The Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales
The Great Orme, Y Gogarth in Welsh, is a limestone headland at Llandudno, on the northern coast of Wales.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Orme’ is an old Norse word for sea serpent. The Great Orme has had human inhabitants for over 8,000 years. Its geology includes Bronze Age copper mines, ancient caves and wells, and steep cliffs.
Today the Great Orme balances farming and tourism as its primary activities.
A visit to the Great Orme begins at ground level, in Llandudno, on the Irish Sea.
Llandudno, Queen of Welsh Resorts
Llandudno is a Victorian-style seaside resort, complete with a promenade and 1,234-foot pier, the longest in Wales. You could spend an entire day strolling around Llandudno, enjoying the atmosphere and fresh sea air.
Y Gogarth, the Great Orme
The route up to the Great Orme winds through a public garden called Happy Valley, then continues up a long, steep set of gravel steps.
After reaching the top of the steps, the path winds around the headland, providing a taste of the views that are to come.
The sheep have some of the best views on the Great Orme.
St. Tudno’s Church
The little church we came upon was established by Tudno, a 6th century monk. Its present building is modern by comparison, dating only from from the 12th century.
I am always moved when we find these ancient churches, still active parishes today, on our walks. The sign at St. Tudno’s said it has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1400 years, where visitors find spiritual strength and prayerful healing.
The God I believe in is available everywhere, yet being in this place
I too felt a sense of peace and connection to the divine. We sat on a bench, ate our lunch, and talked about the earthly needs of various family members while surrounded by the gravesites of St. Tudno’s cemetery.
An Exhilarating Experience
What a joy it was, to walk high above the sea on the Great Orme footpath. We stopped briefly at the visitors’ centre at the summit, then continued around the headland to the southern side of the Orme.
Here we walked alongside a stone wall which we nicknamed the Great Wall of Wales. Below us we could see Conwy Bay and the estuary of the River Conwy.
Looking back to where we just came from, you can see the Great Wall of Wales stretching back as far as the eye can see.
We stopped and had a coffee from our trusty Thermos, to revive ourselves and give our feet a rest before leaving the Great Orme and descending to Llandudno.
The Great Orme can be enjoyed by all ages, whether you walk, drive, take the tram, or take the cable car to the summit. When you get back down to Llandudo, you can reward yourself by having an ice cream on the pier.
My next post will wrap up our Wales trip, as we said goodbye to northern Wales and made our way back to Heathrow via the book town Hay-on-Wye.