Guiding in Conwy

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Conwy is on the north-east of Wales and close to Snowdonia National Park. Conwy is an extraordinary place to visit: Once The English forced themselves into the country of the Welsh, now they pay entry to the castles they once built there. The castle is of course the main attraction, including its walls, on which you can walk around town. Besides the old medieval walls and stones, the landscape, which surrounds the place, is worth visiting. The little harbor is a place for nice photos and by the harbor you can also find the smallest house of the UK. For one pound the owner, an elderly Lady, lets you in and you can experience how tightly the tall fisherman once lived here. It is also a nice place to stroll around a little and enjoy the nice, little boutiques in the main road. Those who haven’t had fish & chips yet and would like to do so, are advised to check out the small restaurant down by the water. There are public toilets (free) there too, as well as in the tourist office (small fee) and down at the big coach parking (free of charge).

 

Everything can be found easily and for getting a quick overview, 1 - 2 hours are enough there, if you need to continue for that day. Nobody ever complained to me for having stopped there.

 

 

Conwy castle: Once painted white it is the first one, which allowed the architect to consider aesthetic aspects.
Conwy castle: Once painted white it is the first one, which allowed the architect to consider aesthetic aspects.

 

The wall on which you can surround town
The wall on which you can surround town
The wall, giving you a great overview about town and the area.
The wall, giving you a great overview about town and the area.

Anyway: There is one big challenge, an adventure for the driver and the guests: The archways, which lead through the surrounding town wall. They are EXTREMELY NARROW! Especially for big coaches. Some are simply too narrow to pass and turning around is almost impossible. So try to find the way with one, which is the least narrow one. Already with this one, the gap between the bus and the wall won’t be bigger than a few centimeters. So how do you do that?: Make sure you enter and exit town from the bridge beside the castle. So what does that mean?: If you come on the highway from the west, go through the tunnel and take the next exit to get to Conwy. You enter from the east and you exit before the tunnel.  Coming from the south means, you end up on Conway road again and on the same bridge you take, as if entering from the east or west. (Check google maps to see what I mean). Now, having crossed the bridge, you take the next possibility to the LEFT and you end up at that narrow arch. Don’t worry: The driver can make it. He HAS TO, as he has no easier option. After having passed, just go straight and after some seconds you find the big car & coach park to the right. If the driver wants to exit to the right from the car park to avoid the arch, you need to calculate an extra hour and he will have to pass another arch, which is even worse. The town is surrounded by it! There is no emergency exit for nervous bus drivers.

 

Make sure, you tell the passengers to watch out, before you get on to that bridge, as it is right beside the castle and gives you a very nice view. The castle is to the left and the harbor can be seen to the right.

 


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Conwy bridge: You can see this bridge, when you are crossing the bridge (right beside that one, the one mentioned in the text) to enter Conwy town.
Conwy bridge: You can see this bridge, when you are crossing the bridge (right beside that one, the one mentioned in the text) to enter Conwy town.

 

From the parking it takes you only 5 minutes to town centre, if you walk slowly: Just take the passage which leads upstairs. You will see the castle to the right and the entrance is £ 10. If you continue straight (passing a small passage and the church), you end up crossing the main (shopping) road and if you continue going downwards you find the yacht harbor 2 minutes later. The tourist information center is just beside the wall of the castle, when you come up from the parking. Walking ON the walls is for free, very beautiful and gives you a great overview. You can surround the whole town on them.

 

Conwy castle wall: The overview you get from there.
Conwy castle wall: The overview you get from there.

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A little anecdote:

 

I had to go there with an extremely nervous bus driver once. He was mad at me, because I made him pass that arch. He would not believe me, that there was no other way. Unfortunately he wouldn’t speak any of the languages I am capable of communicating with, he only understood his mother tongue, which was Rumanian. From his shouting, gesturing and sweating one could tell that he was very nervous. After our visit in Conwy he turned right from the parking, trying to avoid the arch. He was a patriarch, who had made it clear, that I had no chance as a woman and that he would drive as his great navigational system told him. Unfortunately he had not understood, that the navigational systems (he had 2), which had an age of more than 10 years and were not capable of being updated, sometimes simply lead to nowhere. He also was convinced, that the navigational system was always right. Some days before, he had made an extra hour, having taken the wrong exit from the highway. He had not realized, that the nav simply changed the route after a while and that we had lost an hour.

 

Well, now in Conwy he was stuck several times. He had a very hard time turning around, was sweating and swearing even more. As you can imagine: That was awful for the guests as they lost an hour and the front rows had an unconfortable time and some simply thought, that I had guided him the wrong way.

 

 

So if you can, make sure to talk to the driver early enough.

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