Alice in Wonderland Welsh Connection – Llandudno
‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is a fictional novel published in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, using the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.
Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the ‘Alice’ character in the books, stayed in Llandudno in 1861. At that time, she was just eight years old, and during her stay with her family Charles Lutwidge Dodson (Lewis Carroll) came to visit the family and this is when the visions of Alice’s stories were noted by Lewis Carol, who went on to write the novel.
Six years later (1871), Lewis Carol went on to write a sequel, titled ‘Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There’.
Alice Liddell’s father was the dean of Christ Church, Oxford and his new bride honeymooned in Llandudno, and after several other family holidays, they decided to build a family home on the West Shore; it was named Penmorfa. Alice spent the summers of her childhood here until the house was sold in August 1872. It became a well-known hotel on the West Shore – the Gogarth Abbey Hotel, and in recent times, after a period of laying empty, the building was demolished in 2008.
Llandudno has always been very proud of its ‘Alice Connection’. In 1933 the Rt. Hon. David Lloyd George, the former Prime Minister and MP for Caernarfon visited Llandudno to unveil the famous “White Rabbit” memorial. This wonderful carved marble sculpture is situated at the end of the West Shore model boating lake.
There are a series of character sculptures carved in oak spread throughout Llandudno.
Alice Court Guest House is located between the main town beach and the West Shore, exactly half way between the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat Statues.
Alice herself is located opposite the railway station and nearby in North Western Gardens, you will find the Rabbit and on the promenade you can find the Mad Hatter.
The Alice Trail
There is also an ‘Alice Trail’ at Happy Valley on the slopes of The Great Orme.
Sculptor Reece Ingram created the Alice Trail through the pine woods along the edges of the grassy park area.
The sculptures in oak denote different aspects and characters from the Alice in Wonderland stories; Down The Rabbit Hole, A Mad Tea Party, King & Queen of Hearts, Rabbit’s Gloves and Fan, The 15th Door, Eat Me Cake and The Rabbit sends on a Little Bill.
The Alice in Wonderland town trail, map and souvenir guide is available for purchase from the Tourist Information Centre. You can explore Llandudno, whilst discovering the connections of Alice Liddell (the real Alice in Wonderland). Starting at the Tourist Information Centre and using the map as your guide, you can follow 55 bronze cast Rabbit footprints around the trail.