Llandudno is the quintessential Welsh Victorian seaside resort, what a mouth full that is. With the Great Orme to the West and the Little Orme to the East, nesseled in between is a great day out to suit any budget. I’m as tight as cramp when needs be and Llandudno let’s us as a family have a great day out for just the cost of fuel. There is plenty to see and do for any age group, with lots of little attractions dotted about – even Punch and Judy which is very rare these days.
First up, free parking. Away from the central area towards the Little Orme or you can park on the main road or head up the steep hill to the ski centre. Plenty of paid parking space on the front but its not empty for long! Given the amount of attractions it’s probably best if I list them and give a bit of information, starting with free.
This tops the list of free attractions for me in Llandudno, it’s free to park and free to enter. Bodafon farm is nestled away at the back of the fields towards to Little Orme end of the promenade.
There are farm animals for the littluns which you can feed and a nice little play park area complete with wooden fort.
To the rear is an Owl charity with all manner of birds of prey, it looks decent and is well maintained.
When weather is ok there are tractor rides, horse rides, face painting etc but these come at a cost. Bodafon farm also hosts several yearly shows such as the jazz festival. Local food is also served, they have a great big outdoor bbc and pizza oven too.
Check out: http://bodafonfarmpark.com
There are not many piers left these days and this is one of the better ones. There are a few smaller rides/activities and an arcade at the beginning of the pier, there is a bar at the end as well as a good fishing spot.
A few shops are nestled in on the way to the end selling gifts and ice cream, public toilets too next to the bar. It’s a pleasant enough walk for all ages with plenty of seating on the way down to the end.
As the tide recedes the beach shows it’s self near the main section of the promenade near the base of the pier. It’s no longer a vast expanse of sand, due to coastal erosion defended (pebble) being added but it’s still big enough to get the bucket and spade out. The kids (and adults) usually try catching crabs from the little jetties, mine loved it and still do.
Alice in Wonderland trail
Download the app to your phone, it gives a trail or two for you to follow. There are various Alice in Wonderland features dotted around the main visitor locations that feature in the trails. From the website –Enjoy a wonderful tour of the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno, taking in the sites inspired by the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland. Explore the history of the town, find out about Alice Liddell (the real Alice in Wonderland)
Happy Valley is a walk round garden located on the Great Orme overlooking to pier, follow to road up opposite the grand hotel, it leads to the ski slope and through happy valley. Pleasant enough with a large grasses area for picnics etc, there are also public toilets and a cafe. Best time to visit is when the trees are in blossom, looks awesome. Alice in wonderland plays a big part in Llandudno, with the idea and little girl who is said to have given inspiration for the book lived locally. Several nice little touches such as statues and benches lay around the area, they are very well done indeed.
Behind the cafe in Happy Valley, the station takes you up to the top of the Great Orme, stunning views as expected however it’s not cheap. If the weather changes when you are at the top ie wind picks up, you will have to make your own way back down without a refund when they close. It is a quick and fun way of getting to the top, with great views all round.
Great Orme tramway
A bit of a slower way to the top or for those who don’t like the heights of the cable cars. There is a stop half way up, or head straight to the top.
Great Orme Summit Complex
A great place to visit, its deceptively large and has a varied history.The inside has various bits information regarding the buildings past which is quite interesting if you are into that kind of thing. There is a bar / restaurant which looks upmarket and serves decent food and beer etc. On the other side is another cafe more food centred and it all looks decent. There is a really good gift shop that has loads of random bits and bobs as well as Llandudno themed gifts. Toilets are available inside, the ones near the car park are 20p.
Outside there are numerous benches and a large play park for the kids, it got a decent size slide too. Round the other side there is a small crazy golf course. Behind the slide is a path up to the summit, it has a map of the Snowdonia mountains and points to various places…Ilse of man, Conwy castle, puffins island etc which can all be seen if the conditions are right.
Just down from the visitor centre is a old quarry front, plenty of fossils to be found here. Yep, there is also a visitor centre. It has information on the pathways and wildlife of the great Orme. Mind your phone isn’t set to roaming when on the top…Ireland or the isle of man have good phone signal apparently.
Llandudno Dry Ski Slope
Does what it says on the tin, it’s a dry ski slope. It also has a much more popular toboggan run, it is great fun. It’s just above Happy Valley, you can walk up or drive but be warned it’s very steep and I’ve seen a few cars break down but generally it’s fine. I usually park up here as it’s free and close to facilities and the ski slope itself. It is a little expensive but I don’t think you can buy the smile it brings to your face. Well worth a visit, kids and adults alike love it.
Great Orme Bronze age mine
I can’t personally vouch for the this attraction as I thought it was a touch expensive for the size of the place – Uncovered in 1987 during a scheme to landscape an area of the Great Orme, the copper mines discovered represent one of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of recent times. Dating back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age
The list goes on, Llandudno truly has something for everyone. Given it’s not a huge place it crams a lot in, take this into consideration during the summer months as parking can be a nightmare if you arrive late..ie noon
Not quite Llandudno as such, check out the seals at Angel bay at the back of the Little Orme?
Fishing is generally ok in the area, North Shore beach is best fished at night.