14 Top-Rated Things to Do in Llandudno
The Victorian town of Llandudno is a quintessential 19th-century vacation spot, defined by its beaches and luxury resorts, that maintains its simple elegance and summer fun for visitors today. Llandudno is a coastal town in the northern part of Wales, bordered by cliffs on one side and the Great Orme on the other jutting out into the ocean as one of the most iconic natural attractions in Wales.
The centerpiece of Llandudno is its sprawling beachfront, with the bustle of vacationers on the promenade and the magnificent Llandudno Pier. The pier inspires excitement before you even step foot onto it to ride the Ferris wheel or cool off with an ice cream. And, while this is where you might spend a lot of your time, there are so many other things to do in Llandudno.
The town is nicknamed the Queen of Welsh Resorts because it is one of the largest holiday resorts in the country, both in size and reputation. It is made up of three- and four-story terraces built between 1850 and 1912 forming blocks that align with the street patterns, giving Llandudno its uniform appearance.
As you plan your memorable vacation, start with our list of the top things to do in Llandudno.
1. Go to the Top of the Great Orme
You can plan a full day to explore all the things to do on and around The Great Orme. The protruding mountain of limestone is 3.2 kilometers (two miles) long and 1.6 kilometers (one mile) wide, standing 207 meters (679 feet) high out of the sea, making it an ideal backdrop for photographs and the best place to visit for panoramic views of Llandudno.
The Great Orme summit is covered in limestone grassland, with walking trails and stunning views in every direction. Walk to the Heatherland restoration area to observe the preservation efforts of some of the area's most beautiful natural resources, including rare plants like yellow rock rose.
There are several ways to get to the summit. You can take a leisurely drive to the top along the zigzag roadway, and take in the views along the way as you stop at various lookout points.
Another fun way to go is on The Great Orme Tramway cable car. It remains Britain's only funicular tramway that travels a mile up along public roads, and has been operating since 1902.
Another unique way to get to the top is on board The Great Orme Cable Car, a restored mode of transportation operating since 1969. The four-seater cable cars give you intimate aerial views from Happy Valley all the way to the summit of the Great Orme.
An optional excursion if you have time is the Great Orme Ancient Mine. It is the world's largest Bronze Age copper mine, where you can go deep into 3,500-year-old tunnels and see why their discovery in 1987 remains one of the UK's most impressive archaeological finds.
2. Walk along the Llandudno Promenade
It will be easy to experience the Llandudno Promenade whether you intend to or not, as it is where vacationers gravitate along the beachfront. The promenade is a nearly two-mile-long paved walkway that serves as the main pedestrian route between the waterfront and the resorts.
If you want to spend some time just soaking in the moment, find a bench on the promenade and people-watch while enjoying a snack or drink from one of the food trucks.
Be sure to look closely at all the historic elements that have changed little from the Victorian vacation days, like ornate architectural details on the resort buildings or the pods of gardens with flowers and decorations giving a nod to the queen.
Another can't-miss on the promenade is Codman's Punch & Judy show, which is as popular with adults as it is with kids. The traveling show on the promenade is Britain's oldest Punch & Judy Show, running since 1860. The puppet show is 19th-century entertainment at its best and a summer staple in Llandudno.
3. Spend an Afternoon on Llandudno Pier
At 700 meters (2,295 feet) long, the Llandudno Pier is the longest in Wales and will quickly become one of the highlights of your visit. More than half of the pier stretches into the sea, standing on cast iron columns, with Victorian and Edwardian architecture built between 1876 and 1878. One look at the pier, and you can't help but be drawn to the energy that emanates from it.
The blinking lights of the iconic Ferris wheel, music coming from the amusements, the constant swirling of kiddie rides, and the weaving in and out of people going in the opposite direction with smiles and ice-cream cones is infectious.
It is where you can enjoy the entertainment and food, or do nothing at all except stare over the sturdy wooden boardwalk into the ocean, gaze to the jagged cliffs, or get lost in the beauty at the promenade and resorts.
If you just want to visit the pier for a short time, you can find free 90-minute public parking on the nearby streets. The pier is open year-round.
Address: N Parade, Llandudno Wales
Official site: https://www.llandudnopier.com
4. Go for a Swim at the Llandudno Beaches
There are three main beaches in Llandudno, so you can plan one or several days just enjoying the ocean, sand, and beach scene.
The North Shore Beach is the most populated because it is the most centrally located and close to the Llandudno Pier and promenade. Even during the high season in summer, there is plenty of space on the crescent-shaped sand to find a spot. This is a nice beach for families with children because of the designated play areas, entertainment, food, and one of the largest paddling pools in Wales.
A central location on the North Shore Beach is Prince Edwards Square, where you will find public parking, beach access, boat tours, and a walkway to the pier.
West Shore Beach is known for its sand and space, which is even more prominent during low tides. As you might imagine, the West Shore is where you will find fewer people and the perfect landscape for kite flying and building sandcastles. While there is not the amount of food options on the West Shore, you can find a café for snacks and refreshments.
Angel Bay is another beach option in Llandudno. It is not as popular as the other beaches, but it is an ideal spot for those who want to walk and enjoy the natural surroundings with fewer people. Angel Bay is located close to Little Orme on the coastline, and is known for its great landscape views and the occasional seal resting on the rocks.
5. Play a Round of Golf at Maesdu Golf Club
North Wales is a golfer's paradise, so it is no surprise that golfing on the Maesdu Championship Golf Course is one of the top things to do in Llandudno. The club has more than a century of history in the area, and its location on the coast with the Llandudno resorts as the backdrop is a unique opportunity to experience a great round of golf and unforgettable scenery.
The 18-hole course has perfectly groomed, challenging fairways and changing views with every putt. The fairway takes you through rolling hills, with views of Conwy Bay, the Snowdonia Mountains, and the Great Orme.
Maesdu Golf Club was founded in 1915 and built on the Maesdu Estate when it was purchased by the town council to attract visitors to the area and offer golf to the community. It still operates much the same way today.
Address: Hospital Rd, Llandudno LL30 1HU
Official site: https://www.maesdugolfclub.co.uk
6. Go Back in Time at the Home Front Museum
Tucked into the central streets of the Llandudno resort area is the Home Front Museum, with an impressive collection of memorabilia that offers intimate insight into Britain in the 1940s. This is a nice option to add to your agenda if your beach day is rained out or if you want to learn more about the area's history.
The small building that houses the museum's collections was originally a garage in the mid-19th century that was converted for military use during WWII. Take a self-guided tour for a glimpse of what life was like on the home front during wartime.
You will gain insight into how the kitchen became an important element during the war, and see artifacts like ration books and gas masks that are preserved in the displays. There is a nice gift shop on-site for history-focused souvenirs.
Address: New Street, Llandudno, LL30 2YF, Wales
Official site: https://www.homefrontmuseum.co.uk
7. Feed the Animals at Bodafon Farm Park
Llandudno's claim to fame is its beach and resort scene, but the Bodafon Farm Park is a reminder that agriculture still plays an important role in Wales and is a fun family-friendly addition to the itinerary.
The farm park is a unique tourist attraction in Llandudno and great for kids who want some time with the animals. It is an easy half-day stop to add in with something else, like the beach or shopping.
The farm park is designed like a traditional farm with pigs, llamas, goats, and deer. There are areas where children can feed the animals and enjoy other hands-on farm experiences, like a tractor ride around the farm. Besides interacting with the farm animals, the castle fort play area is a popular attraction.
Walk through the garden courtyard and be sure to visit the North Wales Bird Trust to see the birds and owls.
There is a café at the farm, where parents can enjoy a cup of coffee while the children play.
Address: Bodafon Road, The Promenade, Llandudno, LL30 1BW
Official site: https://bodafonfarmpark.com
8. Enjoy an Evening Performance at the Venue Cymru
If you want to work in an evening enjoying local arts, you will want to search for upcoming performances at the Venue Cymru. It is used as much by locals as visitors, and it is worth looking into the performing arts that will be available during your visit.
The Venue Cymru is a popular center for music, theater, film, and performing arts. There are always special programs and workshops happening, like storytelling and printmaking. Add dinner into your evening at Venue Cymru with reservations at the Y Restaurant that overlooks Llandudno Bay.
Address: Promenade Llandudno, Wales LL30 1BB
Official site: https://www.venuecymru.co.uk
9. Hit the Slopes at the Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre
Skiing on the Welsh coast? Why not. Llandudno is not known for its snow, but you will find that skiing on the modified courses at the Llandudno Ski & Snow Centre is a popular thing to do, even in the middle of summer.
Skiing and snowboarding take place on the PermaSnow ski slope, which is a dry slope designed to mimic a snow-covered mountain. The mountain lodge and slopes sit 415 feet above sea level, with great views over the region and activities that cater to families. Ski lessons are available, along with snow tubing.
Another fun activity is tobogganing on the longest Toboggan run in Britain. While you do not have to worry about the winter chill on these slopes, you can still relax in the lodge with hot chocolate and a bite to eat as you enjoy the views outside.
Address: Llandudno Snowsports Centre, Great Orme, Llandudno, LL30 2QL, Wales
Official site: https://www.jnlllandudno.co.uk
10. Shop Local on Mostyn Street
The main street for shopping in Llandudno is along Mostyn Street. Prepare yourself because there are a lot of places to visit.
Fortunately, there are almost as many cafés and restaurants in the area as boutique shops, so you can plan a full day and fuel up when you need to. There are many shops to find unique and local souvenirs, along with general stores that sell more traditional take-home items from Wales.
Mostyn Street has the charm of the historic Victorian architecture and an elegant ambience combined with modern day shopping against the backdrop of the Great Orme. It is a lively and social street that runs parallel to the promenade and is close to North Beach.
There are two sections of Mostyn Street, separated by a roundabout. A good way to navigate it is to start at the top end near the Empire Hotel, and make your way down to the bottom at Mostyn Broadway.
You can find paid car parks available in multiple locations if you plan to spend a full day walking around town. If you only plan to stop for a short time, you can take advantage of the free 90-minute street parking – if you are lucky enough to find an open spot.
11. Get Lost in the Happy Valley Gardens
The eastern side of the Great Orme is a magical area called Happy Valley Gardens, sometimes referred to as Jubilee Gardens.
These free, public terraced gardens are a lovely hillside garden retreat, with treelined walkways that meander up and down small hills, opening to beautiful new views and colors at every turn. You will find a variety of steps and benches that position you in front of these unique gardens.
The Happy Valley Gardens has a storybook feel to it, which is due in part to its tie to Lewis Carroll and his character, Alice in Wonderland. In 2002, sculptures depicting scenes and characters from the fairy tale were added throughout Happy Valley, all made from fallen trees. Look for statues like the Mad Hatter's tea party, along with picnic tables where you can stop and enjoy lunch.
12. Roll Down the Windows on Marine Drive
A scenic sunset drive along Marine Drive is a must experience from Llandudno. Set out on the stunning four-mile winding drive from the base of the Great Orme to the summit.
Take it slow to soak in the ocean air and expanding views as you head uphill.
There are a few small spots to pull off for photos, but your best view will be from the summit of the Great Orme, where there is designated parking and space to roam.
13. See Where Prayers Are Answered at St. Tudno's Church
You know that St. Tudno's Church is a special place even before you get out of the car to walk the grounds. It sits high on the hill of the Great Orme and is a hidden treasure, with more than 1,400 years of history.
It is believed that Tudno, a Celtic monk came to the ancient rock, the Great Orme, in the sixth century to spread the message of Christianity.
It's been a place of prayer ever since, and for visitors today, it is designed to be a place of spiritual strength and peace in a beautiful setting. There are park benches and an extensive historic cemetery surrounding the church.
Address: 2HL, St. Tudno's Road, Llandudno
Official site: https://llandudno-parish.org.uk/wordpress/st-tudnos-church
14. Watch Local Wildlife on Llandudno Boat Trips
While you do not have to go off land to enjoy the natural environment of Llandudno, a boat trip offers a nice perspective. You can hop aboard one of the many boat trips offered right from the Llandudno promenade for a one-hour sightseeing excursion.
View the Great Orme and Little Orme from the water, and look for local birds and other wildlife just off the coastline. This is an easy way to get out on the water and feel the Welsh sea breeze in your hair.
Address: North Shore Jetty, Promenade, Llandudno, Conwy, LL30 2LS