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Things to do in Llandudno, North Wales

Llandudno is one of the largest and most popular of the Welsh seaside resorts, and still retains much of its Victorian character and charm.

The golden sandy beach at North Shore is set in the magnificent crescent shaped bay, flanked by Great Ormes Head and Little Orme, with Llandudno and its elegant promenade lying protected between the headlands.

The town was named after St. Tudno the 6th century saint who brought Christianity to the area. The prefix "Llan" is indicative of a parish and St. Tudno's Church built mainly in the 15th century, stands on the site of the saint's original monastic building.

Llandudno is dominated by the 679 foot high Great Ormes Head, a huge carboniferous limestone hillside at the end of the peninsula, from where much of Llandudno's ancient history stems.

Relics have been found on the site from the Beaker People, and Copper was being mined from the Great Orme 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age.

There is evidence that during the Roman occupation, copper was mined from the Great Orme. Indeed mining continued during the Industrial Revolution, due to the great demand for raw materials, until the 1850's when the accessible ore was exhausted.

Today you can visit the Great Orme Copper Mines, take a guided tour (hard hats and miners lamps are provided) and learn about the mines, while experiencing the working conditions of the miners.

During the Victorian era visits to the seaside became the fashion. Llandudno, with its beautiful bay was the destination popular with visitors from the industrial midlands, seeking the fresh sea air on the coast.

The entrepreneurial landowner Lord Edward Mostyn, together with local businessmen began to develop Llandudno into a seaside resort. The coming of the railway in 1858 brought increased numbers of visitors, and the money which they spent helped further development of the town.

The original pier completed in 1858, suffered storm damage and was replaced in 1875 by the 2,300 foot long pier you can stroll along today.

Improvements continued with the development of Marine Parade, running around the base of Great Orme and the delightful gardens in Happy Valley Park.

The Great Orme Tramway was completed in 1902, it is still in operation, taking passengers to the summit to enjoy the views over the Conwy Estuary.

Today's Llandudno offers its visitors good shopping, with a modern shopping arcade discreetly designed to blend with the traditional surroundings. The North Wales Theatre on the promenade is a new 1500 seat theatre, where West End shows and the Welsh National Opera perform.

Throughout the area you can experience the local culture at eisteddfodau, festivals and concerts and hear the famous Welsh male voice choirs.

For sporting enthusiasts Llandudno offers a Leisure Centre, Ten Pin Bowling, Tennis, Dry Slope Skiing, Golf, and on and off shore Fishing. For something different there is American floodlit Harness Racing at Tir Prince Raceway.

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Images of Llandudno

from the great orme over bay of llandudno © Steven Cave
looking over to the little orme from Llandudno © Steven Cave
Llandudno pier looing down from great orme © Steven Cave
taken from Llandudno promenade looking over little orme © Steven Cave
over looking llandudno bay © Steven Cave
Happy Valley Gardens © Helen Forrest


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