Castles, coastal paths, dunes, beach cafes, sweeping bays, goats, a bottle of malbec, a pub fit for pirates, Victorian seaside, drizzle, a good mate and chips for tea. What more could you ask for from a girls’ night away? Llandudno to Conwy has it all.
The plan had been to climb Snowdon, but the weather was wet and foggy, we were disorganised and time poor, so instead we opted for a coastal route.
The occasion was 30 years of friendship, three decades since we found ourselves in 7S at Fallibroome High School.
Life and geography have pulled us apart here and there, we have gone for months and possibly the odd year at times without speaking but always we return to the same easy friendship, as if no time has passed.
The walk itself was a joy, very little to navigate as it’s a simple matter of following the coast. The walk around the Great Orme is wild, rocky and decorated with magnificent goats.
This soon gives way to the estuary, a sweeping sandy bay lined with dream coastal homes. We stopped for lunch at a wonderful West Shore cafe on the beach.
Then around the dunes and along the estuary towards Conwy and its castle. This bit was particularly soggy so we could not have been happier to finally see Conwy Castle up close and find the Liverpool Arms with it’s cosy bar on the waterfront where we accidentally polished off a bottle of Malbec between us, which neatly fuelled the journey home.
Had it not been getting late we would have loved to have spent more time in beautiful Conwy, although I have visited Conwy and its castle as a family before. Although, it was magic to sneak in by sea, head to a pub that sailors would have been totally at home in, and then skulk off into the night again. This was an out and back walk for us, mainly because we were short of time before it went dark on the way home and didn’t dare deviate, but I have since found a circular walk I will share below.
The journey home was wonderful, the sun fading over the bay and the tide far out, making it possible to cut across the sands in the fading light.
Then we hit the Great Orme again and the rain and fog came down and the light began to really dip and we wondered if we would have to do the last bit in the dark – just us, gritstone and goats. Luckily the glow of Lladudno’s pier and seafront came into view behind a final bend, just before it went totally dark. Weary and happy we found a chippy, chips have never tasted so good.
Llandudno was a fantastic base, as a very last minute plan, we opted for the faded seaside glamour of the Grand Hotel, perched on the cliff looking out over the pier, just before Llandudno ends and the Great Orme begins.
In sixth form we both took drama and performed in My Heart’s A Suitcase, a play by Clare McIntyre, set in a crumbling seaside flat in Brighton. I’ve been fascinated with ruined seaside buildings ever since.
Breakfast was plentiful but nothing to write home about, but the people watching could have become a play and we feasted on watching old ladies having the time of their lives against a backdrop of a grey sea and passing gulls instead.
The next morning there was time to potter around a couple of antique shops and try out the very lovely Providero coffee shop which a facebook follower had kindly suggested. And to dream about setting up our own cafe by the sea.
Walked – Llandudno to Conwy on the Welsh Coastal Path. More route info here.
Slept – The Grand Hotel, Llandudno – the least chintzy of hotels on offer at the last minute, perfect if you are enthused by faded and peeling seaside glamour, people watching and Victorian architecture. Our room was very clean, comfy and warm.
Ate – Heartily recommend the West Shore Cafe and Providero.
Drank – At the Liverpool Arms, Conwy. Cosy and snuggled on the waterfront. Makes you feel like a sailor.
Nothing to disclose other than that this wasn’t a hosted trip in any way and as always opinions remain my own.