- QUEEN OF THE NORTH WALES RESORTS
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in and from Llandudno
by Noel Walley
on the photos below for more pictures and details
of popular excursions
the delightful holiday resort that nestles on level ground between two
limestone promontories traditionally known as the Great Orme and the
Little Orme. The Victorians, always fond of claiming comparisons
called Llandudno the 'Naples fo the North' on account of the fine bay
between the two headlands. But Llandudno is by many called the 'Queen
of the Welsh Resorts' a title first bestowed in 1864.
Excursions from Llandudno
is a fine centre from which to tour Snowdonia and other parts of North
Wales click on this picture of the Swallow Falls (between Capel Curig
and Betws y Coed) for details of train and bus services, together
with lots more ideas for visits by private car or touring cycle:
Through the Conwy & Lledr Valleys
to Ffestiniog and Porthmadog
The valley of the River Conwy rises in the eastern foothills of Snowdonia. The Conwy is joined at Betws-y-coed by two major tributaries. The River Llugwy rises on the southern slopes of Carnedd Llewellyn and the beautiful valley of the River Lledr, which rises near Roman Bridge on the A470 trunk road from Llandudno to Ffestiniog and southwards to Cardiff. The Conwy Valley Railway line follows the same route to Blaenau Ffestiniog from where the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway continues the passenger route to Porthmadog on Cardigan Bay.
The Sychnant Pass
The world famous
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways look forward in 2009 to the
reopening of the second half of the famous Welsh Highland Railway which
runs 26 miles from Caernarfon to Porthmadog.
will join the
Ffestiniog Railway that climbs 14
the valley floor to the famous slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
So far the Welsh Highland has re-opened in three stages. From
Caernarfon to Dinas in 1997 (2˝ miles), Dinas to Waunfawr in 2000
(3˝ miles) and lastly through the Snowdonia National Park from Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu (6 miles
in 2003). Stage 4 also runs through the National Park from Rhyd Ddu via
Beddgelert to Porthmadog. This stage will reopen in three sections
during spring, summer and autumn 2009 and will complete the
through narrow gauge railway route of over 40 miles from Caernarfon via
The Great Orme Tramway
Llandudno's Great Orme Tramway is a remarkable historical survival and celebrated it centenary in 2002. It is one of only three cable hauled street tramways still in existence world wide. The other two are in San Francisco USA and Lisbon, Portugal. For a fully illustrated description of this famous tramway and a brief history of the line click on the picture of the tramcar climbing the 1 in 4 gradient at the Blackbrook intersection of five roads and the tramway. Take the Great Orme tram to the Summit Complex (click on either photograph below).
Every year the May bank holiday weekend becomes Llandudno's Extravaganza and Festival of Transport.
The main shopping street is closed to all traffic and becomes home to traditional fairground rides and Victorian side-shows. Vintage and veteran vehicles of all descriptions visit the resort to take part in the daily parade from the railway station and through the town to the promenade..
Llandudno in Porthmadog
via the Conwy Valley and the
Take the Conwy
Valley Train from
A delicate footbridge suspended over a tranquil stretch of the River Conwy next to the ancient Church of St Michael. One of many quiet corners in this lively tourist centre of Betws-y-Coed (the name means chapel in the wood) which has fine hotels, ancient coaching inns, excellent cafés and restaurants, famous Welsh tweed and tapestry shops, good car parking and the Conwy Valley railway museum amongst other attractions. Trains and buses to Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Gateway to Corwen and Llangollen and the famous Gwynedd Sherpa bus services to the Swallow Falls, Capel Curig, Ogwen, Bethesda and Bangor, via Pen-y-Gwryd and Pen-y-Pass to Llanberis and Beddgelert.
Just one of the many things to see in the
Lledyr Valley is Dolwyddelan Castle,
a square stone keep, dating from
the thirteenth century and built by
Llywelyn ab Iorwerth ('Llwelyn the Great').
It is in the care of Cadw (Welsh Heritage)
and is open daily (April to September).
Also at Dolwyddelan is the 'hidden valley'
with a section of Sarn Helen,
the ancient Roman road.
Also in the Lledyr Valley, Pont-y-Pant
and Roman Bridge and the newly widened
Crimea Pass first built as a carriage way by
Russian prisoners from the Crimean War.
It was given to the National Trust, with an endowment, in 1949.
The garden is noted for its extensive collection of Rhododendrons, which flower in the spring.
But there is much to see at Bodnant in all seasons
(open daily from mid March to the end of October).
A bus service runs hourly between
Llandudno and Bodnant Garden.
Llandudno Queen of the North Wales Resorts
Compilation and all photographs © 2002/2007 by Noel Walley
updated, February 2009