A World Heritage harbour town with an authentic medieval atmosphere – we will never fail to feel just a little bit star-struck by the rock-solid magnificence of Conwy.
Around 12 miles north of Rwst, the town sits at the mouth of the River Conwy looking out across a fleet of little fishing boats to the Irish Sea. Conwy Castle dominates proceedings, along with the town walls. They’re so well preserved that they’ve been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle was built in the 13th century by Edward I – part of his ‘iron ring’ of fortresses across North Wales. You pay a small admission to get into the castle, but the walk around the 1.2 km of town walls is free, and absolutely worth the trip. The views from the battlements with the mountains of Snowdonia one way, and Conwy Estuary the other, are stunning.
Inside the town, you’ll find a network of cobbled streets, nooks and crannies which are chock-full of independent shops. Some of the temptations on offer include artisan chocolates at Baravelli’s, speciality cheeses at The Cheese Room, deli delights at Edwards of Conwy, and great local ales at the Grade II listed Albion pub.
You’ll also find plenty of antiques, giftshops, and galleries in town, as well as some visit-worthy historic buildings including the UK’s best-preserved Elizabethan town house, Plas Mawr, and the smallest house in Great Britain – an unbelievably bijou attraction on the quayside.
In our opinion, no trip to Conwy is complete without a fish and chip takeaway on the quayside, and we heartily recommend The Galleon on the High Street for some of the best around. If you prefer pizza, head to Johnny Dough’s on Rose Hill Street for delicious woodfired pizzas.
If you’d like to earn your treats by working up an appetite, walk from the centre of town up Conwy Mountain for brilliant views of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia (about 6km / 2.5 hours’ round trip), or follow the Wales Coast Path to Conwy Morfa Beach for a stomp along golden sands (2.5 km).