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Wales itinerary: Stay in beaumaris or llandudno

Which is better to stay for 3 nights in Wales, beaumaris or llandudno?
The Bull in Beumaris was recommended, but the online reviews are mixed.
It seems there are better hotels in Llandudno, but the city looks much more touristy.
We are a family of 3 adults, and 2 kids, 10 and 8, will have our own vehicle and our itinerary is below.
Thanks for any help! Mary

Chester to Beaumaris
• Beaumaris Castle

Day on Anglesey Island
Castles and Islands RibRide, 9:30am (2 hours)
Afternoon- drive to South Stack Lighthouse (Holyhead)

• Conwy Castle
• Great Britain’s Smallest House on the quay (crabbing?)
• Daganwy – Marina
• Llandudno – cable car to Orme; mines?

Drive to Betws-y-Coed (stay 3 nights)
• Bodnant Gardens
• Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Teahouse
• Trefriw Woolhouse
• Riverside walk to Swallow Falls (from bridge in Betws-y-Coed

Snowdon Mountain Railway
• Blaenau-Ffestininiog - Incline rail to top (2 ½ hour trip)

• Day on/around Llyn Peninsula
• Criccieth Castle
• Portmeirion (Italian village)
• Porth Maddog -railroads/trains
• Option of short coastal walk to Ty Coch Inn on the beach from Nefyn

12pm - Drive to Manchester

Posted by
259 posts

The Great Orme cable car is weather dependent and does get cancelled if there is a strong wind. Be flexible and be prepared to take the Great Orme Tramway instead.

Wednesday - you have me confused. Snowdon Mountain Railway departs from Llanberis. Blaenau Ffestiniog is 30 miles away. What do you mean by Blaenau-Ffestininiog - Incline rail to top (2 ½ hour trip) This is the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway which is a narrow gauge heritage steam railway that was built to carry slate from the hills around Blaenau Ffestiniog to the wharves at Porthmadog. There is also Llechwedd Slate Quarries near Blaenau which have the Deep Mine ride down into the depths of the quarries.

Thursday is impractical with too much put in, especially if you are planning to do this from Betws y Coed. You are talking about 4 hours drive time PLUS time for stops. Don’t underestimate how long just finding somewhere to park and then walk to where you want to be and return to the car can take. Portmeirion deserves 2-3 hours. I’m not sure what you mean by Porth Maddog -railroads/trains - is that a visit to harbour station at Porthmadog to watch the trains?

The walk to Ty Coch starts from Morfa Nefyn not Nefyn and will take 1+ hours depending on how fast you walk. The walk along the beach needs to be done after high tide as otherwise you can’t get round the small headland before Ty Coch. You need to take the track across the golf course (watch out for golf balls!)

Posted by
3484 posts

There’s very little in Beaumaris. Llandudno is larger with more places to walk around. I’d choose Llandudno. While walking around Llandudno look for all the Alice in Wonderland character carvings. While on Anglesey, you need to stop at the town with the long name (Llanfair ...) just for the photo op. There are a number of burial chambers and standing stones sites on the island (e.g., Penrhos Feiw, Lligwy). Another place to visit on the Island is Llynon windmill. There’s a nice tea room there. We stopped in last spring just before its grand opening. The pastries were excellent and the owner of the tea room and windmill was very cordial. If you had the time, near Llandudno is the very small, 6-seat St. Trillo chapel in Rhos on Sea. It’s along the beach and is easy to miss. Near Conwy is Caernarfon castle, and since you’ll be all over that area, it’s worth visiting. As a guide, the drive from Chester to Beaumaris will take about an hour depending on traffic.

Posted by
8674 posts

I'm not much of a mine person but I really liked visiting the Great Orme mine. It's been a number of years but my group (Road Scholar program) toured with the grandson of one of the Victorian era miners. The grandson was one of the group who had accidentally swung in to one of the Bronze age shafts . Very interesting and it's not a long walk thru the part of the mine that was open then. We took the tramway up and back. We did not have time but I would have liked to walk on out to the Great Orme lighthouse.

When you are in Betws, do walk across the RR line to the small 14th century St Michael's Church. Check on the bulletin board outside the main church, St Mary's, which is on the main road, to see if anything is going on the nights you are there. I caught a choir concert there on one of my nights - entrance fee was 5GBP or something. The Men's choir from the neighboring Blaenau Ffestiniog came over to give a concert. It was excellent and they also had some of the kids perform - a good way to introduce them to singing in front of a group of "neighbors". The audience was mostly locals but they welcomed visitors as well. Very fun and an unexpected treat.

You won't run out of things to do but on Anglesey I enjoyed vising St Seiriol's Well at Penmon as well as the ancient Priory there. According to our local guide, early Welsh Christians could do a pilgrimage to Rome to gain absolution or they could do a 3 rounds of pilgrimage in Wales for the same effect. St Seiriol's well was on the route which ended at St David's in SW Wales. There is also a Sheela-na-gig in the church which the guide said used to be outside the front door until the 70's.

Posted by
1841 posts

Parking can be difficult in Llandudno. Make sure hotels have their own parking!

Too much is planned for Thursday. Portmeirion needs half a day. The Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog to Caernarfon) including a visit to Caernarfon Castle would need the best part of a day.

Posted by
5049 posts

Llandudno is a traditional, Victorian seaside town. It’s not a city. There is more to see there than in Beaumaris.

You have too much planned for most days, especially the Thursday. As has already been stated, I think you are confusing the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which runs up the hill from Llanberis with the heritage steam railway called Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, which doesn’t climb any mountains, but runs from Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Monday has too much scheduled in if you are going to see Great Orme and the excellent mines.

Allow plenty of time to travel to Manchester, as there are often delays on the roads around here.

Posted by
259 posts

There is still a lot of confusion here. Snowdon Mountain Railway runs up Snowdon from Llanberis. This does get extremely busy and only give 30 minutes at the summit before you have to get the train back down.

The Ffestioniog and Welsh Highland Railways are two separate railway lines. They both start from Harbour Station in Porthmadog. As explained earlier the Ffestiniog was built to carry slate from the mines above Blaenau Ffestiniog to the boats waiting at Porthmadog. It is still using some of the original locos which are over 100 years old. The one way trip takes just over an hour .

The Welsh Highland Railway runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon along the bed of a railway that was closed in the 1930s and has been rebuilt. It runs along the flanks of Snowdon and a one way trip takes just over 2 hours.

I get the impression that the OP has copied several itineraries without actually understanding them, checking the logisitics and whether it is workable. It isn't!

Posted by
6 posts

I apologize for the confusion. I understand the difference in the trains and will update my itinerary!
Thank you to all who have cleared this up for me!!

Posted by
36 posts

I believe most have addressed some of the timing concerns with various things, and given the current world state of affairs and the great unknown of the next year to come you may not even have this trip planned still? But since I did a lot of what you are planning as part of my trip to Wales last summer, one thing I wanted to touch upon is the Thursday day trip. I did something vaguely similar last year on my Saturday - staying overnight in Porthmadog I drove, starting around 9 am, to Criccieth, visited Criccieth Castle, drove to the Llyn Penninsula to Morfa Nefryn, walked to Ty Coch via the beach, had lunch, walked back to the parking lot via the golf course, drove to Portmeirion, spent 1.5 hours there, drove to Harlech Castle, spent about an hour there, and then drove to Nanteos Mansion outside of Aberystwyth. Was it doable? Sure - I did it. Was it wise? I DEFINITELY wish I had more time. I have to say it only took me about 25 minutes to walk down the beach for MN parking to Ty Coch and same vice versa via the golf course. But I wish I had more time to see more of the Llyn Peninsula - so many cool secluded beaches and coastal areas.

For Portmeirion, I feel like I saw most of it in the 1.5 hours I was there - but what I was sad was that I didn't get to linger. The whole thing was taken in at a brisk clip. I would have liked to have a meal down by the water, really slow walk thru the nooks and crannies. I've never seen the Prisoner, but I suppose if you have seen it you may want to slow the pace down to identify things from the show.

I did take the Welsh Highlands railway from Porthmadog to Caernarfon on a different day - doing the lunch time train and having lunch onboard. I also did the Snowdon Mountain Railway on yet a different day as well, which was fun - but as mentioned departs from the foot of the mountain in Llanberis. The Porthmadog train took about two hours to Caernarfon and then I took a bus back to Porthmadog to give me time for site seeing in Caernarfon (excluding the castle which I did the same day as the Snowdon Railway trip). I also took the Snowdon Rail at lunch time - I believe a 130 pm steam train, which is about 1 hour up, 30 minutes at the summit where I grabbed a snack, and 1 hour back down. Parking was a bit tricky and you have to plan well if you are there on a busy day. The village of Llanberis is pretty, there is another train across Llyn Padarn, and a castle (Dolbadarn?) there on the Lake as well that are worth checking out.

Posted by
2791 posts

I am going to assume you have now moved your planned trip to next year, given the current situation.
If you plan on the same schedule, I would comment on this part:
• Conwy Castle
• Great Britain’s Smallest House on the quay (crabbing?)
• Daganwy – Marina
• Llandudno – cable car to Orme; mines?"

First of all, I would rather stay in Conwy than Llandudno.
Conwy is a compact medieval town with medieval town walls.
You can walk the top of these.
There are numerous good hotels and B&B's in Conwy, numerous cafes and restaurants.
Conwy Castle will take longer to tour than one would think, but well worth it.
Conwy is a nice town to just hang out there and enjoy.

Crabbing--The Quay is not really an ideal place for this, as there is a stone seawall, and to lean over it would be dangerous.
Where would you get crab nets and buckets for this activity?
And where would you cook the crabs if caught?
The tide was out when I was there, and there would have been no crabs to catch.
I would plan a different activity and scratch this one off the schedule.

Daganwy would be a good place to stay.
There is a very nice hotel overlooking the marina there.

Caernarfon Castle was the highlight of our trip to Wales.
Be sure and give it plenty of time; it will take at least a half day to see properly.