One post will do lizz1. You dont increase your chances of getting some answers by posting it 3 times !
Just to let you know, the triple post was due to Tripadvisor stating there was a problem with my post so I "submitted" it as requested. Tried to find a way to delete 2 of the posts without success. One would have to be pretty thick to think posting 3 times would increase chances of an answer, but thanks for your input.
I would definitely suggest you consider renting a car so you can explore the quiet roads of Wales and the fabulous scenery, but if you are unpersuaded, then yes, it can be done without a car. If you prefer to travel by public transport, which has it's limitations (less frequent services) in rural south Wales, then why not indeed. It will be a very different kind of holiday, but a holiday none-the-less. More planning will be required though due to public transport timetabling in this quieter region.
Check out the website below which is a great resource for those wishing to travel by bus/train/ferry aka public transport.
How good to hear from a visitor who doesn't want to drive.
Yes public transport can be a nightmare in some parts of Wales but the railway line from Llandudno to Betws y Coed continues to Blaenau Ffestiniog, plenty of opportunities for walking and sightseeing en route and you can always go back up to Llandudno and further west to Bangor and Anglesey.
Someone with better local knowledge than me can fill you in with more details or the local tourist office.
I would have thought Betws y Coed an excellent choice
For public transport and walking Betwys y Coed is a good base as there are so many walks you can do in the area. For starters a quick google search has thrown up these:
Also have a look here for ideas.
The Conwy valley rail line gives you access to Llanrwst for more walks.
For sightseeing you can catch the train to Llandudno Junction for Conwy (medieval walled town with ruined castle) and a walk up Conwy Mountain.
Or the Victorian sea side town of Llandudno. Get the tramway to the top of the Great Orme for more walks.
You can also get a bus from here for Caernarfon, another walled medieval town with ruined castle.
Alternatively get the train to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Llechwedd Slate Caverns are worth visiting.
You can also catch the Ffestiniog Railway from Blaenau. This is a preserved narrow gauge steam railway which used to take slate from Blaenau down the the sea at Portmadog.
Get off at Tanygrisiau for a lovely walk along the railway to Ddualt or up into the hills for Stwylan Dam or Cwmorthin Slate quarries....
Alternatively get off at Tan y Grisiau and drop down the nature trail to Llyn Mair and walks in the woods.
If you are wanting to do serious walking it would make sense to buy a copy of Ordnance Survey Explorer Map scale 1:25000.This is possibly the best one, although Betwys y Coed is right at the bottom. you will be able to buy copies of the maps once you arrive in Betwys y Coed.
<< just to let you know, the triple post was due to Tripadvisor stating there was a problem with my post ........>>
Then please accept my humble apologies. North Wales is an excellent choice by the way. Im afraid I cant offer any useful public transport information because I have only toured it by car, but the scenery alone is worth the visit.
The train journey from Manchester Airport to Llandudno is straightforward. You would have to make one change at Manchester Piccadilly Station, there's a direct train every hour to Llandudno Junction from there and if you booked well in advance you can get Advance Tickets for £12.00.
The Station at the airport is close to the three terminals and is reached via covered travelators.
As a matter of interest, you can delete your surplus posts by clicking the "report inappropriate posts" link and the "remove my post" link, in the drop-down menu.
Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments and advice...really very much appreciated and useful.
There has been a once a day direct train link started from Man Airport to Llandudno but think it is a ridiculous time in one direction but can't remember which (i.e. 5am!)
Another good base would be the medieval town of Conwy. Man Airport to Llandudno Junction then a 2 minute taxi ride (taxi office on site). Conwy has a small railway station which runs through to the beautiful Island of Anglesey and up to Snowdonia. There are excellent bus links also (look out for the Sherpa buses which drop you off in Snowdonia).
We traveled to N. Wales last summer from London (by train), then traveled around the area using public transport the whole way. We stayed in Llandudno, but weren't looking to do the walking that you are. Betws-y-Coed is a good base for "that sort of thing'!
Definitely make sure you take the Sherpa bus from Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis, through the Llanberis Pass, as the scenery is beautiful. You change buses at the top of the Pass, and there are several pathways up to Snowdonia, if you wish to hike (one pathway is a rather difficult one).
Other areas we enjoyed were Llandudno (plenty to do there), Conwy, and Beaumaris castle. N. Wales is really a beautiful place, and I'd have liked more than a week to spend there!