Quite a shortish walk today, while trying to take-up from where I deviated inland on my charity walk which involved a complete tour around the periphery of Great Orme.
I parked up in Llandudno Junction and caught the 7:18 bus to Rhos on Sea. The driver was a bit unsure of the route, but we managed to get where I needed to be and I began walking at 7:50 on a beautiful summers morning. I started opposite Rhos on Sea Golf course and continued along the promenade towards an housing estate. These houses sit below The Little Orme, the little brother to Great Orme. Although, the WCP goes over Little Orme, it did not visit the summit. With only a small deviation I opted to climb through the old quarry workings to get to the top at 141m. The view was well worth the effort with great vista down to Llandudno and the Great Orme and Anglesey. I descended down steep slopes and back-tracked a bit to get on the road. The remainder of the walk would now be totally on tarmac.
I followed the promenade along to the peer. I noticed a number of statues depicting Alice in Wonderland characters. Apparently, there is no concrete evidence that Lewis Carroll ever visited the town and the association seems rather contrived.
I was looking forward to the next section which involved taking the Toll Road (aka Marine Drive/ Happy Valley) around the outside of the Great Orme. Although the toll is still charged for those with vehicles, pedestrians can walk free. The bulk of the Great Orme is made up of Carboniferous Limestone, which exhibits fantastic bedding structures and fossil remains. The road clings close to the cliffs and gives the place a feeling of a corniche in the south of France. I pass a few white feral goats, they seem oblivious to my presence. This perimeter around the Orme operates on an anti-clockwise one-way system. About half-way to the Great Ormes Head, another road descends from the summit, through twisty zig-zags. The traffic is very light at this time of the morning, so I can relax and enjoy the views out to Liverpool Bay.
At Great Orme’s Head there is a lighthouse and a cafe – The Rest and Be Thankful. The cliffs at this point are very dramatic and host a number of bird colonies. I can now see across to Anglesey, with Puffin Island in the foreground. I can also make out Bangor in the far distance. The road and footpath begin to descend slowly with views now opening up towards Conwy, I can just make out the Castle.
I pass a shelter with a bench inside. The shelter has been built in memory of a young lad, Blair Gow (aged 16) who died while walking in the Welsh mountains. There are some poignant words on the wall in the shelter. I do not linger as the stench of stale urine, seems to desecrate the place.
The path moves down to Deganwy and follows the estuary close to the railway line back to Llandudno Junction. I take a leisurely 4 hrs to cover the 13 miles.
Distance today = 13 miles
Total distance = 922.5 miles