Family road trip Wales: Llandudno – Conwy

Another Sunday and a new installment on family road tripping in Wales. Last week, we left off in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Today, we continue onwards to Llandudno – Conwy. We’ve been here before, so you know we like it up here on the northern coast of Wales.

Llandudno

Llandudno - Conwy

Llandudno is off the beaten track. It’s a quaint and quiet seaside town with a very long, crescent-shaped promenade with pastel Victorian facades – and a very long pier which could easily be the setting of a period murder mystery, or even a modern one. Llandudno also has numerous places to stay (for all budgets), good restaurants, lots of shops and miles of pretty beaches.

From the promenade, you’ll see the hill Great Orme, reachable by tram, cable car or a good old-fashioned hike. The hike is worth it for the views alone, but if you need another reason to exert yourself, there’s an interesting old copper mine up here as well.

Llandudno promenade
Just a wee bit of the prom in Llandudno with Great Orme in the background

Llandudno pier has the usual array of little shops, noisy arcades and fairground rides (that the little one loves).

I prefer the pier after hours. It’s somewhat of a thought-provoking walk; the pier is lined with benches with memorial plaques and often flowers to dear, departed ones.

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Back in day, the ferry to Isle of Man left from Llandudno Pier. Not anymore (it leaves from Liverpool these days). Today, the end of the pier is a nice place to enjoy the views of the bay with the occasional angler.

Llandudno pier

Conwy

family road trip wales

Just a short bus ride from Llandudno is Conwy. In 2008, we explored Conwy Castle and the well-preserved Elizabethan house, Plas Mawr – and we played with a lovable, local feline. Four years later, we decided a return visit is in order. We just like Conwy.

The rest of the gang decides to ramble about Conwy Castle yet again. Of King Edward’s four castles in Gwynedd, this is the one I like the best.

Conwy Castle

While they’re at the castle, I stroll down to the quay. It’s small and colourful and just the right place to sit and stare out at the water with a cup of tea in hand.

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As I sit there, something makes me turn my head. Don’t know what, I’m really more interested in the brightly painted boats and all that goes on in front of me. But there it is: I turn around and spot… the smallest house in Britain. Right on the quayside.

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It’s not a toy house, it just looks like one. It’s about 6 sq. metres and maybe 3 metres high, covering two floors. And it wasn’t always a tourist attraction. This little house was a residence for 300 years. Ironically, the last owner, one Robert James, a local fisherman, was almost 1.90 metres tall, just 10 cm shorter than Aleks in the photo below.

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In the early 1900s, Robert was chucked out, when the local council declared the house too small for human habitation.

When the kids arrive – after being sidetracked by birds of prey at the quay – we pay the symbolic £1.00 (50p for children) and enter this tiny abode. Inside, there’s a stove and a water tap. We can’t go upstairs, as the first floor isn’t strong enough, but we’re allowed to climb a ladder to have a look up there. There’s barely room for a bed, a small cabinet, a wash basin and a chamber pot.

family road trip wales

I think The Smallest House in Britain is a wonderfully quirky tourist attraction. The child’s verdict: interesting enough, but the birds of prey top it – and everything else.

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Conwy Castle is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.

Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

 

15 Responses to “Family road trip Wales: Llandudno – Conwy”

  1. Deb 12 August 2013 0412 #

    I used to holiday each summer on the Nth Wales coast and been to these two towns a few times. Enjoyed your story and photos as they brought back memories.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 August 2013 1616 #

      Happy to bring on the memories :)

  2. Benjamin@asap 12 August 2013 1530 #

    Its wonderful to see the pictures of the places that we are reading about. As I started browsing through them, the one thing that immediately struck me was the marked difference between Llandudno and Conwy- the former so serene and the latter so vibrant yet peaceful!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 August 2013 1621 #

      They are quite different, yes.

  3. Muza-chan 13 August 2013 1745 #

    I vote for the birds of prey too…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 August 2013 1621 #

      Mad about those, the little one is :)

  4. Mary @ Green Global Travel 18 August 2013 0308 #

    What an absolutely enchanting part of the world – and your photographs capture it beautifully! Thank you for posting this charming and inspiring article! Your photo of Llandudno is both serene and beautiful and the image of the castle is magical!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 August 2013 1622 #

      Thanks for the kind words, Mary :)

  5. Andrea 21 August 2013 1442 #

    Great photos! These towns look so charming…
    Andrea recently posted..On the Road In Maine

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1452 #

      They are very charming.

  6. Royce'sWorld 25 August 2013 1154 #

    Wow that house must be the smallest house in the world! I have seen some small houses in Asia and one in Windsor, but nothing this small. This is like 1/5 the size of “the little house,” I don’t know how anyone could live in there.
    Royce’sWorld recently posted..Hotel Loyalty Program Reward Charts

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1453 #

      And such a tall man to boot…

  7. Chris @ CityTrip Planner 28 August 2013 1132 #

    I went on a roadtrip around Wales last month with my girlfriend – we made an impromptu stop in Llandudno on the recommendation of a man at a petrol station and couldn’t believe we’d not planned to visit earlier.

    Such a lovely seaside town, and the Great Orme was – well, great! You’ve brought back some amazing (albeit quite fresh) memories!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1454 #

      So glad to hear you liked it. It’s an underrated town for sure – as is all of Wales, I think.

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  1. UK Stereotypes: Expectations and Reality - Indefinite Adventure - 23 September 2014

    […] in the Cotswolds too. If I had to choose the top five, it would be Islay, Port Isaac, Salisbury, Llandudno, and […]

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