Thursday, 21 June 2012

Llandudno, 5 min walk to a seafront hotel ... and a Welsh prequel !!

With such a back log of photographic images, it was a bit difficult to know which town or city to recommence seriously this blog with. Despite having more conventional material up my sleeve from this particular town back in October 2011, I was a slightly reluctant to start with this teasing set. There are a couple of reasons for showing these images now, one of which highlights the very latest journey from the 9th - 13th June thus continuing with my biographical theme.

Before my Mother took ill around Christmas time, she had a coach holiday booked for the North Wales seaside resort of Llandudno with her friend. In an effort to get things stable and for me to fulfil holiday plans earlier in the year, the idea of 5 days away for her was initially out of the question and the issue was sidelined until her friend gave me a cancellation / final payment deadline date for the end of April. With the way that my holidays have to be requested at work, it was by an amazing chance that I had this particular week off work. A conversation with the Social worker and the Pharmacist cemented my idea that I should also join them in some capacity as the medication dispenser. Unfortunately as time was slipping by, so too was the appropriate room in the hotel for my needs although I was guaranteed  access to the hotel for the required health issues. On one hand that meant essentially that there were no places on the coach as I wasn't going to be staying at the chosen hotel but it gave me the freedom to take my car in case anything went wrong. I was fortunate enough to find accommodation in a nearby street.

2nd last passenger pick up point ... familiarising myself with the coach !!
I have done all sorts of weird and wonderful travel holidays and excursions in my time but chasing a coach for hours on end is right up there with the weirdest and I hasten to say ... a first for me !! Although I was very familiar with the route, I was less familiar with the location of the final motorway service station on the outward journey and the bus only routes at both these and the passenger pick up points.
Chris Cooper Travel is a coach company local to my Mother who provide great value holidays to destinations throughout the UK.

After the third and last motorway stop, I overtook the coach on the final leg to find a car parking space and meet the coach on arrival which worked perfectly.

Alvastrada Guest House, Llandudno
My first experience of Llandudno and indeed Wales was when I stayed in a holiday flat with my parents next door to Alvastrada. We travelled by train and with the railway station being around two corners, the location was ideal. My love affair with North Wales and Snowdonia continued as I followed it up with solo North and Mid Wales rail rover tickets and later in my car to visit other remote places and Snowdonia mountain walks. It was only natural that I should sample the accommodation next door in Alvastrada as the first option in 1989. I found the host and the accommodation to be of a reasonably good quality with a bargain price that I repeated my visit during the next three consecutive years. Prior to another long overdue visit to Llandudno with a social group in October 2011, I looked at the possibility of staying somewhere for an extra two nights to gain my first digital photographic experience of the town. It was with delight that Alvastrada had recommenced trading with the owner being the son of the previous host. Steve and his wife had earlier been perfecting their skills in the hotel trade and have now opted to keep the family business by running it from the family home.

I made this walk to the seafront hotel twice a day from the front door of Alvastrada...

The covered shop fronts of Llandudno can be quite grand and ornate but this was the first one I met all those years ago and indeed on my trip to the seafront hotel.

Holy Trinity Church Llandudno
Half down the next block The Holy Trinity church appears through the trees on the left just before Mostyn Street (the main street).

Holy Trinity Church Llandudno
When Llandudno was developing as a Victorian tourist resort in 1860, it was decided to build a church to cater for the English speaking visitors as Welsh was predominately spoken in similar style churches. Following the design and acquisition of the land, the building was completed in 1872. The Tower was built in 1892 with the church bells being installed the following year.

The short walk eastwards along Mostyn street demonstrates the late 19th century architecture and development of the main street. Some more appealing from the outside than the inside ...

Pebbles Fish and Chips, Llandudno
... although Pebble, according to the signs outside, is an award winning Fish and Chip restaurant with a takeaway service available including ice cream. To escape the routine pub food on the first few evenings, I decided to sample the fish pie. Despite being delicious, I was disappointed with the poor portion size, then again, I have to think what I paid for it and it constituted good value for money.

(Broadway Hotel Llandudno)
Broadway Hotel at the end of Mostyn Street was built in 1865 for the Victorian tourist boom with the main advantage of being near the railway station, shops and sea front. The size of the Hotel at 28 bedrooms would seem manageable during the difficult British seaside trading times of the late 20th century and has consequently had a revamp in recent times. As an additional point of interest, they state on their website that "we charge £5 a day for small well behaved dogs" !!

Empty Seat Street (Mostyn Street Llandudno)

Summer and Lamp street (Imperial Hotel Llandudno)
The remnants of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are evident on the final section of my walk.

Arrival at seafront hotels

Entrance with a view (Tynedale Hotel Llandudno)

Mother (Tynedale Hotel Llandudno)
I usually managed to spend some quality time with my Mother between 4pm and 5:30pm each day...

Little Orme Llandudno from Tynedale Hotel
...  where we could sit and enjoy the wonderful views looking out to sea and along the promenade ...

...  enjoy a quality cup of tea from the bar ...
...and a decent amount of Photography :-)    (Tynedale Hotel, Llandudno)

Imperial Hotel Llandudno
However on one particular morning it was time to return back down "Summer street" and take in (... and out !! ... haha) a bit of colour !

The Habit, Mostyn Street, Llandudno
Passing by The Habit (for nostalgia purposes, the very first place I ever ate in Wales) which is still going strong I'm pleased to see, but I had an appointment with a breakfast table !!

Trinity Trove Antiques, Llandudno
The Guard dog in the antique shop in the same block as Just Jents was looking resplendent in his security uniform. He would probably enjoy more freedom and wishing he was a bit smaller by paying the extra £5 at The Broadway Hotel !!

Lastly after a delicious breakfast, it was time to return and see where the coach driver was going to drive to next...

Find out in the next instalment ...   !!!!


  1. ....And I am looking forward to that next instalment J.


  2. Ciao J. !!!
    I see that you have returned to the great!
    Have a good weekend!

  3. It is some time since we went to North Wales and your photos brought back some memories. llandudno is certainly a pleasant place to stay.

  4. Lovely shots, J! I really like the Trinity Buildings sign shot with the red dragon :)

    Best Wishes,

  5. Glad to see they have dog friendly hotels, Tess might get in, as she is on the small size, not to sure I would!
    Best Wishes to your mom.
    Is it Bangor?
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

  6. I am thrilled to see you blogging and to view your beautiful photos once again, J! What a wonderful treat that was for your mother. I should forward this post to my kids so they can see what good sons do and they can start planning now for what may lie ahead in the years to come. I have never heard of fish pie. But it must have been good if you had been hoping for a slightly more generous portion. And I don't understand about the dogs. Is it typical that one should have to pay extra for a dog to accompany them to a hotel? I noticed in England, UNlike here in the States, that dogs seemed to be everywhere. I loved it!

    So nice to see you back. We've all missed you!!!

  7. It sounds like you have had an interesting adventure. It was interesting to go on a trip down memory lane with you :-)

  8. I really admire your framing skills. Impeccable.

    Spending that quality time with your mother is heartfelt. I wish to do the same.

    Happy weekend! :)

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  10. Trevor … Thanks, always keeping people on the edge of their seat !

    Sciarada … Thanks, It was a struggle to return as other things have taken up the time.

    Petrus … Thanks, I was blown away when I first saw Llandudno and the surrounding countryside. I always love to go back there, so this difficult trip was a no brainer !

    Abby Rogers … Thanks, I took about 7 different ones of the Trinity sign trying to get the angle and background right. It was good that it was early morning and no-one was watching what I was doing !

    George the Lad … Thanks, I'm sure that they would have plenty of room for you George.

    Cranberry Morning … Thanks, it's probably more typical for dogs not to be accepted in hotels and owners to explore the possibility of self catering in a cottage, caravan or tent. Fish Pie is a mixture of usually standard sea food cooked in the oven topped with potato and cheese. Thanks for your part with inspiring me to return.

    Cherry Pie … Thanks, I was waxing lyrical at a few Welsh "firsts" with re-visiting the past.

    Rizalenio … Thanks, my style is a little predictable :-) I was pleased I made the effort to honour my Mothers holiday, it was worth it.

    Jacqueline Rosales … Thanks for your comment and your interest. I've checked you out and would give it some thought but I probably need to know a bit more as your site is a bit vague.


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