Queen Mother's goats
The Kashmiri goats, wandering around the Great Orme, so it is said, were originally a present to the Queen Mother and came from India. They have large horns, and a shaggy beard.
The goats sometimes wander off the Great Orme, when they fancy a change of diet and eat the flowers in people's gardens.
Llandudno town is nicely protected by a perfect long crescent-shaped Bay.
The pebbled beach is never crowded and the perfect place to be during the short Wales summer. Windsurfing, canoeing and other popular water sports are practised all year around.
The Tram up the mountain.
This is Llandudno's prime attraction. I have fond memories of the tram from my childhood, so it was wonderful to see my son Arann being equally captivated by the contraption a little before his second birthday, even if he did insist on referring to it as 'Thomas'.
Now for the anorack bit. Many think that the tramway works on an overhead powerline, but this was just for communication. Rather unsually the trams are fixed directly to a moving ropeway that is controlled from a halfway winding house.
The lower section follows some very steep (up to 1 in 4) streets before beginning to ascend the Great Orme. At the halfway point you have to switch trams to continue on the much more wild and windswept upper section to the summit.
It was built as a private enterprise but has beem run by the local council for a good number of years. Despite some heavy investment to bring it up to modern safety standards the same original four tramcars have been operating the route since it opened over 100 years ago.
A truely captivating experience, even if you don't share a boyish love of this sort of thing.
Hiking on the Orme (1)
"Happy Valley to St Tudno's Church"
Well we originally planned to be lazy and ascend the Orme by the tram, but like all good plans they have to be adapted according to circumstances, i.e. the tram was running yet as it was too early in the season. So Plan B is we follow a walk in a book we have on hikes in North Wales ...and Plan C is that we do it in reverse order...well with a slight deviaition at the end!....as we found orselves at the wrong end of the town. Anyway it turned out to be the best option ;-))
We started our short ascent of the Great Orme in the Happy Valley Gardens, which are found just before the toll house and just below the cable-car station. The gardens are laid out with wooden sculptures and a mock druid stones circle. Trail sign for the summit guide you up some steps...look out for the kashmiri goats as you ascend too.
We kept looking back as we climbed to the lovely visitas over to the Smaller Orme and the pier in Llanduduno below us.
The way up is easy - the path is clear and stepped plus there are benches along the way too for a little rest to enjoy the view. Its about this stage you have a good view over the dry ski-slope so Dave wasn't out of breath so soon...just watching the skiers ;-))
The steps soon reach a small crest and the path becomes grassier
Just a little detour from the path up to the cliff above us and we enjoyed these lovely views over the North Shore bay and the Litttle Orme.
Carrying on the path we soon came to a place where there were many options to take!......but don't worry there are plenty of signs to help with your chosen path.
Far ahead we could see our first landmark the church of St Tudno and its cemetry around it.
In reality it only took us a short time to reach the church ...the grassy path meeting with the road which continued up to the actual summit of the Great Orme.
First we found I found a handy little seat to have a quick rest and a snack for some energy before heading up the road to the summit.