|Date||9 November 2014|
North Shore Beach
Llandudno is the largest seaside resort in Wales and has a population of 20,000. Its population in the mid 19th century was only 1,000, but the town expanded as Lord Mostyn developed it as a Victorian resort from 1848 onwards. This was around the time that the Chester and Holyhead Railway opened, which came close to the town. A branch line into Llandudno opened in 1858.
The Baths Hotel was built next to a bath house near the pier in the 1870s. The hotel and bath house complex was rebuilt and opened as the Grand Hotel in 1902. It was owned in the 1980s and 90s by Butlins and the 162-bedroom, 3-star establishment is currently owned by Britannia Hotels.
Llandudno Pier Pavilion Theatre was a grand iron-and-glass structure built by the Llandudno Pier Company between 1881 and 1886. It initially had a swimming pool on the lower floor with a 2000-seat auditorium on the upper level. However, problems with the pool led to its closure soon afterwards. The auditorium, on the other hand, became a prestige venue for concerts and then variety shows and also political conferences. But is popularity declined during the 1980s and it closed in 1984. The basement of the building was then home until 1990 to a waxworks exhibition. The building thereafter fell into disrepair and was destroyed by a fire in 1994. The site of the former pavilion has been branded as an eyesore and the county council has been keen for the plot to be sympathetically redeveloped. No agreement has, however, so far been reached with its owner, a Worcester-based businessman.
In 1887 Lord Mostyn donated a former quarry on the lower slopes of the Great Orme to the town of Llandudno in celebration of Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. This was landscaped and developed as Happy Valley, an ornamental garden open to the public featuring various attractions, including lawns, miniature golf courses and an open-air theatre. The theatre closed in 1985 and in 1987 a 300m dry ski slope was created on the site of the golf courses. Happy Valley is also the location of the lower terminus of the Great Orme cable car, installed in 1969, and a stone circle in the gardens was used in the Welsh National Eisteddfod in 1896 and 1963.