North Wales - Places to Visit by Car or Coach

North Wales  - Places to Visit by Car or Coach

North Wales - Places to Visit by Car or Coach

Conwy is a very popular tourist attraction: a medieval town with castle and abbey. The castle stands like an elaborate prize-winning sandcastle glistening soft golden, with the Telford bridge by its side set in harmony with its much older neighbour.

'A more ragged town is scarcely to be seen within; or a more beautiful one without', wrote an eighteenth-century visitor. The twentieth-century visitor will see that the town is no longer ragged within and is just as beautiful without.

Before the castle was built the Romans were here with a fishery for mussels and pearls and even before the time of the Romans there are signs of much earlier habitation. Eight towers mark out the boundary walls of the castle, some of them rising steeply out of the river up to the narrow, rocky ledge on which the castle was built. The castle, begun in 1283, is the most expensive Edwardian fortress in the country and one of the most stunning. The Great Hall with its Gothic style arch supports for the roof, the elaborate chimney pieces and fireplaces, the slight taper on the towers, and the inner and outer wards and curtain walls all bear witness to the superb skills of those 1,500 medieval stone masons and craftsmen who worked on the building. From the towers and the East Barbican there are splendid views of town, valley and countryside. It was at the castle that Richard II had little choice but to abdicate in 1399 and it was held for the king in 1646, but after a siege by the Parliamentary army it was taken. The Earl of Conway had it dismantled and the lead, iron and timber shipped to Ireland for sale. Unfortunately for the Duke the ship was wrecked, but sadly so was the fine castle, so nobody gained anything. But it is a most noble place, even without its lead, iron and wood. Also in Conwy is the Parish Church of St Mary, which occupies the site of the Cistercian Abbey which was built in 1186; Aberconwy House, fourteenth-century timber-framed house; and Plas Mawr, or The Great Hall, now housing the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, in the town centre. Opposite the castle is the 'smallest house in Britain', a nineteenth century fisherman's cottage on Conwy Quay. During the summer there are boat trips on the river, a September Fair where they sell honey and beeswax among other delights, and there is a Seed Fair in March.

Bangor, on the Menai Strait, is the gateway to the Isle of Anglesey, with a university, and a cathedral founded in the sixth century.

Beaumaris has the last castle planned by Edward I in the thirteenth century. A resort used by yachtsmen and other holiday makers. It has Tudor buildings, the Old Gaol with an old wooden treadmill.

More information on - Beamish Open Air Museum

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