Five of Britain’s best steam train journeys
31/12/2015 · By Matthew Ellis
Journey through time aboard some of Britain's finest steam trains. Discover the allure and nostalgia of these historic railways with Rail Discoveries.Read more
Great Britain is renowned for its traditional seaside resorts and Llandudno, on the north coast of Wales, is particularly fine example. Overlooked by the imposing Great Orme headland, Llandudno boasts long, sand and shingle beaches for those looking to relax by the sea, whilst the countryside of the peninsula on which the town sits is perfect for walkers and hikers.
A township since the thirteenth century, Llandudno, like many British coastal resorts, rose to prominence in the Victorian era. By 1848 Llandudno had become an established fishing and copper-mining town with a population of around a thousand when it was proposed to the local landowner, Lord Mostyn that the town might achieve further prosperity as a holiday resort. By the end of the nineteenth century, significant development including the construction of a new pier, a two-kilometre seafront promenade and a pavilion plus new hotels and guest houses had transformed the town. The arrival of the railway in 1858 sealed Llandudno's success, bringing hordes of holidaymakers from the Midlands and north-west of England and earning Llandudno the nickname 'Queen of the Welsh Resorts'.
Modern Llandudno retains its Victorian splendour and natural beauty but also offers a host of entertainments for visitors including both a tramway and a cable car to the summit of Great Orme as well as museums, public gardens and traditional seaside amusements.
Whether reached by car, on foot, by tram or cable car, the summit of Llandudno's headland offers spectacular sea and coastal views and on a clear day the Isle of Man is visible. As well as offering excellent walks - look out for free-roaming goats - Great Orme also provides visitor facilities including a café, toilets and a children's playground.
Traversing the crescent-shaped bay between Great Orme and its smaller twin Little Orme, Llandudno's wide promenade is backed by grand, white-washed Victorian hotels and is a delightful spot to sit back on one of the many benches provided and watch the world go by.
Llandudno's historic highlights can be easily explored on foot and a dedicated Town Trail provides a recommended route which begins at the town's library and takes in notable features including several of Llandudno's churches, the promenade, the railway station, the pier and two of the town's public gardens.
In 1987, the world's largest prehistoric copper mines were discovered beneath Great Orme, and today visitors can explore a network of tunnels laboriously excavated by our Bronze Age ancestors around 3,500 years ago.