I spent last week on holiday in Llandudno, travelling with elderly parents with limited mobility. In view of the fabulous weather, a trip up the Great Orme seemed a good idea and, as our B&B accommodation was just a short walk from the Tram Station, we decided to make the trip.
The station is uphill from the Pier end of town, which is worth bearing in mind if, like us, you need to push two wheelchairs to get there! We just about made it without collapsing in the heat and, fortunately, were able to find some shade for my parents while we queued for tickets and got our breath back.
As we soon realised, this is a popular summer attraction so, if you want to avoid queuing, it pays to get there early - as with most things. We arrived at around 10.45, by which time there was indeed a queue and we had to wait about 20 minutes before we could board a tram (they run every 20 minutes, 7 days a week from March to October). However, since there was seating provided along with a small shop selling refreshments and loos, the wait was not an issue for us.
When we boarded the tram we were able to take our 2 folding wheelchairs on with us and the tram drivers were very happy to help us with this. A blind couple who boarded at the same time as we did received similar care and attention.
The journey up the Orme comes in two parts, with a changeover at the halfway mark. The first part trundled us up a steep and narrow road with pretty cottages on either side. This is the oldest part of Llandudno and well worth a look, whether on foot or by tram.
As we climbed away from the town, we were treated to some stunning views over the bay. I love coastal scenery so particularly enjoyed this.
Around 10 minutes later we reached the halfway point where we got off and walked the short distance through the Exhibition area to pick up the second tram for the trip to the top. We did not stop to view the exhibition in detail but gleaned quite a lot of the history of the tram service as we passed through.
On arrival at the top, there was a steepish slope up to the restaurant, bar and shop so some more heavy duty pushing was required to get the wheelchairs up. At the top, we found a good choice of refreshments including very large cakes!
(As an aside, between the bar and the restaurant is a Tourist Information area. I have never seen so many leaflets on display. Llandudno really does seem to cater to all tastes.)
Due to Mum and Dad's limited mobility, we spent most of our time sitting outside in the sun with coffee and cake admiring the wonderful views - all very pleasant and relaxing, despite it being busy.
We spent an enjoyable hour and a half at the top and, while waiting for the tram down, took a look at the colourful wildlife garden where we learned something about the Orme's flora and fauna.
Whatever your age, the tram trip is a very enjoyable way to experience the Great Orme and good value at £6 for an adult return ticket. Next time (and I'm sure there will be a next time), I'm tempted to get the tram up and walk back down.
In the meantime, I recommend this experience. Enjoy!
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