Great British Walks – Great Orme Nature Walk
The Great Orme is a spectacular limestone headland, thought to be over 350 million years old and supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. This nature trail allows you to learn more about some of the species that make the Great Orme their home, and the habitats they live in.
Follow this guide to plan your walk. We've included details on how long it should take you to complete, where to park, and some places to stop for food and drink along the way.
We've also included a recommendation of where to stay if you're looking to book a pitch nearby and spend more time in this area.
Picture courtesy Visit Britain/Lee Beel
The nature trail is marked with yellow-topped waymarkers and starts at the car park at the summit.
You can reach the start by car or in a bit of style, on board a cable-hauled tram from Llandudno.
The Great Orme’s habitats range from rich heathland to sea cliffs, limestone grassland and woodland and this walk showcases them all.
The heathland here grows on deep soils deposited more than 12,000 years ago. It also provides food and shelter for birds such as the colourful stonechat.
Carry on round the corner of the wall and continue to follow it, keeping it to your right. Take the old path used by the monks who once lived at the now ruined abbey on the West Shore over 500 years ago.
You are now surrounded by limestone grassland, which is the most common habitat on this headland. There are more than 400 different types of wildflower on the Great Orme, some of which are very rare.
Continue to the bottom of the path and carefully cross the road. Turn right and head uphill along Marine Drive. Keep walking until you come to a small shelter with some seats.
This is a good spot to rest and admire the coastline. The scrub below you is a favourite place for the Great Orme’s herd of Kashmir goats to shelter.
Picture courtesy Visit Wales
This area is also important for migrant birds like the ring ouzel and whinchat. The birds use the hawthorn and gorse here to shelter, rest and feed before carrying on their epic journey to Africa where they will spend the winter.
Carry on uphill along Marine Drive, looking up at the nooks and crannies in the cliffs which provide excellent nesting places for ravens and kestrels. Walk a little further, passing a gate, and then walk through the gap in the wall on your left.
You are now standing above a cliff face which is covered in seabirds every spring and summer. Hundreds of kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots come to nest on the narrow cliff ledges.
Return to the gap in the wall and walk up the concrete road in front of you. The expanse of limestone surrounding you is known as limestone pavement, and was first exposed during the last Ice Age.
A small area has been fenced off to see what plants and shrubs grow when sheep and goats are prevented from grazing here.
Follow the direction marker uphill to the corner of the wall and follow it back round to the summit car park and visitor centre.
PLAN YOUR WALK
Route A circular walk round the spectacular limestone headland of Great Orme overlooking Llandudno
Distance 3.5 miles
Time 2.5 hours
Terrain Ground can be uneven, with steep hills on grassy paths and tracks
Parking Great Orme summit car park
Stop at the shelter that overlooks the scrubland where Kashmir goats gather. Watch them during the autumn when the male billy goats clash horns to compete for the attention of the female nanny goats. The baby goats or kids will be born in the springtime and the nanny goats often leave their kids hidden in bushes while they feed.
FOOD AND DRINK
Captains Table Café, Great Orme Summit
Rest and Be Thankful Café, Llandudnohttp://restandbethankful.net
The Cottage Loaf, Llandudno
WHERE TO STAY
BRON-Y-WENDON HOLIDAY PARK
Bron-Y-Wendon Holiday Park has amazing panoramic views of the Irish sea and Llandudno’s Great Orme. Easily accessible, with the North Wales Coast Path adjacent, you can walk or cycle safely to all the local seaside towns.
With so many amazing sights, walks and activities to enjoy so close, including, Snowdonia, Llandudno, Anglesey and Conwy, Bron-Y-Wendon is a great base for you to explore and enjoy all that North Wales has to offer.
Open all year, easily accessed, amazing sea views, excellent facilities, 130 touring pitches, 4 holiday cottages.
Wern Road, Llanddulas LL22 8HG – Junction 23 of the A55.
OPEN ALL YEAR
Price from £23 per night.
EAT & DRINK
The Holiday Park is 500m from Llanddulas Village with a pub, Indian restaurant, British Legion and a chip shop. It is also only a short drive or bus ride (regular bus service from the village) from Colwyn Bay, Llandudno & Conwy, where you have lots more choice too.
• Excellent heated shower block
• Wi-Fi available
• Tourist information available
• Fully serviced & standard pitches
• Parking by pitches
• Motorhome grey waste disposal point
• Children’s Play Area
• Pets Welcome
• Accepts Caravans, motorhomes, campervans and trailer tents. (No tents allowed)
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