“ Address: Marine Drive / Great Orme / Llandudno LL30 2XD / Tel: 01492 870004 „
Here in Llandudno we live on the slopes of the Great Orme which is affectionately known as Llandudno's mountain. Now, to be fair, that is pushing it a bit but it is quite a large hill jutting out into the sea separating Llandudno's North and West shores.
There is a Tram, a Cable Car and a road to get to the top as well as walking if you're feeling fit. There's a Crazy Golf, Ski Slope, the Bronze Age Copper Mines and a Family Golf Course so there is something for everyone. Incidentally I have done a review about the Orme in general and ones about each of the other entertainment options if you are interested.
Round the base of the Great Orme there is a toll road which is called Marine Drive costing £2.50 per car, although there is no charge for pedestrians. It is a one way road beginning near the Pier on the North Shore and ending at the end of the beach on the West Shore. There is also a zigzag road leading from Marine Drive up past St Tudno's Church to the top of the Orme and across the Orme down into Llandudno town.
Marine Drive undulates its way around the base of the Orme and is a lovely way to see some beautiful views both out to sea and across to Snowdonia one way and across Llandudno Bay the other.
It also makes a super walk of about four and a half miles and roughly half way round there is a cafe called the Rest and Be Thankful and trust me you do rest and boy, are you thankful for it!
A Bit of History
Initially the Rest and Be Thankful was just an ice cream counter to provide the weary walker with some cooling refreshment. It has been extended by various owners over the years and it is now a cafe seating about 30 people.
Where is it?
As I said it is roughly halfway round Marine Drive in Llandudno and it is perched more than three hundred feet above sea level on limestone cliffs. It has a decent sized car park so, if you are driving, there is always room to park.
The views from the cafe are amazing whatever the weather. On a clear day you can just about see the Isle of Man on the horizon and of course you can see the mountains of Snowdonia across the sea to the right. If you're lucky, you may well see a pod of porpoises swimming past - we have seen them twice this year. You may also see the famous Great Orme Goats wandering around - they are a pure breed herd descended from a pair of goats given to Queen Victoria by the Shah of Persia.
When is it open?
It is open seven days a week all year round from 10am until 4pm although it sometimes closes early if the weather is particularly bad and there is no one around!
What is there?
It is a lovely, pretty, clean cafe seating about 30 people inside and it also has plenty of places to sit outside either at picnic tables or on the grass. There is also a nice clean toilet, which is very useful if you are walking round the Orme I can tell you! It is just for patrons of the cafe though.
Inside the cafe there are lots of photographs from around the Orme and from inside the many caves that we have here. There are also folders of information provided by the Great Orme Society and Llandudno Heritage Trust which are really interesting to take a look at.
The cafe and car park are all on one level and so the whole thing is accessible by disabled visitors and the toilet is also disabled friendly too.
The food consists of snacks rather than main meals and includes toasted sandwiches, sandwiches, tea cakes, scones, a variety of homemade cakes together with tea, coffee, chocolate and a range of soft drinks and smoothies. There is also a freezer full of ice creams too! The prices are all reasonable so there's no need to worry about that.
I can definitely recommend the cakes - especially the scones they're lovely!!
Whilst the food is only light it is all you need really when walking round the Orme - I think a proper full meal would be a bit much with a couple of miles still to go!
There is a website at www.restandbethankful.net although it could do with a bit of updating in parts - nothing major but the internal photographs are out of date (it has since been refurbished) and the link to the Alice in Wonderland Experience is out of date as that is now closed.
It is a lovely place to stop when you are walking round the Orme and it is equally nice to drive round to it just for the hell of it! The tea and scones make it well worth the effort.
The current owners have also taken one of my collecting boxes for the RNLI and they sell postcards for us too so we like them even better now! LOL!