Wales 2017: Year of Legends
Following on from an epic 2016, the ‘Year of Adventure’ in Wales, the focus shifts to all things legendary. 2017 is Wales’ the ‘Year of Legends’ – and there’s a lot celebrate, especially in this part of the world.
Llandudno and the Best of North Wales is gearing up for a busy time. Quite apart from our legendary landscapes we have a rich and distinctive history and heritage. Art and culture flourish here. Nature thrives. Activities excite.
Medieval princes meet the Mad Hatter
Our legendary experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Travel back to the days of the Princes of Gwynedd, who left such a big impression in these parts. Follow in the footsteps of fabled figures like Dafydd ap Siencyn, (Wales’ answer to Robin Hood) in the Gwydyr Forest and Alice in Wonderland at Llandudno. Learn more about the truly legendary Bishop William Morgan, who first translated the Bible into Welsh, by visiting his humble cottage near Penmachno.
There are new legends being born as we speak – new watersports opportunities at Surf Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley and Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay.
We do like to be beside the seaside
Let’s start at Llandudno. The undisputed, unblemished ‘queen’ of Welsh resorts conjures up a dreamy, paintbox vision of Victoriana. In terms of that classic seaside experience, what can be more legendary than a stroll to the end of its pristine pier, the longest in Wales?
You’ll bump into characters from Alice in Wonderland scattered about its promenade and gardens, reflecting the resort’s links with this enduring Victorian fantasy. And up on the Great Orme headland there’s a unique mix of natural beauty, wildlife and early industry at the world’s largest known prehistoric mine.
The hills are alive…
The great outdoors also beckon. On Llandudno’s doorstep there are world-class castles, historic houses and gardens, and rugged highlands legendary for their outdoor activities.
Go walking from Betws-y-Coed. Climb mountains from Capel Curig. Explore the moors and lakes of Mynydd Hiraethog, a lovely, lonely expanse of heather and forest spread beneath big skies and scattered with ancient settlements. Chill out in the verdant Conwy Valley, surely the greenest in Wales, home to green-fingered Bodnant Garden, a National Trust treasure.
Town trails, medieval tales
Tales of the past come alive at Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site with a compellingly authentic, brooding presence. Conwy itself, tightly packed within its 13th-century walls, is Wales’ ultimate medieval town. There’s history around every corner, from the tiny, quirky ‘smallest house’ on the quay to grand Plas Mawr (The Big House), built by a wealthy 16th-century merchant.
Woods, water and wild things to do
Legendary experiences you’ll never forget come thick and fast. Release your inner Tarzan in the woods near Betws-y-Coed at Zip World Fforest’s aerial ropeways, ziplines and dizzy sky bridges. Ride the waves at Surf Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley, the world’s first inland surfing lagoon. Then splash around in real saltwater and enjoy all kinds of watersports from Porth Eirias on Colwyn Bay’s rejuvenated waterfront.
Colwyn Bay’s Mountain Zoo, a firm family favourite, is a caring conservation zoo. Llandudno’s Venue Cymru, North Wales’ largest entertainment complex, stages all kinds of shows all year round. For foodies there’s top-quality local produce and the very tasty Gwledd Conwy Feast, held each October.
And throughout the year there’s a packed programme of events, including the Tournament @ Conwy in June, our Year of Legends flagship spectacular.