Another fossil collecting post with no actual collecting, eh?
I’m getting rather good at those. The Great Orme is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and collecting rocks, fossils, plants, etc is not permitted!
Llandudno is a fairly quiet town – or was during the day I visited – which was admittedly a little rainy and cold.
The Great Orme and the Lesser Orme are both enormous formations of stone, with many sites to explore, lots of brilliant views, and plenty of old interesting mines and caves. Unfortunately, my time was quite limited so I stuck to the basics.
There are a few ways up onto the Great Orme – you can walk, drive (via a toll road), take the tram (£8.10 return) or just get the bus (£1.10 each way). The bus was brilliant – more a rollercoaster ride than a bus trip, due to a very steep winding route. I would imagine the tram has the best views, though.
Now, there are a huge amount of places on the Orme you can explore, and there are likely much better fossil hunting sites elsewhere on the headland, but I was quite limited on time so went for the most obvious. I’d have liked to visit the Bronze Age mines, but simply didn’t have the time.
For beginners, this really is the perfect site. Get up to the summit complex, and look around – you’ll see a hill with an old quarry cutting and stones forming words and pictures – really can’t be missed.
The quarry cutting is a two or three minute walk over relatively even grassed terrain, so easy access for children and some people with mobility problems (although I wouldn’t like to try and get a wheelchair there personally). It may not be nearly so forgiving in the wetter months, though.
When you arrive at the cutting, there is a small information board with a little information about the fossils you may see – but lets be honest, most of us will ignore that and head straight to the piles of scree.
You simply cannot fail to find fossils here; there are thousands in the piles. Pretty much every stone you see will have some small fossil.
Below are some photos I took as I sat and had a look through the loose rocks at the bottom of the cutting.
I know its hard to leave your finds behind, but they could easily cordon the area off – you are being trusted to follow the rules.