Wednesday, 26 June 2013

New Standard for Walk Guides set in Llandudno

It wasn't very long ago, when even the best walk guides were only a page in a book with a small sketch map and brief descriptions, in terrible prose, on how you progressed around the route. Over the years detailed digital maps, now interactive have been developed alongside copious photographs and all available on the web. A new standard has now been set by the Royal Geographical Society, as we foretold in our blog of the 1st of March. The first walk in North Wales is based in Llandudno and explains the historical and social background to the formation of the town. It has a detailed map and can be downloaded as a GPS trail, or with an audio guide, or a printed guide. The historical research is exhaustive and you can see through maps, photographs and old documents the background to what can be seen on the ground today. It makes a very good read, and is accompanied by a guide to family activities in the same area, though I'm not sure that my grandchildren would be up to it yet!

Llandudno as a small village at the foot of the Great Orme in 1841.
Things I learned about Llandudno were -
  • The old town outline can still be seen at the base of the Great Orme. The roads are not part of the grid pattern and they have Welsh names rather than English.
  • The grid system of roads has a curve to it which mirrors the bay and the way the roads leading to the sea widen towards the beach enables special vistas to be viewed.
  • The decorative ironwork is amongst the best of Victorian ironwork in the country.
  • Llandudno was known as a rival to continental resorts like Nice. It was known as the Naples of the north.
  • The Imperial Hotel was the headquarters of the Inland Revenue during the 2nd World War.

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