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One Day car trip from Ruthin to Llandudno

On Tuesday, 23 June, we'll be traveling from Ruthin to Llandudno by car. We'll be checking out the nature scenes along the way, but mostly we'll be "discovering" some amazing castles. We're are used to seeing a lot in a day when we travel . . . don't need to stop and rest. I got the driving times from Google maps. Any suggestions?

9:30 Drive to Betws-y-Coed (BET-oos-uh-coyd) 50 min. Follow signs for "i" for for parking. Spend 30 min in town. Drive west on A-5 2 miles toward Beddgelert or Llanberis for parking for Swallow Falls. £1.50. 5-minute walk from parking lot to falls.

11:30 Drive to Caernarfon (kah-NAR-von). Go to castle to catch the 12:00 tour (50 min on the hour, £6)

13:00 Drive to Beaumaris. 30 min. Castle. £ 4.50

14:00 Drive to Penrhyn Castle. 20 min. Nat. Trust.

15:00 Drive to Conwy. 25 min. Conwy Castle £5.75. Closes 17:00
Spend 1 hour.
16:00-??? Conwy. Take RS walk around town, perhaps eat dinner.

Drive to Llandudno, 15 min.
Winchmore Hotel.

Walk around the bay. Inquire about a choir practice/performance.

The next morning we drive to Liverpool. Any recommendations for one or two stops along the way?

Looking forward to some sage advice,

Posted by
5817 posts

You are trying to cram way toomuch into your day!
I'm not sure what the point is in visiting places if you are only going to allow yourself 20-30 minutes.
How do you allow for the time , for example, to find a car park, find a space in a busy tourist car park, lock up the car, get your bearings and then see what you want to see?! You will be planning to leave before you arrive!

I would also take the Google map times with a grain (sack!) of salt. They really don't take into account the sheer weight of tourist traffic in the area which can really slow you down.
One of the main features of North Wales is the beautiful countryside and views, which are world beating!
You won't be able to appreciate any of this if you are rushing to your next site.

On the basis of how short a time you are planning to spend at each castle I assume you don't really have that much of an interest in castles in particular? In which case cut your visits by half. Plan to visit 2. This is feasible but still a little rushed when viewed in conjunction with betws and swallow falls.

You might also want to build a little flexibility into your plan depending on the weather. Wales can be wet and miserable even in the height of summer.

Finally a perfect stop on the way to Liverpool is Chester, but you will need to give it more than 20 mins :-)

Posted by
1834 posts

What you are planning is perfectly viable but 2 days in this area would have been a more sensible option. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to have time to take the railway from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon (highest mountain in Wales).

You may be able to extend your tour to take in the Italianate village of Portmeirion (near Porthmadog). (From Bettws-Y-Coed you would use the route via Capel Curig & Beddgelert).

If you find that you are running 'tight' for time, then I would suggest that you skip Beaumaris Castle. Alternatively, you could visit Conway early the following day.

The drive from Llandudno to Liverpool is relatively straight forward using fast highways and as suggested, I would definitely go into the centre of Chester en-route.
However, you may also like to consider visiting Bodnant Gardens - which are about 5 miles south of Llandudno - before you shoot off east along the A55 expressway. Check opening hours >

Posted by
231 posts

Emma, cramming a lot of stuff into a day sometimes works for us, other times, not. There's been days where, at the end, we've thought, "Wow, we did a lot and it worked out well." And there's days where it's been, "What the hell were we thinking!" I'll let you know how this works out. As for Chester, that's a great idea, we'll add 150% more time and make it 30 minutes! ;-)

James, originally I had planned two days for this area. However, I needed to cut a day because there's some historical stuff in Lincoln that the missus wants to see. So, it's this beautiful part of Wales that got halved for our trip. When I posted a question several weeks ago about southern Wales, you were the only one who thought it was doable. Glad to see that you think this might work. Both of your suggestions regarding altering the itinerary (scratching Beaumaris and/or checking out Conwy the next day) seem quite plausible. The Bodnant Gardens the next day may get a visit from us . . .all depends on when we awake.

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions!