The Marine Drive is a four
mile scenic drive round the base of the Great Orme headland, from
Llandudno's North Shore to Llandudno's West
Shore and it has much to interest the traveller. It is a toll
road, but the charge is only £2.50
that includes parking on the Orme, including at the summit. Drive
its one way only for the first 3½ miles so you shouldn't meet
anything, and enjoy spectacular views at every turn - there are many
to park - stop often and look up and down. Better, take the
vintage coach ride from the Prince Edward Gardens on the promenade.
Even better, it's a
grand walk at any time of year.
Wonderful views at all seasons and in all directions.
Alpine Travel's Marine Drive Tour uses vintage coaches.
On rocky ledges below the drive fishermen cast their lines and try
Saint Tudno's Church and churchyard are high on the hillside above the
Take the side road detour to
Saint Tudno's Church and on to the summit of the Great Orme.
Saint Tudno built the first church here in the sixth
Services are held every Sunday from the end of May to the end of
Click Saint Tudnofor a better
understanding of his mission.
Continue beyond St. Tudno to the Summit of the Great Orme or
return to the marine drive and continue the circuit of the Great Orme.
Returning to the Marine Drive the circuit continues to the lighthouse
and to the Rest & Be Thankful Café.
High above the sea is the lighthouse built in 1862 by The Mersey
Docks & Harbour Company.
The light, at 325 feet above high water, was the highest on the coast
It first shon on December 1st 1862 and every night until decommissioned
on March 22nd 1985.
Even the smallest boats now have radar systems and lighthouses are no
The Lighthouse now serves as an interesting and well appointed B &
B guest house.
The Lighthouse is reached via the Marine Drive, which is one way only
from the pier.
Passing below the lighthouse cliffs.
The Alpine Travel Marine Drive Excursion calls at the halfway house
- just time to buy an ice-cream or a chocolate and enjoy the view.
& Be Thankful"
café, just above the lighthouse, is exactly half way round.
It is the only café on the
Marine Drive and offers
remarkably good quality and value.
There is a large car park for
customers and there are fine views.
Just beyond the "Rest & Be Thankful" is Ffynnon Gaseg meaning
It is one of the scarce natural water sources on the limestone Great
The fountain was constructed by the road builders to provide water for
(hence its name) that pulled the coaches laden with visitors in the
days before motors.
Note the limestone rocks stained black by the peat laden water.
From just beyond this point it is down hill all the way to the west
Way below the Marine Drive,
south-western shelf near the west shore,
are the remains of the Royal Artillery Coastal Gunnery School
that moved from Shoeburyness to
Llandudno in September 1940.
Over 700 military personnel were based at the
school at its peak.
Below the marine drive on the coastal shelf between the gunnery school
and the west shore is Llys Helig, a very exclusive housing development.
Beyond is the superb view of the River Conwy estuary.
In the grounds of the recently extended, but now closed, Railway
(until 1947 the Old Abbey Hotel) are the surviving remains below of
This was never a monastic house but a Palace of the Bishop of Bangor
built on land
given to Bishop Anian by King Edward I in 1284 following the baptism by
of the first Prince of Wales. The Palace was burnt down by Owain
Although it remained the property of the Bishops of Bangor it was not
gradually many of the remains fell into the sea through coastal erosion.
The remains were sold by the church with its surrounding land in 1891.
The above was photographed on April 17th 2004. The heavy storms of
brought more erosion in their wake and caused further collapse on to
the beach below.
The western end of the marine drive is joined by Llys Helig drive near
this point and
two way traffic occurs for the last half mile or so.