Short Break - Escape B&B, Church Walks, Llandudno, North Wales
PUBLISHED: 00:25 24 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:15 22 June 2017
If you think Snowdonia is packed with people think again. Sue Riley combined the charm of Llandudno with a walk in the wilds
The Welsh seaside resort of Llandudno might not be first choice as the base for a walking weekend yet it’s close to some of the quietest areas of Snowdonia National Park where it’s possible to see stunning hills and tarns but not a single person all day. And Llandudno’s sweeping promenade with its well cared for Victorian properties makes a pleasant place for an evening stroll and a much-needed post-walk sundowner.
Local guides Active Terrain offer half-day walking tours of the area; they took us on the Trefriw Trails, a gentle amble in a beautiful valley with both Barry Mortlock and Eileen Burrows full of enthusiasm for the area where they set up their business three years ago. It was a good introduction to the area – they took us to Wales’ oldest church, the spectacularly situated St Rhychwyn’s - and also provided lots of ideas for future walks and food and drink recommendations.
If, when you think of Snowdonia National Park, Snowdon comes to mind with its thousands of tourists then think again. Some of the areas within 20 minutes’ drive were isolated wildernesses, where the only people we saw were teenagers completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards. With sensational views and great varied walking it’s an ideal place to get away from it all.
We stayed in the resort’s first boutique B&B, Escape, which has several competitors these days but remains popular for a reason. The Victorian villa opened nine years ago following a long restoration with each bedroom decorated in a different, eclectic style. It’s undoubtedly cool and stylish and made a great escape – hence its name. Situated close to the promenade known as the South Parade with its pier and easy access to the town centre, it was a good location to visit some of the town’s best bars and restaurants – particularly those recommended by Escape’s vivacious manager Josh. Osborne House came highly recommended and with its sumptuous rococo interior, fine food and good wine list didn’t disappoint. It would be wrong not to mention the Cottage Loaf pub as well which served one of the best pub meals I’ve had in a long time.
For those who prefer to stay in, Escape has an honesty bar where you can enjoy drinks (house champagne was £30) and nibbles in the lounge area and 500 DVDs to choose from to watch in your room. Just a few steps away from the B&B is the tram up to the town’s famous headland, the Great Orme. Or you could catch the cable car up and perhaps walk down through the former quarry now transformed into a beautiful park known as Happy Valley.
For non-walkers the town makes a nice place to while away a couple of days, sitting on the promenade and then exploring the charming UNESCO-protected town of Conwy just a few miles away. The town is a piece of living history. If you like real ale, The Albion is the place to head for and for art lovers a stop at the Royal Cambrian Academy is essential. If the weather is good, though, one of the best things to do is sit on the quay and sample a delicious Parisella’s of Conwy ice cream….after all, some seaside traditions are simply the best.
Escape B&B, Church Walks, Llandudno, North Wales. Tel: 01492 877776. Room rates start at £89. For more details about Active Terrain’s walks which cost £25 for a half day go to www.activeterrain.co.uk