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.
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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.
On Sunday I decided to go and photograph as many of the Hoodwinked: A Twist in the Tale art trail figures as I could; there are 33 in total and I managed around 25 or so before deciding that at 28C it was getting a bit too hot for me to comfortably continue walking around the city centre so I’ll pick up the ones I’m missing in the next few weeks. The trail of colourful robins is here until September when they will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Nottinghamshire Hospice – they are also raising funds through the official app, and apparently a souvenir guide which I haven’t seen yet but intend to purchase when I’m next near the Tourist Centre. Each design is really well done and represents a certain aspect of Nottingham that will be fun for locals and hopefully entertaining for visitors. The idea is that Robin has donned all these different disguises in order to outwit the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham (below, painted in a homage to Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham).
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.
The Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour was a really fascinating journey 500 feet down into Llechwedd Mountain travelling on the steepest cable railway in Britain. We were very impressed with the set up and the interactive nature of the tour and especially with our excellent tour guide. We managed by chance to get there in time for the first tour of the day which is always half price, and so definitely worth aiming for if you can.
Bagthorpe Gardens are a community gardens I visited as part of the Heritage Open Day last year. They’ve been cultivated since the 1840s and have Grade II* listing with original hedging and restored bothies (a basic shelter).