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Conwy or Llangollen?

My wife and I will be travelling by car on August 8 from Chipping Campden for two nights in northern Wales. We have reservations in Conwy but have recently been recommended to base in Llangollen. We plan to spend the day driving around and seeing what we can see. From there we will go north to the Lake District. Which of the two makes more sense and would be more appealing for first time visitors?


Posted by
1 posts

I think you will have a great time in Conwy which is much larger than Llangollen. It may be a bit further to drive, but the walled seaside town and its castle are well worth the time, and the drive from there to the Lake District (we came from the Cotswalds and went on to Keswick in April) is mostly multi-lane motorway. We stayed in Conwy at a B&B right beside the castle wall, had a superb host, found fine food (Italian!), and enjoyed conversation with those who live there everyday. Once you park your car, you can easily walk to all the sights.

Posted by
1887 posts

Yes, you can get from the Cotswolds to Conway by mainly driving on busy multi lane motorways - that take you through the Birmingham conurbation. However, if you read my response to 'urzababa' (below), you will find a route on slower roads that take in interesting places along the way. This route of mine goes to Conway via Llangollen.

Both Llangollen & Conway are nice enough places. What you must realise that to see north Wales, does not just involve driving to these towns and then ticking off that you have 'done' north Wales. To see north Wales proper, I would suggest that you should consider visiting the following Castles > Harlech, Caernarvon & Conway. The Italianate village of Portmeirion (near Porthmadog) and take a trip up Snowdon (by mountain railway from Llanberis) - if the weather is good. Bodnant Gardens is also well worth a visit. Then consider also visiting the coastal areas - but not that which is east of Llandudno - which is not good!

All Americans seem to be heading for Conway because of Rick's advice. For those using public transport, this is indeed sound advice but for travellers with cars, consider a much wider area and also check that any place you plan to stay has free parking. You may like to consider staying on a farm.

Always check on Google Earth to see exactly where intended hotels, etc. are located. If staying in Llangollen, you are further away from the main attractions further west - though the area around Llangollen is indeed very scenic. The drive from Llangollen to Barmouth via Bala is very scenic. You can cover the main attractions of north Wales from either Conway or Llangollen but Conway would have the edge in terms of distance from places like Snowdon, Caernarvon & Portmeirion. You are unlikely to find free & easy parking in either town.

PS. If you want a really scary walk in the Llangollen area - walk the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct;