As a little warm up to my Moroccan adventure, I headed off to North Wales for a little adventure. We chose the town of Caernarfon as our base. The whole thing was really last minute and we only booked it a couple of days before, so our plan, was that we had no plan. No rushing, just taking it easy and exploring.
I’ve been to Wales lots of times, and I even lived there for a while about 10 years ago, but I really fell in love with the area about a year ago on a trip to Criccieth and visited Portmeirion. I don’t know what it is about Wales, but it’s special. The mountains, the pretty beaches, the quirky seaside towns, the friendly people and the rainbow colours, just gorgeous!! Plus it’s only a couple of hours from where I live, so it’s the perfect weekend destination!
It was late on the Friday evening by the time we arrived, so there was just time for a quick dinner at the hotel before bed. I went to bed with my fingers crossed for sunshine.
As I opened the curtains the next morning and let out a happy yelp when I saw that it was a gloriously sunny day.
After breakfast, we walked into town to have a look around and visit the incredibly beautiful castle, which dates all the way back to 1283. Inside the castle is a bit of a maze. We walked up and down the towers, which are unnervingly high, but so much fun to explore and imagine what it would have been like hundreds of years ago.
After a couple of hours and all castled out, we pulled out our phones and had a look on the map to see where was nearby. I spotted a place I’d always wanted to visit, so we hopped in the car, and headed down the coast to the village of Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula. I’d heard a rumour that it was a good little surf spot, not that we’d be surfing today, but good to know for a future visit.
The village is full of little restaurants, surf shops, cute boutiques and lots of holidaymakers, many of whom return year after year. It’s also a great place for adventure, watersports and outdoor activities, and as you know, I love to surf, so I shall be donning a wetsuit and getting in the water.
We were pretty thirsty by the time we arrived, so we stopped for a drink at a little Zinc Cafe Bar and Grill, and sat out on the decking at the back, enjoying the sunshine, before heading down to the beach.
On the way to Abersoch, I’d spotted a sign for National Trust owned Llanbedrog Beach, and so we decided to visit on the way back to Caernarfon.
We grabbed an ice cream at the little restaurant and headed down to the beach, it was late afternoon by this point, so it was pretty quiet, with a few dog walkers and families scattered about. Some had made a real day of it, sitting around on blankets and deckchairs with coolers full of drinks and picnics. Next time, that’s what I’m doing!
But the coolest thing about Llanbedrog, were these gorgeous, colourful beach huts! Even better than the ones in Abersoch. Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!
Both Abersoch and Llanbedrog face back over Cardigan Bay towards Snowdonia National Park, so the landscape is stunning, like a water painting.
The afternoon was quickly becoming early evening, so we left the beach and went back in Caernarfon and after a quick change, headed out early to The Anglesey pub, where we watched as the sunset turned the castle from brown to orange.
Earlier that day we’d booked in for dinner at Stones Bistro, a lovely little Italian, where we had a nice meal and a few glasses of Prosecco!
The next morning we were heading back towards home, but we decided to visit a couple of places on the way. First stop, Conwy.
Conwy has an amazing castle, and always sticks in my head as the place that the kids visit in the play Our Day Out, by my favourite plawright, Willy Russell.
We parked up near the castle in the Llanrwst Road car park, just under the castle walls. The car park was just like any other car park, but what made it cool was this little subway. How lovely would it be if all subways were painted like a rainbow?
We walked along the castle walls, but didn’t go in this time, rather choosing to admire the impressive building from the outside.
Our next and final stop was Llandudno. I absolutely love the British seaside and I am quite possibly one of the most nostalgic people in the world, and Llandudno is the epitome of the typical British seaside town, bringing back childhood memories of Punch & Judy shows, fish and chips and building sandcastles with my grandparents.
We walked slowly along the pretty Victorian promenade, stopping occasionally to admire the weird mushroomy pink flowers, and watch the kayakers out on the water.
At the end of the prom, we came to the blue and white pier, once the height of Victorian elegance, but perhaps a little less classy these days, with little shops that sell all the things you’ll never need, and the flashing lights of games arcades and clairvoyants try to lure you in.
My favourite thing about the pier are all the benches, all dedicated to the people who made happy memories with their families in this lovely seaside town That’s what makes Llandudno so special.
Llandudno lies on a peninsular, between two limestone headlands, the Great Orme and the Little Orme and no trip to the town would be complete without a trip up the Great Orme. You can walk it, drive it, take a cable car (I’ve done this before – very fun) or do as we did and take the tram!
There are lovely views over the whole town from the tram, and the top, especially on a sunny day, but today it was freezing and we didn’t have any coats, so after a vain attempt at a walk, we gave up and went to the cafe for a hot chocolate and espresso coffee to warm our cockles.
Hungry and cold, we finished off the day in the only way one should finish off a day at the seaside, with a portion of fish and chips from Fish Tram Chips.
This little weekend in North Wales was awesome. And luckily for me, it’s right on my doorstep.