Accessible Llandudno and The Great Orme

Great Orme Bus Tour

With nothing else to do on Bank Holiday Monday, we decided to head out to North Wales. I booked a room at the New Travelodge hotel in Llandudno and off we went – spontaneous or what!

We dropped into Llandudno on our way back from Caernarfon in February but didn’t have much time to explore it so we were happy to return to check its wheelchair credentials.

What we didn’t plan for was the sea fog! Lots of the stuff; you’ll see what I mean later.

Rather than writing a rigid trip report here’s a picture tour of our day in Llandudno and The Great Orme.

Llandudno Promenade

It’s a pleasant walk along the Victorian promenade which runs from the Little Orme to The Great Orme. On a clear day, you have beautiful views across the sand and shingle beach into the Irish sea or you can marvel at the splendour of Victorian hotels and guest houses which line the promenade.

The walk itself is flat and traffic free, there’s plenty of roadside parking available along the route. As you can see when we arrived it was foggy!

Victorian Promenade

Crowds on llandudno Beach

Shingle Beach in Wales

By The Seaside

For more information visit: Visit Llandudno

Llandudno Pier

The stunning Llandudno Pier took two years to complete. Built between 1876-1878 it’s a fine example of Victorian and Edwardian elegance. Today the pier is lined with food and entertainment stalls which ordinarily look tacky but for some reason not in Llandudno. The pier is a long walk, but still a very enjoyable.

llandudno Pier in the fog.

Fog on Llandudno Pier

Speed Boat moored of Pier

Fishermen in Llandudno

Llandudno Town Centre

Although there are some high street names in Llandudno town centre they don’t overpower you which is a blessing this day in age. We especially liked the smaller, dare I say it quirkier shops which are what you want in a seaside town.

Access in the town is fairly straightforward, there’re plenty of dropped kerbs so moving around is a breeze, behind the shops, are a large car park and a disabled toilet. Parking is free if you display a blue badge and clock and you must park in a designated disabled bay. The toilet has a 20p charge, but again it’s free for disabled users.

There’s plenty of restaurants and cafe’s with access ramps but also many without, quite a lot of them are above the shops which make them impossible to get to. There’s still plenty of options and choice available at ground level so you shouldn’t find it too difficult to find somewhere to eat.

Town Centre

Quirky Shops in Llandudno

Llandudno Market

More details of shopping in Llandudno: Shopping in Llandudno and Canolfan Victoria Centre

Alice in Wonderland

We’re not particularly fans of Alice in Wonderland, but it would be wrong to visit Llandudno and not mention it! We did bump into a few of the characters on our travels.

Alice in Wonderland Tours

There’s plenty of information about Alice in Wonderland and her tours available from Tourist Information and Alice Town Trail. We’re unable to make any access comments because we didn’t do a tour so you’ll need to do a bit of homework.

The Great Orme

The last time we were on the Great Orme we made it all the way to the summit complex only to find it shut!

The Great Orme is a limestone headland next to Llandudno, rather than being a big lump of rock it’s a destination in itself. It all starts in the aptly named Happy Valley which is home to gardens, walks, a cable car station and a ski slope.

I’ve spent 20 minutes searching the net to find out if the cable cars can take a wheelchair? I can’t find any information so if you know if it’s accessible or not please leave a comment.

We opted for a scenic drive up the stunning Marine Drive. It’s a toll road and costs £3 but it’s worth it. Sadly or, fortunately, our views were obscured by sea fog which gave the drive up the Orme an air of mystery.

Great Orme

The road winds its way around the headland then veers off and up onto the Orme. There are viewing points where you can park up and take a moment to appreciate the view. We stopped at St Tudno; a 12th-century church, if ever there was a place to end your days it would be here.

Graveyard on Great Orme

Nearing the summit we bumped into the Great Orme Tramway which is Britain’s only cable-hauled public road tramway.

Victorian Tramway

I’ve checked for accessibility and the tram can accommodate two manual wheelchairs as long as they fold down which basically means the occupant has to get out of it. This is all down to the age and design of the tram which I suppose is fair enough!

You can find further details about access here: Visitor Information

Arriving on the summit we were struck by how busy it was; it was packed. We decided not to visit the refreshment complex on this occasion and just took a few minutes to take in the view.

Refreshments on the Great Orme

View from The Great Orme

View Over Llandudno Bay

Snowdonia Mountain Range in the Fog

Lots of Sea Fog

As you can see from the photos our day in Llandudno was dominated by sea fog; one minute it was there then it was gone. It did give us the opportunity to see the area in a different light so here’re a few more pictures from the day.

Sea Fog

Fog Rolling in from the Sea

Fog

Pebbled Beach

Visit Llandudno

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our day out and overnight stay in Llandudno and would be happy to return again. Next time, we’d like to use it as a base to explore Conwy; I’d really like to see Saint Trillo’s Chapel in Rhos on Sea so maybe we’ll be back soon.

If you haven’t been to Llandudno and the Great Orme we highly recommend it for a day out.

We’re fairly sure the Great Orme tour bus in the picture above isn’t accessible in a wheelchair, we’ve answered the tram question, but we’d really like to know if the cable cars are accessible?

If you know or have used them do tell…

About The Bimblers 126 Articles
The Bimblers is a personal blog about living with chronic pain, invisible illness and disability. It's about travelling in a wheelchair and accessible travel. It's about picking ourselves up when we get knocked down. And, it's about what we can do, not what we can't!

4 Comments

  1. Hi, the train up to the Great Orme not longer takes wheelchairs or buggies. We pushed my son all the way up the hill before we found out they had changed the rules.

    • Thanks for letting us know Mark. We’ll take a look into this, it seems strange they’d remove such an important service on a tourist attraction.

  2. Hi I’ve just stumbled across your page. May daughter is severely disabled but loves the beach, unfortunaly I can no longer get her on to them due to no longer walking…..do you know where we can hire beach wheelchairs in the UK, as I’m really struggling to give my girl the treats she loves to have.
    Thanks bev x

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