This small market town is a classically Welsh place – small buildings on small streets, tucked away in a small parcel of countryside. It stands on the banks on the River Conwy; to enter into the natural beauty of Snowdonia, all one needs to do is to cross this river.
In the county of Conwy in North Wales, just a (very) short walk outside of the borders of the Snowdonia National Park, you will find the parish of Saint Grwst, or as it is known today, the town of Llanrwst.
Because of its wonderful location amidst beautiful surroundings, Llanrwst is today known more as a tourist destination than anything else. This is rather a far cry from its history in manufacture, first in wool and later in harps and clocks.
There are a few notable attractions within the town. The first of these is St Grwst’s Church. This church is still active to this day, though it dates all the way back to the 1470s. The architecture of the church is beautiful, having been extensively restored and expanded in the late 19th century, but it is most noteworthy for the 13th-century stone coffin located within its rubble walls – this is said to be the final resting place of Llywelyn Fawr, the Great Prince of Wales.
There is also Pont Fawr (“Great Bridge”). This elegant work of masonry was constructed in the 1500s, and was supposedly designed by the great English architect, Inigo Jones. Crossing the bridge, visitors will find the lovely Tu Hwnt i'r Bont (“Beyond the Bridge”), a National Trust property that has seen a wide variety of uses. Originally a home, it was later used as a courthouse for the area, but these days it is a (decidedly more welcoming) traditional Welsh tearoom. Come for the views, stay for the authentic Welsh food. Make sure to enjoy the scones!
Lastly, visitors will not want to miss Gwydir Castle. This fortified manor house was constructed around the beginning of the 16th century by the powerful Wynn family, and is today a Grade I listed building that is open to explore. The building reused medieval materials from the former Abbey of Maenan following its dissolution, meaning it provides wonderful insight into the buildings of the time.
And the grounds are beautiful, too, measuring 10 acres in area and containing a yew tree that is believed to be approaching 1000 years in age. The castle is particularly popular around Halloween, as it is known to be one of Wales’ most haunted buildings. The two supposedly most commonly encountered ghosts are “the Grey Lady” and Sir John Wynn himself, the original owner of the castle.
All of this is within the town. As mentioned before, Llanrwst is just outside of Snowdonia, making it an ideal place to start your holiday in North Wales. Click here and you can find out a little more about our cottages in Conwy and elsewhere, and you can discover lovely Llanrwst for yourself.
You can drive to Llanrwst on the A470 from the Llandudno junction of the A55 or from Betws-y-Coed if coming from the south. Bus routes run to the town as well as trains. Parking is available in town (pay and display) and there are a number of cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops. We recommend the award winning Ty Asha Balti House.
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The town of Conwy is a popular tourist destination in North Wales, primarily for one major reason: it is home to the rather impressive stone structure that is Conwy Castle, as well as the town walls that accompany it.
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