Great Orme Trail
Time: 1-3 hours
Surface: Sealed Paths / Grassy Paths / Tracks / Small Roads
The Great Orme Trail resides on the Great Orme peninsula on the north coast of Wales. Composed almost entirely of limestone formed more than 300 million years ago, this megalithic rock peninsula receives more than a half a million visitors every year, eager to experience its impressive geology, its heathlands, and its surrounding woodlands.
It has a vast array of flora and fauna, from coarse grasses such as Yorkshire fog, which thrives in its soil-depleted crevices, to breeding bird colonies of guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, and fulmars. More than 430 species of plant life have been cataloged here, and more than 33,000 bone tools and 2,400 stone hammers have been unearthed, detailing its long history of human habitation dating back to the Bronze Age. There’s even a small herd of feral Kashmiri goats that were introduced to the headland in the early l900s.,Put simply, there isn’t a more interesting or varied single rock in all of Great Britain.
You can walk around it or take a cable car to the summit,but you should allow ample time to do both. The Great Orme Trail is a 4-mile (6.4-km) circular walk that starts on the summit and takes you around the headland, and there is also a choice of three equally scenic walks from Llandudno that go straight to the summit-the Haulfre Gardens Trail, the Happy Valley Trail, and the Zig Zag Trail.
The Great Orme is also home to a vast network of tunnels, hewn from the limestone by our ancestors more than 3,500 years ago in their search for copper. Its caves are now considered to be the world’s largest network of prehistoric mines.