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Northern Wales

Am looking for a little guidance on an October/November trip to the UK for 16 days. We are planning the first week of November in Northern Wales and am finding that a lot of places are closing end of October and unfortunately we cannot change our dates. I have two questions and am grateful for any advice concerning this. First question - does anyone know how seasonal northern Wales is - do a lot of places close at end of October? Second question - if staying for several days, would you recommend Conwy, Llandudo or Caernarfon for a base? They all look interesting and just wondering if someone has knowledge about any of the three or even a completely different recommendation.

Many thanks - S

Posted by
23402 posts

Llandudno and Conwy are less than 5 miles apart, with Llandudno having more of a Victorian seaside town - in all the usual ways - and it has the Great Orme and its little choo choo (probably not in November though).

Conwy has the castle, the bridges, and for me a bit more of "Welsh" flavour.

But you can practically park in one and walk to the other. They may be a bit bleak in November.

I've never been to Wales that far out of the tourist season, so can't really suggest one place over another.

Maybe research which of the three towns has a better Bonfire Night binge?

Posted by
20 posts

Well I will certainly be looking into the bonfire night binge - for real? Must know what is a bonfire night binge?

Posted by
23402 posts

The year 1605. November 5th. Lots of gunpowder (or a little, depends on who you believe). An unguarded basement under the Houses of Parliament Terrorists with the cunning plan to blow up Parliament. Caught before they could do the dastardly deed.

Chief (caught) troublemaker? Guy Fawkes.

Hence every year on the 5th of November we set off several tonnes of fireworks around the country, have large bonfires and generally have a collective piss up.

Dogs and cats and horses hate it. Kids love it, especially the burning of the effigies. Young adults armed with rockets just get drunk in the good old British tradition.

Generally known these days as Bonfire Night. More formally and traditionally known as Guy Fawkes night.

Have a squint at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GuyFawkesNight

Posted by
20 posts

Many thanks for the interesting information. Bonfire binge night - Who Knew??!!

Posted by
81 posts

I was in Conwy in mid October last year and found everything open but quiet on the weekdays and crowded at the weekend.
I have stayed in all 3 towns and my choice would be Conwy.
Caernarfon has the most impressive fort but has no train service and limited buses on Sunday. There is a local bus from llandudno/Conwy to Caernarfon so visiting would not be a problem. Caernarfon seems to be more of a regional centre than the other two.
Conwy is the smallest, has a well-preserved walled town centre with a smaller castle and the most charm. It would also be the most difficult to negotiate by car so if you are travelling by car get your directions in advance.
Llandudno, as mentioned above is a typical Victorian seaside resort with lots of guest houses and b&bs. Being built relatively recently, it may be lacking the historical feel of Conwy.
Hope this helps
E

Posted by
175 posts

Hi Sherry, just returned from Conway and Llandudno (pronounced "Can did no). I would stay in smaller Conway and definitely at the "Castle Hotel" in the city center. Terrific small yet cozy pub/restaurant. You can take a bus/taxi/hop on hop off bus from Conway to Llandudno which is a very nice clean town but has little charm yet still nice to visit. In Conway, excellent food at the Italian "Alfredo" restaurant and at "Watsons" Welsh food a little pricey. Recommend reservations at both. Sorry but no personal knowledge of Caernarfon. I did look into a day trip at the local TI which included both bus and train. Based on nothing other than location it's my impression that Conway is your best home base choice. Best of luck. Enjoy your trip. Emma

Posted by
4 posts

I love Conwy and it has my favorite of King Edward's "battle castles. There is a family run Italian restaurant on the tiny town square that has good food at good prices, if it is still there. Check out B&B accommodation in Conwy. Llandudno is great for a seaside promenade but is full of tourist junk. The good news is that, in the off season, the restaurants that remain open in North Wales tend to be the ones that the locals favor. Just call ahead because if it is a slow evening the proprietors might close a bit early!

Also, some of the Conwy town walls are standing and you can walk them! My mother and I collected walled towns in England and Wales and I highly recommend enjoying these unique views of any town that offers them.

Caernarfon is not a very convenient base. I would take either of the others.