Down Memory Lane – My First Day In Llandudno

It was Monday, August 28th, 2006 – a Bank Holiday – that I first set foot in Llandudno. I had not been away anywhere for some time, and decided I needed a change of scenery from the urban jungle of Manchester – so after some research, I discovered this North Wales resort was more or less on my doorstep, which eventually led to my stepping off the train into dripping sunshine that August day, with my trusty wheeled rucksack in tow behind me.

At first I wandered, getting my bearings, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, the fresh cries of the plaintive gulls, the bustle of the people on Mostyn Street and environs. I remember asking a traffic warden for directions to the Kensington Hotel, where I had a reservation, and then I made my way to the promenade, heard the strains of Flanagan and Allen’s “Underneath the Arches” played by a band, and saw the two headlands of the Great and Little Ormes, an expanse of beautiful blue sea, and fell in love with the place…

I have always felt the sea calling me (I did my undergraduate degree in Swansea, and have fond memories of beach walks and parties from those days!) – and now I felt at home for the first time in years, and my first walk was unplanned, sporadic, spontaneous – exactly how I have always liked it! I strode off along the pebbly beach, swift to find some balance, with sunglasses and my Lancashire cricket hat to keep off the sun (I remember a boy cried after me that he recognised the crest, and that he knew I was from the same place as him), and off I went walking, and walking, inhaling the scent of the sea air, filling my lungs and mind with the freshness and beauty of this new experience, observing the people, enjoying the steady, gentle warmth of the sun.

the little orme from north shore llandudno

In the distance was the little orme – I decided I was going to scale that beast! I only had a small amount of water with me, but noted a pub for emergency use as I made my way up Colwyn Road, looking for a pathway up this Little Orme! And for sure I found it, as I navigated a gateway and saw a sign pronouncing Rhiwledyn and off I trekked up steep paths and clambered over rocks and through brambles, until I stood more or less on the top of the Little Orme. The wind up there was incredible, and I feared for my hat (and my life!) as I tried to stay steady enough to take a few snapshots. I could just about make out the windmills of the offshore windfarm through the heat haze!

offshore windfarm llandudno from little orme

And so I gazed out and saw the beautiful sea and the sunshine, and the larger Orme out over the bay, and I could hear some commotion up above me, and wondered if it might be some sheep or goats but it was a couple with their dogs! Parched by now from my climb (and general lack of fitness!) I rested on a rock meditatively on the way down, and greeted the couple and their dogs as they passed. All in all my first few hours spent in Llandudno were a splendid awakening, with such glorious weather, such novelty – and I knew that a piece of my heart would remain here forever! I walked back to my hotel for a drink with a light heart and a thirst to drink in more of what this wonderful place, Llandudno, had to offer 🙂

Click here for more photos of my first LLandudno walk, the first of many beautiful walks North Wales would offer me!

To be continued…

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