Home to sprawling national parks, multi-coloured gardens, gothic castles and infinite bays, Wales is known for its spectacular scenery. Boasting equally impressive nature and a variety of fascinating things to see and do, the small town of Llandudno in North Wales is a must-visit.
Ever thought about tobogganing your way down a super-long slide on a Welsh holiday? Llandudno offers this and a whole host of other fun activities, which you can enjoy with family and friends. Browse through the following suggestions for the most exciting things to do in Llandudno, including strolling on North Shore Beach, a ride on the Great Orme Tramway and a visit to the MOSTYN gallery.
Also known as “the Queen of the Welsh Watering Places”, it’s no wonder Llandudno boasts some amazing beaches that make for a relaxing summer escape. North Shore Beach is probably the most popular; a hotspot for families and sports enthusiasts, this is where you can try windsurfing and parasailing or simply sunbathe on the long stretch of white sand. The promenade just above it is lined with restaurants and cafes, as well as a playground. For a much quieter option, choose West Shore Beach, which offers incredible sunset views and some cool waves for kite-surfing.
This Victorian-era harbour sitting above the Irish Sea is one of the town’s most spectacular landmarks. With a length spanning 700m (2,295ft), Llandudno Pier is the longest in Wales, serving as the perfect place for endless strolls by calm waters. Open all year round, grab a local treat or a soft serve from the numerous food stalls, or play good old arcade games with your kids at Leisure Island, at the end of the pier. There’s also live entertainment here from Thursday to Sunday during the summer months and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the sea.
If you’re looking for a serene spot to go jogging or to enjoy your lunch while lying on the grass, then the Botanical Gardens at Happy Valley are your best bet. The park’s most prominent feature is a drinking fountain featuring Queen Victoria’s canopied bust; this was created in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, when Happy Valley Park was delivered to the town. You can also practise your golfing skills at one of the two miniature golf courses on-site, or catch a live performance at the open-air theatre.
When you’re done marvelling at the colourful plants of the Botanical Gardens, you can join a fascinating cable car ride from Happy Valley to the Great Orme Summit Complex – a quaint building that initially functioned as a golf clubhouse and still offers unparalleled views of the Snowdonia area. During the journey, you will find yourself soaring above the Irish Sea, so a high-stake selfie against this fabulous backdrop is in order. Once back on the ground, you can indulge in senseless buys at the various souvenir shops or have a cocktail at the bar of the Great Orme Summit Complex.
For those afraid of heights, there’s a less scary way to reach the Great Orme Summit; you can opt for the Great Orme Tramway. Think cute tramcars which are also cable-hauled, but climb to the summit instead of gliding there. Each named after a saint, the cars are the same ones that were used around 100 years ago – only restored – giving you an idea of how passengers moved to and from Llandudno in the 1900s. The tramway consists of three stops (Victoria Station, Halfway Station and the Great Orme Summit Station), and passes through the idyllic Great Orme Country Park & Nature Reserve.
Uncovered in 1987 and still considered the largest prehistoric copper mines in the world, the Great Orme Mines date as far back as 4,000 years ago, offering a rare glimpse into Bronze-Age Britain. The tunnels extend across more than 8km (5mi), with some of them being so narrow that they appear to have been dug out by small children. Although not ideal for claustrophobics, these intricate passageways reveal a lot about the era. Carve out some time to explore the model of a Bronze-Age village and browse through the extensive collection of artefacts and mining tools at the Mine Visitor Centre.
Few things can be more fun than sliding down a slope, and Llandudno is the place to try it. Visit the Llandudno Ski and Snowboard Centre and hop on this exhilarating 575m (1,886ft) toboggan ride, which is actually the longest in Wales. The Cresta Run is, no doubt, the centre’s most popular feature, but come winter time, you can explore other available activities, too. Among the highlights is snow tubing, which involves large inflatable rings that can be ridden individually or linked together to slide down the hill along with your pals. Golfers will also appreciate the miniature golf course on-site.
One of the most delightful places in Wales to hang out with friends or enjoy some contemporary art is Llandudno’s Oriel Mostyn Gallery, now known simply as MOSTYN. You can’t miss its Edwardian terracotta facade and landmark gold spire. Step inside and you will find six gallery spaces exhibiting works by contemporary artists and craftspeople from Wales and beyond, as part of large-scale thematic shows or smaller projects which change seasonally. There’s also a shop selling hand-made items, a cafe and a meeting room, which you can book for meetings, presentations, workshops and other events.