Enjoy a virtual walk around the historic town of Conwy, North Wales.
Click an image for a larger view, then click through all pictures
(Apologies for the photos being so old - I am in the process of renewing them - but I can't get round now as easily as before. Any contibutions welcome - see the contact page)
These photographs were taken at the beginning of March some years ago, in cold and wet conditions. I'm sure that sunnier weather will bring out the best in Conwy later in the year! Please contact me with comments and contributions. I don't walk too well now, so there's no chance of me redoing the wall tour, so contributions of better photographs gratefully accepted!
I hasten to add that the comments made are entirely personal.
START. We start our tour as many visitors do, crossing the bridge over the Conwy Estuary. Conwy is a medieval walled town, the Castle being built by Master James of St. George, between 1283 and 1287. The crossing of the river Conwy was a problem over many centuries, with a variety of measures being taken to solve it. In the photo, right, you can see three solutions, from the right: the road bridge, Telford's suspension bridge and a modern rail bridge (the castellated pillar on the left supports a box tunnel). Having crossed the road bridge, you can take a closer view of Telford's suspension bridge (below).
With the castle on the left, entering the walled town, you see The Guildhall. The Tourist Information Centre is to the left of this picture, as is the entrance to the Castle itself.
Continuing our walk, with the Guildhall on our left, we enter Rosehill Street, past the Vicarage car park and the drop-off point for coaches. Following the road round, past the Visitor Centre, where you can see a film about Conwy's history and get more information about the town. Continuing, we pass the railway station. The station is on the main Holyhead line, so trains are fairly frequent. (This picture is taken from Rosemary Lane, off our tour).
Lancaster Square is the centre of a variety of activities in Conwy throughout the year - Morris Dancing and Christmas Carols being two examples.
In the background of the photograph is the police station, whereas the foreground shows a statue (also below) of Llewellyn the Great. Alderman Albert Ward of Bodlondeb presented the statue to the town.
From Lancaster Square we continue down Rosehill St (on the left of the photo) through the arch and onto Bangor Road . We are now outside the town walls (Take a tour round the walls).
Walking downhill along Town Ditch Road (turning left in the photo left) we re-enter the walled town into Berry Street. This becomes Castle Street at the junction shown below. On the right can be seen Aberconwy House, now run by the National Trust. This house dates from the 15th Century, perhaps as early as 1400.
Just past the trafffic lights is 'probably the best sweet shop in the world' (according to my children!) - a proper, traditional sweet shop that - even as an adult - is a joy to enter. With so many sweets on offer, don't resist temptation!
Turning left before the traffic lights takes us down to the quay. Conwy was once a thriving port, but now the quay houses few fishing boats. You can, however, take a trip round the estuary on 'The Queen Victoria'. Visit Britain's smallest house or simply enjoy the views across the estuary towards Deganwy.
On the quay can be found Britain's smallest house - a very popular tourist attraction. The house is the red portion of the building in the photograph!
Enjoy a drink at the Liverpool Arms, but don't sit outside and feed the seagulls - they are pests!
Returning to Castle Street, there are a wide variety of shops, clothing stores and food outlets. As you walk and look round, you will see a variety of architecture from different ages. Being a historic town, development is obviously restricted.
Diverting up the High Street, there is much to see. The Blue Casket has some beautiful gifts, Alf Wilson - one of the founder members of Conwy Rotary Club, owned Wilson's Ironmongers, left. The shop is now split, the front part selling an excellent range of kitchenware (most items can also be seen in our kitchen, thanks to my wife!). The award winning butcher’s shop, “Edwards of Conwy” is well worth a purchase or two! The Castle Hotel dominates the left side, whilst the historic Plas Mawr and the Mansion House (next page) can be found on the right.
A huge amount of money has recently been spent on an authentic restoration of Plas Mawr, built by the Wyn family in 1576/7 (below right), and a visit is certainly worthwhile - the inside is magnificent! You can also hear about the ghosts of Conwy.
The Mansion Hous is situated on High Street, with Plas Mawr also visible.
There are several points of access to St Mary's Church, which dates from 1186, with many additions over the years.
Back down the High Street and continuing to the end of Castle Street, the castle dominates the view. If you visit, you can take a trip round the inside of the castle and learn more of its history.
I have also constructed a tour of "Walking the Walls of Conwy" and am planning further sites including the Conwy Marina, Deganwy and Llandudno Junction and spectacular views of Conwy and surrounding areas (Snowdonia national Park, for example). I hope you have enjoyed this tour and found it useful please contact me with comments.
Chris Sweeney 121 Technology Ltd