On the Summit of the Great Orme are
two distinct groups of
buildings dedicated to the needs of visitors, even if the day is a
trifle damp or a little windy. On the slightly higher ground is the
Complex, bars, restaurants, cafes, amusements and gift shops together
with the Aerial
Cable Car Station. Clustered alongside the
Upper Tramway Terminus is the Great Orme Visitor Centre.
The Summit Complex building was
originally 'The Telegraph Inn'
from where messages were relayed between Holyhead and Liverpool
advising of the imminent arrival of sailing ships laden with valuable
Later, much re-built as 'The Summit Hotel', it served as the 19th hole
for the Great Orme Golf Club that closed
in 1939. The site of the golf course is now a sheep farm. During the
second world war the hotel reverted to a signalling
purpose and became the RAF Great Orme Radar Station.
People have been using the summit
of the Great Orme for the purpose of sending and receiving messages
consistently and continuously for the last two hundred years, so one
shouldn't be surprised that two radio masts dominate the
summit. One of them transmits Classic FM. On the right in the
photograph above is a square
white building that
houses (visible through the windows) the giant wheel around which the
cable passes, the cable that holds the two cable cars in their
counterbalanced positions, and fulfils a pivotal role in the safe
of the Great Orme Tramway system.
revive the Great Orme Golf Club after the war failed and the restored
purchased by the middle-weight boxer, Randolph Turpin. Since
Turpin's bankruptcy and suicide, the hotel has continued to be
associated in various ways with his name (e.g. Randy's Bar) and there
is considerable cult publicity. But it is now also called 'The Summit
Children are well catered for - this robust play area is
popular at all seasons.
Folk have lived on the Great Orme
for at least 8,000 years and probably much longer. The
map outside the Visitor Centre will guide you to sites of
outstanding beauty or historical importance and much more information
is available inside, both from the displays and also the very helpful
Those that came by tram can transfer to the visitor centre without
getting their heads wet or even their feet!
There is a tourist information office or just follow this corridor and
help yourselves to leaflets as you go.
The centre is well equipped with three-dimensional models, diagrams
admission if free and there is always a free film show to be watched.
Standing guard in the yard outside is a sculpture of one of the famous