Llandudno: The Queen of Welsh Resorts
Brimming with Victorian quaintness, it is little wonder why Llandudno is described as “The Queen of the Welsh resorts”. The Victorians and Edwardians were so enamoured with this North Wales town, they adorned it with the most resplendent architecture. Besides pastel coloured townhouses that hem the edge of its seafront, Llandudno boasts the longest pier in Wales, as well as a picture-postcard promenade – perfect for sauntering along with a juicy portion of fish and chips. However, do not be fooled by the seemingly sleepy seaside town, there is more to it than meets the eye…
A short two-minute amble from the station brings you to Llandudno Hostel – a strapping five-story townhouse, nestled within a leafy suburban road. A warm-hearted welcome awaits you from owners James and Melissa, who run this four star establishment, which offers cosy and affordable accommodation for the adventure-seeking backpacker. They cater to a variety of dwellers – from countryside ramblers to extreme cyclists – all looking for an escape into the great outdoors. Described by many of its guests as a budget hotel, but with bunks, Llandudno is exceptionally clean and even offers a cracking breakfast for all guests. Homely wooden furnishings and dazzling chandeliers add to the hostel’s Victorian charm.
Once your bags have been offloaded, it’s time to explore the surrounding lands. A walk around Great Orme Bronze Age copper mines offer a glimpse into an astounding archeological past, dating back 4,000 years. For another dose of history, a short drive over the Conwy River perches Conwy Castle – a majestic medieval heritage site, built for King Edward I during the 13th century.
If adrenaline-fuelled adventure is more your cup of tea, Snowdonia’s lofty mountain range beckons with its dizzying heights – it’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list. Rest your weary legs after climbing the 3,560ft by hopping aboard a cable car, which sweeps along the coastline to offer passengers a panoramic view of Llandudno bay and its surrounds. Dry slope skiing, power kiting and toboggan running are just some of the other activities on offer if Mount Snowdon whets your ‘thrill-seeking’ appetite.
As evening falls, retreat to Llandudno’s sweet embrace. Rumbling tums rejoice as top notch restaurants are aplenty, from quaint tearooms to seafood bistros. Venue Cymru provides high class entertainment, from blockbuster movies to theatre productions. You might even be lucky enough to catch a performance from the National Orchestra of Wales.
While the town retains a vintage charm, it’s certainly not out of touch. With an abundance of nature and history, unspoiled beaches – and not forgetting its home-away-from-home hostel – there’s still plenty of life in this old girl, yet!
By Claire Dunling