The promenade we recognise today was built in sections over many years, beginning around 1872 when the Colwyn Bay Hotel (now the site of Princess Court) was also being built. There followed many years of building, in 1895 plans were made for a promenade nearly a mile long from the railway station, which was officially opened on June 22nd, 1897.
The building of the Victoria Pier and Pavilion began on June 1st, 1899 and the pier opened with a concert on June 1st, 1900. By 1901 further plans were being made to extend the promenade in the directions of Old Colwyn and Rhos-on-Sea and in 1905 the promenade extension opened.
The promenade and beach is currently undergoing extensive work as part of the Waterfront Project which combines essential sea defence work and the renewal of the levels and quality of sand on the beach.
June 29th, 1953 saw the official opening of the miniature railway which ran along the seafront from the pier to the entrance to Eirias Park – for children of all ages.
Fondly remembered by many during the late 1950s and the 1960s were the rides on the Mechanical Elephant along the promenade for a few pennies a ride.
The present day picnic area near the entrance to Eirias Park used to be the site of beach chalets available during the day to further enjoy a visit to the seaside. By 1978 they cost from £6.50 for a week. Falling into disrepair, they were demolished and replaced with the picnic area.
On the road up to (or down from) the park have a look at the area on the opposite side of the road to the pavement. On July 5th, 1930 a rock garden and model yacht pond were opened.
The 1934 Official Guide to Colwyn Bay describes the rock garden: “No description of Eirias Park would be complete without a reference to the famous Rock Gardens. Here may be seen some 30,000 Alpine Plants in 1,500 varieties, labelled with their common and botanical names and the country of their origin. A series of natural cascades and rocky pools add greatly to the beauty and interest of these gardens“.
The model yacht pond with its own pavilion, thatched with Norfolk reeds, and much of the rock garden were lost when the Expressway was built. However, many of the plants described in the 1934 Guide can still be seen. A replacement model yacht pond was provided behind the Civic Offices (Glan-y-Don Hall, point 14 on this trail).
This trail is part of the Age Friendly Communities Project which is part funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Ireland and Wales Interregional Programme 2007 – 2013.