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The Essential Guide to Llandudno, a Victorian Seaside Resort in North Wales

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Llandudno sits on a flat peninsula between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme headland. First developed during the 19th century, it is now the largest seaside resort in Wales. Llandudno still retains its old-fashioned charm, particularly in its well-preserved Victorian-era buildings and ornate pier, but also offers a growing number of chic hotels and restaurants, as well as a thriving cultural scene.

Llandudno seaside and pier

 

Llandudno's Victorian-era pier - the longest in Wales - stretches half a mile into the Irish Sea and is filled with shops and seaside attractions, including amusement arcades, a rock-candy shop, and an old-time Punch & Judy show. The town's main beach is the sheltered and bustling North Shore. There you can soak up the sun on the golden sands and enjoy a stroll along its wide promenade with an ice cream in hand, while the children go on a donkey ride. Those in search of quieter beach time can head to the West Shore.

 

  • Llandudno Pier, North Parade, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2LP; Tel: +44 1492 876258; Website: Llandudno Pier
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  • North Shore Donkey Rides, South Parade, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2LN; Tel: +44 1492 878271; Website: North Shore Donkey Rides

Outdoor activities

 

For more than a century the Great Orme Tramway has taken visitors up to Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve. From the summit you are rewarded with miles of hiking trails, as well as views of the seaside resort of Rhyl, the Snowdonia mountain range, and, on a clear day, as far as the Isle of Man. Keen golfers can head for the wooded 18-hole Llandudno Maesdu Golf Club, which offers views across the North Wales coastline.

 

  • Great Orme Tramway, Victoria Station, Church Walks, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2NB; Tel: +44 1492 879306; Website: Great Orme Tramway
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  • Llandudno Maesdu Golf Club, Hospital Road, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 1HU; Tel: +44 1492 876450; Website: Llandudno Maesdu Golf Club

 

Dining and drinking

 

From fine dining to budget-friendly takeouts, Llandudno has plenty of dining options to pick from, and its coastal location means fresh, tasty seafood. Fish and chips shops and lively pubs line Mostyn Street, which is a few streets back from the waterfront. You'll find most of the trendier bars and nightclubs toward the top of the street. Casual pub-style meals and a fine selection of real ales are on offer at the friendly Cottage Loaf, while the bistro-style Seahorse Restaurant, housed in a historic building, specializes in freshly caught seafood.

 

  • The Cottage Loaf, Market Street, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2SR; Tel: +44 1492 870762; Website: The Cottage Loaf
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  • The Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro, 7 Church Walks, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2HD; Tel: +44 1492 875315; Website: The Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro

 

Arts and culture

 

You can take in a diverse program of theatre, opera, and drama at Venue Cymru. If you are travelling with younger visitors, they may enjoy exploring Llandudno's connection to Alice in Wonderland by following a dedicated trail. Llandudno Museum has displays on the history of the area, while MOSTYN gallery hosts exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world. Festivals are held throughout the year, including May's Victorian Extravaganza, which features old-fashioned fair rides and costumed street parades.

 

  • Venue Cymru, The Promenade, Lllandudno, Conwy LL30 1BB; Tel: +44 1492 872000; Website: Venue Cymru
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  • MOSTYN, 12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 1AB; Tel: +44 01492 879201; Website: MOSTYN

 

Day trips from Llandudno

 

Five miles from Llandudno, 13th-century Conwy Castle sits on a rocky outcrop with views of the sea and the surrounding hills. While in Conwy, you can also stroll the impressive medieval city walls and towers, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the many natural attractions to choose from, you can catch a bus to the cascading Swallow Falls on the River Llugwy in Snowdonia National Park, or take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the spectacular summit of Mount Snowdon, “the rooftop of Wales.”

 

  • Conwy Castle, Rose Hill Street, Conwy, Conwy LL32 8AY; Tel: +44 1492 592358; Website: Conwy Castle
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  • Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy LL24 0DW; Tel: +44 1690 710770; Website: Swallow Falls