May 5, 2009
Top Bird’s Conwy Top 10
1. The castle truly is the jewel in Conwy’s crown, commanding the same sense of grandeur and respect as it did back in King Edward’s reign during the 13th century. Climb the towers for an amazing view that offers something completely different from every angle: lush bucolic scenery and the old town wall to the south-east and the most breathtaking coastal scenery to the west.
2. Just a short walk from the castle, Plas Mawr (above) is said to be the finest surviving Elizabethan town house in Britain. Owner Rober Wynn clearly had a predilection for entertaining, showing off and mythological Greek ladies clutching their naked bosoms. His sizable ego is also reflected in the numerous appearances of RW, his initials, on the plasterwork and wood work.
3. Located across the road from Plas Mawr, the bottleshop on High Street stocks a range of well-priced wines as well as an extensive collection of European beer. I like the hand-written tags describing each wine’s attributes.
4. Around the corner from Plas Mawr on Castle Street, Aberconwy House is supposed to be the oldest surviving residential home in Wales, dating back to the 14th century.
5. If you’re in Conwy during Spring, take a walk along the public footpath (in reality, the meadow behind the castle car park) and take in the lambs-a-leapin’ (this curious little fellow was quite happy to pose for us).
8. Stroll down to the quay for a look at Britain’s smallest house (complete with tourist-pleasing lady in traditional Welsh costume). Not sure if it was worth the £2 entry fee, but interesting nonetheless.
9. Its close proximity to some other lovely places in North Wales, including Bangor (yes, we did have “a loverly time”, and I highly recommend ordering the famous scones at the end of the pier), Snowdonia national park, miles of sandy beaches, and lots more castles (specifically Caenarfon and Beaumaris castles). It’s also a short drive to Anglesey, where you can stop by the train station at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, one of the longest place names in the world (it translates to "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave").
10. Quay Hotel, natch. (If you’re interested in visiting between April and June 2009, they’ve got rooms from £52.50 per person per night. Contact the hotel for further details on 01492 564 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)