Colwyn Bay (Welsh: Bae Colwyn) is a coastal town in north Wales. As with much of the north Wales coast, the town has suffered with the decline in the tourist industry since in the mid-20th century. While it does not have the charm of nearby Llandudno, it hasn't declined as much as nearby Rhyl .
While "not as bad as Rhyl" may seem like a spurious fame to claim, Colwyn Bay still has many interesting locations.
A new water-sports centre is being built near the pier and is likely to attract more week-end holiday makers and 'day trippers' from Liverpool and Manchester which are both about an hour away by car. There is already a dedicated jet-ski area.
The greater Colwyn Bay area includes Old Colwyn to the east and Rhos-On-Sea at the north west end of the 3-mile (5-km) wide bay. If you are driving past is well worth taking the detour to the coast road as there is free parking next to the sea. The pier is the biggest eyesore as it's in a sad state and is closed. This is largely due to eccentric private ownership.
The beach however is sandy and relatively big when the tide is out. A nice aspect of the bay is the train line which runs along half of it and has prevented building behind the promenade, this gives a windswept feel.
Several wind farms are visible from the shore. These are not pretty to some but are hypnotic and others see them as essential to a modern landscape. (Rhyl flats, Gwent-y Mor and North Hoyle.)
Colwyn Bay is fairly well served by public transport:
- Car - Colwyn Bay is right on the main east-west road passing through north Wales, the A55.
- Rail - Colwyn Bay station is also on the main north Wales route that services Holyhead, with its links to Ireland. The station is at the bottom of the main shopping street - Station Road.
- Bus - The bus service up and down the North Wales coast is good. You can get direct buses to Rhyl, Llandudno, Conwy, etc. The current operator is arriva. Day Rover tickets are good value.
Buses run throughout the Colwyn Bay area.
- 1 The Welsh Mountain Zoo. The best attraction in Colwyn Bay, while not a large zoo, the interesting location on a hillside (not quite the 'Mountain' advertised) allows for more interesting habitats for animals. A free bus usually runs from Colwyn Bay train station. However, check the zoo's website to find out when it's running.
- 2 Eirias Park. A large, grassy park about 20 minutes walk from the town centre. As well as the park with its boating lake, there is a fairly well equipped leisure centre with indoor pool, squash and tennis courts, and a good athletics track. There is also a new skate-park on the grounds
- 3 Victoria Pier. On the promenade is the town's "Victoria Pier" which is in a sad state and in dire need of renovation.
- Theatre Colwyn. Take in a play or a musical. While small, it sometimes gets interesting productions and shows films at the end of their cinematic runs.
- The Promenade and Beach. About 3 miles long. While the beach is relatively sandy, it's not that picturesque. There is an excellent cycle track the entire length and is fun to walk when its cold and windy. Can also be used for water-sports and fishing.
- Walking - Colwyn Bay offers some good opportunities for walking - Bryn Euryn in particular offers great views over the local area and the ruins of Llys Euryn, a historical late medieval house are worth exploring. Pwllycrochan Woods in Upper Colwyn Bay is also well worth visiting.
- Station Road has a WH Smith, Boot's and independent stores. There's also a bi-weekly market on Thursdays and Saturdays, it's not that great but there's some local and freshly grown goods among the tat.
- The Bay View Shopping Centre has a Morrison's and an Iceland, but not much else of note.
- There are a few independent book and antique and second hand furniture.
- Roger Jones. an interesting auction house
There are numerous places to eat in the town. Most are independent fast food places (fish and chips, kebabs, Chinese, etc.) In addition there is:
- 1 The Coffee Corner, 38 Abergele Rd.. a traditional coffee shop.
- The Toad, West Promenade, ☏ . Small food pub on promenade that doesn't look like much from outside but the food is very good standard and has won local awards. Its worth a try though you may have to book to get the best tables.
- The Picture House (Wetherspoons), 24–26 Prince’s Drive, ☏ . Built in a former cinema, it has nice atmosphere and cheap, mostly edible food.
- Virgilio's Pizzeria & Portuguese Grill, 19 Penrhyn Rd, ☏ . Fairly good Italian food.
- The Pen-Y-Bryn, Pen-y-Bryn Road Upper Colwyn Bay, ☏ . Great, mostly traditional British food, for relatively good prices.
- The White Lion, Llanelian. just outside of Colwyn Bay in Llanelian. Traditional good pub food. Not quite as good as it's reputation, but well worth a try.
Some of the pubs in Colwyn Bays have seen better days.
Many locals steer clear of the centre at night, a more salubrious night out can be found in Old Colwyn or Rhos-On Sea.
Colwyn Bay can get rough on occasions
- Wetherspoons. usually is kept fairly trouble free.
- The Pen-Y-Bryn. In upper Colwyn Bay, it is usually a bit queiter if you prefer that kind of atmosphere. It was refitted in 2001 and has oak floors, open fires, bookcases and old furniture.
- The Picture House (near the railway station.). This Wetherspoon pub is the former Princess Cinema. Built in c1914 as the Princess Picture House.
Prior to the building on the A55, there used to be hundred of hotels and guest houses in Colwyn Bay but many have been closed and converted to other types of living accommodation. This was probably because the journey times from the main conurbations of Liverpool and Manchester was with the jams tortuous.
There are still some guest houses above the promenade towards Rhos-on-Sea and a smattering of hotels dotted around
- 1 Bryn Woodlands House, 14 Woodland Road East, ☏ . An attractive period hotel, beautifully redecorated and centrally located in a quiet and pleasant tree lined street just off the main road in Colwyn Bay. It is within 5 minutes walk of the beach.
- 2 Travelodge, 7 Victoria Ave (near the station), ☏ .
- 3 Westpoint Hotel, 102 Conway Rd, ☏ . B&B
- 4 The Ashmount, 18 College Ave, Rhos on Sea, ☏ .
- Llandudno - A Victorian seaside resort that has kept much of its charm and well worth a visit.
- Conwy - The medieval castle and walls are excellent.
- Conwy Valley - A trip up the beautiful Conwy Valley will take you to Bodnant Gardens, Betws-Y-Coed and beyond to the Snowdonia National Park.
|Routes through Colwyn Bay|
|Holyhead ← Conwy/Llandudno Junction ←||W E||→ Abergele → Manchester|