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Guide Friday Open Top Bus Tours (Llandudno)

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Llandudno is Wales's largest resort, set between the Great and Little Ormes with two gorgeous beaches, the award winning North Shore and the sand duned West Shore. It has retained much of its Victorian air and offers a spectacular view of the Llandudno mountain.

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      14.11.2007 10:46
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      Great views and some information about the area.

      I realise that this is probably the wrong time of the year to post this one as we’re all thinking about Christmas, but this will remind you of summer holidays – they are just round the corner you know!

      Anyway to get to the point I have always liked Guide Friday tours and have so far taken them in Bath, York, London, Stratford, Whitby, Cardiff and Oxford and have enjoyed them all, so when I realised we had one here in Llandudno I had to try it out!

      What is a Guide Friday Tour?
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      Basically it is a tour of the local area taken on an open topped bus (known as a toast rack to us older folk!) with a commentary about the landmarks and general information about the local facilities.

      You will get a leaflet with a map showing the route and stopping points and your ticket will be valid all day and you can hop on and off as many times as you like, so visiting any of the areas of interest along the way.

      So what are the details for the Llandudno Tour?
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      The main starting point is the end of the pier on the main North Shore promenade. By this I mean the landward end of the pier not the other end out in the sea! Although this is the main starting point you can join or leave the tour at any of the stopping points along the route.

      It runs from the end of May until the end of September each year and departs every 30 minutes.

      The tickets cost £6.50 for adults, £2.50 fro children and £5 for OAPs and students. There is also a family ticket available for 2 adults and 3 children for £15.50

      The commentary on this one is in English and is pre-recorded and controlled by the driver. That is to say he stops and starts it as the bus reaches the relevant destinations.

      So where do you go on this tour then?
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      I’ll give you a brief summary of the route of the tour and it’s eleven stops.

      We started at stop number one at the end of the pier in Llandudno itself. The bus then goes along Gloddaeth Street, which is the main dual carriageway between the North and West Shores of Llandudno making a stop along the way.

      Stop number three is actually at the West Shore – which is where we live (not actually at the bus stop you understand!)
      The bus then travel back down Gloddaeth Street turning right at the bottom and going along the main promenade into Craig y Don for stop number four.

      Then it’s inland for a ride through some beautiful countryside via Llanrhos to Deganwy and stop number five at Deganwy Railway Station.

      We follow the road along the side of the newly built Deganwy Marina and almost into Llandudno Junction with stop number six near to Llandudno Junction railway station.

      Then along the Conwy Road over the estuary towards Conwy and the sight of the castle guarding the entrance to the town. The bus weaves it’s way through the narrow streets of Conwy stopping at Rose Hill Street for the railway station and castle, Townditch Road for the Butterfly Jungle and Berry Castle Street for the harbour and boat trips.

      Stop number ten is back on the Conwy Road opposite stop number six.

      We then head back towards Deganwy Marina turning left across country again, this time though Tywyn and Llanrhos, and back into Llandudno for stop number eleven in Mostyn Street, for Llandudno railway station and the Alice in Wonderland Centre. This is also our main shopping street.

      Then it’s back to where we started from and the tour has taken about an hour in all.

      What else do we need to know?
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      The commentary is informative and entertaining up to a point, although it isn’t as good as some I’ve heard. Being pre recorded you obviously don’t get the comical ad-libs that some of the live guides come out with, which can make for some good laughs. Having said that the information is given clearly and in an interesting way.

      When I did the tour I drove the family mad for days coming out with things like – Did you know that Paula Yates was born in the Deganwy Castle Hotel? – and other such ‘useful’ bits of information!

      The tour combines both the shores of Llandudno and Conwy giving you a flavour for the area including both the sea and the countryside, so I felt that it was real value for money, especially if you do the first tour of the day at 10.15am from the pier. That way you can then use your ticket for the rest of the day to travel to the various sights such as Conwy Castle, and the last bus returns to the pier at 17.40pm at the weekend and 17.10pm during the week.

      In Conclusion
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      I would certainly recommend it for seeing some of the local area and learning a bit about the place, even if you don’t then take advantage of the free travel for the rest of the day.

      If it’s a nice day the fresh air and scenery here in Llandudno are hard to beat! Of course if it’s raining or too cold up on top you can always sit downstairs!

      As an extra for me it reminds me of my lovely dad who died a couple of years ago. When I was a child and we went to the seaside dad and I would always go upstairs on the toast racks even when the weather was awful! Mom was a lightweight - she used to stay downstairs!

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