Llandudno  is a Victorian seaside resort and town in North Wales. It lies on the coast between Bangor and Colwyn Bay, and has a population of about 20,000. Llandudno is just off the main rail line between Chester and Holyhead, the latter being the main ferry port for travel to Ireland. Llandudno is served by a branch line from Llandudno Junction.
Llandudno has the distinction of being the largest seaside resort in North Wales. It lies between two notable carboniferous headlands, the Great Orme and the Little Orme with the Irish Sea on one side and the estuary of the River Conwy on the other. It is these headlands and the two waterfronts, the North Shore and the West Shore, that give Llandudno its special appeal.
Although settlements have existed on the Great Orme since the Stone Age and an Iron Age hill fort survives at Pen-y-Dinas, Llandudno was developed as a seaside resort in the Victorian era. As such, it has Victorian charm - large Victorian houses, fine hotels lining the bay, a pier, boat trips round the headland, Punch and Judy on the wide promenade, an excellent lifeboat service, and a fine theatre with ballet, opera, orchestral concerts, ice shows and pantomime in season.
Llandudno has a prominent Welsh speaking community, greatly increased by the frequent visitors from rural communities further inland whose primary day-to-day language is Welsh.
From England: From the M6, take the M56 in the direction of Chester, North Wales. Take the M53 in the direction of A55, North Wales at the end of the M56. This becomes the A55, stay on this for 30 miles or so until you see signs for the A470 turn off. From here follow signs for Llandudno.hhhih
Nearest airports are Liverpool and Manchester but only Manchester is linked by train (from airport by train to Manchester Piccadily, then change train). By hire car, little to chose between the two - use the above directions.
Local buses operate from Rhyl (every ten minutes), Bangor (six per hour), Caernarfon, Llanberis and Llangollen but there are no daily long distance coach services to Llandudno. National Express have a daily service from London calling at Llandudno Junction (three miles away).
Llandudno has most of the usual town centre shops that you would expect from any modern shopping district. There is a mix of local gift shops and national chain stores. The newest addition to Llandudno's shopping district is Parc Llandudno (which translates into English as "Llandudno Park" - though it is never referred to as such and its branding is exclusively Welsh) which contains many designer clothing stores. The Mostyn Champneys retail park is almost next door and is home to consumer outlets like DIY stores and supermarkets.
Llandudno is home to many food venues catering for all tastes and budgets.
For a traditional ice cream, visit Llandudno's famous Fortes which has been serving freshly made ice cream for the past century.
Cheaper venues include:
For those seeking a medium priced meal, there are several Italian and other ethnic cuisine restaurants in the town:
More up-market venues in the town include:
Llandudno has experience an advent of European style cafe culture in recent years. Coffee houses have sprung up all over town. These include:
Visit one of the bars in the "top of town" (Upper Mostyn Street). These are
Then take a taxi (but be warned, competition is fierce!) to Broadway Boulevard, a nightclub set in a huge ex-theatre for a night of cheesy music and good times.
Though Llandudno is traditionally more popular with older travellers, it has developed a younger atmosphere in recent years. A product of this is the advent of Llandudno's small but very active Gay scene. Llandudno is home to one specific 'gay bar' - The Lounge in Upper Mostyn Street. Other gay venues include The Washington on the North Shore Parade which hosts frequent gay-specific nights under the Hellbent title. Bars aimed at a younger market like Club 147, Fountains and The Palladium are all popular with the gay community. The venues most frequented by the gay community in Llandudno are situated on Upper Mostyn Street and the immediate area.
There are a wide array of Victorian bed & breakfasts in Llandudno. There are also some more upmarket hotels including The Empire and the St. Georges Hotel.
Llandudno is considered safe by any standards, though as with any tourist destination, it is easy to fall into a false sense of security about your own safety. Though Llandudno is a tourist center, it is also a fully functioning medium sized town and is therefore subject to the same difficulties as any other town.
There are areas in Llandudno which toursts should avoid, though these areas are not areas where tourists would normally travel to. Most of these areas are safe in the day, but crime is not uncommon at night. These areas include: