Exploring the delights of LLandudno, Conwy and the Great Orme by train and tram while staying at Llandudno Hostel
On my train-adventure around North Wales my final destination was Llandudno – almost as far North as you can possibly go on mainland Wales. I was excited to finally reach the northern coast of this beautiful country, after having been familiar with South Wales for about a decade. I jumped off the train at the end of the tracks and set off to check in at Llandudno Hostel. During this short walk I was immediately caught by the atmosphere of this seaside resort, which has a very distinct holiday-feel to it.
Llandudno Hostel is located just a few minutes walk from the towns broad beachfront promande, and it is set in a lovely Victorian guesthouse on a quiet tree-lined street. A very comfortable base for exploring Llandudno and nearby Conwy. The hostel is also featuring wonderful details like chandeliers in the dorms and a spacious lounge with Chesterfield couches – which makes it fit in nicely with the area.
I arrived late in the afternoon but wanted to make the most of my stay, so I grabbed my camera and headed straight to the towns iconic tourist-magnet – the 700 meter long Llandudno Pier, which is the longest of its kind in Wales. It is free to enter and offers some wonderful views back towards the promenade, where the big hotels slowly start to light up as the sun sets behind the town.
Next morning I have a busy but adventurous schedule, as I want to make it to the neighbouring town of Conwy, as well as to check out some more of Llandudno’s own attractions. I take a short train-ride to the suburb of Deganwy and get off to walk the rest of the way along the river. From here I have a magnificent view to the mighty Conwy Castle across the water, and the imposing structure seems to grow bigger for each step I take.
Conwy’s castle is known among the best castles in Wales and it is well worth the visit. Both for its historic interior and for the view from the top of its many towers. From here you can overlook the wide river, the three bridges, the small town of Conwy and the surrounding green hills. Besides, the towers’ many steps offers a free gym-session, and after that you’ll be able to take on the pubs of the town with a clean conscience. A walk down the fittingly named Castle Street is a must-do, as well as checking out the little harbour with more excellent views.
Back in Llandudno I want to spare my legs from more walking, so I jump on the historic Great Orme Tramway to reach the top of the towns local “mountain”, The Great Orme.
The tramway is more than 100 years old and the journey is divided in two relatively short sections, before you reach the summit station of this limestone headland. And from the top the views across the sea are breathtaking. Up here you’ll find a range of refreshments and entertainment available, but the free views are all I need, before I decide to walk half the way back down.
Close to the intermediate station of the tram, a real treasure was discovered in 1987. Back then the plan was to create parking spaces for visitors to The Great Orme, then more than 3,500 year old bronze age mines were discovered and over the years they have been uncovered. A truly extraordinary insight – literally – into past times of this area. A real wonderland to anyone interested in history. I put on my helmet and dive down into the ancient tunnels, which are lit up by colourful lighting, while signs explain about the way the tunnels were dug with very simple tools.
Back in open-air after my underground-adventure, I take the tram back down for a long walk along Llandudno’s promenade. I have finally ticked off the coast of North Wales, but will surely be back again soon, as there are so much more to experience in this area. And I won’t hesitate to check back into Llandudno Hostel on my next visit.