One a two-week trip to the UK, we were able to spend one day in the lovely town of Conwy in North Wales. We drove the 75 minute trip from Manchester, England, and chose Conwy because of the famous Medieval Castle which towers over the town.
Of course, the castle is what brings most visitors to this quaint little village, but there is more to enjoy in Conwy than just this structure. Edward I of England built this castle in the 1280s to help keep the Welsh in Wales and he strategically positioned it along the Conwy River to be even more of a lookout and barrier. This castle became a border of sorts where past it the Welsh were forbidden. For one of the best views over the town and entire area, walk up one of the castle towers' winding staircases.
Besides the castle, visitors can walk along the well-preserved town walls which are noted as being one of the best sets in Europe. They are connected to the castle and stretch almost a mile with over 21 towers. The Conwy Suspension Bridge is also near the wall and castle and worth seeing. Its crosses the River Conwy and was completed in 1826, but is now restricted to pedestrians only.
In the town of Conwy, there are a few other buildings of note, including "The Smallest House in Great Britain". This small house along the waterfront is painted bright read amongst the other whitewashed and stone fronts. It measures only about 3 meters heigh by about 2 meters wide and is in the Guiness Book of World Records. The story goes that it was once owned by a fisherman too tall to fit inside so he had to sleep with his feet out the window.
Another home that many visitors stop and see is Plas Mawr, a beautiful Elizabethan townhouse which is filled with well cared for plasterwork. The National Trust (who also maintain the castle) owns Averconwy House which is a great example of 14th century architecture. For a view of the harbor, take a little ride on the small boats for rent, or hop aboard the ferries.
Be sure to stroll down Conwy's high street along the main square. Here you'll find plenty of souvenir shops to browse, and tea houses to visit. Overall, this town is worth a day trip and offers a good dose of history and a hefty dose of charm.