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mikthe20

Things To See And Do In And Around Conwy, North Wales

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I'm taking my teenage kids to a cottage in Conwy/Conway for a few days during the summer holidays. Does anyone have any particular suggestions on what to see or do? Would appreciate any thoughts on good walks/beaches, a bit of history, good restaurants (we'll probably have one posh meal, otherwise decent pubs/cafes), maybe some interesting sports/activities (eg. cycling, kayaking, fishing, karting, shooting, whatever) or events. Will have a car so happy to travel into Snowdonia or further up the cost. TIA.

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Conwy Castle is worth a visit.

best to get a local guide book. Like all places there are interesting things that even few of the locals know about.

One of the main sports at Conwy is boating.

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Welsh National Watersports (Chortle) Centre is 25 miles away. Lots of courses.

http://www.plasmenai.co.uk/

Your have Surf Snowdonia in Conwy - artificial surfing wave

http://www.gonorthwales.co.uk/things-to-do/surf-snowdonia-p376241

Bounce Below and the Titan Zip World in Blaenau Ffestiniog is worth it - it is about an hour drive from Conwy but a beautiful drive (Great chippy in Llanwrst on the way/there back.)

http://www.gonorthwales.co.uk/things-to-do/bounce-below-p376041

Loads of things to do on this site:

http://www.gonorthwales.co.uk/

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Should have said - loads of stuff to do in the area from rafting, surfing, kayaying, zip wires, and loads of museums, etc, places, to visit.

My tips would be - ensure your petrol tank is filled up before you leave Conwy to head inland. Realise that, after about 4 or 5 in the evening, a lot of places shut down. I used to regularly drive back from North Wales to South Wales and the joke would be that the next place to get something to eat would be Swansea or Cardiff.

So try to plan ahea with things like food for the evening. You are OK in places like Conwy, Bangor, etc, but, whilst there are lovely pubs dotted across North Wales, if you can't find one or get in one then you can go hungry.

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It looks like Zip World have taken over Tree Top Adventure in Bettws-Y-Coed - about 30 minutes from Conwy. I have always wanted to do this one. Basically loads of walking and jumping through the tops of trees.

http://www.zipworld.co.uk/location/detail/fforest

Seems that Zip World have 3 main sites in Snowdonia

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I had a great week based on Conwy a few years back. The castle is good, as is a walk along the town walls. Llandudno nearby is good for a slightly tacky seaside vibe, and a trip there up on to the Great Orme is worth it (views, walks, and an Iron Age underground copper mine to explore). Conwy is a good base for Snowdonia (beautiful all round, can recommend a trip on the Blaneau Ffestiniogg railway) and Anglesey (try Beaumaris Castle and a boat trip out to see the puffin and seal colonies). Further round the coast you've got Caernarfon and Portmeiron, both worth a trip.

Conwy is one of the few train stations where you can hail a train by putting your hand out as it approaches!

Good choice. Point your car in any direction from there and you'll end up somewhere interesting and good countryside. Except maybe Bangor!

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I had a great week based on Conwy a few years back. The castle is good, as is a walk along the town walls. Llandudno nearby is good for a slightly tacky seaside vibe, and a trip there up on to the Great Orme is worth it (views, walks, and an Iron Age underground copper mine to explore). Conwy is a good base for Snowdonia (beautiful all round, can recommend a trip on the Blaneau Ffestiniogg railway) and Anglesey (try Beaumaris Castle and a boat trip out to see the puffin and seal colonies). Further round the coast you've got Caernarfon and Portmeiron, both worth a trip.

Conwy is one of the few train stations where you can hail a train by putting your hand out as it approaches!

Good choice. Point your car in any direction from there and you'll end up somewhere interesting and good countryside. Except maybe Bangor!

Yeah, freck Bangor.

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Awesome, thanks guys! That's really helpful.

Thanks for the tip on petrol TMT! - sounds hildarious that things should still close early in the height of summer but I guess these local customs are one of the reasons to visit.

RentingForever - Portmeirion top suggestion, forgotten about it and been there but never taken the kids. Cheers.

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I live in the area.

Snowdon, if you haven't done it - and the weather is good is worth doing. The views can be amazing, even slightly unworldly. The village below it, Llanberis, has the famous Pete's Eats climbers/walkers cafe. The electric mountain/Slate museum also worthwhile on a rainy day. Dolbadarn Castle worth the short walk too.

Conwy castle has to be visited. Beaumaris and Caernavron might be worth it too.

Nearby Llandudno is a fine example of a victorian seaside town which has kept much of it's charm - although a bit of an oldies ghetto. Still the chips are good, and a stroll/tram/cable car up the Orme adds some interest and the first bit of the walk will certainly test your stamina.

Bangor doesn't have much to attract, but the pier is one of the finest and the cafe on it pretty good. Missus is south east Asian, and she gives the thumbs up to the Noodle House there.

Also recommend ZipWorld in Bethesda. Missus absolutely loved it. I know others have loved the various other similar attractions like Bounce Below etc.

Beaches - recommend Llandonna, Llanfairfechan, Conwy RSPB reserve, Newborough, West shore of Llandudno (the last will be dominated by families this time of year though).

Anglesey Sea Zoo is good, but perhaps targeted at a younger age group. However, the Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber is worth detouring for if you are in the area.

If the teenager is geeky or arty, Portmeiron might appeal.

Also perhaps hire some mountain bikes and do some of the trails near Capel Curig/Betws-Y-Coed. Slightly more gentler cycling along the Ogwen Valley - via Lon Las Ogwen cycle way which is pretty much traffic free. You can also do similar from Conwy to Llandudno and also along the North Wales coast.

Lastly consider a trip out to the Llyn Peninsula. Perhaps a nights campaigning or stay.

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One other tip - North Wales Police are like the world's biggest speed camera lovers. Static cameras, unmarked police cars, etc, etc. The speed limits on the North Wales A roads are constantly changing from 30MPH up to national speed limit and back down so be careful.

I have visited chippys in North Wales which will only open up when someone knocks on their door and asks for fish & chips. The best ones are the ones where a boy goes out in the morning in his boat and cooks whatever he catches.

White water rafting & canoeing:

http://www.canoewales.com/

If you are into aircraft, and you decide to go to Portmeirion, you will pass Mach Loop where NATO aircraft, of all types, are often zooming around.

http://machloop.co.uk/

I would try the lavabread and cockles with a full english breakfast if you get the opportunity. Also the Menai Strait mussels.

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StainlessSteelCat/TMT - wow, great suggestions, thanks! I was thinking of either taking our bikes or hiring there. ZIpWorld sounds ideal and thanks for tip on speeding TMT - I was actually looking forward to chucking the car around some deserted roads but perhaps not. Cheers.

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Here is a website with all the North Wale cycle routes on that are free.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/wales/national-cycle-network/free-leaflets-and-maps

The plus of taking your own bikes is that it is obviously cheaper. The downside is making sure they are securely locked if away from the car when visiting various places. But so many places are bike friendly that it is probably worth having the bikes on the car if you can.

Wales also has an excellent coastal path.

http://www.walescoastpath.gov.uk/about-the-path?lang=en

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I am a fan of Llandudno, it is still an elegant Victorian town, even if a bit faded. There is a pier but not too much on it.

Anglesey has some interesting coastline, and the sands of Red Wharf bay.

The eccentric Portmerion is not too far away.

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Will have a car

Make the most of it because if your driving to english "standards" then youl probably accumulate enough speeding violations in a few days to get a ban. Seriously wales especially the north has a ludicrously strict approach to speeding so stuff like not slowing down aggressively the instant you cross to a slower limit or occasionally drifting 5 mph over the limit on a steep hill because you were actually watching the road occasionally rather than the speedometer will be punished ruthlessly. They change the limits at apparently random points in the road, put up the minimum number of reminder signs and strategically place hidden cameras at the points your most likely to accidentally creep over (e.g. bottom of a 6/1 hill in a 30 zone) and use every other trick they can think of to catch you out.

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I am a fan of Llandudno, it is still an elegant Victorian town, even if a bit faded. There is a pier but not too much on it.

Anglesey has some interesting coastline, and the sands of Red Wharf bay.

The eccentric Portmerion is not too far away.

Got to be Llandudno for me too, and a walk up to the Great Orme. The Marlborough Hotel looks the part for meals with its Regency style and waitor service, the food isn't great. But if you are looking for style and ambience for a tenner a pop as opposed to being some snobbish foody then it's the place to go. Just play it safe with fish or the like and don't order something like beef and get a crap cut.

Bodelwyddan Castle does a cheap family deal if historic houses and gardens float your boat. It was used as a girls school for many years and there is a museum to that too...you do get the Enid Blyton Mallory Towers vibe and i believe she based her books on this castle. Also an overspill for the National Portrait gallery. but not everybody's cup of tea for sure....

http://bodelwyddan-castle.co.uk/

The Marlborough Hotel...Regency Elegance, siver service, but be realistic don't expect great food at a tenner a pop (lunchtime deal), book a window table......

http://www.themarlborough.com/

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Make the most of it because if your driving to english "standards" then youl probably accumulate enough speeding violations in a few days to get a ban. Seriously wales especially the north has a ludicrously strict approach to speeding so stuff like not slowing down aggressively the instant you cross to a slower limit or occasionally drifting 5 mph over the limit on a steep hill because you were actually watching the road occasionally rather than the speedometer will be punished ruthlessly. They change the limits at apparently random points in the road, put up the minimum number of reminder signs and strategically place hidden cameras at the points your most likely to accidentally creep over (e.g. bottom of a 6/1 hill in a 30 zone) and use every other trick they can think of to catch you out.

All of this.

Plus don't think about stopping in a bus stop. There are lots of vans driving around that automatically record licence plates. They love giving out fines for stopping in a bus stop.

I would drive at 30 mph everywhere and p*as off everyone behind me. Welsh Police are masters at being right by where that 60 mph becomes 30 or on that crest of the hill as you pick up speed slightly.

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If you're into railways with steam and scenery, North Wales is the place. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland lines are excellent - joined together, they're over 40 miles long through excellent scenery, and the Snowdon Mountain Railway is good too. Not too far away is the Llangollen Railway.

Portmeirion is excellent, even if you're not a Prisoner fan.

Possibly not the thing for teenage kids, but Bodnant Gardens near Conwy are worth seeing.

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