Adventures around Colwyn Baywith PlusBus
Victorian visitors flocked to the seaside resort of Colwyn Bay for its long, golden sandy beach and stroll-able promenade. Add a PlusBus ticket when you arrive by train and you can visit a mountain zoo, a nature reserve and a seafront bistro run by celebrity chef Bryn Williams. A PlusBus ticket also covers Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay's neighbouring town, where you can find Britain's smallest chapel and other interesting buildings.
1. Britain's smallest chapel
With room for just six chairs, St Trillo’s chapel in Rhos on Sea is probably the UK’s smallest church. St Trillo was a sixth-century Celtic saint who lived here in a simple cell near an ancient spring on what would then have been a marshy area on an island between two rivers.
- How do I get to St Trillo’s Chapel by bus? Come out of Colwyn Bay railway station, cross to the little clocktower and walk straight ahead along Station Road for a couple of minutes. Turn left at the end on Abergele Road for another minute or so to the bus stop outside St Paul’s church (you can’t miss it).
- Hop on board bus 12. It runs along the North Wales coast from Rhyl to Llandudno every 12 minutes and is a great way to explore the sights of Colwyn Bay and visit Rhos on Sea. Get off at the Cayley Arms stop, outside the Cayley Flyer and walk along the coast, for another five minutes or so, with the sea on your right.
- The chapel is open every day and free to visit. Under the altar is a natural spring, which is thought to have been an ancient holy well
- You can download a self-guided heritage walk around Rhos or simply stroll five minutes along the beach to visit St Trillo’s Chapel. Also nearby is the fabulous Bryn Euryn nature reserve with orchids, cowslips and views across the whole area.
- Buy a train ticket to Colwyn Bay and you can add PlusBus for unlimited bus travel all day across the area to visit this and other local sights.
2. Welsh Mountain Zoo
In the wooded hills above Colwyn Bay, bears, tigers and snow leopards prowl through the trees. The oldest zoo in Wales houses 80 different species of primates, big cats, reptiles and lots more from meerkats to sea lions. All of them are spread across 37 acres of beautiful green hillside with trees and flowers, cuddly farm animals and aviaries full of birds. The Welsh Mountain Zoo is a great place for a day out with lovely gardens and woods to walk through, lots to see and a cafe with a view.
- How do I get to the Welsh Mountain Zoo by bus? Bus 12 gets closest. The friendly team at the zoo suggest that you get a taxi from there as the roads are a bit narrow and without pavements, but it is possible to walk if you are careful. Get off at West End, walk a few steps further and turn left along Kings Road. Continue along winding Kings Drive. Turn right into Old Highway and keep going, over the crossroads, until you reach the zoo’s entrance on your right. The whole walk takes around 15 minutes.
- Pwllycrochan Woods Back at the crossroads near the entrance to the zoo, are beautiful Pwllycrochan Woods, full of stately beech, sessile oak and sweet chestnut trees with holly, pines, laurels and other evergreens. In spring there are wood anemones and other flowers; in autumn, there’s a blaze of colour.