudno train station.)
Head up Gloddaeth Avenue toward Llandudno`s town center, stopping along the way to visit two museums: the Llandudno Museum, a local history and art museum with five wings and nearly 10,000 artifacts; and the Home Front Museum, which tells the story of what it was like to live as a civilian in Britain during World War II. Head north and west after visiting these museums to take a ride on the Great Orme Tramway at Victoria Station. The Great Orme Tramway is a Llandudno favorite, reminiscient of the cable cars of San Francisco. There is one stop on this line before reaching the summit, where you can visit the Great Orme Mines, the world`s largest prehistoric copper mine, as well as a nearby museum, a country park, and St. Tudno`s Church, which dates from the sixth century CE and was the place where St. Tudno, the patron saint for whom Llandudno is named, lived, practiced his religion, and ultimately died. It is a particularly lively place on June 5, the saint`s feast day.
Return to Victoria Station and reach Mostyn Street, where you will head east until you reach North Western Gardens, another stop on The Alice Trail, where you can see a statue of The March Hare. Between Mostyn Street and Charlton Street, behind North Western Gardens, you will find the Llandudno Chocolate Experience, an interesting museum on the history of chocolate that is very enjoyable (and also edible, with free samples!). Two blocks to the east, you will see MOSTYN Cymru | Wales, a modern art gallery with four distinct wings and housed in the town`s very first art gallery building (circa 1901-13).
If you have time before sunset, head to The Parade and go east onto Colwyn Road, which leads you to the other headland that hems Llandudno into its coastal enclave, the Little Orme. There is a gorgeous cliff that overlooks secluded Angel Bay and is a great place to admire the Irish Sea and to get views of Llandudno. Return to the city and have dinner on Mostyn Street. Whether you decide to have a late night or an early one, end your night by returning to your accommodations.
Additional Days in Llandudno
Head south a couple of miles to Deganwy, a small town which is home to the ruins of Deganwy Castle. Built in the sixth century CE by Maelgwn Gwynedd, the King of Gwynedd, dual mounds and various ruts are the only evidence of the once-mighty fortress today. Also within a couple of miles of Deganwy are the towns of Llandudno Junction and Conwy. The latter town is known for its majestic Conwy Castle, sitting on the River Conwy, as well as its town walls which are perhaps the most intact set of Edwardian-built defenses in existence in North Wales. Conwy Castle and the town walls are, together, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your Last Day in Llandudno
Depart your hotel and head to your next destination. We hope you enjoyed the sights of Llandudno and greater Conwy!