- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit the Great Orme
In a nutshell. Llandudno’s mini-mountain, rich in natural and man-made history.
You really can’t miss it.
There it is, at the end of the prom, dwarfing even Wales’s longest pier.
The Great Orme headland is a massive chunk of limestone rising 207m/679ft straight out of the sea.
Little wonder that its name, given by the Vikings, means ‘sea monster’.
It may be big and bold, but it’s a friendly kind of place too, a long-standing Llandudno favourite along with Punch and Judy and donkeys on the beach.
Hop on the cable car or the Great Orme tramway and you’re soon at the top (you can walk or drive too), where you’ll find a Visitor Centre (closed in winter).
It’s your best starting point for exploring the fascinating geology, archaeology, wildlife and history of this spectacular headland, thought to be over 350 million years old.
The Great Orme’s special importance is reflected in its designation as a Country Park, Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest and Heritage Coast.
Its different habitats, ranging from rich heathlands to sheer sea cliffs, limestone grassland to woodland, support a wide variety of plants and wildlife.
Some species are very rare – choughs, for example – while others, like the silver-studded blue butterfly, are unique to the Great Orme.
You should have no problem in spotting its most famous residents, the wild Kashmir goats with their shaggy white coats and fearsome horns.
Follow the nature trail from the Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre, which has stopping-off points that interpret the Orme’s intriguing story.
And also visit the unique Great Orme Ancient Mine, the world’s largest Bronze Age mine.
And the quickest way back down to sea level?
Ski, snowboard, sno-tube or toboggan from the Llandudno Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre (no snow needed).