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If you are wondering what to do in Wales look no further than the historical town of Conwy in north Wales. It is probably best known for its town walls and the impressive Conwy Castle, both of which form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Conwy is certainly one of the best things to do in north Wales.
There are lots of great beaches to visit on the north Wales coast which are all easily accessible from the midlands. The journey from Birmingham to Conwy takes under 2 and a half hours.
There is a great variety of activities and things to do in Conwy and hopefully this Conwy travel guide will give you a bit of inspiration when it comes to planning your trip.
THINGS TO DO IN CONWY
1. Conwy Castle
First on the list of Conwy tourist attractions has to be Conwy Castle. It was built in the 1280s by King Edward I of England, after his conquest of Wales. Its construction formed part of the wider project to form the walled town of Conwy. The castle fell into ruin in the 1660s but since it has become more popular with visitors, it has undergone various restoration in the both the 19th and 21st century. Around 220,000 people visited Conwy castle in 2017, making it instrumental in Welsh and Conwy tourism.
2. Conwy Town Walls
These walls form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes castles at Beaumaris and Harlech. UNESCO has describe Conwy as one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.” The Conwy Town Walls were some of the finest and most complete across the continent. The walls stretch for 1.3km, including 21 towers and 3 gate houses. Walking along the walls is a popular tourist attraction in Conwy however not all parts of the walls are safe for tourists.
3. Conwy Suspension Bridge
This Grade 1 listed structure is one of the first road suspension bridges in the world. It is now only for use by pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge was designed by Thomas Telford in the 1820s, who made it look like the neighbouring Conwy Castle. The National Trust have owned the bridge since 1965.
4. Smallest House in Great Britain
No list of things to do in Conwy would be complete without this record-breaking attraction. This tiny dwelling, also known as Quay House, was built in the 16th century and, believe it or not, remained in use until 1900. Its last tenant was Robert Jones, a 6’ 3” fisherman who was forced to move out after the council declared the house unfit for human living.
The floor area of the Smallest House in Great Britain is just 3.05 x 1.8 metres. The ground floor is the living area with an open fire and a tap behind the stairs. Upstairs is a very cramped bedroom. Tourists can see inside the house for a small fee – £1 for adults and 50p for children. There is some information about the house inside and a welsh lady in traditional dress standing outside also offers information. Due to its instability, visitors can’t go up to the second floor but the area can be viewed from step ladder.
I first visited Conwy and the Smallest House in Great Britain in 2005:
5. Conwy Marina and Quay
Just in front of the smallest house you can find Conwy Quay. This is a lovely spot to enjoy a walk, some fish and chips and maybe an ice cream! You can also find the Liverpool Arms pub here, a great place to have a drink outside on a warm summer’s afternoon.
6. Conwy Mountain
Mynydd y Dref (which translates to ‘mountain of the town’) or Conwy Mountain is a hilly area found just west of the historical town of Conwy. It was formed around 450 million years ago after a volcano erupted. There are various tracks and footways across the mountain. Neolithic Hut Circles and the Castell Caer Seion Hillfort can be found at the 248m summit, as well as a view of the sea of Colwyn Bay.
7. Plas Mawr
Built between 1576 and 1585 by Robert Wynn, this Elizabethan townhouse is thought to be the finest surviving example from its era. Plas Mawr translated as Great Hall in English. Pre book tickets for Plas Mawr on the Cadw website.
8. Fisherman’s Chip Shop
When it comes to eating at the UK seaside you ought to look no further than fish and chips. If you are looking for places to eat in Conwy you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to vendors selling this British classic. My favourite in Conwy has to be the Fisherman’s Chip Shop. They offer dine in and takeaway. If you are at the harbour, there is a sign for the Fish & Chips which leads you down some stairs. Here you can make your takeaway order and then enjoy it by the quay.
9. Bodnant Gardens
Next on the list of things to do in Conwy is visiting the beautiful Bodnant Gardens. You can find this National Trust property a 12-minute drive from Conwy town, overlooking Conwy Vallery towards the Carneddau Mountains. It’s perhaps most famous for it’s Laburnum arch which flowers in May and June and is the longest of it’s kind in the UK. It spans across 80 acres and welcomed 270,000 visitors in 2019. Entry is free for National Trust members but there is a fee for non-members.
10. Conwy Beaches
You couldn’t visit North Wales without checking out some of the wonderful seaside here and there are a number of beaches close to Conwy. Conwy Morfa Beach is a large sandy bay great for scenery, fishing and, perhaps unusually, bird watching. Colwyn Bay is a 10 minute drive from Conwy and is a great place to visit near Conwy. You can also find picturesque Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan beaches under a 15 minute drive from Conwy.
There are plenty of beaches to visit along the north Wales coast – check some of them out here.
11. Head to Llandudno
On a list of things to do in Wales, checking out Llandudno is definitely up there. At just a 12-minute drive from Conwy to Llandudno, it’s certainly worth checking out this famous Victorian seaside resort. Things to do in Llandudno include the Grand Pier, Punch and Judy on the promenade and the Great Orme.
There are certainly plenty of things to do in Conwy and hopefully this guide has inspired you to take a trip here and to Wales one day soon!
Enjoyed reading about things to do in Conwy?
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