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Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 posts
Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

I am searching the forum and as many other places as possible, but hoping I can glean some information from a single post here as well. I am surprising my 85 year old dad with a trip from the US to Wales leaving next Wednesday, arriving Thursday morning to Manchester and departing Manchester Monday morning. It will be a short trip, but I feel it is my last opportunity to do this with my dad while he is still in pretty good health. His grandparents immigrated to the United States from Wales and he is so proud of his heritage and being 100% Welsh. Despite having been a commercial airline pilot for 35 years he never has been to Wales. His family is from Anglesey and he has some distant cousins in Caernaforn we will visit, but I need help figuring out a good central location for a hotel or other accommodation. Is it feasible to stay in Caernaforn or on Anglesey and drive to other nearby locations to sight see? We will rent a car(I will drive and have driven in the UK and Ireland before) and stay in Manchester on Sunday night before our Monday morning flight home. Suggestions for things to see that are not very physically taxing? My dad is very active for an 85 year old, but tires relatively easy. I will continue my research but really appreciate any help as we will leave a week from now and while I am comfortable traveling without a plan I am not comfortable subjecting my dad to all of my adventurous ways! Thanks!

22 replies to this topic
UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
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4,118 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Yes easy to stay either in Caernarfon or on Anglesey. Another possibility convenient to both is Bangor. There is a Travelodge on the outskirts of Caernarfon but the Celtic Royal is more traditional and homely. We have stayed there a couple of times. If you decide on Anglesey then look at Beaumaris as your base as it has a lovely castle (as does Caernarfon of course) and beautiful views across the Menai Straits

All these places are very easy to reach from Manchester- a straight drive on motorway and dual carriageway ( except for the last 5 or 6 miles into Caernarfon)

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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478 reviews
2. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Those are the best places for you to stay in my view. The choice is yours as to Anglesey, Bangor or Caernarfon. All are very reachable. Why not take a look at some photo's, Google Streetview and Google Maps to help you decide on which location will suit you best? That's exactly what I do!

London, United...
Level Contributor
838 posts
79 reviews
3. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

I would thoroughly recommend a trip on the Llanberis Lake Railway, something I did with my Nan when she was nearing 80.

Lincolnshire...
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4. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Forget Bangor - it has little to attract. Both Caernarfon and Beaumaris are attractive and both have excellent castles. Stopping in Caernarfon means he'll be closer to his cousins. You can always do a trip to Anglesay. His cousins may well have plenty of ideas where to go.

Something else he might enjoy is a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog. This is a narrow gauge railway which closed in the 1930s and has been rebuilt. It is a wonderful run through Snowdonia and along the flanks of Snowdon. Coaches are comfortable and there are toilets and a buffet service on the train. Trains are pulled by Bayer Garratts, which are massive and very powerful locos capable of coping with the steep gradients on the line.

https://www.festrail.co.uk/timetable-whr.htm

You could treat him to an afternoon tea on the train on the Saturday...

https:/…555.shtml

This gives you two hours in Porthmadog before catching the train back. You could use Spooners cafe on the station to get a meal. If your Dad is a beer drinker, they sell a range of real ales and are the brewery tap for the Purple Moose Brewery based in Porthmadog. (Excellent beers!).

https://www.festrail.co.uk/catering.htm

While you are waiting, you will also have chance to see a Ffestiniog Railway train arrive and leave. The Ffestiniog railway runs from the same station in Porthmadog up to Blaenau Ffestiniog. This train will probably be pulled by one of the Ffestiniog Railways unique Double Fairlie Locos which are basically two locos sharing a single cab.

West Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
2,182 posts
57 reviews
5. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

A suggestion-ask his cousins if any pubs have local singers who congregate and have a sing song.

We have been to a pub near Conwy, a bit far from Anglesey for a night out, but they have this every Friday.

Everybody sings in Wales, take the kleenex for him!

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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6. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

I'm sorry to say that when I lived on the Cambrian Coast I never encountered anby sing alongs in local pubs.

Greater Manchester...
Destination Expert
for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
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7. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Available accommodation might be a key deciding factor.

My recommendation would be to stay in Anglesey - and specifically in Beaumaris. Easy to drive from/to there for all other locations mentioned.

For Beaumaris I can personally recommend Bulls Head Inn plus their more contemporary accommodation next door called Townhouse.

https://www.bullsheadinn.co.uk/

https:/…Stay-at-The-Townhouse

On Anglesey do drive to famous South Stack Lighthouse area. The 85 yr old couldn't do the 100s of steps down and back but the views & photos from up where the car is parked are memorable.

Holyhead & Bangor are unattractive (unless the ancestors came from there). Rhosneigr could be of interest given his airline connection. RAF training base and lots of flights of training jets pass right by the road near the golf club (though I'm unsure about that at weekends). Do go and see the Menai Bridge.

Edited: 27 September 2018, 01:35
Greater Manchester...
Destination Expert
for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
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8. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

I forgot, do go inside and look around Beaumaris Castle. And Conway Castle on the mainland is great (worth combining a visit to Conway with nearby seaside town of Llandudno which has managed to retain most of its Victorian charm).

Edited: 27 September 2018, 01:57
West Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
2,182 posts
57 reviews
9. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

Rojblake and others, Friday night singing and excellent food is here!

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Rev…

UK
Destination Expert
for North Wales
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6,028 posts
68 reviews
10. Re: Last minute long weekend in Anglesey and northern Wales

From Manchester you will be travelling along the A55 which can be rather tedious at times.

Please consider leaving the A55 at Colwyn Bay

As you approach Colwyn Bay you will see 50mph speed restriction signs

Then pick up on the brown signs ( tourist info signs) for Porth Eirias

That route will take you onto the promenade at Rhos on Sea

Drive along the prom

Maybe break your journey here , there will be plenty of parking and cafes .

Then carry on to Llandudno for a splendid view of the Esplanade , Pier and Great Orme and maybe carry on to Conwy and then pick up the A55 again

You could do worse than stay in Llandudno

It has the widest choice of accomodation on the North Wales coast and it’s still close enough to the places already mentioned for day trips and it’s closer to Manchester if your dad is tired after the long flight

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