LLANDUDNO - GREAT ORME WALK
3 hours, Distance 6 miles / 9 km
Panoramic views without the need to climb a mountain ; estuary views ; cliff views ; victorian pier ; alice in wonderland ; punch and judy show.
Rating : This is an easy/moderate walk depending on which route we take. The walk includes a few steep sections. The walk is suitable for families with relatively fit children.
To start the walk we enter the pier at the main entrance and enjoy the short walk along this magnificent Victorian pier, walk past the amusement arcades, the Grand Hotel and the kiddies fairground. At this point we exit the pier at the half way stage, leaving via the Happy Valley gateway. At this point we can choose to walk through the happy valley and the ski slope route, or along the one way great orme road.
The Marine Drive is a metalled road with pavements so walking boots are not required, a good pair of trainers are adequate. The road climbs gradually but persistently to the first headland, Pen-trwyn. This section of the Orme is popular with rock climbers and the road affords a good view of their efforts.
At the headland the road bears left and continues slightly downhill before levelling off and then rising steeply to the high point of the walk at Pen-y-gogarth. There are fantastic views of the limestone cliffs along this section, and if you have the time and the inclination you may add to the route by branching off left up another hill to the old church of St Tudno’s. which offers a beautiful setting for those laid to rest.
Back to the route and you will pass the entrance to the now defunct lighthouse on the edge of the cliff face, and after a further climb you may “rest and be thankful” that you have reached the top of the hill by taking refreshments at the cafe of the same name.
From here it’s all down hill, and the scenery changes to afford views of the Isle of Anglesey, the estuary of the Conwy River, and the north west Wales coastline with the hills of Snowdonia as a glorious backdrop.
As you descend the hill the ancient walled town and medieval Castle of Conwy come into view as do the modern marinas of Deganwy and Conwy, and the beautiful Conwy valley.
Now viewing gogarth and its old gun and cannon turrets we pass “millionaire’s row”, an expensive group of houses on the lower slopes of the Great Orme, we arrive at Llandudno’s west shore beach and the shoreline of the River Conwy estuary. Keep your eyes open for the Gogarth Abbey hotel. This was the original summer home for Alice Liddel, who was the inspiration for ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and where she spent many childhood holidays.
From the open bay of west shore beach, we take the path up along butterfly garden with views overlooking all of llandudno and its north shore bay.
Refreshments are available in local cafes or what about an ice cream and a deck chair to watch Professor Codman’s original Punch and Judy on the promenade?