Co-op – on the drive up to the house you will have noticed a new Co-op store. It isn’t huge but has all the essentials, sometimes at a high price, sometimes a bargain. It is open 7 days a week until 10:00pm.
There is a smaller Nisa shop nearby, opposite the school, which also houses the post office. The nearest post box is on Nant-y-felin Road. It is in the side wall of the house 3 doors up, before Pandy Bridge. Last collections are at 9:00am, 7:00am on Saturdays. The post box outside the Post Office has a 5:00pm collection, 11:30am on Saturdays. Note that the Co-op is an Amazon Prime delivery hub.
For other food and drink shopping, there is a Tesco and a large Lidl in Llandudno Junction, about 15 minutes East on the A55. There is a 24 hour Tesco Superstore, an Asda, a Morrisons, an Aldi and a Lidl in Bangor, about 15 minutes West on the A55. The Asda has the lowest price petrol in the area. Bangor also has an M&S Foodhall, and just a hop across the Menai Bridge (the old one) will reveal the only Waitrose in this neck of the woods. You will find more supermarkets in Llandudno itself, and Colwyn Bay, both about 30 minutes away.
Llandudno and Bangor also have a full range of big chain stores between them. But did you come here to visit stores with the same stock as you have back home? No! There are lots of smaller independent traders in the towns and villages of North Wales, selling often unique items made locally – seek them out.
There are so many fascinating shops to spend your money in, I can’t list them all. My favourite so far though is the Bodnant Gardens Garden Centre. Parking is free – you need to pay to enter the Gardens (National Trust) but the garden centre is free and they sell the plants they actually use in the Gardens. There is also the Treborth Garden Centre in Bangor – not as pretty but in a time warp, no bar codes or other fancy stuff, and seems to sell virtually everything and anything. I swear some of the price stickers are in shillings and old pence. Mixed reviews on the cafe though. The plants in our garden are a mix from both places.
Eating and Drinking
We have a Chinese takeaway in Llanfairfechan – but we prefer the one in Penmaenmawr if you understand what I mean. There is a fish and chip shop which is OK. There is an Indian takeaway that is superb. If you’re out in Conwy, the fish and chips are highly recommended by the locals, hence the queues, which can be long. Stella’s in Penmaenmawr is also highly rated. All the chippies seem to keep short hours, and the other takeaways tend to close around 10:00 pm. There is also an independent butchers on Station Road in Llanfairfechan that do excellent pies and pasties. Not cheap but you get what you pay for.
For pubs you currently have a choice. The Virginia Inn on Mill Road, the closest to us and welcoming to all. The Village Inn (currently closed) in the town centre is popular with locals and has a retro feel. The Penybryn on Pentre Uchaf is a steep climb but has great views from the back garden. Our local pubs don’t serve food though.
The Slate at Tal-y-bont is about a 10 minute drive towards Bangor and also serves great food and decent portions, though the desserts can be quite small. The decor is contemporary and tasteful. If you don’t want to drive, there’s a 5 or X5 bus every 15 minutes from the town centre, hourly on Sundays. The stop is Tal-y-bont nr Castell Penrhyn. Conwy Marina hosts The Mulberry – pretty standard chain with reasonable food but the magic is in the location. Conwy town itself also has a number of quaint pubs though parking can be more difficult (and charged for). You may find you have to pre-book in some of these locations particularly at weekends and during peak holiday periods.
There are a couple of cafes down by the beach, and a couple more in the town centre. However, Cafe Hen felin in neighbouring Abergwyngregyn has very high reviews. There is a wide choice of restaurants in nearby Conwy, about 10 minutes away, and lots of others in the area, too many to mention so check out TripAdvisor for suggestions. The Fairy Glen pub and restaurant in nearby Dwygyfylchi is very well regarded, although parking can be a bit difficult around there and I’m always a bit wary of recommending places that I can’t pronounce and that’s one easier to write than to say. F’s are v’s and ch is ck… A short drive, or a long walk along the beach and nature reserve, brings you to the Aber Falls Distillery where they currently have a limited menu at the on-site bistro but have an expansion plan.
It’s a personal choice as I know some don’t like pub chain food. However there is a Stockport-based chain Robinsons, who have quite a number of pubs in this part of North Wales and I can honestly say I’ve not had a bad meal in any of them. Also the Manchester-based JW Lees Brewery have 4 sites in the area including the Anglesey Arms in Menai Bridge and the Groes Inn in Conwy (the oldest licensed pub in Wales) – always excellent food in my opinion. They also do doggy boxes for the excess food you won’t be able to manage.
Driving on some local roads can be a bit scary. Many local lanes are barely wide enough for a car. Keep an eye out for the passing places and be prepared to reverse if you meet a vehicle coming the other way. Better still, if your sat nav tries to send you down a narrow road with no A or B number, probably best to ignore it and let it re-route you. That said, there is no other route to the Aber Falls Car Parks, and some other attractions. We have a train station, a request stop on limited services. Change at Llandudno Junction for national services. But you’re better off on a No.5 or X5 bus, every 15 minutes, hourly on Sunday. This takes you to Bangor in one direction, Llandudno via Conwy in the other.