The Welsh Mountain Zoo in North Wales opened on 18 May 1963 and became the National Zoo of Wales in 2008. It was founded by the naturalist Robert Jackson and run by him and after his death by his family until 1983 when it was taken over by the Zoological Society of Wales. One of its more interesting features is its location, as the name suggests, high up a mountain with views of the sea as well as woodlands.
Anglesey is the largest island in Wales and connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge. We travelled over both on our way to and from Beaumaris Castle.
Part of our Wales trip took in the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, a route of 125 miles that takes in much of the island’s coastline and is estimated to take around 12 days to complete. As we here visiting Beaumaris Castle (blog post to come) we only got a small taste of the path.
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in north-west Wales run by CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and is a World Heritage site. Edward I had the current castle built in 1283, replacing the previous fortifications on the site. Unusually the towers of the castle are polygonal rather than round and we spent a lot of time walking up and down spiral staircases to take in fabulous views of Caernarfon and the castle itself.
Betws-y-Coed is a village in Snowdonia National Park in Wales where we stopped off for a brief wander around during our stay in Llandudno. Our first stop was the railway station which was built in 1868. Whilst still an active station it is now owned by Jacha and Gwyn Potgieter who use the businesses they own at the station to raise awareness of conservation issues. We were very taken by the artwork below highlighting the growing problem caused by plastics.
Llandudno’s West Shore beach is renowned for being quieter than the North Shore and we certainly found that to be true on our visit.
Whilst visiting Llandudno and travelling along the Great Orme Tramway we got off at the Half Way Station and walked round to the Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mines. They were first discovered in 1987 and are thought to be the largest prehistoric mines in the world.
The Great Orme Tramway opened on 31st July 1902 and is now Britain’s only cable-hauled public road tramway. It takes you from Llandudno up to the Summit of the Great Orme Country Park, covering a distance of about a mile.
In conjunction with the Deep Mine Tour we went on the Quarry Explorer Tour which was really an unforgettable experience. Strapped into a 4 x 4 military truck you are driven up the slate mountains to the very top of the man-made heights reaching 1400ft above sea level.