Why Llanfairfechan makes a great base for holiday in North Wales
With a little bit of first-hand bias as it's my home, here's why Llanfairfechan on the North Wales coast makes a great base for a holiday. Sitting at the gateway to Snowdonia, this lovely seaside town has its toes in the sea and its head in the mountains, making it a playground for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The diverse attractions of Snowdonia, Anglesey and the Conwy Valley are all within easy reach. And just 90 minutes drive from Manchester or an hour from Chester, this area of the North Wales coast is an easy destination to reach for a fantastic week away or a short break, at any time of the year.
Mountains, beach and sunsets
Llanfairfechan sits between Conwy and Bangor on the Snowdonia coast. Backed by the beautiful Carneddau mountains and with superb views out over Anglesey, Puffin Island and the Great Orme, it is a picturesque location. The beach is broad and sandy - perfect for sandcastles and beach cricket and there's a long, accessible promenade. When the tide is in, it’s a great location for paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. In contrast, you can be up in the mountains within half an hour’s walking or biking. And the sunsets over the Menai Strait can be spectacular.
This combination of beach and mountain is magical. There are myriads of footpaths and tracks to explore on foot or by mountain bike heading up into the Carneddau. And yet you can be back down on the coast, enjoying a coffee and listening to the warble of oystercatchers and curlews within an hour or so of picking up a foothill peak.
If walking is your thing, it is easy to pick up the Welsh Coast Path as it passes behind the town on its way from Abergwyngregyn. It continues past Penmaenmawr and Capelulo towards Conwy Mountain and beyond. And for a longer ramble, walk along the Roman Road. It marches its way through the foothills of the Carneddau behind Llanfairfechan on its way over from Rowen, onto Abergwyngregyn and beyond towards Caernarfon (Segontium). The Carneddau mountains are home to wild ponies who roam in small herds - it’s an absolute treat to sit and just watch them for a while and a good reason in itself to head out into the hills for a walk.
In contrast, down by the coast, a potter along the flat Cob (coastal path) and on towards Traeth Lafan gives you an opportunity to spot a host of birds and wildlife. This is a great place for dog walking too, provided you keep your four-legged friend on a lead when livestock is grazing.
Arts and Crafts
Historically a farming community, today Llanfairfechan is home to a broad mix of properties, many Victorian. Like many of the coastal towns in this area, the building of the Chester to Holyhead railway was instrumental in its development during the 19th century. It and the influence of several large landowners opened up opportunities for tourism and trade - hence the concentration of lovely Victorian architecture. You will also discover a collection of distinctive Arts and Crafts buildings designed by architect Herbert Luck North. Look out for them as you walk along the Cob or explore around the town.
This is a place where, if you enjoy spending time on the beach, walking, biking and exploring, you need hardly use your car during a stay. Llanfairfechan has good cafes, pubs, a well-stocked supermarket and a local butcher - all the ingredients you need for a few meals out and a well-stocked store cupboard. And you can hop on the train or bus to Conwy or Bangor if you want to venture further afield for drinks and dinner out.
Ideal for exploring North Wales
Llanfairfechan is in a perfect base for exploring much of North Wales by car. Heading towards Chester, Conwy is just ten minutes away with its medieval castle and town walls, good pubs and restaurants and lots of independent shops. Twenty minutes drive gets you to Llandudno, Surf Snowdonia, Bodnant Garden and Zip World Fforest. A little further on is Betws y Coed. Heading in the opposite direction, you’re just ten minutes drive from the start of the walk up to Aber Falls, twenty minutes from the university town of Bangor and just half an hour from Caernarfon with its World Heritage castle and Llanberis at the foot of Snowdon. And to add even more choice to the mix, Anglesey is just a short drive away and you will reach popular destinations such as Beaumaris, Newborough, Rhosneigr or Red Wharf Bay within half an hour of leaving home. All in all, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Why not stay in Llanfairfechan with Menai Holidays?
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