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Conwy is a little gem of a historic town on the North Wales coast. Along with nearby Llandudno, it makes a very good base for exploring this beautiful part of Wales. This whole region is embroidered with ancient myths and legends and this lovely small town captures that feeling.
Conwy, on the banks of the River Conwy, is very picturesque and was founded by Llywelyn the Great c.1184 - his statue is in the main square. The town is dominated by the magnificent medieval castle built by Edward 1st in the 1280s; unusually it is still encircled almost completely by walls which were built to protect the town from Welsh attack. There are magnificent views both from the castle and the walls. There is also a quay, recently updated, from which you may take river cruises and which has amongst its attractions a tiny red house reputed to be the smallest house in Britain. There are good shops and restaurants which cater for locals and tourists alike. There is a strong local tradition of arts and crafts. The Royal Cambrian Academy has a gallery where works by local artists are displayed; the Potters Gallery in High Street keeps the best pots at the back of the shop. There are other historic buildings including Aberconwy house - a half-timbered Tudor house which is the only surviving example of the type of houses which used to make up the town and also an extremely impressive Elizabethan town house called Plas Mawr which is decked out as it would have been in its hey-day. Bodlondeb, just outside the Town Wall, must be one of few Council Offices set in a nature reserve. Conwy has a marina and some lovely beaches which are practically deserted most of the year except for high summer. There are also numerous mountain walks from the town with magnificent views over the town and sea. There are good hotels and guest houses.
It is easily reached from Manchester or Liverpool airports in less than 2 hours but certainly feels as if you are in a different country, which of course you are. The Red Dragon floats over the castle; the Union flag appears only on special occasions. Don't be surprised to hear the Welsh language spoken; they are justifiably proud of their separate tradition in this part of the world. For history buffs its a "must" visit.