Catch the COLOUR
IT IS a sight that has become one of the most quintessential autumn views in Wales.
And you can only catch it for a few weeks each year.
Tu Hwnt i’r Bont, a 400-year-old former courthouse nestled beside the 15th-century bridge in Llanrwst, becomes a popular tourist attraction at this time of year not only for its idyllic setting, but because of its unusual transoformation.
The traditional Welsh tearooms, which is known to serve a sacred scone recipe, is clad in Virginia Creeper, a five-leaved ivy.
It is dark green in colour throughout the spring and summer months, but as the autumn creeps in, the leaves quickly change from green to red.
And, at this time of the year, the little old tearoom, perched across the River Conwy, gets wrapped in a blanket of blazing red leaves starting from the roof all the way down to the floor.
But, if you want to catch sight of this hidden gem, you will need to be fast because, this year, it has bloomed much earlier than expected.
Normally, you can see the leaves beginning to change their colour at the end of September but this year, the Virginia Creeper peaked a little early.
Tim Maddox who runs the cafe, said: “Although it has just past its peak, it is still very red now so if you want to pop down with your camera, I’d get a move on and come quickly.”
If you want to see the Virginia Creeper at its best, you should visit the café within the next couple of weeks.
There is normally a period of around five weeks from the day the leaves begin turning red until the day they begin to drop off.
The leaves hold such a strong colour due to the minerals in the soil, which come from being so close to the Conwy river bed.
It is very unusual for Virginia Creeper to turn such a robust red, making Tu Hwnt i’r Bont a famous tourist attraction.
Built in 1480, Tu Hwnt i’r Bont (beyond the bridge in English) is considerably older than the Inigo Jones bridge it stands beside.
Shortly after it was built, it was used as the Courthouse.
It was from here where the most serious offenders would have been taken to Tan y Craig, in Llanrwst, where they could be hanged. outside the gaol.
This curious swan took a break from admiring the creeping colourful leaves in Llanrwst