Finding North Wales

Finding North Wales

Finding North Wales

Llandudno is ideally placed as a touring centre for North Wales. It is also as good a centre for getting to the great variety of activity holidays to be found; there are rivers, lakes and coastline enough for the water-sport enthusiasts from fishermen to canoeists; hills and mountains for the walkers, pony trekkers and hang-glider practitioners. For gardeners there are Bodlonbed Park's gardens and greenhouses and the Bodnant Gardens at Egiwysback which are among the most marvellous in the whole of Europe.

For railway buffs the 'Great Little Trains of Wales', many of which are inter-linked, are close enough to travel to. Llandudno itself is at the end of a short branch, but Llandudno Junction is half way along the north Wales coast main line from Chester (where trains from London and Manchester join) through Rhyl and on to Bangor and across the Menai Bridge to Holyhead on Anglesey. There are spectacular coastal sections between Llandudno Junction and Bangor.

The West Shore faces Conwy and is on the Conwy estuary. There are beach huts, pony rides, model-yacht pond, a children's play area, putting and the North Wales Golf Club (Maes Du GC). It is also where the White Rabbit Statue has been erected. As I mentioned earlier, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, Lewis Carroll, is thought to have stayed here with the Liddell family who had a holiday home in the town and it was their daughter, Alice, who was the model for Alice. Claim and counter-claim, 'yes he did', 'no he did not', 'there is, there is not a photograph' have been bandied about, so we will not become involved in that argument. What is certain is that Alice Liddell was here with her family and she was the girl to whom Lewis Carroll told his stories. She is buried in the churchyard at Lyndhurst in the New Forest. The White Rabbit Statue on the West Shore is where he is still 'believed' to have strolled along the dunes and dreamt up Alice in Wonderland. That is on the quieter side of town.

On the North Shore the sands arc for 2 miles towards the Little Orme where shingle takes over from the sand. From the pier pleasure steamers leave, and the 'round the bay' boats start from a slipway at its side. Further along from the beach is the Arcadia Theatre and Kiddies Funland.

The Prince and Princess of Wales opened Canolfan Aberconwy which is a leisure complex with squash courts, restaurants and bars, and a concert hall where they are planning to open a children's playgroup. There is a swimming pool on Mostyn Broadway. The main attraction away from the beach is the Great Onne, that dominating headland, which is reached either by road, by the funicular railway, or by the 'longest cabin lift in Britain' up through Happy Valley to the summit. It does get rather over-crowded up on the summit, but there is a picnic area as well as a cafe and a very good nature trail to follow. Local nature trail booklets are helpful for those who want to explore the flora and fauna. The trail is about 31/2 miles long and takes about 21/2 hours, and some of it is across some rocky country, so decent stout shoes are called for. If you want fewer people around go to the Little Orme.

There are a couple of cinemas, the theatres have summer shows and concerts, there is tennis and bowls, sailing and golf, fishing and horse riding, old-time and modern dancing, whist drives and walks. There are four eighteen-hole golf courses at Llandudno GC, Maes Du; North Wales GC, North Shore; Rhos-on-sea, Penrhyn Bay; Caernarvonshire GC, Conwy. There are a number of discos and cabaret on the pier most evenings and bingo twice daily at the Palladium.

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