TWO things stick in my memory following a visit to Llandudno. Firstly, of a seagull snatching my wife’s sandwich from her hand while she was sitting on the prom and secondly of 18 minutes of sheer terror on a cable card ride from Happy Valley to the summit of the Great Orme (679ft).
It is the longest cable car ride in Britain and I suffered every centimetre of the way. It may have a magnificent panorama with views of the Conwy Estuary, Angelsey, the mountains of Snowdonia and Puffin Island and beyond but ask others, I kept my eyes shut.
I wish I’d taken the Great Orme Tramway which has carried visitors since 1902 from Victoria Station through the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve to the summit which boasts a visitor centre, adventure playground, gift and curio shop, themed-restaurant and café, an Old Victorian picture house and an adventure golf course.
For those in need of a refreshment, there is Randolph Turpin’s. It is named after an English-born boxer who many believe to be Europe’s best middleweight boxer of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1951 he became world middleweight champion when he defeated the legendary American fighter, Sugar Ray Robinson. Turpin was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and once owned the watering hole.
However, we didn’t let those the seagull and the cable car detract from what is a splendid resort.
We were lucky, it was T-shirt and shorts weather, the sun splitting the sky. The overall picture, I was told, was not so bright. One trader spoke of being £35,000 down on takings this summer. That’s sad, as Llandudno has much to offer.
The Victorian pier stretches half a mile out to sea and there are a number of gift shops and food and drink outlets plus fun rides. And a pier would not be complete without family amusements.
You can take a trip through time by visiting the Bronze Age copper mine, the oldest metal mine open to the public in the world with passages leading to a prehistoric cavern.
The resort boasts a Home Front Experience where you can explore six years of war captured in shops, room displays and tableaux.
For those of a sporting persuasion, there is a ski and snowboard centre with beginner’s lessons every day. The only full-size, nine-hole, pitch and putt course in North Wales is another attraction and the Canolfan Victoria shopping centre is situated at the heart of North Wales’ largest coastal resort. Leading high street brands are available and regular entertainment events are planned at key times of the year.
Llandudno also hosts big name West End shows and a host of bars and restaurants, some serving locally-sourced food and others with sea front views. The town claims to be Wales’ premier resort. We were impressed.