Llandudno’s spectacular Great Orme is a must-see attraction for anyone living in or visiting north Wales. This historic limestone headland is home to an array of wildlife and offers stunning views of the coast and mountains beyond.
There are many ways to visit and explore the Great Orme: By car, tram, bus, cable car, on foot or of course by bike 🙂
Exploring the Great Orme by bike gives you the freedom to hop off at any time to bathe in the tranquillity and capture the view.
I recommend the coastal road, Marine Drive to bike riders as this peaceful, 4 mile road offers amazing coastal views. Marine Drive is a toll-road for motor vehicles and most of it is one-way; Riders don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic and any motorists on the road are in no hurry as they too are enjoying the scenery.
Take the time to hop off the bike and admire the beautiful view behind you; You can’t really appreciate this from a rear view mirror 🙂
The steady climb up to the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ coffee shop is manageable on a standard bike for riders with a reasonably good level of fitness; For those who prefer less exertion, an electric bike is definitely the best choice 🙂
However you reach the coffee shop I’m sure that you will be have earned your tea and cake 😉
For a greater challenge bike riders can turn off Marine Drive half way between the pier and the Rest and Be Thankful and venture up the ‘zig zags’ to the summit!
(Note: The route to the summit is two-way)
After the ‘zig-zags’ the road steepens past St Tudno church, this is when you’ll be glad you chose an electric bike! 😀
Continue past the church, cross over the tram track and you’ll reach a T-junction opposite the copper mines. Turn right at the T-junction and head up to the 207 meter summit!
Head into the Summit Complex for refreshments, visit the Great Orme Country Park Visitor’s Centre or just enjoy the breath-taking views of the coastline, Anglesey and the mountains of Snowdonia.
From the summit, I recommend that riders take a steady descent and ride back down the same way: Head down the zig-zags and rejoin Marine Drive to complete this beautiful circuit. There’s still so much to see and plenty of places to explore.
As you head down hill on the west side of the Great Orme you can see the gunsites that were used during World War 2. The views from down in the gunsite area (accessed via Llys Helig Drive) are absolutely amazing! 🙂
If you ventured into the gunsite area, retrace your wheels and head steadily downhill towards West Shore. Please be aware that the traffic is two-way from Llys Helig Drive down into Llandudno.
From here you can follow the coastal path to the West Shore Beach Cafe for another tea and cake stop, continue on to Deganwy and Conwy. Alternatively, head back into Llandudno Town Centre.
I’m often asked, “How long does it take to ride around the Great Orme?” It depends on how people ride, how many times they stop and how much exploring they do. Spend as little or as much time as you like, just enjoy it! 😀
At just £15 per day to hire a standard bike or £15 for a 2 hour electric bike hire exploring the Great Orme and surrounding area is great value! 😀
More information about the fascinating Great Orme can be found on the Conwy County Borough Council website: http://www.conwy.gov.uk/section.asp?cat=1548&Language=1