Llandudno is a great location for a holiday, even for those with children. The town is bursting full of shops and arcades, and the magnificent headland of the Great Orme is a fantastic natural adventure park to keep those of all ages occupied and captivated, with its Victorian funicular tramway and ancient bronze-age copper mines. The famous ‘Happy Valley’, located on the southern end of the Orme, is home to an artificial ski slope and toboggan run, as well as botanic gardens and many ice cream shops and cafés. The north shore of Llandudno boasts a pebbly beach, with cool and calm waters whilst the tide is in and rock-pools bursting with crabs and anemones when it is out. Local theatres are always presenting an interesting show or two, and the multiplex cinema in Llandudno Junction is only five minutes drive or train ride away. Accomodation in Llandudno is abundant and welcoming.
Arrive in Llandudno. The town is easily reached from all directions via the A55 and A470. If you are driving from the east, why not detour slightly and approach Llandudno via the A5115, which winds over the rocky Little Orme and breaks out into the most spectacular elevated view of the north shore in the area. If you choose to travel by train, there are regular services running from both Chester and Bangor to Llandudno Junction. Simply change trains here and in five minutes you’ll be right in the centre of Llandudno itself. There are also services running direct from Blaenau Ffestiniog and Betws-y-Coed if you are approaching Llandudno from Snowdonia. Settle into a hotel of your choice, there are many to choose from, the most famous of which line the curve of the promenade on the north shore in their preserved Victorian splendour. Self-catering accommodation is preferred by some, although such places tend to lie outside Llandudno itself in the region of the Conwy valley. With your bags unpacked, you can either dine at your hotel or choose to visit one of Llandudno’s many restaurants or pubs in the centre of town, most less than two minutes walk from the promenade hotels. A cool evening stroll along the promenade is enough to settle even the most troublesome stomach, and the view of the sun setting over the Great Orme accompanied by the gentle wash of the waves is always satisfying.
Breakfast at your hotel, and then walk up through town to the Great Orme. Rising sharply 679 feet up from the Irish Sea, the Orme is surrounded by legend, as well as being in 3rd place for having the most annual UFO sightings in the world! The town of Llandudno (literally meaning ‘Parish of St. Tudno’) was once situated on the western cliffs of the Orme, but following the upsurge of tourism in the 19th century expanded out onto the flat marshy land now housing your hotel. Walk up the steep hill to Happy Valley (stopping to let your kids explore ‘Elephant Cave’) and try out your skill on the ski slope and toboggan run. The Toboggan is probably the most applicable attraction here for your children, as all that is needed is the operation of a brake, the use of which is clearly signposted! From the top of happy valley, take the long and winding path over the bleak marshland and enjoy the sight of Llandudno getting smaller and smaller until you reach the summit of the Orme. On clear days, the view is spectacular, with Blackpool tower, the Lake District, Liverpool and her Cathedrals, the Isle of Man, and occasionally at sunset, the mountains of Ireland being visible over the horizon. Have lunch at the summit café, then board one of Llandudno’s famous trams and ride down the steep mountainside (on the approach to Llandudno the gradient reaches one in three). In the afternoon, explore the town and do some shopping, choosing between the many arcades and department stores in Llandudno. Spend your evening either visiting the theatre, cinema or just relaxing in your hotel or on the promenade. There are many good fish and chip shops to be sampled.
Pack some sandwiches and drinks and rise and shine early: today is your day to explore the spectacular peaks and valleys of Snowdonia. It is only 35 minutes drive to the beautiful town of Betws-y-Coed, lying in the foothills of the Snowdonia national park. From here, you can take the A5 through the impressive ‘Cwm Ogwen’, shadowed by steep mountains, many of which tower over 3000 feet. The beautiful ‘Tryfan’ is a must visit, a sharp and spiny ridge crest rising straight up from the roadside at a height of 3006 feet above sea level. Alternatively, branch off the A5 at Capel Curig, follow signs to Caernarvon and drive straight towards the summit of Snowdon and her four sisters, imposing on the valley and often blocking out the sunlight! For those with children, it is probably best to continue along the Llanberis pass and take a train up the mountain, by means of the oldest rack-and-pinion railway in the world. Of course, this day is weather-permitting; the views from the summit of Snowdon are so impressive on a clear day that it would be pointless to ascend when the it is in cloud. After a hot tea in the summit café, ride back down and visit the Dinorwic Power Station, or as it is known locally “The Electric Mountain”. There are many tours daily around this subterranean hydro-electric station, buried death beneath a hollow mountain. On the drive back to Llandudno, take time to visit the town of Caernarvon and the impressive castle which was the pride and joy of King Edward I when he built it in the 1280s. If castles aren’t your thing, stop over for photos in the world-famous village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – the second-longest place name in the world. Return back to your hotel over the famous Menai Suspension Bridge, built by Thomas Telford, and spend an evening relaxing your legs as a pub of your choice in Llandudno.
Today is beach day. Llandudno became famous in the late 19th century as a holiday spa town, and to this day its famous north shore beach is one of the finest in the UK, despite its pebbles. The sea is in easy reach from most hotels, cool but never freezing – the water makes for fine swimming and there is an offshore paddling pool for kids who love to play and splash. Enjoy the summer sunshine (not guaranteed!) and feast on as many ice creams as you can. Llandudno is also well known for its Punch and Judy puppet show, which has been run on the promenade by the Codman family for over 150 years. Take a stroll along Llandudno’s Victorian pier, stretching out 2’295 feet into the sea (the fifth-longest in the UK), where brass bands occasionally play during the summer months. Spend the evening relaxing on the promenade, or visit the beautiful nearby town of Conwy, taking notice of the impressive castle, three bridges, town walls and the smallest house in Great Britain.
Leave Llandudno. Driving times to Manchester and Liverpool are 1.5 hours, to Bangor 30 minutes, to Birmingham 2.5 hours and to London 4.5 hours. We hope you enjoyed your stay in Llandudno!
For more information, please see our Accommodation in Llandudno section.