Ever since we moved to North Wales my husband and I have enjoyed driving along Marine Drive, around the Great Orme in Llandudno. This year, though, we’ve decided that walking it is even better.
We start by driving into Llandudno and parking somewhere near the Great Orme. There are a couple large car parks on Gloddaeth Street that are convenient, but there’s plenty of street parking elsewhere. (There tends to be a lot of parking near the end of Marine Drive on the west side of Llandudno, by West Shore Beach, but we usually park on the other side so we end our walk with a treat at Providero on Mostyn Street!)
On our latest walk, we started on the east side of the Great Orme, walking up the hill past Llandudno Pier:
We had stopped to pick up sandwiches and crisps for lunch, so we headed up to the Happy Valley park to sit and eat. A word of warning: the seagulls there are obviously used to getting food from tourists, and they are quite bold! But we kept them at bay and finished our lunch.
I hadn’t ever actually seen that park up close before, and I noticed the stone circle just up the hill from where we were sitting. It turns out they are Gorsedd stones, a bardic circle placed in 1963 when Llandudno hosted the National Eisteddfod. (I’m really interested in attending an Eisteddfod, but I feel like I should wait until I’ve learned more Welsh!)
From there we headed back down to Marine Drive and really started our walk. There were climbers out in force, taking advantage of the nice day and beautiful cliffs:
Looking backwards, I could still see the pier and the Little Orme past it:
Soon enough, though, we rounded the bend and started along the north end of the Great Orme. I always feel like I’m at the edge of the world there, with cliffs on one side and the Irish Sea sprawling on the other side.
This time, we happened to see a newborn seal lying on the rocks below us, with its parents floating just beyond the edge of the beach. (We stood and watched for a while — it wasn’t until we walked a bit farther that we saw a sign asking people to move along quickly, to avoid disturbing the pup’s mother.) It was a beautiful sight to see!
Later, we came up to the flat area around the former lighthouse (now a B&B) and I encountered the Kashmiri Goats who live around the Great Orme.
There were just a couple, and they didn’t stick around for long. On a previous walk, we encountered a huge group of them feeding on the gorse bushes away from the cliffs — they let us get a good look at them that time:
In any case, soon enough we were rounding the west side of the Great Orme and our walk was nearing an end. The clouds were gathering, and as we headed down the hill back toward the town I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking through:
The whole walk was about two leisurely hours, and well worth it for a nice weekend afternoon.