Ever fancied seeing a 55ft carving of The Queen of Hearts?
On our first trip to Llandudno, we mainly wandered around, basking in the bank holiday sun and indulging in a spot of shopping. On our way through the town, we spotted a quite massive wooden sculpture of what I though was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Thinking I'd maybe had a little too much wine the night before and my eyes were playing tricks on me, I grabbed my phone and Googled it.
As it turns out, it WAS the Queen of Hearts and there are full trails dedicated to Alice in Wonderland around the town. There is some debate about whether world-renowned author, Lewis Carroll, actually visited Llandudno, but it is fact that the inspiration for his title character was a little girl called Alice Liddell who, with her family, owned what is now the St Tudno Hotel. This is still operational today.
I warn you, child....If I lose my temper, you will lose your head!
I've none of my own. I'm a hatter...
Oh, my fur and whiskers! I'm late! I'm late!
Because of the connection, the smart people of Llandudno have installed various wooden statues of the popular characters from the book around the town. Along with the carvings are 55 rabbit feet imprints, which guide you along the trail. When I got home that evening, I discovered that there's also a few official apps on the iTunes store to help you get even more out of it.
I thought it was a brilliant idea and certainly got us moving around parts of town we may not have visited, had we not stumbled across the Queen. The carvings themselves are incredibly detailed and, although we don't have kids, I was probably more excited as an adult than any normal child would have been. They really are wonderful.
Maps and guides can be purchased from the town's tourist information centre, but you can follow the trail on your own, like we did, and just wander randomly, stopping to shout like a hysterical child when you spot a new carving. That's what I did, anyway. Do try not to attract too much attention to yourself, though. While you're there, can you answer Alice's riddle: Why is a raven like a writing desk? No? Me either.
Where am I again....? Oh, right.
The longest pier in all of the land. Seriously, it's the longest in Wales.
In addition to the trails, Llandudno has lots to offer in terms of shopping and sightseeing. It boasts the longest pier in Wales and a pack of 180 feral goats, which were introduced to the town by Lord Mostyn in the 19th Century. The goats are now managed by the local council in Conwy. I imagine they have an official Goat Manager, and maybe a Deputy, too. After all, keeping an eye on 180 goats (particularly naughty ones) is a lot of work for one person, no? Quite.
For further information about the Alice in Wonderland Trail, as well as a ton of other things to see and do in Llandudno, you can visit their official tourism site here.