Little trip to Llandudno

Friday, 12 June 2015

As previously mentioned, this week I took myself off on a little daytrip to the biggest town in North Wales, Llandudno. Or as I came to describe it to my friends and on various forms of social media, my little random loner trip. It's fair to say that I have no problem with doing things alone: I grew up as an only child with a vivid imagination and a strong sense of self-motivation. And I definitely have no shame in public selfies and partaking in activities solo either. Somebody said to me yesterday, "Aw are you all on your own love?" To which I replied, "It's certainly cheaper that way!" Am I right or am I right?

My self-motivation was a bit lacking yesterday as I didn't manage to get out of the house until gone 11am! But luckily, the drive from Manchester was straightforward and completely traffic free! To get to anywhere in North Wales you basically just need to follow the M56 all the way to the end, which almost-but-not-quite connects with the A55 - just follow signs for Conwy or Bangor and all will be just fine. The drive itself only takes about an hour and fifteen minutes and is punctuated with a plethora of gorgeous sights: think glorious hillside castles and churches, flora and fauna galore and sweeping hills. When offset by a big bulging blue sky, then it simply is the roadtrip of dreams. I've driven this route before on the way to climb Mount Snowdown last year (something I still desperately need to post about) but I really enjoyed driving it again. I had a playlist of Slaves, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Florence & The Machine and the whole thing just *clicked*.

Upon arrival in Llandudno, I thought I was going to have to shell out a small fortune for parking. However, if you tear yourself away from the promenade and the tiny-but-bustling high street (which is not high-streety in the slightest, give for a WH Smith and a Caffe Nero) and follow the signs for long stay parking, you find yourself on Gloddaeth Ave. If you drive past a big gorgeous Wetherspoons called The Palladium then you're on the right track. You'll come across rows and rows of cars parked in the middle of the road (trust me, it'll make sense on sight) and there you have it, free parking. Once you've parked up it's literally a matter of a few minute's walk back to the hustle and the bustle of the bay. But before you give yourself to all things seasidey, why don't you check out the Great Orme?

This is perhaps the reason why I feel so connected with Llandudno on the first date: the Great Orme is spectacularly stunning, gloriously gorgeous and tantalisingly terrific. Awful adjectives and alliterations aside (or maybe not), this is perhaps one of the most beautiful nature reserves on earth that I've had the pleasure of setting foot upon. There's a myriad of ways that you can reach the summit of the Great Orme, and at just over 200m walking up it is certainly not out of the question. But there are some great forms of transport you can take up it, namely the cable car or the tramway. I chose to go up by the tram this time, which takes you very slowly up a selection of high incline streets. You feel like you're on a furnicular for the most part. A quick change of carriages at the halfway point and then you're set for the summit. I was so lucky to have taken myself on this trip on such a gorgeous day: we've been lacking on the weather front so far this year in the UK, but this was definitely legs-out weather. Once at the top you can grab a coffee if you wish, or check out the amazing visitor's information centre which is a mere footstep off of the tram at the top and fills you with wonderful facts and all the history of the site. The area upon the Great Orme is pretty small, just 2 miles by 1 mile, which means ample exploration time with definitely enough left over to amble around, find a little sitting spot and enjoy the gorgeous views.

I chose to give up my return tram ticket to a complete stranger (good deed for the day done and dusted) and follow the signposts that pointed i'r dref - or to town. Remember, when in Wales...! The walk was very delightful, only exacerbated by the sunny day, and the signs and paths were fairly easy to follow. Well, until I went a bit off piste and ended up in a little bit of a scrambling situation which is highly unrecommended if you come wearing Converse. But I finished the walk in high spirits and smiling, and in desperate need of ice cream. Luckily, I'd passed just the place on the walk into town earlier on: The Looking Glass, a cute little Alice In Wonderland-themed ice cream parlour, boasting 24 homemade flavours to boot. These included unique specimens such as Flutternutter, Bubblegum, White Chocolate Cheesecake, Apple Pie and pretty much anything your imagination desired. I went for a nice big tub of tasty Mint Chocolate Chip, which was a clear winner in my eyes. I'll definitely have to go back and put the others to the test though... it's only fair.

Wandering along the promenade, I was dazzled by the sights of the coastline. The architecture and atmosphere of the town make you feel as if you are somewhere on the French Riviera; you know, that very Victorian building style and colour scheme. There wasn't a single eyesore in sight. Boat trips that took you out to the edge of the bay on the regular, a pier that extends out into the sea holding delights such as freshly-fried doughnuts and penny arcades, and a tiny beach full of real sand. It seems that Llandudno has it all. I can see it being a perfect little destination for a quick weekend break away from the monotonies of day to day life, with a plentiful of guesthouses and hotels such as Travelodge all within a stone's throw from the action. And if you don't have a car for the oh-so scenic drive, then it's attended to by Arriva Trains Wales with good connections from Chester and Manchester. It'll still be an eyepleaser of a journey.

So, are you up for a trip to Llandudno now?
Or have you been before & also sharing the love with me right now?


  1. I'm so in love with Llandudno. I spent a big chunk of my uni years there and really miss it now I haven't visited for a while.

    1. Then you must go as soon as you can! I'm so head over heels with this place. It's pretty special isn't it?