As you walk onto the seaside boardwalk at Llandudno you could be forgiven for thinking you have gone back in time. You get a sense you are in a victoria era seaside resort.
There is the long pier imposing itself on the Irish sea. There is the wide seaside promenade ringed with waterfront hotels. There is a sandy beach for swimming and sandcastle building.
It would not be out of place to see a gentleman walking in the suits. Pretty ladies in the frilly Victorian-era dresses twirling their umbrellas
Llandudno Wales is for me is what I imagine when I think of British seaside resorts from a bygone era. Llandudno has become known as the “Queen of the Welsh Resorts”. Llandudno is now the largest seaside resort in Wales. This amazing seaside mecca grew out of a small township of miners.
Miners who worked the Great Orme just behind the town. In the early 1850s the owners of the mine decided to develop the land into a seaside resort over the next 20 years. Much of what you see today on the promenade today is still from the original development.
I have been to Llandudno in North Wales three times once in 1999 and again in 2015 and 2019. In that time little had seemed to change. Let’s have a look at things to do in Llandudno and its surrounds.
Things to do in Llandudno
Llandudno Pier is 2,295 feet (700m) long. It is the longest pier in Wales and the fifth-longest in England and Wales. These days a walk on the pier is a food lovers delight. The Pier features many food stands, takeaway shops and restaurants for you to eat and enjoy the views.
You can grab some jam doughnuts, traditional candy or cornish ice cream. This will keep all members of the family happy. The Pier bar serves beer wine and spirits. Sit down and relax while the Pier Grill serves burgers and similar fair. For the coffee lover why not sit have a coffee with some jam and cream scones. Jam and cream scones you can’t get more British than that.
Well maybe a cone of chips while walking the pier may be more British but who is arguing! Some of the shops will keep you busy poking around looking at the goods on sale. You will find everything from fresh fish shop to leather goods, fishing tackle, clothes, sunglasses, beachwear and more available. Don’t forget a souvenir of your walk on the Llandudno Pier. What seaside in Britain is complete without an arcade.
The Deck Arcade is at the end of the pier. You will find many favourites both new and old to keep you entertained and help separate you from your money. Wack a minion get your future told, win some coins or just play the latest video games, something for everyone. The Pier is a destination in itself and a Llandudno attraction not to be missed.
Llandudno Cable Car
The Llandudno Cable Car was a firm favourite with our kids when we visited. Kids just seem to love this sort of thing. My wife, on the other hand, is not one for heights but managed to get on it still. The Llandudno Cabe car started ferrying passengers on 30 June 1969.
Its the longest passenger cable car system in Britain. this unique experience continues to be one of the town’s most popular attractions. The ride can be caught at two locations, you can either board at Happy Valley near the Llandudno Pier or at the summit of the Great Orme.
The Llandudno Cable car plies its trade between these two spots daily. The view is amazing, especially on a nice day. The Irish sea sparkles while the green grass on the Great Orme seems to dance in the light breeze. The distance to the summit is just over 1500 meters and the journey takes about nine minutes.
The highest point from the ground is around 80 feet. Nine pylons support the brightly painted cable cars as they shuffle along the cable. Not to fast not too slow but a good place to enable you to see the Llandudno attractions.
The Great Orme Tramway
The Great Orme Tramway is a unique system that works like a funicular. Two trams work the system one climbing up the hill one going down the hill. The descending car helps pull the climbing car up the hill. Thus the Furnicular system as both cars run on a cable. The tramway has been in operation since 1902. To say the Great Orme tramways is popular is an understatement. Its open for the warmer months and carries over 200,000 passengers each year. The journey to the top takes around 10 minutes. There is a midway station where you can get off and have a look at the Tramway history museum. A lot of people get off here on the way down the hill and walk the rest of the way taking in the amazing view of the area.
The Great Orme Mines:
Straight up our kids loved exploring the mines. You don a hard hat and underground you head. It is only a small trail of just over 200 meters through the underground system. guided at your own pace with 35 steps leading into and out of the mine complex.
There is plenty of signposting and information to tell you about the site. For instance, the mines Date back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age. When the Great Orme Mines were discovered they changed archaeologists views about the ancient people of Britain. Before this there was not a great deal known prior to the Romans, now the mines stretch that history back another 2000 years.
The Great Orme summit:
The summit can be reached by car, foot, cable car and tramway. The views afforded from the peak are amazing, especially on a sunny day. Even the murky waters of the Irish Sea seems to sparkle when the sun comes out in Wales. There is a playground for the kids and a cafe for the adults. Enjoy a coffee while the kids wear themselves out playing. There is a mini-golf which is always great family fun. You can get a meal or just a snack from the restaurant. Many of the Great Orme walking trails start from the summit or lead to the summit depending on which way you look at it.
There is 2 Great Orme Historical walks that take in different features. These two walks which can be combined to make a long walk with spectacular views. You will see Liverpool Bay, The Carneddau range, the Menai Strait and Anglesey – 4.2 miles (6.7 km) and 3.2 miles (5.2 km). The Great Orme Nature Trail is a circuit walk that encompasses the headland. It starts and finishing at the summit. The trails are marked but pick up a leaflet to take with you that shows you the highlights and describes just some of the Great Orme’s wildlife.
Llandudno Beach, after all, we are at the seaside
The main Llandudno beach is the North Shore beach. It is Llandudno’s principal beach (also known as Llandudno Beach). The beach is a sheltered beach from the waves and makes it ideal swimming for both children and adults alike. You will have the long Victorian pier in the foreground and the promenade behind you. This is the most central place to swim and closest to all the amenities the town has to offer. Don’t forget the beach toys for sandcastle building and fun.
Llandudno hop on hop off bus:
Spending a day on the Llandudno hop on hop off bus is a great way to orientate yourself with the sights of the area. We like to do this type of tour on our first day in town so we can plot out what we want to go back to and see more in-depth. The bus route moves around the Welsh resorts of Llandudno & Conwy showcasing their Victorian charm.
Grab yourself a 24-hour ticket and get on board as the bus takes you around its 12 stop circuit. Feel free to get on and off as many times as you like. A free guide is delivered by headphones to explain all the sights to you. In the peak periods, you will have a live guide delivering all the information. The bus tour is one of the must things to do in Llandudno.
BOOK YOUR HOP ON HOP OFF BUS TOUR HERE
Llandudno Ski and Snowboard Centre
This is the most unusual of things to do in Llandudno. The Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre is located 415ft above sea level. Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre boasts amazing backdrops of Llandudno and the Irish Sea that are never far from your line of sight. Skiing and Snowboarding lessons are available for all ages and experience levels. Snow-Tubing is done just for the pure fun of it. All of this can be done 7 days a week 52 weeks a year on our brand new Perma-Snow surface.
The Perma snow mimics the feel and speed of a real snow slope. If all this was not enough the longest Toboggan run in Britain is part of this attraction. If the snow tubing does not provide enough thrills and fun for the kids you can be sure the Toboggan will. A Welsh version of an Alpine Lodge serves delicious hot and cold food throughout the day. Llandudno Ski Centre will be a hit with the whole family.
Llandudno Theatre – Venue Cymru
Venue Cymru is a Llandudno theatre, conference centre and arena located on the promenade. Its the home of Llandudno events for locals and tourists. Through the years there has been a theatre, opera house, Hippodrome, roller skating rink and so on at this site since the mid-1850s.
This current building was started in the mid-2000s. After the redevelopment, the venue hosted a new 1,550 square metres (16,700 sq ft) arena, capable of hosting 1,800 seated, or 2,500 standing people which increased the venue capacity to over 5,000 people.
Today the Llandudno theatre is an entertainment hub for all featuring film, stage shows, exhibition talks and workshops. Coming up in 2018 you can see Mumma Mia on stage, attend the North Wales burlesque festival, watch Smokie ( an 80’s rock band for you young people ) and see today’s blockbusters on the big screen. You can check what’s on at the Llandudno theatre on the official website
Things to do in Conwy
Conwy is just 4.5 miles from Llandudno. You can drive, catch a bus or if you feeling fit even walk. Conwy dominates the landscape like nothing else. As the town of Conwy comes into view the castle rises up from the rock it sits on to greet you as you enter the small seaside village.
You may notice the Conwy suspension bridge which sits next to Conwy Castle. The Conwy Suspension bridge was built to blend in with the style of the castle. This amazing castle was constructed by King Edward in the 12th Century.
Conwy Castle was one of a handful of the Iron Ring castles Edward the 1st built during his conquest of the Welsh lands. The castle was meant to intimidate any potential uprisings by the Welsh people. This is an amazing castle big, brutish and strong still after 800 years. The walls of the castle still stretch around the town of Conwy.
We recommend a stroll along the 12th-century fortifications for great views of the town, castle and seaside. The walls are impressive on a scale like no other in Wales.
The inside these days is just a shell, but one can get a sense of the going on’s that would have happened in its hay day. A climb to the top of one of the towers is rewarded with a view of Conwy Bay and the rolling green hills of Wales.
The Smallest House in Great Britain
The Smallest House in Great Britain (Welsh: Y Tŷ Lleiaf ym Mhrydain Fawr) is known to tourists as the Quay House. It is a tourist attraction on the waterside in Conwy. The Smallest House in Great Britain is just 72 inches wide by 122 inches high. The house dated back to the 16th century and had been lived in until 1900.
What blew us away was the fact that the last person to live in the house was a man reported to be over six foot tall! I must admit I was impressed at just how small the inside was but at the same time at how homey it was as well. There were a dining table and a small seat to sit on.
The Llandudno Alice in Wonderland Trail.
Llandudno has a real and tangible link to Lewis Carrols Alice in Wonderland book. The history stretches back to 1861 when the eight-year-old Alice Pleasance Liddell (the real Alice in Wonderland) and her family came to holiday in Llandudno. Her holiday home ‘Penmorfa’ was on Llandudno’s West Shore and the family holidayed there for many years. Drop into the Llandudno tourist information centre to pick up an Alice in Wonderland trail map. Your map will guide you as you follow the 55 cast rabbit footprints around Llandudno and discover sculptures snippets of information, random Alice quotes.
You can download the apps If you prefer. There are 3 apps available for Llandudno Alice in wonderland trails. Alice Origins will help you find the Characters of Wonderland who will introduce themselves to you (This app is free). Download Tour 1, The White Rabbit App (£2 .99). This app starts you at the tourist information centre, Mostyn street and finishes at the Camera Obscura in Happy Valley. (Earphones recommended when using the trail).
This app will transform the sights into a 3D experience for your first part of the Alice in Wonderland trail. Download Tour 2, Alice’s Looking Glass App (£2 .99) and continue the second part of your journey in Alice’s Wonderland. Starting at the Pier entrance on North Shore, through Haulfre Gardens and to the West Shore to see Alice’s family holiday home at ‘Penmorfa’. (Earphones recommended when using the trail). The apps can be downloaded from Google Play and the Itunes store. This is great for families and right up they’re for Llandudno attractions for everyone.
Llandudno Parking for cars, motorbikes and motorhomes
For the day-trippers looking to spend a few hours and find some things to do in Llandudno, there is no shortage of parking. Expect to pay anywhere from 50 pence for the first hour up to 4 pounds 50 pence for 4 hours plus of Llandudno parking. There are designated Campervan and Motorhome bays at Morfa Bach car park in Conwy, and Maelgwyn Road car park in Llandudno. You will find 10 designated car parking lots in Llandudno.
Weather in Wales is an hour by hour day by day proposition and Llandudno weather is no different. July is the hottest month in Llandudno with an average temperature of 15°C (59°F) and the coldest is January at 5°C (41°F). For those looking for the longest days with the best chance of sunshine, you will get 7 hours in June.
The wettest month with the most rain is November with an average of 161mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in August when the average sea temperature is 16°C. Like all places, the weather in Llandudno will be what it will be. Pack for summer and bring winter clothes unpredictable Welsh days
Llandudno Tourist Information
For more Llandudno tourist information you can check the official website at www.visitllandudno.gov.uk. If you are in town the Llandudno Tourist Information office is located at 26, Victoria Centre, Mostyn St, Llandudno. We are sure when you visit Llandudno you will find something for the whole family
How to get to North Wales
- The nearest International airports are located at Manchester and Liverpool
- You can pick up a rental car at Manchester Airport and Liverpool Airport.
- From London take the M6 motorway then the M56 towards Chester.
- By Train, the North Wales Main Line is the railway line from Crewe to Holyhead.
Places to stay in Llandudno
- Places to stay in Llandudno include Caravan Parks, Hotels, Resorts and Guest homes.
- The main areas to stay would be Llandudno and Conwy
- You can search Airbnb for Vienna offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- For the Budget conscious we suggest the Llandudno Hostel
- Check HERE for North Wales Tourist parks and Llandudno self-catering options
- For Guest House in Llandudno CHECK here
- Hotels in Llandudno generally start from around $110.00 a night for a double room 3star and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards the 5-star average price of $158.00.
- For Llandudno accommodation in hotels, we recommend checking out Hotels Combined for the best range and prices
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .