Jo’s Monday walk : Lovely Llandudno

The Great Orme, from Llandudno pier

The last expedition that my Dad made was to Llandudno.  He loved his little mini-breaks with National Coaches, where the driver did all the work, bringing bite-sized chunks of our island within his reach.   He did his share of gallivanting, but as the years wore on he was more focused on a bit of company and a pint.  ‘Did you go up the Great Orme?’ I asked him, on his return.  Turns out he spent most of his time in the British Legion Club.

On our way back from Anglesey earlier this year, the coast road through North Wales took us past Llandudno.  I knew I’d have to take a look, for sentimental reasons.  Did I manage a trip up the Orme? Come with me and see.

Being truthful, I had little idea what to expect of Llandudno, and I was very pleasantly surprised.  In March it was without the throng of seaside crowds, and the chill in the air didn’t matter too much when faced with a long promenade and an empty beach.  And look- a pier!

A flat calm sea, and not a boat trip in sight!  It’ll have to be the pier then.  That’s Little Orme, far out across the bay.

There’s something about a pier, don’t you think?  That sensation of water all around and below. It’s like being out at sea but with a foothold on dry land.  Built in 1878, this one is a Grade II listed building, and is 700 metres long.

There’s lots to learn about Llandudno if you have the time, but I was simply passing through.

Marine Drive stretches for 4 miles around the foot of the Great Orme, and there’s a former lighthouse, now a hotel, part way round.  I was itching to set off, my husband not so keen.  You can drive around the toll road, but what I did want to do was reach the summit of the Orme.  I had read that the flora and fauna are unique up there, and just imagine the view!

Up above my husband had spotted the cable car.  The chances of it running were slim, but naturally we had to go and check.  Up the hill we went.

Of course, it wasn’t running, but the views as we climbed higher were magnificent.  I was also to discover the Alice in Wonderland connection.

Alice Pleasance Hargreaves (born Liddell) inspired the children’s classic by Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) when she asked him to tell her a story, on a boating trip in Oxford.  She and her family regularly spent holidays in Llandudno at ‘Penmorfa’, later to become the Gogarth Abbey Hotel.  Had I called at the Tourist Information office, I could no doubt have picked up a leaflet for the Alice in Wonderland Town Trail.   “Oh, my ears and whiskers!”  55 bronze White Rabbit footprints!

Nevertheless I was happy with the sweeping views of both bays as I climbed the hill from the Happy Valley Gardens.

Still optimistic for the tram ride up the Great Orme, I had an anxious eye on the weather as the clouds rolled in.  It had been raining lightly when we left Anglesey and I was sure it was on it’s way.  In the nick of time I spotted the tram station, with tram no. 5  waiting at the platform.

But it wasn’t to be.  The ticket office was firmly closed and, as I watched in dismay, the tram pulled away, with only the maintenance crew on board.

It seemed such a waste!  I really wouldn’t have taken up much space.  Nothing to do but seek consolation in food and drink.

Llandudno has been dubbed ‘Queen of the Welsh resorts’ and there’s an aura to the place that I loved.  Byegone elegance in the architecture, I could conjure the twirl of parasols and the cool sweep of a crinoline just by half closing my eyes.  Perhaps Dad and me were never meant to climb the Great Orme.  I’ll have to leave that to the imagination, too.

The Llandudno website offers a wide variety of things to see and do.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I’ve scheduled this walk because I was spending the weekend with my daughter, in Nottingham. Apologies if you’ve sent me a walk and it’s not included below.  You’ll find it here next week. Many thanks to all my lovely contributors.  It’s always a pleasure to share your walks.  Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Pop that kettle on now?

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A walk with Debbie is always a treat, even if there’s no icecream on offer :

A Magnum walk

A great-looking bridge and other interesting architecture, from Eunice :

Roaming round Rivington

Indra brings us more tales from the Indo-Chinese border :

Sikkim Odyssey 2- Nathu La… the pass that wasn’t there

That lucky Drake is down on the Mediterranean coast this week :

Azur and gold

French temptations

Jackie’s back home in Toronto but reliving a few memories :

Fishy!

I do love a Tall Ship!  Lady Lee takes us to Portsmouth :

HMS Victory

While Woolly makes a sad trip in France :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk24

And Hanna a poetic one, in beautiful Denmark :

A Poem is a walk

Just use your eyes, and you can enter Meg’s world :

Wordless walk : Swamp Trail

I’m traveling home this afternoon so I’ll probably be slow with my responses, but I’ll get there. Thank you for your patience and continued support. Have a great week!

104 comments

  1. You got lucky with the weather Jo, what glorious skies, but a shame the tram ran without you. This has put Llandudno on the map for me, I really need to explore more of Wales.

    1. Apparently we could have driven up there, Suze, but it was just a casual stop off for us on the way back from Anglesey. Stunning location, but I imagine less appealing when it’s busy. 🙂 🙂

  2. Wonderful surprise to see Your photos. I loved the walk with You. There are so many gorgeous photos that to select my favorite photo is difficult. I love cliffs and rock, so the first one is my choice.

  3. What a beautiful walk, Jo – no wonder your father loved this place. And you’re right about being on a pier, it’s a wonderful feeling. The entire place is SO colourful. That blue is what I am planning on painting the front stairs of the RUC (if the stair builder ever turns up!) 🙂

    1. How IS the good old RUC, Dianne? It’s almost an old friend now and it deserves a lick of delicious colour. 🙂 🙂 I’ve just sat through an enormous cloudburst and am hoping for a rainbow soon. 🙂

  4. Jo I hope you had a wonderful time with your daughter. Lovely to think of your Dad enjoying these same beautiful scenes. As to enjoying piers by the sea this is the stuff my travel dreams are full of. Thanks for taking me to another gorgeous spot Jo.

    1. You’re more than welcome, Sue. 🙂 🙂 Sunday was a strange day for me. The first Father’s Day since Dad died, but I managed to have son and daughter in the same place for some of it, so that was quite an achievement. 🙂

      1. I was thinking of you Jo. So glad to hear your kids were with you and even together. Yest nothing fully fills the hole left by your Dad’s absence. Sending big hugs my friend. xo

  5. Thanks for giving me the opportunity of travelling with you…through your photographs…
    The place looks wonderful and I agree on peers: I’ve always loved them!
    Beautiful walk for this week!

  6. Did you have a nice time in Nottingham? ❤
    I love your photo from the pier café, a black and white version might work well too. What a pretty town with all the quaint and ornate blue and white. the bucket and spades pavilion thingy is so pretty. I hope they never change anything there, I can see why your dad loved it. I think sometimes the idea of things are better then the reality, perhaps if you'd gone up the Orme Hope your week is good, not too hot for you darling, I love hot, just not in the office! Big hugs from G!

    1. Thanks, sweetheart- yes, Nottingham was brilliant! We met Leo’s Mum for lunch and James brought Lauren at teatime on Sunday, so wonderfully social too. 🙂 🙂
      Yes, think you’re right about the black and white, Gilly. You have a good eye. I achieved what I wanted which was just to get a look at the place for myself. We were driving home and Mick was humouring me so I didn’t want to make it too difficult. Apparently you can drive up there too, but I liked what I saw. D’you know, I’ve woken up to cloudy this morning, and I almost don’t mind. 🙂 Got to acclimatise myself for a July week in the Algarve though (Mick’s birthday treat- I wanted Northumberland but he ‘won’ 🙂 ) No air con, hon? Love you lots!

  7. Ah, Llandudno was my parents last holiday too. My mother was taken ill and ended up in Bangor hospital. I had to drive over from Yorkshire to see her and pick my dad up, but he decided to stay in the hotel with the group as someone said they’d take him to the hospital each day whilst they were still there. I confess I remember little of the town, only the horrendous drive. You saw it in better times. And the pier does look very nice. You must be home now, a hot journey? And a hot weekend, but I bet you had a really good time 😀

    1. Yes, been home about an hour thanks, Jude. Managed an abbey ruin and gardens this morning before I hopped the bus but it’s been a long day. Lovely to see her though, and James and Lauren managed to join us yesterday teatime too. 🙂 🙂

  8. As soon as I saw the first photo you posted, I knew that this is a place I must visit. It is stunning and romantic. And thanks for sharing the Alice in Wonderland story, amazing! Great photos Jo, and I enjoyed this so much. Your dad must have been smiling down on you!

  9. I love the peace of the pre-season. I imagine it’s quite lively right now. Sorry about the tram up the Great Orme. I bet it was a stunning view. Your father was there with you in spirit.

  10. Looks like Wales should be on my list too. I last visited tracing King Arthur with other university students (we were studying ‘King Arthur today’). Your walks are so inspiring, Jo! I guess I’ll have to leave my dark desk studio soon…

  11. Perfect I have just finished walking with Theresa on the Little Orme, and now here i am with you in the town itself 🙂 Robert would have been with your dad in the British Legion Club – very sensible man your dad catching up with locals! Llandudno was a favourite haunt of my paternal grandparents, in fact they loved it so much we buried their ashes there! Wonderful memories of their trips, our trips and now I get to enjoy it through your eyes 🙂 thank you Jo.

    1. Isn’t it strange how it sometimes works out? I had no idea Becky. Just traveling home on the coach from Nottingham. Missing her already. Theresa? More hugs coming xx

      1. She’s hoping to come to the Algarve in November. She has a wedding in Slovenia first and is making the wedding dress. Thanks for the link xx

  12. What a beautiful place, Jo. Llandudno looks so blue, and you really caught it on a good day. Sweeping views indeed. No tram ride but you got to see it pull by. Hope the coffee and snack a marvelous consolation 🙂

      1. Haha. It reminds me of places where I’ve traveled to here around Melbourne that takes hours to get there, and I’d spend at most two hours there before making it home to call it a day trip 😀 But yes, memories are priceless.

  13. Llandudno is a lovely place, I’m glad you enjoyed your brief visit. A shame you didn’t get your cable car or tram ride but you could have driven to the top. You take a road a little way along from the tram station and it winds round, following the tram line for most of the way. When I went a couple of years ago I followed the toll road from the pier then turned left part way along and went up past St. Tudno’s church – well worth a look for the views – to the car park at the top, then coming back down I took the road which follows the tram line. If you’d had more time you would have been able to go along to see the White Rabbit statue at West Shore.

      1. Hang on a mo…that would have sat uneasily with the refinement of the pier…..but that’s what you were getting at, wasn’t it, little girl? 😀😀

  14. What a lovely quaint spot! The air seems full with nostalgia. Too bad about the tram ride. Funny. As there is a beautiful beach in the Cape of South Africa that has the same name and was a favorite of my fathers!

    Peta

  15. Lovely indeed and all the lovelier for your eye. The railings. The pier. The tram – such a pity you couldn’t ride it. The presence-in-absence of your dad. The Alice connection.

      1. Yes. Just sad at parting. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the email, Meg. I’m just wading through my Inbox and comments and I’ll send you a reply. Hugs, darlin!

  16. Simply love this kind of piers, those where you can have coffee “outermost at the last stop before the sea” most of all. 😀

    Wonderful walk (again), excellent captured. :-).

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