Ilkeston Cam On Holiday In North Wales 2000

Part Two - Betws-y-Coed



"This Arch was Constructed in the Same Year
that the Battle of Waterloo was Fought
"
Just a few short miles from the town of Llanwrst but a world away in terms of the tourism lies Betws-y-Coed. Like Llanwrst, Betws also has a bridge across the River Conwy.

This one, made of cast iron, was built in 1815, the year of the Battle of Waterloo. It carries an inscription to commemorate this fact and is popularly known as the "Waterloo Bridge" (see above). This is not the only bridge in Betws: the Pont-y-Pair or Bridge of the Cauldron is another very popular and much photographed spot.
The two photographs above were both taken from the bridge looking upstream, as was the one below left which serves to illustrate how well the bridge is named with the mountain waters tumbling ferociously over the rocks. The picture below right is also looking upstream from the picnic area at the side of the River Llugwy.
And this image on the right is from the same place but looking downstream.

Sunlight reflecting off the river and rain drenched rooftops adds to the atmospheric feeling as the spray from the cascading water shrouds the Pont-y-Pair. Yes, rain! We arrived in Betws, got out of the car and back in again. It poured for about 5 minutes. The waitress serving us morning coffee, said that it had rained non-stop the previous day so we counted ourselves lucky and prepared to explore further as we walked through the village.


Trains, trains and more trains.

There's much more to Betws-y-Coed than its famous bridges as we soon found out after walking down the main street. Situated on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, it caters well for tourists of all kinds whether they be holiday-makers like ourselves, day-trippers or more serious outdoor types such as anglers, climbers or ramblers.
Simple dwellings built in the wooded valley ( above left) vie with larger hotels like the Royal Oak (above right) to offer accommodation and a base to explore and enjoy more of this beautiful area.
Betws also features a number of cafes, restaurants and shops to suit all tastes. A small shopping complex sells equipment for the outdoor life whilst many more shops are to be found in the converted railway station buildings.

Welsh craftware and "touristy" souvenirs are prominent but it is not difficult to imagine steam age travellers of a bygone age on the busy forecourt.

Passing through an archway halfway along, one emerges onto the platform that still serves as a station for the village on the Conwy Valley line.
The single track line runs between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog and on the other side of the track is the Conwy Valley Railway Museum. Miniature railway and tram lines operate for the entertainment of children although it is not unusual to see adults riding too.



Betws also boasts a Motor Museum and a 14th Century Church in St Michael's.

Yes, there's far more to Betws-y-Coed than its famous bridges.
 
Continued in Part 3 - Bangor

Other parts in this series:
1- Llandudno & Llanwrst; 4 - Llyn Ogwen & Llanfair; 5 - Caernarfon & Blaenau Ffestiniog;
6 - Bodelwyddan & Rhos-On-Sea; 7 - Conwy Bridges & Smallest House; 8 - Conwy Quay & Town;
9 - The Great Orme & 10 - Llandudno Town.
 

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