Transport to Llandudno
On our trip to Llandudno and Northern Wales we drove up from London. The trip was estimated to take around 4hr 15min, but took us about 5hr 30min, due to lots of traffic and road work.
We decided to drive, as having a car is the easiest way to explore Wales. Although there is a train network and various bus routes, having a car made it quick and easy for us to get to those off the beaten track places without any problem. For the most part, we found the roads in Wales to be in excellent condition and well signposted.
Another way to get to Llandudno is by train. Virgin trains have a service that leaves from London Euston, via Chester to Llandudno. The trip takes around 3.5hrs. Llandudno is linked to other stations in Wales via the local rail network.
- Road Trip
Car Toll Road
For those less able to walk when the above forms of transport are not running there is a car road up to the Great orme and there is a scenic road around the base of the Great Orme but be warned it is a toll road and you currently (2003) have to pay £2 for this privilege. There is a toll house at either end of the circular marine Drive road around the Orme. This four mile shelf was cut out of the sheer limestone cliffs in 1878 and is designed for vehicles and walkers alike. Alternatively, it is possible to catch a bus in St Edward's Square and go on an informative and visually rewarding sight-seeing tour of the Orme.
If you can walk do - especially if the weather is good - you will have wonderful views.
Longest cable-car in Britain
The longest cable-car in Britain departs from its lower station in the Happy Valley Gardens, situated behind the pier, up to the summit of the great Orme (679 ft).
It takes just 9 minutes to go up - saves a walk of around 2 miles. It costs about £5 for adults but it doesn't operate in the off season :-((
On the road..
The best way for us to get to Llandudno is by car. It takes us about 90 minutes to drive from our Wirral home, using the new bridge which crosses the Dee estuary at its narrowest point by Flint in North Wales.
We then take the A55 road in the direction of Conwy and take the A470 to Llandundno
The alternative form of transport up to the Great Orme is the tram which celebrated its centenary in 2002. This tram is the only cable hauled street tram in Britain and uses its original victorian carriages.
However this is also not operating in the off season - starts only from late March - late October.
Too bad from when we have lovely clear blue sky days in February!
Oh well I said I wanted to walk anyway ;-)
It gets there in the end
LLandudno is well connected to the national rail network as it lies just off the main line from London to Holyhead (the ferryport for Ireland). Change at llandudno junction for the last little bit into the town
If connections at Llandudno junction take too long, ther it is only a couple of miles into town by bus /taxi.
There are direct trains from manchester (that travel via Chester), that take a couple of hours.
Llandudno thus is well connected and useful as a stopover if you are heading to Ireland (by road it is just off the main dual carriageway A55) or as a base in it's own right.
P.S. The station is a complete dump, 50% delerlict , dirty and unstaffed. But don't let this put you off.
Rent a car
As much as I hate to drive in the UK, I decided about the only way to get around North Wales and Snowdonia was by car so I rented one. We were staying in Llandudno and the Avis rental place was in Llandudno Junction but only about a 15 minute taxi ride away. The staff there were very cordial. I had booked the car in advance and planned to return it to Chester due to my uncertainty about train connections. This clarified, I asked if I could return it to Llandudno Junction as well since the Avis place is virtually across the street from the train station. They agreed and informed me it would also save me about £50. Great deal for me as it also saved me driving to Chester.
Llandudno Junction, Gwynedd, LL31 9NH
Great Orme Tramway or Cable Car
You can drive the scenic five kilometre Marine Drive around Great Orme’s Head after paying the £2 toll entrance. The road is only one way traffic so you can park your car at the gutter and do little excursions on foot.
If you haven’t got a car you are spoilt by choice. You can perfectly walk the circuit and enjoy the magnificent views at your own pace.
If you don’t want to walk you could take either the Great Orme Tramway (£4 return) or the Cable Car (£ 5 return).
Both options will take you to the Visitor Centre at the Summit Complex were there is a car park and toilet facilities.
Shortcut from Llanberis to Harlech
We were driving from Llanberis to Harlech and thought we needed to take the A4085 to the A407 and go west to cross the river and get to the A496 which goes into Harlech. However, when we got to the small town of Penrhyndeudraeth at the intersection of the A4085 and the A407 I saw a sign which indicated a short cut to Harlech. Fool that I am, I took it and surprise, it worked! What we called the rusty bridge is indeed rusty and actually runs beside the railroad bridge, costs 40 pence and is one-way. It only saved us 20 or 30 minutes, but that was very helpful as we were in a bit of a hurry to get to the Castle to see it before closing time. I am not sure we would have made it in time otherwise. If you are coming from the north it is a handy and quaint little venture to save a few miles and minutes. Sorry I didn’t get a picture but got a nice look at it on Google satellite.
Llandudno has a pretty good network of buses that will take you to most of the interesting parts of North Wales. But they aren't that regular, and they can be quite slow. If I was to do this trip again I'd rent a car. But if you must use a bus, you can get by. You'll just have to budget for seeing about half as much as you might if you were driving.
The buses aren't too expensive, and you can even buy a North Wales Rover, which will allow you to travel on bus or train all day with one ticket. The price varies depending on how many regions you want to travel in, but costs just 7 pounds for the basic two zone pass.
North Wales Rover
Llandudno is at the end of its own special line. Most trains drop passengers off at Llandudno Junction a few kilometers south of the town. There are trains running several times an hour between the two stations, so you won't have to wait long. There are also a few direct trains, such as the train to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Llandudno Junction is on a busy express line, and you can be in London in less than three hours. There are also regular direct trains to Birmingham and Manchester.
Llandudno Railway Station
I travelled to Llandudno by train and arrived at this station. My journey took approximately 3.5 hours from Leeds with a change of trains at Manchester Piccadilly. From Manchester I took a Arriva Trains Wales service which travelled and stopped at stations along the route including Warrington, Chester, Shotton, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction and terminating at Llandudno. The journey was just under 2 hours.
I paid 42 gbp (June 2014) for an advance rail ticket. This meant I had to go on the specified trains on my out and return journeys.
The station opened in 1858 and served the North Wales Coast and the North West of England since then. The station undergone a recent refurbishment including new passenger facilities including taxi rank, car park, a bus interchange and shop/cafe. There is a glass entranced to the small station.
MORRIS MINOR. Saw this on a...
MORRIS MINOR. Saw this on a birthday card & it brought back memories of my Dad's first car. Our's was the 'sidevalve engine', very slow on hills, especially with four of us in it.
My Dad taught me to drive in it,along the promenade as I was very young then & had to have a couple of cushins so I could see out the windscreen(I hope there aren't any policemen VT'ers reading this !!!!!).
catch a tram up the orme
there are different ways to get to the top of the great orme,
you can get a tram either half way up or to the summit (top)
when at the top there is a cafe,pub, and an amusements you can alos visit the copper mines. great for all the family.
- Family Travel
- Travel with Pets
A boat trip can be taken around the Orme. It not very long - about 30 mins for £2.50 - bit its a pleasant way of resting your feet and seeing the Orme from another angle with its caves and coves. The small boat fides quite bumpy over the waves, even when it loks calm, so be prepared for a few slashes.
If you want even more splashes and thrills the jet boat rides can be taken out in the bay.