Over our many years together, travelling all over Europe (and beyond) on holiday, we have been to many places but we have never been to Wales. But it has been on the cards for a while - it just wasn't the right place or the right time. Until June 2016.
Due to Llandudno's geographical position in North Wales, you have to change main line trains at Warrington Bank Quay and then transfer onto the Arriva train which takes you onwards through Cheshire and the North Wales coast, through well-known resort towns such as Rhyl, Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay before finally reaching our destination...
Llandudno station is just a few minutes' walk from the promenade, which oozes class. It's a Victorian resort and all those seafront buildings have been beautifully preserved. It's a very unusual seaside promenade as you won't find chip shops or souvenir shops, it's solely lined with hotels and guest houses.
Our home for the next few days is one of those guest houses, with a fabulous sea view. To the left, the Great Orme, and the Little Orme is to the right of the promenade. The Great Orme was to play a significant part in this holiday,... but more of that in later posts.
After arriving, checking in and unpacking, we head out to explore the town. Our first impressions of Llandudno are that it's a lovely little town which is very clean and well looked after. It also has a surprisingly good selection of shops, and a couple of retail parks. but I'm no longer the shopaholic I once was, so I wasn't really here to shop. Nevertheless I did pick up a few souvenirs along the way.
There's also a good choice of restaurants which I researched on Trip Advisor beforehand, Tonight we have dinner at a restaurant which clearly models itself on Frankie and Benny's, and serves some seriously huge portions like my massive pizza (above) - no, before you ask, I couldn't finish it!
After dinner, there's something on our to-do list. Euro 2016 is on at the moment and we're lucky enough to be here when the group stages are taking place. Tonight Wales are playing Russia and the match is being screened in Wetherspoons pub The Palladium (pictured above). Over recent years we've become used to banks and churches being turned into pubs. This pub previously was a theatre and a cinema, so it's a bit more interesting than the usual purpose-built pub. There's also a great atmosphere as it's packed with Welsh fans - of course Wales beat Russia so there's some celebrating going on!
The party doesn't go on all night though. We head for another very quiet bar. It becomes apparent very quickly that Llandudno is not party central, but we're not bothered about that. We didn't come here to party - it's a more low-key break than usual. So the town and seafront are deserted long before closing time, and another thing we noticed tonight was that quite a lot of the restaurants are closed on Mondays.
In the next instalment....exploring Llandudno, and our first encounter with the Great Orme.