Conway Castle and Suspension Bridge (ASP)
One of the most attractive of all Welsh seaside towns and a very popular tourist resort. It has a superb medieval castle and probably some of the best preserved town walls in Europe. The original medieval town street plan is still preserved within its walls, however only a few of the original medieval buildings still survive, including Aberconwy, a fine 13th-c merchants house and the lovely Elizabethan Plas Mawr. Also within the town is the parish Church of St Mary, which incorporates parts of an original Cistercian abbey.
Three bridges cross the wide estuary at the mouth of the River Conwy at this location. The oldest, a suspension bridge, was built by Thomas Telford in 1826. Stephenson's tubular rail bridge, designed to blend in style with the castle, dates to 1848 and the third bridge, designed to carry vehicular traffic, opened in 1958 (see image above).
The old quay is one of the most pleasant parts of the town. Once a busy port, it is now mainly used by pleasure craft and small fishing boats. Set back from the quayside is a tiny terrace house said to be the smallest house in Britain.
Tourist Information Centre:
|Conwy Castle, Conwy, Wales, LL32 8LD - Tel: 01492 592248|
A fine example of a medieval timber-framed merchants house. Built around 1400, Aberconwy claims to be the oldest house in Wales. Now a Heritage Centre, it contains an interesting exhibition illustrating the social history of the area since Roman times. Run by National Trust*
Opening times: time vary, see
website for details - Admission Charge*
Location: Castle Street, Conwy, LL32 8AY - Tel: 01492 592246 - Website
Conwy castle is one of the greatest and best preserved 13th-c fortresses in Europe. It was built in 1248 as part of a group of castles commissioned by Edward I, during his campaign to conquer Wales. This immense building project took 15000 men, nearly four years to construct! Comprising eight 70ft (21m) high towers, linked by a curtain walls 15ft (4.5m) thick.
The castle's inner court is built around an inner and outer ward. The outer ward houses the remains of a great hall, the scene of great banquets when the king was in residence, and the inner ward contains the royal apartments.
The castle is built on a naturally defensible site, bordered by water on two sides. The town walls, which adjoin the castle, were constructed at the same time and have not been altered since. The walls comprise 21 crenellated towers (each 35ft high and 6ft thick), linked by curtain walls that extend for about 1 mile along the shoreline and right around the old town.
Visitors can walk along the castle's battlements and climb one of the towers for a fine view of the town and Welsh countryside beyond, right to the foothills of Snowdonia.
Opening times: Mar to Oct, daily from 9:30; Nov to Feb, daily from 10am - Admission Charge
Location: Rose Hill St, Conwy, LL32 8AY - Tel: 01492 592358 - Website
A finely restored Elizabethan mansion, built between 1577 and 1580, with courtyards, stepped gables and an octagonal watch-tower. Inside it has some remarkably well preserved ornate plasterwork. It now houses an art gallery and the headquarters of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art.
Opening times: open in summer,
see website for details - Admission Charge
Location: Plas Mawr, High St, Conwy, LL32 8DE - Tel: 01492 580167 - Website
Located on the town quay is a 16th-c house said to be the smallest dwelling in Britain. Only 6 ft (2 m) wide by 10 ft (3 m) tall, it was completely self-contained and was lived-in up until 1900. The inside resembles a mid Victorian cottage, where the only two rooms are linked by a steep staircase.
Opening times: Winter: 10am to 4pm, Summer: 10am to Dusk - Small Admission Charge
Location: The Quay, Conwy, LL32 8BB - Tel: 07925 049 786 - Website