Destination guide: Colwyn Bay

Nestled on the North Wales coastline just a stone's throw from the Snowdonia National Park, Colwyn Bay is the good base for those looking to explore the natural beauty and attractions of the region

The small Victorian seaside town has undergone somewhat of renaissance in recent years thanks largely to a £56m investment programme that’s seen a new beach created by pumping 500,000 tonnes of sand ashore, a brand new watersports centre and extensive restoration work on the local theatre and other prominent buildings. 


The result is new visitors, and a great buzz in the town centre that is gaining a reputation as a great place to shop, eat and be entertained – as well as a launch pad from which to explore the wonders of North Wales.  

Here’s some of the best places to visit in the town:


The beach

People almost certainly laughed when the idea was first suggested to pump 500,000 (yes that’s FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND!) tonnes of sand into the bay to create a first class beach at the heart of the town.  

However, after investing £6m in the project… it happened. The result is a fantastic focal point to the bay – a place to take in the rays, partake in water sports or simply take a gentle walk and enjoy the sea breeze

Porth Eirias Watersports Centre

Next to the brand new beach, the new watersports centre is one of the jewels in the crown of the town for a community by the sea.  Despite some desent about how the building looks, offering a huge range of watersports experience from sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, kite surfing and jet skiing – this is a great place for all ages, couples, singles and families to experience life (well, some time) on the ocean waves. The centre cost a whopping £3.7m to build and so as you can expect has all the latest mod cons to make your day out go smoothly.

The Welsh Mountain Zoo 

It’s not just a zoo, it’s Wales’ largest zoo, and “The Zoo of Wales” thank you very much. The Welsh Mountain Zoo, which is 50 years old and is one of the most popular attractions in the region. It is home to over 600 animals that include tigers, chimpanzees, sea lions, red pandas, meerkats and lemurs. Whether you have a family, or are just a big kid at heart – you’re going to have a great day out here.

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Bay Health and Beauty Clinic

Relax and unwind in this fantastic facility at the very heart of the town.

With a friendly, professional and knowledgeable staff, it’s the perfect tonic to 21st Century life offering massages, manicures and waxing at extremely competitive prices.  

Other therapies include advanced laser treatments such as skin and anti-ageing treatments such as chemical peels, non-surgical face-lifts, and Botox. People will say that holiday in Wales knocked years off you!

Theatr Colwyn

The first films were screened at Theatr Colwyn in January, 1909. Now, 104 years later, the venue has been given a £730,000 revamp and had its traditional 35mm film projection replaced with the latest Sony 4K digital film projection. Former Monty Python, Terry Jones, is patron of Theatr Colwyn.


Pen-y-Bryn pub

Tucked away in the Heights overlooking the town and the coastline, this is one of the best eateries in the area.  A gastro pub of note, the beautiful oak-floored interior lined with bookcases and antique furniture is hard to turn down, but when you see the spectacular garden and terrace with panoramic views, you’ll certainly have a difficult choice.

The same can be said of the fantastic gastropub menu which offers wonderful fresh local produce from the fields and the sea that surround the area. Exquisite attention to detail in the food and service make this feel like a very special dining experience indeed. The pub has great drinks options and a fine wine list. A must if you’re in the area. 

The Toad pub

Offering the best views of the sea and the bay while you eat of any establishment in town, The Toad is a quaint traditional pub next to the sea. It offers a fantastic menu of food that goes far beyond “pub grub” and brings alive the beautiful fresh local ingredients available in this area.

With some of the most friendly and attentive staff you could imagine, the toad is a great place to end up for dinner after you’ve built up an appetite walking the coast. The drinks menu is very good, and the atmosphere is old fashioned and welcoming with a twist of quiet sophistication. If you visit Colyyn, you must visit this place. 

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North Wales


Liverpool John Lennon (nearest marjor)

TV shot here: Hetty Wainthropp Investigates

Local food: Seafood, Welsh rarebit (speacial cheese on toast), leek soup, lamb, monkfish and faggots (lamb or pork liver meatballs).

Stay: Ellingham House is situated on a quiet residential street just a few minutes walk from the town centre and the sea, this beautiful refurbished late Victorian bed and breakfast is a charming place from which to base any visit to Colwn and North Wales. 

After loving and thoughtful refurbishment from the owners, Ellingham House has become a home of luxury and relaxation. Each and every room is spacious and styled with the needs of a weary yet discerning traveller in mind.  

An extremely friendly and warm welcome is extended to all guests at this charming property where a delicious locally sourced breakfast is just another of the treats you should look forward to every day. Rooms from £78 (double) per night, which includes a full Welsh or continental breakfast.

Getting there: 

By road: A one hour drive from Liverpool, one hour and 25 mins drive from Manchester, two hours drive from Birminghan, four hour drive from London

By rail: One hour 40 from Liverpool, one hour 50 from Manchester, two hours 20 from Birmingham, three hours from London.

Thank you to Colwyn Bay tourism for hosting this trip


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