Conwy

Conwy quay and castle

So – as advertised we’re exploring Britain a couple of days at a time.

After our weekend at Elterwater we had a day at home, washed a load of clothes, re-packed the car and off we went again. This time we were taking advantage of the YHA’s Winter Feast offer – a family room and an evening meal for thirty quid at selected hostels. From the ones on offer, we chose Conwy: every summer we drive past this area on our way down to Tudweiliog and I’ve long fancied having a bit of a poke around. The hostel was comfortable and friendly. It sits on a little hill at the back of the town and the dining room has stunning views of the the castle and the estuary.

Conwy Castle 

The castle – well there had to be a castle involved somewhere didn’t there? When I started this little blog, just over 4 years ago, it was my intention to keep a record of my local walks on our home patch. I suppose if anybody could be arsed to analyse the content they would find that most posts have done exactly that; but some other themes have emerged, one of which is a bit of an obsession with castles, particularly Welsh ones. I make no apologies – castles are great fun.

Conwy’s castle is very fine. It has eight towers, most of which can be climbed, and it has many rooms and battlements to wander around. For the kids Cadw have created a sort of detective puzzle to solve – in the course of which they learn the story of the 1401 capture of the castle by a small Welsh band led by the Tudur brothers (yes, relatives of those Tudors) who held the castle for three months before their demands were met by the English on the condition that they surrendered nine of their own to be executed by hanging. I can see it now: “Listen lads, I’ve got some good news and some bad news…”

The layout of the castle seems to me to be very similar to those of Caernarvon and Chepstow (though it’s many years since I was there). Caernarvon and Conwy castles were both built by Edward Longshanks in his efforts to conquer Wales.

Conwy Castle and Telford's Bridge 

After lunch in one of the town’s many cafes, our party split into two factions – whilst TBH and the boys opted for the warm and dry environs of the hostel, A wanted to tour the castle again. So we did. Twice. We also had a gander at Thomas Telford’s suspension bridge, had a wander along the quay…

Interesting ship in the harbour 

…posed for photos outside Britain’s smallest house…

Britain's smallest house.

…and did a complete circuit of the town walls. Oh, did I forget to mention the walls? Conwy, a World Heritage Site, has remarkably complete walls with a battlement walkway along the top. Superb if you like that kind of thing. And we do. By the time we walked back up to the hostel at the end of the afternoon, A was exhausted.

Herring gulls

The following day we sampled the delights of Llandudno. It was mostly closed, but we found things to keep us occupied – a walk along the pier and a cup of tea in the cafe at its end, a picnic with a grand view, a bit of beachcombing, and a happy hour with the tuppeny cascades in an amusement arcade. It was too cold and damp for a stroll on the Great Orme, so we shall have to come back another time to try that. It’s actually less far away than I would have guessed, so a return visit at some point is a strong possibility – we only scratched the surface this time.

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Conwy

14 thoughts on “Conwy

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Well – I’m prety sure that someone – a father and a daughter I presumed – was fishing with a crab line of the quay. We certainly found plenty of bits of ex-crabs on Lllandudno beach.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Excellent – I haven’t done Criccieth – I’ve mentally filed that away, thanks for that! I haven’t been to Harlech castle for many a moon either – might have to take the kids there some time.

      1. Every summer for quite a few years, meant three weeks in our little touring caravan on a site near Llanbedrog. Many days were spent on the beach at ‘The Warren’ at Abersoch, but equally as many days were spent exploring the whole of North Wales – including every castle there is!

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Three weeks! Fabulous – but didn’t I read that you had a farm? How did you swing three weeks off?(If you don’t mind me being nosey?)

          1. It wasn’t a ‘proper’ farm. It was high up on the moors and we had 2 horses, 2 cows, about 40 hens, a couple of farm cats and 2 dogs, plus 18 acres of rough grazing land. My mum was a head teacher and my dad had his own engineers merchanting company. Friends used to come and stay while we were away and look after the animals for us – except for the dogs of course, who used to come on holiday with us!

            And I don’t mind you being nosey. I’m just like my mother was – I’ll talk to anyone…

  1. Glad you enjoyed the walls as well – they were a real surpise when we walked them. It’s a pretty interesting place all round especially with Llandudno on the doorstep. We’ve just done a weekend in Chester. The zoo was good but Chester was a bit of a disappointment, post coming soon

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’ve already had a sneaky peek at your Zoo slideshow. We once went to a wedding there – did I ever bore you with that story?

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Umm – come to think of it I think that is the story – not much more to tell. Fun venue for a wedding with lots of kids present however.

  2. Very good Mark. I’m certainly not going to complain about castle postings! Isn’t the general idea to post whatever interests you – it’s an indulgence, after all. And sometimes the unusual postings pay dividends – I’m due to get £60 for a photo about a birthday celebration thanks to blogging about it!

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