Newest Review: ... it is possible to walk up the Mount Snowdon (at 3,560 ft it dominates the landscape of Snowdonia National Park) via six main routes, eac... more
North Wales - There is loads to see and do.
Villages & Resorts in Wales in general
Member Name: Themaddog74
Villages & Resorts in Wales in general
Date: 28/08/04, updated on 18/05/05 (169 review reads)
Advantages: beautiful scenery, great people, clean air
Disadvantages: The sheep can be a hazard on the roads - watch out for them., Don't get stuck behind a caravan, campervan or truck.
My first impression of the welsh people was "they're a really nice bunch of people". Imagine being on your merry way on a trip and suddenly this is torn apart and you have no transport. everyone that we met in wales went out of their way to help us and find us some accommodation, take care of my car etc.
It was late in the afternoon when we finally found somewhere to stay in Llandudno. we were both really tired and our heads were still spinning after the day's events so we weren't too fussed about how the hotel we stayed at looked. alter on after we had settled down, we decided to do and get some dinner. we had a look at the town and it was a miserable wet day and i really didn't like llnandudno at all. I just wanted to get out of there the next day. we ended up having dinner at the local chinese restaurant in high st. the meal was delicious and the service was great.
The next day after being woken up twice between 5 and 6am by the fire alarm we decided to hire a car and carry on with out trip from where it ended in llanrst. I had arranged to hire a vauxhall meriva and collect it at 1pm, so we had the morning to spend in llandudno. we were both feeling a bit refreshed and in better moods, also it was a nice sunny day. i found llandudno to be a very pretty place centered on the sea front. it was a typical british seafront with b & b hotels along it a promenade, pebbly beach and a pier. the town looked quite tidy and it had quite a bit of life and atmosphere in it. we were unable to collect our rental car until 5pm, so we decided to spend a second night in llandudno in a hotel on the sea front. we enquired in one hotel only to b
e given the keys and told to go and have a look at the room (on the third floor). By the time we had gotten to the top of the stairs we decided not to bother going into the rooms as I couldn't see us getting our luggage up very easily.
The hotel that we ended up staying in was brilliant. we were made to feel welcome by the owners and their obese Beagle who lived in the kitchen. The rooms were clean and well kept and it was a relaxing stay. If you are staying in B & B Hotels in Llandudno, you need to think about the amount of luggage that you have. If you are elderly person or you do not have a good fitness level, then the first thing you need to ask is if they have a lift because the stairs are very steep. The second thing that you need to consider is where you will park your car. Does the hotel offer car parking? If not, find one that does or be prepared to get a parking ticket.
The next day we set off for the camp site we had booked in Garthyfog, Gwynned. It was a beautiful drive down the A470. This road is very narrow and winding in many places, so you need to be careful. I found this road to be heavily populated with Dutch and German cars also. We went through a town called Betws-y-coed. I told my partner that we would have to visit it the next day. The next stop was the Llechwedd Slate Caverns.
If you live in a Victorian house and it has a slate roof, chances are that the slate came from the slate mines here. If you are travelling in this part of wales, a visit to these slate mines is a must. They have a tour where you go deep underground and walk through part of the vast network of mines. You will be amazed at what you see and also to imagine that miners dug this out using their own tools, dynamite and sometimes a jack hammer. There was no heavy machinery either, apart from the rail carts that would transport the slate to the surface to be split into shingles. There is also an underground rail tour which to me was not ver
iting. we waited in line for 40 minutes to get on a tour, and the tour only lasted about 25 minutes. The slate caverns also have an old fashioned bank where you can buy old fashioned coins to spend in the complex. The only thing is that these coins can only be spent in 3 places, so I wouldn't bother with them. Don't bother eating in the restaurant there either because the food is average, cleanliness is not good either. We also had to que for 15 minutes to get a meal.
When choosing a campsite, make sure that you know what facilities it offers. It is better to pay a little extra per night and get free hot showers, a kiosk, as well as proper washing up, shower and toilet blocks. The campsite where we stayed in Garthyfog had none of these. It had one shower where you had to pay £1.00 for 7 minutes hot water. The toilet and washing up sink were beside each other too, and there was no dry toilet paper. Lucky we brought some. The nearest town was Dolgellau, 5 miles away. Dolgellau is a pretty town with some Victorian and many stone buildings.
On our fourth day we took a trip up Snowdon. It was a cloudy day but we decided to go up htere anyway. I wouldn't recommend a trip up there on a cloudy day, as there is no view when you get to the top. Anyway, the Snowdon Mountain railway starts at Llanberis and costs about £20 return. The trip to the top takes about 50 minutes. They have steam and diesel locomotives, I think the steam locomotives give the better experience. If I did the trip again, I would want to walk up the mountain. it is supposed to take 3 hours to get to the top and it is not very steep.
On the way back, we stopped in Betws-y-coed. This is a beautiful town which has a European feel. Actually, many of the stone buildings were built in the period when there were many wars going on in Europe and people saw domestic travel to be the safest alternative. Betws-y-coed has been built along a river like most towns that
we came a
cross in North Wales. There are many camping grounds in the area as well as hotels to cover most budgets. Don't worry if you don't have a car either, you can get there by train.
The final day of our trip took us back to Llandudno to change to a bigger rental car and collect the remainder of our belongings and our bikes from the wreck of our car and back home. I could have taken a route that would have got us home in 4 hours, but I chose to take the A470 again because I really love the scenery, so our trip home took 7 hours instead.
When driving in North wales, be careful as the roads are often very narrow and close to the front doors of houses. Also be careful of sheep. we encountered 3 sheep that ran along the top of a stone wall, jumped off the wall in front of the car, continued down the road until they found a track to turn down. Basically, the sheep are everywhere and they don't necessarily know what fences are for. The quality of other tourists in the area is great, you don't seem to get the yobs and louts. People tend to be families, couples or hikers.
I would have to write a book to mention everything that North Wales has to offer. I have really only scratched the surface in this review, but I really think North wales is a place worth visiting.