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The Imperial Hotel

History of Llandudno

Long before Llandudno became the beautiful thriving town it is today; a mining settlement stood in its place, taking advantage of the rich copper mines on the limestone headland, the Great Orme.

In the 1800s Owen Williams, an architect and surveyor saw the village’s potential and sought to develop it into a prosperous holiday resort.

The Victorian town’s popularity grew as Williams, the Mostyn family and local business men transformed the once small mining village into the ’Queen of Welsh’ resorts’ appealing to the masses as a seaside escape where people could visit to relax and take a break from everyday life.

The late 1800s saw further developments that contribute greatly to the town’s tourism. In 1876 construction of the Pier began, a fantastic feature that all visitors enjoyed, giving them a brand new view of the bay with the mountains of Snowdonia in the background.

Then in 1892 the new Llandudno railway station opened; giving guests easier access to the beautiful town from the major cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Last but not least, the unveiling of the Great Orme Tramway in 1902 was a great attraction for all; transporting locals and holiday-makers to the top of the headland for the greatest views of the area, another key feature to the already bustling town.

The Great Orme, now a nature reserve run by the Conwy County Borough Countryside Service, is home to two hundred feral Kashmir goats, acquired from Queen Victoria. The locals will tell you how the Welsh Guards come here to select their regimental goat to lead the battalion in ceremonial duties.

Today people visit the Victorian town to relax in a beautiful part of North Wales, perfect for enjoying the best of the sea, the countryside (with its myriad of castles and golf courses) and the mountains. The Victorian tramway and the promenade feature strongly on the Llandudno must visit list as well as the more modern shops and Venue Cymru, the resort’s Theatre and Conference Centre.

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