Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wales, England

My parents have a Summer place in Wales. It's in the Northern part of Wales and the scenery is stunning. It's a very popular Summer vacation destination.

When staying in Wales, we have breakfast and decide where we're going that day. This is nearly always based on which town has it's open air market that day. The markets are bustling affairs that include Farmer's Markets, along with bric-a-brac, vintage pieces, some must have gadget (that will invariably break the minute it gets home), toys, things for your car... you name it - they sell it! My favourite stalls, of course, sell home decor items - such as drapery, bedding, buttons, cushions, pillows, etc. I always leave with something.

As well as the markets, there are some excellent shops in the surrounding towns and villages. I've come upon tiny antique shops hidden away and vintage, dusty old book shops full to the brim of gorgeous books, begging to be bought! There's also quite a few second-hand stores which are packed with hidden treasures.

Here's a little history on some of my favourite places nearby.


Llandudno, Queen of the Welsh Resorts, a title first implied as early as 1864 is now the largest seaside resort in Wales, and lies on a flat land between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme peninsula. For most of the distance on Llandudno's North Shore there is a wide curving Victorian promenade separated from the roadway by a strip of garden. The road, collectively known as The Parade, has a different name for each block and it is on these parades and crescents that many of Llandudno's hotels are built. The architecture is truly amazing:

The town's award winning pier is on the North Shore; it was built in 1878, and is 1,234 feet (376 m) in length and a Grade II listed building. Attractions on the pier include a bar, a cafe, amusement arcades and children's fairground rides. There is also a range of shops, including Victorian kiosks selling photographic prints of the local area, crafts, herbal remedies and souvenirs. In the summer, a very old English tradition takes place - Professor Codman's Punch and Judy show - it's a kind of puppet show (established in 1860) can be found on the promenade near the entrance to the Pier:


Conwy (formerly Conway in English) is a town on the north coast of Wales, which faces Deganwy across the River Conwy. Conwy Castle and the town walls were built on the instructions of Edward I between 1283 and 1289, as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales.

The smallest house in Great Britain can be found on the quay. It is in the Guiness Book of Records with dimensions of 3.05 metres x 1.8 metres. It was lived in since the 1500s (it was even inhabited by a family at one point) and lived in until 1900 when the owner a (6ft fisherman – Robert Jones) was forced to move out on the grounds of hygiene. The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully. The house is still owned by his descendants today:

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