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The Great Orme

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The Great Orme
The Great Orme (a.k.a. Y Gogarth and The Orme) is a prominent limestone headland on the north coast of Wales situated in Llandudno.

It is echoed by the Little Orme, a smaller but very similar limestone headland which is on the other side of Llandudno Bay. A cable-car (currently out of service owing to financial issues) and the Great Orme Tramway, a vintage tram system, convey visitors to the summit of the Great Orme, past one of only two artificial ski slopes in North Wales, complete with one of the longest toboggan runs in the UK.

Around the lower slopes of the Orme are landscaped gardens in the Happy Valley and terraces in the Haulfre Garden on the landward facing steeply sloping southern side. Invalid walks link the Haulfre Gardens with the western end of the Marine Drive. The 'Marine Drive' toll road around the coastal perimeter of the Orme leads also to St. Tudno's Church, the Bronze Age Mine and to the Great Orme Summit. Among the Summit attractions are a licensed hotel and cafeteria, a visitors' centre, a tourist shop, and a play area for young children.

The Great Orme Mines were one of the most important copper mines of the Bronze Age. Apparently abandoned around 600 BC, the mines were reopened in 1692 and continued to be worked until the end of the 19th century. It is possible that some of the copper from the mine was exported to Continental Europe, even in the Bronze Age. In the 20th century the mines were once again opened, and they are now a fee-paying attraction open to the public.


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