Llundudno beach at sundown with the Great Orme

Great Orme

Top choice in Llandudno

From sea level it's difficult to gauge the sheer scale of the limestone chunk known as the Great Orme (Y Gogarth), yet it's 2 miles in circumference and 207m in height. Named after a Norse word for 'worm' or 'sea serpent', this gentle giant looms benevolently over Llandudno. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the headland is home to a cornucopia of flowers, endemic butterflies and sea birds, and a herd of around 150 wild Kashmir mountain goats.

Three waymarked trails (of which the Haulfre Gardens Trail is the easiest to negotiate) lead to the summit; at various points you can find a neolithic burial chamber, a Bronze Age mine, the remains of an Iron Age fort, and an ancient church dedicated to Llandudno's namesake, St Tudno. At the summit there's a cafe, a bar, a gift shop, minigolf and other amusements, and the Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre, which has lots of fascinating displays, including a 15-minute video. Views – across the Irish Sea and its fertile wind farms in one direction, overlooking Llandudno towards Snowdonia in the other – are stunning.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Llandudno attractions

1. Great Orme Summit Complex

0.51 MILES

The summit complex isn't the most aesthetically sensitive addition to the Great Orme landscape, but it has picnic tables, a cafe and a gift shop.

2. Great Orme Bronze Age Mines

0.56 MILES

Sitting unobtrusively near the top of the Great Orme is the largest prehistoric mine ever discovered. Nearly paved over for a car park, this site of…

3. West Shore

1.05 MILES

When the main beach gets too frantic, go west to this considerably less built-up Blue Flag beach on Conwy Bay. The views over Anglesey and the mountains…

4. Great Orme Tramway

1.08 MILES

Head to the top of the Great Orme without breaking a sweat in an original 1902 tramcar. It's one of only three cable-operated trams in the world (the…

5. Llandudno Cable Car

1.28 MILES

Britain's longest cable car runs a mile from the Happy Valley Gardens above the pier and, if it's not too windy, whisks passengers up to the summit of the…

6. Marine Drive


Starting by the pier, this one-way, 4-mile narrow road loops anticlockwise around the Great Orme, with immense sea vistas opening up on your right-hand…

7. Llandudno Pier

1.38 MILES

A trip to Llandudno isn’t complete until you’ve strolled along the Victorian pier, eating ice cream and shooing away seagulls. At 670m, it's Wales'…

8. Llandudno Promenade

1.46 MILES

Llandudno's iconic 2-mile promenade is one of its distinctive sights. It was here that Queen Victoria herself watched Professor Codman’s Punch & Judy Show…