Donkeys at Colwyn Bay

Last year, the severe weather took its toll on the coastal area around Colwyn Bay in North Wales. This popular holiday seaside destination needs to shore up its coastal protection so it has announced a £8 million improvement project to safeguard homes and the prom. New defenses will also provide a breakwater and a new beach for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. Apparently, the old coastal defenses are over 100 years old so some improvements are justified. This week, the plans will be available for the public to see, consider and comment on.

The opportunity to have a new beach and create a tourist attraction doesn’t come up very often so the comment by a local councilor, Mike Priestly, as reported by the BBC that it would be great to see donkeys on the beach as well as at Llandudno seems a little short on creative thinking. What Colwyn Bay wants is something not freely available on the North Wales coastline; – something so different that it would attract visitors from far and wide. I’m not saying that donkeys may not be welcome but if they are available only a few miles away, to have them so close might affect visitor numbers at both towns. After all, if the kids have ridden them on one beach will they want to go to another beach and do the same thing? Destinations should compete for our business not copy each other.

There is a slight fly in the ointment in that the borough council still needs to get the money from the Welsh Assembly. On the assumption that it can get it what could Colwyn Bay introduce on its beach to make it stand out from the crowd. Like Littlehampton which has a developed the postcard and marriage proposal bench and a line in modern beach architecture. How about, for example, the North Wales coastline complete with castles and bridges all made from sand but in miniature for people to visit and then a sand area for kids to construct their own hillforts, castles and engineering feats? How about an annual competition during one of the school holidays with a prize that the winning construction will be added to the miniature coastline exhibit? Throw in a week’s holiday for the winning child’s family for the next year and you can have two bits of news coverage for the price of one. Does Colwyn Bay have a twin town? It doesn’t look like it but if it did it could create a week-long celebration of that twin complete with regional food and entertainment. And if it doesn’t, what about a competition amongst residents and North Walians to find one. Held on the new beach!
These ideas may not work but some adventurous rather than donkey thinking might attract more of us to visit Colwyn Bay, not just in the summer but throughout the year.

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