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.
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!
For more information visit: Visit Llandudno
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nearing the summit we bumped into the Great Orme Tramway which is Britain’s only cable-hauled public road 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.
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.
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…