12 fab reasons to catch Arriva’s North Wales number 12!

The sun is setting on Summer but the fun goes on…

The somewhat damp, but quite often sunny, Summer of 2023 might have come to an end, but the beauty of Arriva’s bus routes in North Wales are that they tell a different story depending on the season.

Our favourite is the number 12 bus between Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno. It’s a hardy perennial and imperiously glides its way between these three fantastic North Wales coastal towns, holding a unique charm come autumn, winter or the height of the summer. The 12 is frequent too, with 5 buses every hour and a journey time of around 90 minutes.

Check out the link to the timetable below.


Here’s 12 fab reasons to get on board, the number 12, which is part of the Great Scenic Journeys collection…

12/. The number 12 runs every 12 minutes.

11/.  Rhyl is the archetypical UK coastal town with a mix of nostalgia and fun, such as the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre with its comedy shows, concerts and musicals, as well as its expansive sandy  beach overlooked by a charming promenade and amusement arcades.

10/.  The Welsh Mountain Zoo is located near the number 12 in Colwyn Bay and showcases a diverse array of wildlife.

9/.    Eirias Park is a pleasant place to catch up on a bit of peace and quiet and has lovely lush gardens, a boating lake and sports facilities with beautiful views of the Irish Sea.

8/.   The Victorian and Edwardian architecture in Llandudno is something else! It feels like stepping back to a halcyon, bygone era and the pastel coloured buildings, in particular, embody everything that is quintessentially great about seaside towns!

7/.    You’ll be in 7th heaven travelling over the hills and back down again. The view as the bus climbs a steep terrain exiting Llandudno and down into Colwyn Bay is unforgettable – sea on  the left, mountains to the right.

6/.    The bus passes Abergele Gwrych Castle which is where ‘I’m a Celebrity’ was filmed instead of Australia, during Covid!

5/.    Llandudno Pier is the fifth longest in the UK and the longest in Wales. In 2005, it was voted ‘Pier of the Year’ by members of the National Piers Society.


4/.   Four course meals are a real treat at the many restaurants of which Colwyn Bay is renowned. Abergele Road is the place to be but there are smaller eateries in the small alleys around the town or right by the promenade. Fish and Chips in Llandudno too is not to be missed either!

3/.   A triple century was scored by Glamorgan’s Steve James at Colwyn Bay v Sussex in 2000. The first time it had ever been achieved by a Glamorgan player. The bus stops a 5 minute walk  from the lovely cricket ground.

2/.   There are two lovely heritage railways on this route – the Rhyl Miniature Railway, one of the oldest of its kind and the Great Orme Tramway in Llandudno which climbs the towering   limestone headland, offering stunning panoramic views of the town, sea, and surrounding landscapes. Customers can take a tramway or hike to the summit, where they’ll discover ancient mines, a captivating visitor centre, and the iconic lighthouse. The Great Orme also hosts a diverse array of wildlife, adding to the appeal of the natural setting and on a clear day, you can spot Blackpool Tower, The Lake District and the Isle of Man!

1/.  Number 1 for Customer Service. This route achieved Premium Customer Service rating in the recent Great Scenic Journeys accreditation survey using its team of mystery shoppers.


A Premium Journey marked 5 stars for Great Scenic Journeys in the shape of a circular award


To find out more about this fab route and some inspiration for a day out, go onto 12 Rhyl – Llandudno – Great Scenic Journeys