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Betws-y-Coed History!

Until the 19th century Betws-y-Coed had little history to boast about apart from evidence of lead mining and the founding of a monastic cell in the fifth century. The 19th century brought an improvement in the roads that brought the full brunt of industrial improvement with it. In 1815 Telford completed the graceful cast-iron Waterloo Bridge as part of the A5 construction, embellished with all four national emblems, of what was then, the newly formed United Kingdom. The new road brought an influx of visitors including landscape painters David Cox and JMW Turner. Once their stunning paintings of the area got out the area became popular with the travelling classes. The arrival of the train in 1868 really opened the town up to mass tourism which has unfortunately waned from its Victorian peak.

Betws-y-Coed is still a popular destination for day, weekend or longer visits as it s easy to reach from the A5 in North Wales attracting people from all over the North West in particular. It acts as a good base for exploring the northern mountain ranges - the Carneddau and Glyders. It's an attractive town dominated by the River Conwy where it meets its three tributaries flowing from the west, the Llugwy, the Lledr and the Machno.

The town has lately specialised in catering for the outdoor market which has spawned plenty of outdoor clothing shops competing for your custom - often with sales or selling-off end-of-season lines. Betws is also the main accommodation centre for hotel and bed & breakfast accommodation concentrated along the main street and up into the hills. Many are characteristically faced in local chunky stone and slate giving Betws-y-Coed a characteristic look that can at first appear gloomy in the rain, but actually gives the buildings quite a grand appearance. There are cafes and restaurants lining the main road through the town offering anything from fish and chips through to traditional welsh tearooms and hotel restaurants.Around the town is fantastic motorbiking country - windy roads and scenic views - groups of bikers often park-up here at weekends and there are biker friendly B&Bs within Betws-y-Coed. As this is a main centre for Snowdonia National Park it can get very busy in peak season making it advisable to book accommodation and restaurants in advance.