Advantages plenty to do in Summer
Disadvantages less to do in Spring or Autumn
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
NAME OF LOCATION: Llandudno, North WalesBACKGROUND
Although I have visited Llandudno many times, they have usually been day trips from home (Chesterfield) or from other North Wales destinations that we have stayed at, so staying in Llandudno would be a great change.I read several Ciao reviews on the topic so that I knew what was available in March - not a lot, most things open from Easter to October, and Easter was 3 weeks after my trip! Typical.
However, do not be despondent as we found plenty to do in and around Llandudno. Our Driver took us out on 2-day trips but we had plenty of time to explore Llandudno itself on the first evening and all day Thursday. We also had time after our excursions.ATTRACTIONS
About 10-15 minutes walk away from our hotel was the pier, which zigzags out from under the Great Orme and has cafes and amusement arcades. My father and I walked the length of it (quite some distance) but there are plenty of seats on route if required and met a fisherman at the far end, who we had quite a chat with. We noted that the pier attractions did not open till 10am or later - some were only just opening at 10.30.The Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mines are open from 1st Feb to Oct 31st 10am to 5pm. We did not get chance to do this attraction as the transport to get to the top of the Orme does not open until Easter and my parents are both physically disabled (but could still have entered this attraction as neither are wheelchair bound). They just can't walk up tall hills easily. (Although come to that, neither can I!)
Alice In Wonderland centre - I looked out for this attraction but didn't see it. Open almost all year. 10am to 5pm every day between Easter and end of October (4pm Sundays) and Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm November to week prior to Easter. Closed 2 weeks in November, Xmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.Llandudno Town trail - a Circular (ish) trail of interesting points. I saw no 3, 4, 7 and 15 (out of 15). No 3 on Vaughan Street pointed out plaques on the Post Office and Mostyn Art Gallery. The Art gallery is free to enter - I didn't go in as my parents expected me back at a particular time and point.
Please note that if you want to use the public toilets in Llandudno that you need 20p to use a cubicle (sexist rule - as men can go in free if they only want to use the urinal, they can then use a cubicle if they want as you don't need the money to slot in the door of the cubicle as a person collects the money before you go in). Many cafes have got toilet facilities - remember that Toiledau means Toilets in Welsh and that Merced is Ladies, Dynion is Gents and Anabl is Disabled.My favourite café (Samantha's in one of the mini market style shops) did not have toilet facilities (However, we were able to get 3 meals and 3 drinks and still have change from £10 - and they did not skimp on the food - we had baked potatoes with salad and it was piled quite high and even my tea belly dad was surprised at the size of the mug of tea he got for 80p - it was nearly a pint sized mug!).
I also saw a sign for a War Museum - which if I ever take Robert (my boyfriend) to Llandudno I will definitely visit.Nearby are the following attractions, which are worth a look if you have access to transport.
2. Betws-y-Coed - small village south of Llandudno with its own railway museum (which is available for a small cost (about 20p each). Plenty of shops to visit and very popular in summer with the tourists.3. We also visited the Llechwedd Slate Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog. I would have preferred to do this on another day - we drove up in the Snowdonia mountains and the heavens opened - our driver could hardly see 2 feet in front of the bus so we did not see any of the beauty of the Snowdonia mountains and when we got to these caverns it was very slippery underfoot - so my parents chose not to go down into the caverns themselves and just look around the Victorian village with pub and shops. A wonderful café area. www.Llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk Telephone 01766 830306.
4. Porthmadog - not much here if you don't like shopping (or it is raining, as it was when we went). Great value café opposite Woolworths, and diagonally opposite the Post Office, with a separate room for smokers and non-smokers. We had 3 "snack" meals (expecting small portions) of baked potato for me and my dad, and fish & chips for mum and 3 drinks, for just under £15. Again these meals were good portions - my mum struggled to finish hers! I think it was called Queenies or Queen something.5. Anglesey - the place with the longest name which I can not pronounce (or spell)
6. Caernarvon - the place I wanted to get to but our excursion was cancelled due to bad weather. This has a Castle which I could have got into cheaper (or free) with my English Heritage as they are part of Cadw (the Welsh Heritage group).7. Conwy - This also has a Castle which I could have got into cheaper (or free) with my English Heritage as they are part of Cadw (the Welsh Heritage group). We drove through Conwy to get to Betws-y-Coed but did not stop.
In addition, during the summer months there are coach tours similar to the ones in London, which give audio commentaries about places of interest.
Coach to the hotel, but at Llandudno there is a cable car (www.llandudnocablecar.co.uk), which is open Easter to October and a Great Orme Tramway www.greatormetramway.com, which is open daily from 10am to 6pm from late March to late October.
1. Plenty to do - even if it rains
2. Road signs are in both English and Welsh - usually with the Welsh at the top!
Learn welsh for next visit! May be not but here are some useful Welsh phrases
Bore Da - Good morning
Hwyl - Bye
Paned o de - cup of tea
Nos da - good night
Cymraeg - Welsh
Cymru - Wales
Croeso I Eyri - Welcome to Snowdonia
Caffi - Café
Dim - No (i.e Dim Ysbwriel means No Litter).
Tourist information centres in N Wales include
Llandudno 01492 876413 (Llandudno.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Conwy 01492 592248,
Betws-y-Coed 01690 710426 and
Porthmadog 01766 512981.
MAR 2012 UPDATE
I have re-visited the area with Robert (still didn't get to the War Museum!) and we went to the nearby Welsh Mountain Zoo and went on the Tiger Cub 1962 coach trip round Marine Drive from the South Shore to the West shore and back again for £5 each. We also went on the round trip South Short to West Shore on the land train for £2.50 each.
Betwys-Coed has the Snowdonia Visitors Centre with a free video about the mountain, but the Motor Museum is now closed.Werewolf
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