Visit the Conwy Council website for details about coach parking in Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Conwy and Betws-y-Coed.
Start your Cambrian Way tour with free time exploring the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno. Your clients may just want to take a stroll along the Pier. For those who like to shop, there’s plenty of big name stores and smaller independent shops and galleries including Mostyn Art Gallery, Wales’ leading contemporary gallery and visual arts centre. Visit Conwy is also a good way to discover Llandudno.
Great Orme Tramway is Britain’s only cable-hauled street tramway, with views over Llandudno and the Great Orme and even the Isle of Man on a clear day. The Tramway starts at Victoria Station which is a five minute walk from the coach drop-off point. You can disembark at the Halfway Station to either visit the Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mines (main picture), a five minute walk away, or continue to the summit on a connecting tram. There is an exhibition, picnic areas, play area, restaurant and walks. The journey up to the summit takes up to 30 minutes. Discounts apply for groups of 10 or more.
Another way to reach the Great Orme summit is via the Llandudno Cable Car, Britain’s longest passenger cable car system. The nine minute journey takes you up 679 feet with views of the bay, Little Orme and the Conwy Estuary. Please note that this does not operate in bad weather. Local signs along the Happy Valley will direct you to the entrance.
There’s also the City Sightseeing hop-on-off tour or the vintage bus tour of the Great Orme.
Follow the Alice in Wonderland Town Trail. Alice, who inspired Lewis Carroll to write his classic Wonderland books, spent her holidays in Llandudno.
A short journey from Llandudno takes you to the Bodnant Estate. Both Bodnant Welsh Food Centre and Bodnant Garden are located within the same estate, however to transfer between the two there is a short 10 minute journey by road.
Experience Welsh food at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre with its wonderful range of stone farm buildings dating from the 18th century. There’s a farm shop selling mainly Welsh produce, a tea room and coffee shop. The Hayloft is also available for private events.
Bodnant Garden, owned by the National Trust is a must see stop for garden enthusiasts with botanical collections from around the globe. It has five Italianate terraces and formal lawns on its upper level, leading down to a wooded valley with a stream running through a secluded wild garden. Refreshments are available at the Pavilion Tea Room, Magnolia Tea Room and there are two kiosks within the grounds. There’s a gift shop and Bodnant Garden Centre & Craft Centre on-site. Booking in advance is essential for groups 15+ to which there will also be a group rate. There is adequate parking for coaches.
Your clients can choose to spend longer in Llandudno and visit Penderyn Llandudno Lloyd St Distillery instead of heading off to Bodnant Estate. During the 1hr tour your clients will discover the history of Penderyn, the building and how the whisky is made, followed by sampling in the tasting bar. There is also an opportunity to purchase their products from the gift shop. Limited coach parking is available on request but alternative coach parking is available at Builder Street. Group rates available.
There’s entertainment at Venue Cymru, Llandudno’s 1,500 seat theatre offering a wide programme of events including live performances, opera, West End shows and pantomime. Discounts are available for groups depending on the show, and size of the party. Call +44 (0) 1492 872001 for group enquiries.
Overnight suggestions: Llandudno or Conwy
Start day two with a tour of Conwy including a visit to Conwy Castle, Built for Edward I, by Master James of St George, it is amongst the finest surviving medieval fortifications in Britain. Allow at least one hour to explore the castle. Other highlights include:-
Plas Mawr, Conwy’s second most well known building and UK’s most preserved Elizabethan townhouse – complete with ornate plasterwork and fine furnishings.
Conwy Castle and Plas Mawr are in the care of Cadw. Register with the Cadw Tour Operator Scheme (CTOS) to become a member of Cadw’s online group booking scheme. Members benefit from preferential trade rates and discounts, complimentary admission for your tour leader, complimentary introductions to Cadw monuments, enhanced information for existing tours and invoicing following your visit. Site Entry tickets are currently released one week in advance of visit. See Cadw Admissions for more information.
Aberconwy House, a 14th century medieval merchant’s house and a National Trust property showing daily life from different times in its history. There is a gift shop available. Bookings required in advance for groups.
Conwy Mussel Museum – Located on the quay, musseling continues in the traditional way as once Conwy was an important fisher of pearls in the country. Learn about Roman times pearl fishing, the harvesting of mussels and the best way to eat them. Free entry from Easter to end of August.
Also on the quayside is The Smallest House in Great Britain. It was built as a one up and one down fisherman’s cottage measuring only 1.8m wide. Groups will not be able to fit in at once but it is a great photo-stop! However, the house can open strictly by appointment for groups outside normal opening hours. The house is closed during winter months.
Stop for a traditional Welsh afternoon tea at the award-winning Tu Hwnt i’r Bont Tea Room in the market town of Llanrwst. It is possibly the most photographed building in North Wales especially during the autumn months when the ivy turns into a spectacle of red, orange and yellow. The tea room caters for large groups of between 20 and 80 guests by appointment only.
Just a short drive south is Betws-y-Coed, a popular town and the official gateway to Snowdonia. There are outdoor shops, galleries, cafes and a flat river walk. There are designated coach spaces in the car park. Swallow Falls is located a short drive from the popular village of Betws-y-Coed, known as the gateway to Snowdonia. There is a viewing spot above the river or there are steps leading down the edge of the river. It is possible to walk from Betws-y-Coed to Swallow Falls which is 2.2 miles away (3.5 km) and takes approximately 45 minutes.
Overnight suggestion: Betws-y-Coed
Zip World Llechwedd in Blaenau Ffestiniog provides different options for groups including those seeking an adrenaline fuelled experience or others who wish to explore the industrial heritage of the area. There is free coach parking, a café and a gift shop on site.
An ex-army truck will take clients on a 45 min tour of the slate quarry travelling to the height of 427 metres (1,400 ft). There are cutting sheds and quarry mills to explore along the way. Once at the top clients be kitted out and harnessed in a seated position for the descent on Europe's first four person zip line. Travelling 0.62 miles (1 km) down over the slate quarry, the duration for the whole experience is 1hr 30 min.
Deep Mine Tour
Local guides will take clients deep underground on a tour of the mines. Learn about the history of how workers would mine for slate amongst its 16 layers, some of which are underwater in the 19th century 152 metres (500 ft) below. Colourful lights within the cavern provide stunning special effects. Duration is 1hr 15 min with a 15 min slate splitting demonstration at the end of the tour. Tours run every 30 min and arrival required 30 min prior to start of tour.
A challenging and enduring all-weather experience of underground caving and zipping. Clients will spend 3 hr deep in the slate mine, travelling through tunnels, chasms, nooks and crannies, walking across tightropes and rope bridges using 13 zip lines during the course.
A vast underground chamber, twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral is the home to an adventure playground for all ages. In what was once a working slate mine, the huge nets are all connected with ladders and slides. Spend 1 hr jumping, bouncing and sliding around six trampoline-style nets. Spectator tickets can also be purchased.
For clients who are not adrenalin seekers but would like to experience the thrill of zip lining, maybe for the first time, this is ideal. Big Red has twin zip lines and is 9 metres (30 ft) high and 83 metres (270 ft) long. Allow 45 min for the experience.
Bookings must be reserved in advance for discounts. Parking is available for coaches. Zip World also have sites at Bethesda and Betws-y-Coed nearby.
Depending on choice of activity for the day, there may be time to take the world’s oldest narrow gauge Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog. The journey time is approximately 45 minutes. If designing an itinerary for a coach you don’t have to do the return journey and can alight at a station stop of your choice which could include Minffordd with easy access to Portmeirion or Tan y Bwlch, a short journey to Plas Tan y Bwlch, Snowdonia National Park’s Study Centre which also has a garden and tea room. The tea room opens between Easter and October.
Overnight suggestions: Portmeirion, Criccieth or Porthmadog
Visit Portmeirion built by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 – 1976 and made famous by the TV series, The Prisoner. Surrounding the village are 70 acres of sub-tropical gardens and woodlands with lakes and miles of pathways. The village includes a hotel, self-catering cottages, restaurants, cafes and shops. Group rates are available for a party of 12 or more guests. The coach car park is close to the village entrance. Guided tours must be arranged in advance.
End your tour with a visit to one of Wales’ most historic sites, Yr Ysgwrn is a traditional 19th century farmhouse near Trawsfynydd that has recently been restored thanks to £3million lottery funding. Set in stunning countryside, it came to international prominence in 1917 as the home of the chair-winning poet Hedd Wyn. Hedd Wyn was the bardic name of Ellis Humphrey Evans, the poet-shepherd who enlisted to the 15th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers at the turn of 1917 and was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, on 31st July 1917. Coffee bar available.
Exploring the outdoors is fantastic fun, but please read up on the risks and make sure you are prepared.