Conwy to Llandudno 21.4.23

From the station we take an early morning walk around the walls of Conwy Castle before heading off across the road bridge in the direction of the Great Orme.

Conwy is famous for its three bridges – the suspension bridge, the tubular railway bridge and the ‘modern’ road bridge, built in 1958. 

The suspension bridge was built by Thomas Telford betweern 1822–1826 at a cost of £51,000, to replace the dangerous ferry crossing. It was part of his A5 route for a mail coach road between Holyhead and Shrewsbury. It was one of the first road suspension bridges in the world and the end supporting towers were built to match the towers of the castle. 

Slavishly following the green diamonds of the coastal path we actually miss this opportunity to walk across the suspension bridge, assuming it was closed to the public – what a shame.

Anyway, at the end of the road bridge we turn left on to a footpath that runs along the east side of the river back to the coast. I turn and take a photograph but I’m too far away.

The path follows the bank of the river past the back of Deganwy railway station and on to a concrete promenade where we stop at an isolated tea hut. It is not so often I actually notice the quality of my cups of tea but this is probably the best cup of tea I have ever tasted. We ask the friendly tea lady for thoughts on the path up to the Great Orme and are told that the first part involves struggling though some very soft sand dunes. “Hard on the hips” she says, nodding sagely. We load up with two or three slices of Bara Brith and walk on.

And she was so right…………………..and then it starts to rain.

At one point I lift my head and see a very unusual sight – a man on a ladder rising out of the dunes. What is he doing? I shout up to ask him and am told that it is a way of seeing more precisely where the ball is on the green. So now you know….

About a mile later the path takes us up onto a minor road which we will follow for 4 miles all the way round the Great Orme headland. I know there is a toll to pay for cars but not at this end – this building must be a gatehouse/lodge of some sort – stately for its size.

Up the road we walk – the rain has stopped and we can peel off horrible damp waterproofs. So essential for walking in the UK, I will never stop railing against the restrictions waterproof trousers place on free movement – bit like Brexit.

On the craggy limestone rocks to our right sheep and goats nibble grassy patches in the crevices between the rocks.

And down below, to our left, a row of millionaire properties are tucked into the base of the cliffs – fabulous sea views, swimming pools and private beaches (probably) … envious?

I do actually have quite a lot of time to stare at this blatant display of wealth, as Damian has left my walking pole behind somewhere down the road and has volunteered to walk back to find it.

Anyway, by now we are more than a little peckish and very pleased to find a cafe round the next headland – the Rest and Be Thankful Cafe where we (or rather I) furtively eat a sandwich from my backpack and finish off with tea and cakes. Here is a link – note the reference to EU grant aid which allowed for the expansion of the cafe in 2001. Ha!

Suitably refreshed we carry on down the road – there are very few cars and only a few cyclists.

Round the next headland we see in the distance a small knot of people peering over the cliff and out to sea – this usually means seals. And around the next bend we are treated to the sight of a colony of seals lying on the shingle – they look like slugs.

We stand and watch them for a while and then walk on. The small group of people we had seen before turn out to be a group of very smartly dressed Pakistani men, busy taking photographs of one another. We tell them that if they want to see seals they are in the wrong place and point to where we had seen them – they do not seem very interested. Ah well……..

After a while we see Llandudno and its pier up ahead…………….

And then we walk past the toll building – it costs £4.50 for a car to drive around the Great Orme – bicycles are free.

We walk down past the Grand Hotel which towers above the pier and marks the beginning of the promenade ……..

On the way to the railway station we walk past an advertisement for a tour around one of the Penderyn Distilleries that produces Welsh whisky. My father bought one of the first bottles in 2004 – a wine rather than a whisky drinker, I think he bought it to share with Damian when we used to visit my parents in Penarth.

The next train from Llandudno to Conway proves to be a complicated affair and doesn’t leave for another hour. We decide to try and find a bus and as we wander around I notice several different wooden figures that ring a bell in my distant memory.

Later I find out that Llandudno was the holiday destination resort of the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll and for whom he based his worldwide famous story on, Alice in Wonderland.

Distance: 7 miles

2 thoughts on “Conwy to Llandudno 21.4.23

  1. An interesting long walk. The Conwy suspension bridge is impressive, you will have to go back one day to walk over it! I wonder what tea the lady made in Deganwy. Its years since I have climbed the Great Orme and I don’t remember the large houses or any seals. Llandudno was one of the first places I went with Pete! I didn’t know about the Lewis Carroll connection. Beth bought Pete some Penderyn whisky for Christmas! I think I can recall Dad buying a bottle. He was always ahead of the game! Xx

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