I really wanted to see a different part of the UK, up to this point I’d basically seen Scotland and London. The decision of where to go was easy because I have a few contacts in North Wales, some people I haven’t met in person but was very actively gaming with nearly 10 years ago and have kept in touch via Facebook. So, I reached out and got planning.
This spans a week so I’m keeping the descriptions rather short and adding as many links as I can so you can click to find out more, please click the links!
April 6th my husband dropped me at the airport and I was off to Liverpool, Yes I know that isn’t North Wales but it’s the best starting point for my week of exploring.
Since I was arriving around 8:00 pm we decided I should just get a room at the Hampton hotel at the airport and get a decent night’s sleep before trying to navigate buses and trains somewhere new to me. It was a nice hotel with friendly reception and the room was fine.
Day 2: First thing in the morning I went down for an English breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, etc. So good but man I was full, my typical breakfast is coffee and maybe a Hob Nob or cereal bar. After checking out I grabbed a bus into Liverpool to the Lime Street train station and got on my way towards Chester then transfer and over to North Wales. Tragic to not spend time in Liverpool? It’s ok, I have time there on the back end of the trip. 🙂
Stepped off the train in Prestatyn and immediately had a smile on my face. What a cute town with a nice little high street full of pubs, restaurants, cafe’s and shops. My hotel/B&B was up the hill so at my friend’s suggestion (Thanks Chelsey!) I grabbed a cab instead of walking up it with my suitcase.
The hotel was a few rooms situated above a pub and beer garden and it was wonderful. The host/owner was lovely and the room was super cute, fairly comfortable and I ordered breakfast for the next morning. They cook to order, not a buffet. Loved it and yes I did another full English breakfast. Gluttony.
Sat down to have a half pint of cider while waiting for one of my friends to arrive, he was coming with his son to take me around a bit. It was great meeting him, it’s amazing when people you know online turn out to be the same in person. We went to Bodelwyddan Castle and had a wander around the grounds, the actual castle was closed for tours due to funding issues, sadly. But the grounds were lovely and included a hedge maze we had fun in and a great little kids park area his little guy could play on while we caught up (and ok yes we played on the stuff too). After, he took me around a bit and by the little Marble Church that had light pink marble pillars inside and was beautiful. They also took me by their own little waterfall in Dyserth where they live, so cute. Once the others were done working for the day we all met up for dinner where I had a fantastic minted lamb skillet, more cider and my one and only sticky toffee pudding of this trip. Food heaven. The group was a lot of fun and the two young boys were pretty well behaved and easy to be around. It was a great day/night.
Day 3: was fairly free for me to wander around the little town and do some shopping. I do miss shopping which may sound odd but it’s just different in Italy and there’s something nice about hearing English while shopping when it’s so rare where I live. Later we met up for dinner again and I indulged in some mac n cheese.
Big thanks to my friends for squeezing me in to their busy schedules and being so lovely. I truly enjoyed meeting and spending time with all of you!
Day 4: Back to the train and off to Conwy. The train station platform for this small castle town is so short it isn’t a regular stop so I had to request the special stop which the conductor had to stop perfectly so the step off was on the platform. haha! This town…I am not sure I can do it justice here. It’s just beautiful. Conwy Castle sits at the head of the town and the wall extends around it, which is completely walkable. Actually, I might do a separate post for Conwy, it was a great couple of days but this post is getting long winded already.
Basically, I wandered around and toured the castle, ate a lot and drank a bit and enjoyed the very comfortable hotel room for two days. Conwy Castle and town – next post.
Some food pics while in Conwy:
Day 6: I walked over the bridge to the next little town to catch the train out because I wasn’t sure about my hailing abilities to bring the train to stop for me at the Conwy platform. Yes, you apparently literally have to wave at the conductor as the train approaches. So, I got on the train back to Liverpool and checked in to another great hotel. The Nadler was in a great location and the 4th floor rooms are kind of special.
Checked in and headed out to explore, find some book shops and food. Liverpool is a busy city with so much shopping and a LOT of pubs and restaurants. Their big outdoor mall, Liverpool One, was impressive. I took in a few book shops and just browsed. I miss these so much. Italy has bookstores but English book sections are rare and often pretty small. I admit to spending a lot of time just browsing books in Liverpool.
Day 7: At one of my Wales friend’s suggestion (Thanks Tom!) I made my way to Albert Dock which is an area of shopping, museums and restaurants and has the big Liverpool Museum next to it. Since I had all day I decided to check out the museum. Man was it great. I spent a good three hours there reading and learning about the history and influence Liverpool had on the wars, trade, slave trade, railroad, and of course the John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibit. It’s really a fantastic museum which I highly suggest and it’s free (with a donation bucket).
(A few food photos: Lunch at Pieminister was excellent! Thai curry at Rosa’s Thai Cafe at Albert Dock was pretty good. Indian curry at Yukti was great and the staff/manager were all lovely and attentive. The breakfast plate was at the airport just before flying back home.)
Next morning I was off to the airport and back to Italy. It was such a lovely trip, very relaxed and frankly a perfect solo destination for me. Everything was in walking distance after arriving on a train and the trains are very easy to figure out. Also, one of the best parts of the UK is that dining/drinking in a pub by yourself is not uncomfortable. In Italy I would feel very odd on my own. So, North Wales and Liverpool, England get a high score from me!