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aggiegirl Mar 30th, 2005 04:32 PM

Wales Base - Recommendation?
I have two nights to spend in Wales in between visiting London and York (I don't mind long drives). I'm having a difficult time picking a town to stay in for Wales. Any recommendations for a charming town or area? I'm interested in quaint towns and nearby beautiful scenery. I was thinking northern Wales would be good, but I'm open to anything nice. Thanks in advance!

Patrick Mar 30th, 2005 05:37 PM

We really enjoyed a four night stay at
Betws-y-coed, which is a charming small town in the prettiest part of Wales. From there we did day trips to Snowdon, LLandudno, Caernarfon, Portmeiron, Bodnant Gardens and Conwy, Penryhn Castle, the slate caves at Llechwedd, and Beddgelert.
We found it a perfect base. Obviously you can't do all that in two days, but you can have fun trying.

Patrick Mar 30th, 2005 05:42 PM

By the way, make sure you have plenty of extra change. Everywhere you go in Wales you'll want to buy a vowel!


P_M Mar 30th, 2005 05:46 PM

Patrick you are so silly. I am going to get a chuckle every time I read a Welsh sign. :-))

Do you recall the name of your hotel/B&B?

Maria_H Mar 30th, 2005 11:30 PM

There was another similar post a couple of weeks back, if you search for Llandudno or Conwy, I'm sure you'll find it. Betwys-y-Coed is certainly a good choice, or if you prefer to be on the coast, Conwy, a small walled town with a huge castle is also lovely. My preference in the area is Llandudno, which is a traditional Victorian sea-side resort. It has lots of accommodation, shops and restaurants and it's lovely to walk along the prom or pier in the evenings. Wherever you stay, the scenery is beautiful.

caroline_edinburgh Mar 31st, 2005 02:35 AM

What about staying *in* Portmeirion, at the Hotel Portmeirion ? It's on my to-do list.

Colin Mar 31st, 2005 02:43 AM

For beautiful scenery and quaint towns then it has to be Snowdonia.

I would recomend Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon, as a great location for a base.

From my experience Betws-y-Coed is beautiful but can get unbearably busy in the summer months.

May I wish you a 'Croeso Cynnes i Gymru'


Patrick Mar 31st, 2005 05:54 AM

Forgot to mention. We stayed at Glan Aber in Betws-y-coed. It was fine, plain rooms a little on the dowdy side. If we had it to do over again, we'd definitely stay at Ty Gwnn. We thought it was way out in the country somewhere so purposely didn't book there, but it ended up to be only a very short walk across a bridge on the edge of town. We had our best meal in Wales there. The place oozes charm out of every pore!

Portmeirion was interesting, but a little too artificial and "Disneylike" for me. I can't imagine staying there. It would be sort of like staying in a deserted Magic Kingdom at night.

And while we enjoyed going up Snowdon, I must say it is much more craggy and barren than I somehow expected. It was not nearly as "scenic" as I somehow suspected. I enjoyed the wooded drives and the routes along the coast so much better.

We were there the last week of May and had perfect weather. I can imagine how busy much of Wales must get in the summer, particularly Betws-y-coed.

Ani Mar 31st, 2005 12:54 PM

We stayed in Betws-Y-Coed as well during our first visit 3 years ago and it was lovely although small. We stayed at the Ty gwyn Inn which is fantastic-has a wonderful restaurant and pub.
Also, we are returning to Wales (along with York) in Sept. and after considering staying in Conwy, we've decided to return to B-Y-C and stay at the Ty Gwyn again. Its such a wonderful place to return to at the end of a day of visiting castles! The website is:

Colin Apr 1st, 2005 01:57 AM

I've stayed at Portmeirion and really enjoyed it.

However if your visiting and wish to capture the essence of Wales then obviously staying in this quirky mock italianette village is not the right thing to do.

Having said that, if your looking for something completely different then it's great. The food was amazing and the themed rooms were interesting.


Kay2 Jul 11th, 2005 05:12 AM

Recently stayed in both Conwy and Betws-y-Coed. We loved Conwy and the Townhouse B&B just across the street from the castle and city walls. Hosts and room at Townhouse were great--highly recommend. We enjoyed climbing all over the castle and walking on top of the city walls. A nice small town in the evening when the drive through tourists left.

We stayed at Ty Gwyn as so many recommended and must admit we were disappointed. Location just out of town was OK, but right on the road with trucks, tractors, and cars shifting gears past midnight and by 5 am. Most rooms seem to face the road, but perhaps there are some that face the hillside out back? Hot with windows closed so they gave us a small fan to try to keep room bearable (staff's suggestion as they thought the room too hot). We ate a nice dinner there as recommended and it was good and also pricey. The breakfast was not as good (different cook) with canned stewed tomatoes and heavily deep fried hash browns, etc. Atmosphere was good--I think I'd suggest people go there just for dinner, but stay somewhere else in town not facing the main roads.

We enjoyed Llanberis for day trip up mountain and it also looked like it would be a nice place to stay.

We did day trip to slate mine as well and that town had some B&Bs but I don't think I would like staying there as well as Betws-y-Coed or Llandberis.

Patrick Jul 11th, 2005 06:05 AM

Thanks for making me feel better about NOT staying at Ty Gwyn, Kay2. I never thought about the traffic noise there as it all seems so remote. At least I have fond memories of our superb dinner there.

caroline_edinburgh Jul 11th, 2005 06:51 AM

Colin, I can't see anything about Portmeirion on that site ? I would like to read your experiences of it.

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