Lots of people come to Llandudno year after year in order to take in the sights, the sea, and also have a good ice cream. The Elm Tree Hotel in Llandudno is fortunate to be situated on the North Parade, which is a stone’s throw away from majestic Llandudno pier, with all of its kiosks, attractions, fun arcades and souvenir shops – and the pier in itself is a large reason why so many people come to Llandudno.
At 2,295 feet long, Llandudno pier is the longest in Wales and is a grade II listed building. Llandudno Pier boasts a deep water landing stage, which has been rebuilt three times total throughout the years.
Regular sailings of the historic MV Balmoral are a common sight on Llandudno pier, and to say that the pier in itself has been an enduringly popular attraction in Llandudno is correct. To this day it is still used to film Victorian and Edwardian dramas – as well as actually being featured on a 2013 television advert for Volkswagen!
Llandudno’s pier, when it was created, wasn’t quite as grand, glamorous, or as majestic as the pier today. When originally constructed, Llandudno pier was only 242 feet long! The pier was originally built for business, as well. The then St George’s Harbour and Railway Company constructed the pier in 1858 in order to protect the bay, and their plans to develop it into a gigantic port, from being thwarted.
The move caused much anger amongst local fishermen and sailors which opposed the coming industrialization of Llandudno Bay, and reports indicate that the pier was damaged beyond repair by the Great Charter Storm, which happened only a year after the pier’s completion in 1859.
Tragically, 223 ships and the 800 people which manned them were lost across the United Kingdom in the Great Charter Storm – some of them people that worked in Llandudno.
At this loss, St George’s Harbour and Railway Company decided to use the pier to cater to steam ships, only at high tide. Further expansion of the pier was considered a fruitless endeavor, and the company decided that was more than enough of that.
Llandudno pier was stopped from becoming an obscure and irrelevant pier by the foresight of a certain engineer, and a supporting company.
The Llandudno pier we all know and love was built for the Llandudno Pier Company by Walter McFarlane of Glasgow and was opened to the public on the 1st of August, 1877 – completed in 1891.
Further modifications to the pier took place in 1969, of the landing stage being totally rebuilt in concrete and steel – which gave Llandudno Pier its main feature and what it still does to this day – the capacity to host the landings of streamers and ships.