Llanrwst sits in the beautiful Conwy Valley in Conwy County, North Wales. The busy little town sits on the east bank of the River Conwy. It is no longer the only bridging point of the river, yet it still wears an air of importance as the market town for the Conwy Valley.
Pont Fawr: Pont Fawr the steep and elegant stone bridge reputedly designed by Inigo Jones, is the town's focal point. The 16th century Bridge is so narrow as to allow single file traffic only, thus causing many an intense argument at the top of the bridge and bringing a new meaning to the words "cross” over the bridge. Inigo Jones designed another of Llanrwst's memorable buildings the 17th century Gwydir Chapel in the grounds of St Grwst's Church.
Ty Hwnt i'r Bont: On the west bank of the Conwy, and adjacent to Pont Fawr, is probably the most photographed building in Llanrwst, if not North Wales. Ty Hwnt i'r Bont, a 15th century cottage, once a courthouse, and now a tea-room owned by the National Trust. Many travel from miles around to enjoy a cream tea at Ty Hwnt i'r Bont, or to enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Conwy while feeding the ducks.
The west bank of the Conwy is home to the Llanrwst sports fields, which when nature chooses become Llanrwst's water-sports fields as the Conwy can flood at the blink of Mother Nature's eye.
Llanrwst Church: St Grwst's sits on the riverbank close to the town square and unbeknown to many passers-by holds, within the Gwydir Chapel, one of Wales' most important historic artefacts …the massive stone sarcophagus of Llywelyn the Great. The Chapel was built for the powerful Wynne family, whose home was across the river at Gwydir Castle. Magnificent portrait brasses and an effigy of a knight in armour accompany the old cold empty coffin. (To find the chapel: Exit the town square at the south west corner, follow the narrow lane past the Llanrwst Almshouses to the church yard.)
Castles and Forts
Gwydir Castle: Still on the west bank but wisely set further back from the river stands Gwydir Castle, for centuries the seat of the aforesaid influential Wynne family. The house has a fine sequence of Tudor rooms, though much of the house was rebuilt in the 19th century. The current owners are undertaking an extensive programme to restore Gwydir Castle to its former glory, and have obtained the panelling from the Dining Room which left Gwydir in the 1920's and was discovered in store in a museum in New York City.
The town square, Ancaster Square, offers a variety of shops, cafes, and al-fresco refreshments. As with all market towns, Llanrwst has it's fair share of pubs. Many are ancient coaching inns, and a fair number retain both their character and the Welsh language, more especially when the farmers descend on the town on the beast market days.
Accommodation and Services
Accommodation can be found in a small number of hotels within the town and a number of holiday cottages, again either in the town or more likely in the smaller villages of the Conwy Valley or on the hillsides surrounding the old town of Llanrwst.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
There is no shortage of walks in Llanrwst and the Conwy Valley. Indeed, we include the details of several Conwy Valley walks in the “walks” section of the Walesdirectory.co.uk. These include easy walks along the river banks and more energetic walks up hill and down dale, visiting the historic old churches on the hillsides, including Llanrychwyn Church and Llangelynin Church. On the other hand, you might prefer the walks over the hills and not so very far away to the lakes of Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionydd.