Conwy and Anglesea
Conwy Castle is one of the best preserved castles in the whole of North Wales. This magnificent structure dominates the mouth of the River Conwy and the medieval walled town of Conwy.
Built in 1283 under the orders of King Edward I of England. This was one of the key fortresses in his "iron ring" of castles designed to contain the Welsh. Its gritty dark stoned exterior still prompts a humbling reaction now.
The castle was designed by James of St George, a master architect of the time and renowned builder of castles. After relocating the monks who lived on the site it then took 4 years and more than 15,000 men to build the castle walls. English settlers were then moved in to the walled town to protect it and keep the Welsh out, providing an effective garrison town.
Now everyone is welcome to the castle as a visitor for a small fee! The castle is open every day except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years Day.
Conwy Quay and the Smallest House
Relax and unwind on Conwy Quay. Enjoy a fish and chip take-away to munch on a bench while you watch the boats sail by.
On the quay you can also find the Smallest House in Britain. This red painted one up one down house measures just 10 x 6 ft. Squeeze yourself in to see if you could live in such a small space. The last person to live there was 6'3" tall!
The Mussel Museum
Conwy was once one of the most important pearl fisheries in the country. Conwy would harvest 4 kilograms of pearls per week in the 19th century and musseling in Conwy is still carried out the old fashioned way but on a smaller scale today.
Located on Conwy's beautiful quayside, the museum provides history of Conwy mussels and their uses and even tells you how the 'Conwy Pearl' was discovered and used to decorate a crown for a royal. You can also view state-of-the-art purification tanks and learn how mussels are harvested today.
We make two stops in Anglesey, the first to Beaumaris, home to the last and largest castle to be built by King Edward I. Conceived as an integral whole, a high inner ring of defenses is surrounded by a lower outer circuit of walls, combining an almost unprecedented level of strength and firepower. Before the age of cannon, the attacker would surely have been faced with an impregnable fortress. Yet, ironically, the work of construction was never fully completed, and the castle saw little action apart from the Civil War in the 17th century.
Then we take you on to the infamous Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch the town with the longest name in the world! It's known locally as LlanfairPG, but the full name certainly takes some practice (and breath) to say. It actually translates to mean "Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave". There's plenty of shops here to browse and coffee shops to get a bite to eat.