06.07.2013. Llandudno is a seaside resort town situated at the northern tip of Wales, and it being rather popular with tourists, was refreshingly different from all the quiet villages and towns I came from. I decided to settle for a few days here, primarily to explore this region of Wales, capitalise on the great weather by the beach, as well as to allow some time for research before heading to the Snowdonia National Park. It turned out that I quite liked this place as the initial plan to stay here for 3 nights was extended to 5.
My first 3 nights were spent at the Elsinore Hotel, ominously ranked 65 out of 65 on trip advisor, where users’ reviews heavily featured words such as ‘disgusting’ and ‘filthy’. But at £25 per night with great cooked breakfast at a fantastic location (right in front of the promenade), I actually found the hotel to be fairly decent- either that or I just don’t really have much opinion on accommodation anymore! The last 2 nights were spent at the brilliant Llandudno Hostel nearby, a view shared with many others as the hostel is always fully booked, but thankfully it was never rowdy.
Llandudno is your typical British seaside resort with a heavy dose of old school charm. The promenade is quite charming, lined with colourful old Victorian buildings, a view I acquainted during my numerous jogs along it. At both ends of the promenade sits the quirky Great Orme and Little Orme, 2 limestones headlands which have been carved out by nature over the years. Astonishingly, despite the length of my stay, I never made it to the top of either. Being spoilt with Wales’ best sights they just didn’t appealed to me.
Near Llandudno is the historic walled town of Conwy, dominated by the imposing Conwy castle. The castle, together with a few others in various parts of northern Wales built by Edward I in the 14th century were included in the UNESCO heritage site as outstanding examples of medieval fortifications. The tiny town is surrounded by the impressive medieval walls, which are some of the best preserved I have seen. I climbed the entire walls, which gave me the chance to view the town and castle from different angles.
Conwy is tiny, and it didn’t take me more than a few hours to see the town in full. It was then when I decided to catch a bus to the city of Bangor, before transiting a train to the hilariously named village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Llanfair PG, in short)- the longest place name in Europe (and second longest in the world). There is absolutely nothing one can do here, besides taking a picture of the sign board to show that you have been here. It’s a blatant tourist trap (while the name is Welsh, the word construction is forced and technically incorrect), but I guess it’s quite fun to do silly things like this every now and then.
With excellent transport option, I also visited the pretty Betws-y-coed (pronounced Betus ee Koyd- I think!), one of the nicest villages in the Snowdonia National Park. Set against the beautiful greenery of the alpines, Betws-y-coed is reminiscent of a typical ski resort (and also, in its price!). The place is crawled with a mix of young hiker groups, elderly holidaymakers in huge coaches and day trippers such as myself, which somewhat spoils the scenes a little. I visited the beautiful Swallow falls, almost 3 miles away from the centre, and took several shots with my camera.
The rest of the days were spent lying on the beach and reading books on my kindle. I hope the great weather will stay this way!