391km (243 miles) NW of London; 69km (43 miles) E of Holyhead
This Victorian seaside resort -- the largest in Wales -- nestles in a crescent between the giant headlands of the Great Orme and the Little Orme, which received their names from early Vikings who thought they resembled sea serpents when their bases were shrouded in mist. This premier resort of Wales has two beaches, one on the northern edge of town, flanking a boardwalk and the Irish Sea, and the other on the west side of town, opening onto the mountains of Snowdonia and the Conwy Estuary.
Llandudno was built beginning around 1850 by the Mostyn family, after whom many local roads, avenues, and sites are named. It was conceived as a means to cash in on the already-proven proclivity of the British of Queen Victoria's day -- particularly the great middle classes -- to go to the seashore in summer. It is built in a typically Victorian way with a promenade along the beach. The Victorian elegance and tradition of Llandudno have been maintained in the architecture of its buildings, but it is there that the days-gone-by atmosphere stops.