Where to stay / things to do in Wales?

Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Where to stay / things to do in Wales?

I'll be traveling through the UK in early August and will be taking about five days to get to Dublin from London. We're planning on taking trains up from Bath to Holyhead and catching the Holyhead ferry to Dublin. For the intervening five days, do you have any recommendations as to where to stop, things to see, places to stay, etc? I want to stay in Shrewsbury one night and would like to fit in a day at Hay-on-Wye. Any advice or suggestions would be great. Thanks!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Llandudno is a great base for Wales. The typical fading seaside resort town, it offers oodles of B&Bs for 15 pounds and up. It's a good base because it has train and bus service and is a short hop from many great sights: Conwy, a walled town with lovely castle two miles away; Beaumarais, a classic castle on the sea; Carnaveron (spelling?)a famous castle where Prince of Wales is invested; the Great Orme, a mountain looming over Llandudno, take the cable car up top for a smashing view all over Wales; the lush Conwy Valley, a hikers paradise with Betsy-y-Coed, a cute town of slate-built cottages, the Ffestinog Railway, a narrow-gauge former slate-mining railway and Mount Snowdon, where you can hop one of Europe's most thrilling train rides, a steam train, up the summit. All these within an hour or so by bus or train from Llandudno, which is itself, in summer months, lively. But the thing about Llandudno is its abundance of accommodations, especially inexpensive B&Bs. By rail, Llandudno Junction is on the London-Hollyhead rail line and shuttle trains go from these the two miles to Llandudno (pronounced with a clicking k sound at the front, double l's in Welsh being pronounced with a c sound). Inexpensive Wales rambler passes give you unlimited travel for a day or longer on trains and buses but not the Ffestinog or Snowdon 'museum' railways. Welsh is still regularly spoken in this area.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:45 AM
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What to do in Wales? I guess it depends on what you like doing!
Llandudno is indeed a centrally-located base for visiting north Wales, although parts of it are pretty run down. As is common with most British seaside resorts, it can be tacky in places too.

I would suggest that Conwy might be a nicer place to stay. It's quite close to Llandudno but is smaller and less tacky. It also has a fine castle, which dominates the town. The following link gives information on Conwy castle: http://www.castlewales.com/conwy.html. The CastleWales website also gives some idea of the other castles in Wales. Other notable ones in north Wales are Caernarfon, Criccieth and Beaumaris.

There's plenty to do in Wales. The official Wales Tourist Board website might be useful for helping you plan your activities: www.visitwales.com.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Hi Pigeonlady. Here goes:
Cardiff for a couple of days. You can do the castle, museum (probably the best collection of French Impressionists outside London plus many others such as Whistler, Freud, Gwen and Augustus John), The Musuem of Welsh Life at St Fagans just outside Cardiff and Castell Coch (another castle).
From there you could easily do Hay on Wye perhaps staying locally or going on to Shrewsbury.
Then to North Wales to Caernarvon via any of the places PalenquBob mentioned.
Finally on to Anglesey to get to Holyhead.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 10:05 AM
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If you are into gardens, Bodnant Gardens are spectacular.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 10:13 AM
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We also enjoyed the Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagan's. It's the only outdoor museum I've ever been to that re-creates an area's history all the way back to Neolithic times!

We stayed 2 nights in Hay-on-Wye and loved it, but I must warn you that the picturesque clock tower in the town center rigns every quarter-hour all night!

We also enjoyed the scenic Brecon Beacons.
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