We took a trip to Llandudno last weekend to write a postcard from the North Walian resort for Telegraph Travel.
But it was also something of a personal journey.
I used to go to Llandudno on family holidays as a child — that’s me aged around five with my mum on the prom at the North Shore [pictured above].
This time I was back with my own two daughters for a UK seaside break after our original holiday plans were cancelled under lockdown.
But how would an old-school seaside resort shape up for two Tick Tock teens?
Here’s a taster of my story:
The collapse of air bridges has led to the North Wales coast enjoying a post-lockdown bonanza.
We find Landudno’s pebbly North Beach busy with rockpool paddlers, despite some rather menacing clouds over the Great Orme, and the cafés along Mostyn Street bustling with al-fresco diners seeking Cymru-sur-mer vibes.
“People are hungry for good food they don’t have to prepare and clean up afterwards,” says Michael Waddy, Executive Chef at the Empire Hotel.
Local produce is a major draw for visitors to Wales.
Indeed, there’s a host of local suppliers and independent producers celebrated each year by the Great Taste Awards Wales.
In particular, the artisan food and drink sector has grown in recent years with a turnover of £4.8bn in 2018-19 and 78,000 people employed in the food and farming sector, according to figures from Food & Drink Wales.
This themed tour would be ideal for an autumn departure around the time of the annual British Food and Drink Fortnight, The Conwy Honey Fair or one of the smaller harvest festivals staged across North Wales.
This route is designed to form an overarching narrative on the theme of food and drink.
It describes the rise of independent businesses, highlighting the range and quality of local flavours, and the human story of our local food heroes.
It builds in rhythm from site visit in Llandudno, via a coach-based scenic tour in the Valley and lunch stop, to a town-centre walking tour of Cowny with time for souvenir shopping before departure.
Along the way we will enjoy product tastings, guest talks from local chefs and an opportunity to meet and sample the goods of local independent food producers in North Wales.
If your group would like to join this independent tour, then please do get in touch.
The new Indoor Adrenaline experience at Adventure Parc Snowdonia opens tomorrow.
But we were there a couple of weeks ago [pictured above] for an exclusive preview of the new adrenaline attraction, researching an article for The Guardian in the family travel section.
Here’s a preview of what we found:
Now rebranded as Adventure Parc Snowdonia, this converted aluminium factory in the Conwy Valley started life in 2015 as Surf Snowdonia with its inland artificial surf lagoon.
But it has expanded for the summer holidays with the opening of its Adrenaline Indoors adventure experience.
Think the TV series Ninja Warrior on steroids.
It’s an action-packed adjunct in a new building opposite the surf lagoon with activities including an artificial caving course, a parkour trail and freefall jumps, plus a soft-play area for younger siblings.
A 106-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Hotel is due to open late 2020 with a restaurant and spa.