Northern Wales- Small Towns, Big Character
In our last post we talked about our favorite things to do and see in London. The second stop on our UK road trip was Northern Wales. After staying in a large city like London we decided a small town like Conwy, would be a nice change of pace. The town was adorable! We also made a day stop at Llandudno Promenade which was just a quick 12-minute drive from our hotel. We visited in the off Season but something about this little town felt so authentic. From the brick buildings to the cobblestone streets, it felt like stepping back in time. We didn't get to spend too much time here, but we made sure we left enough time to peruse all the quaint shops. Some of our favorite stops here were:
Castle Hotel Conwy, Wales- First off, this place was so cute and so cozy! Built in the late 1700s the owners have managed to maintain the historic charm while providing modern comforts. Each room offers a different theme and aesthetic with tons of cute little touches. The room we stayed in had a huge tub and antique furniture that was both elegant and inviting! The only downfall to the hotel is that there is no elevator, so be prepared to hoist your luggage up the stairs (good news though it's only 3 floors, wait until I tell you about our Scotland hotel).
The hotel restaurant had such good food, and the menu changes each night to take advantage of locally sourced ingredients. If you end up staying here try the Classic fish pie, I ended up getting it two nights in a row because it was so good.
The hotel is located right next to Conwy Castle, and in the center of town, although to be honest the town was pretty small with a population just over 4,000 at the last census so being in the center was pretty easy.
We drove into Conwy after dark and the first thing we saw was the Conwy Castle lights looming over the water, with the city tucked safely behind its walls. Self-guided tours are offered of this mostly intact fortress for a modest fee of £11.10 ($13.56 USD) The castle was built by King Edward I and his architect Master James of St George, in the 700s. Taking an hour or so to visit is worth the time, if not for the architecture, then for the amazing views the parapets offer of the city.
Llandudno Promenade- LLandudno is a small town with a population of just over 20,000 people just across the bridge from Conwy. It made for a great day trip. We spent the whole day wandering the shops and promenade, I can imagine during peak season this place is crowded but in early November not many people were out, which made it easy to visit all the shops. We worked up an appetite shopping so we stopped in at Characters Tea Room and Hot Stone Restaurant for lunch. The sandwiches were delicious. Even though the town is fairly small there's a little bit of everything to see, do and buy here. If we hadn't stayed in Conwy Llandudno would have been our second choice.
One last thing while you're in Conwy make sure you try the Welsh ice cream, you'll thank us for the suggestion. There are a couple shops in town, I'm sure they are all amazing but the one directly across from our hotel was the one we tried.