In a nutshell. One of Britain’s best-preserved medieval towns.
Conwy is a true one-off. Well-preserved ancient walls, the most intact in Europe, enclose a town of narrow cobbled streets, nooks and crannies chock-full of historic buildings. And that’s just the half of it.
The walls radiate out from a gritty, dark-stoned castle that, even after all these years, still preserves an authentic medieval atmosphere – and still has the power to dominate and intimidate.
Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site, was a key part of the ‘iron ring’ of fortresses built around Snowdonia in the 13th century by Edward I to contain the Welsh. The views from the battlements, with the mountains of Snowdonia one way, the Conwy Estuary the other, are stunning. And it’s from here that the entire town comes into perspective, ringed by a circuit of walls over three-quarters of a mile long and guarded by no less than 22 towers.
A Conwy ‘must-do’ is a walk along these walls, before venturing into the streets below to visit places like Aberconwy House (a rare 14th-century merchant’s dwelling), Plas Mawr (the UK’s best-preserved Elizabethan town house) and the dinky Smallest House (see if you can fit inside). And complete your history lesson by calling into Conwy’s Tourist Information Centre to see the flagship exhibition that tells the story of the Princes of Gwynedd.
Other attractions include the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art and Thomas Telford’s Suspension Bridge. Maritime Conwy lives on along the quay – especially when the summer River Festival is in full nautical swing. And back in town there’s a unique mix of shops to delight and entice – everything from award-winning butchers to trendy boutiques and galleries.
The Head Chef, Andrew Nelson is ably supported by his team of young aspiring Welsh chefs, including the current Junior Chef of Wales - Chris Tull. Consultant Chef/Director Graham Tinsley is the Manager of the Welsh Culinary Team and as you can imagine, passionate about his food. There's plenty of local flavour on the long menu in the shape of some excellent regional produce - Conwy mussels, for example - and there's attention to detail in the execution. AA 2 Rosettes.
Described as a hidden gem, this family run Bistro uses only the finest locally sourced produce to create dishes that are all homemade, from the bread rolls made by Uncle Ron, the Master Baker to the sumptuous desserts and homemade ice creams and sorbets.
Local. It’s a word that crops up a lot on our menus. That’s because Conwy County produces some of the finest food and drink in Wales. Our landscape reflects quality, variety and freshness; the juicy grass on our upland hills turns out our world-renowned Welsh Black beef and Welsh lamb, while our rivers and long coastline supply lots of lovely fresh fish and shellfish including Conwy’s famous mussels. And many of our food producers here in Conwy have picked up an award or two for being quite exceptional.
You’ll love our shops. They’re mostly small and specialist, personable and friendly, the kind of places where customer care comes naturally.
Conwy has a unique mix of shops to entice and delight from an award winning butcher and chocolatier to trendy boutiques and galleries. You’ll find the very best art at the Royal Cambrian Academy or for a wide range of ceramic work, homeware and sculpture head to the Potters’ Gallery.
In addition to a wealth of outdoor shops, Betws-y-Coed has a great selection of work from local potters, and craft workers working with wood and slate. And for those distinctively patterned Welsh weaves and tapestries go to the working woollen mills at Trefriw in the Conwy Valley.
We have our High Streets too, of course. Amidst the wide awnings of Llandudno’s main shopping street, you’ll find lots of independent shops and family businesses alongside big high street names.
Tourist Information Centres are not just places that tell you about local events, attractions and activities, or for booking accommodation. They’re also handy for a spot of shopping, selling a wide range of books and souvenirs. And Conwy Castle Visitor Centre also has a gift shop full of quality items including Celtic jewellery, pottery, books and traditional love spoons.
Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham all have a number of international flights.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Birmingham International Airport
The rail service from Manchester Airport to Llandudno Junction (nearest main line station to Conwy town) takes around 2hours 20 minutes.
There’s quick, straightforward access from the North West along the M56 and A55. Motorway links with the Midlands are good too, and the same roads – the M6, M5 and M1 also bring North Wales within easy reach of the South of England.
National Express operates services from London and Manchester with connections from most UK towns.
Irish Ferries and Stena Line operate regular and high-speed services to Holyhead from Dublin and Dun Laoghaire.
Rail services run through the regions of Wales – usually on highly scenic routes such as the Conwy Valley and the Cambrian Coast. There are a number of Rover and Ranger tickets available, which all offer unlimited travel for one day on specific areas or the Arriva Trains Wales network. They can be purchased from station booking offices or on board the train.
There’s a good local bus service too, and a cross-country long distance network between North and South Wales.
Operate private and small group (shared) sightseeing tours of North Wales, The Snowdonia National Park and The Isle of Anglesey. So if you want to discover more of the destination and make the most of your visit, then our tours will help capture the very best of area with stunning scenery, great history and amazing culture.
Qualified Wales Blue Badge Guide and experienced driver guide providing personal driver guide service for small groups of up to four persons in a fully licensed and insured large MPV.
c/o Conwy Tourist Information Centre, Muriau Buildings, Rosehill Street, Conwy.
Operate guided walk and ride minibus tours where you will have the opportunity to discover the hidden treasures, experience the panoramic scenery of Destination Conwy, including the Conwy Valley and the Snowdonia National Park.
Starts from Llandudno but can also be joined at Conwy
Discover the hidden mysteries & secrets of the magnificent towns of Llandudno & Conwy, Hop On & Hop Off one our open top turn buses departing from Llandudno Pier Entrance every 30-60 minutes, every day from March to October.
Llandudno (5 miles from Conwy)
These tours are different, contemporary, all about having a bit of fun and meeting fellow visitors while exploring beautiful North Wales in spacious luxury mini-coaches with panoramic windows, and all tours are fully guided.
Conwy Tourist Information Centre
Rose Hill Street
Our friendly staff can help you with:
Telephone: +44 1492 577566
Wales Official Tourism Guides Association [WOTGA] Local Members
Telephone: +44 1492 460983
Telephone: + 44 1492 874188
Mobile: + 44 7785 737 520
Please see website for detailed information of all the WOTGA guides. www.walesbestguides.com