The Great Orme headland dominates much of the activities in Llandudno, being home to the cable car, the ski and snowboard centre and mile-after-mile of glorious Welsh views.
Activities in Llandudno
Overlooking Llandudno at the end of the headland, Great Orme is a mini limestone mountain, a 200m tall chunk of land perfect for windy walks with spectacular views out to sea and back across Wales including to the Isle of Man and Snowdonia National Park. Named ‘little monster’ by the Vikings, the 350-million-year old country park has plenty to explore, including miles of paths, the Great Orme Ancient Mine and plenty of wild nature and animals including Kashmir goats. The fastest way to the top and the Visitor Centre is via the cable car or the tramway while the fastest way to the bottom is via a set of skis, a snowboard or sno-tube at the Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre. You can also walk or drive to the top of Great Orme where you’ll also find a café, playground and – on a clear day – some of the best views in North Wales, with our Llandudno North hotel just a five-minute drive away.
Llandudno Cable Car
The longest pier in Wales, Llandudno Pier is one of the leading destinations in town, home to a wide range of cafés, food and market stalls, arcades and more. Heading out into Llandudno Bay on the inland side of Great Orme, the 700m pier was originally built in 1858 and is now a great place to grab a freshly fried doughnut, cup of coffee or ice cream with nearly a dozen cafés and food outlets. The stylish Victorian pier also hosts a variety of events during the summer months including plenty of live music while the huge arcade at the end of the is a must-visit for kids big and small and opens until 10pm during the peak summer season.
Llandudno Cable Car
Close to Llandudno Pier in the Happy Valley Gardens is the Llandudno Cable Car, a near 2km-long journey that takes riders to the top of Great Orme. Opened in 1969, the open-air cable car is the longest of its kind in the UK, with cabins leaving every few minutes to make the 18-minute trip to the summit where you’ll find a café and picnic area, as well as some truly gorgeous views on the way up.
Happy Valley Botanical Gardens
On the eastern side of the Great Orme, Happy Valley is a large public park home to a wide range of activities and entertainment. Originally a quarry, the park was opened in 1887 and is now where you catch the Llandudno Cable Car from. Close to the cable car station is the newly restored camera obscura while there’s also a popular tea pavilion and plenty of walks ranging from languid seaside strolls to climbing the limestone rockery to the ski and snowboard centre. Opposite the dry ski slope is Pen y Dinas, once the site of an Iron Age hill fort where you can explore the ruins of over 50 huts and the rocking stone where druids were said to have judged accused prisoners!
Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre
The longest dry ski slope in Britain, the Llandudno Ski & Snowboard Centre is on the eastern side of Great Orme and part of the Happy Valley Park. Dating back to 1987, the 300m slope is covered in ‘perma snow’ with a full range of kit hire and lessons available as well open-sessions. There’s plenty for non-skiers and boarders as well including a 750m toboggan run that snakes down the hill, the Alpine Adventure mini golf course and the licensed Alpine-style bar and restaurant open for lunch, snacks and hot and cold drinks.
Home Front Museum
Turn back time to the 1940s at the Home Front Museum, a fascinating living history museum that brings World War II to vivid life through a series of exhibits and recreated scenes. The museum uniquely explores how the war affected home-life at the time with a variety of exhibits and displays including recreated shops, homes and an air-raid shelter featuring ration books and gas masks.