Coastal running in Llandudno

24 June 2015, 13:59

Two weekends ago we took the opportunity to get out of London and headed up to Llandudno on the North Wales coast for a mini-break. I’d never been to this part of Wales before but I was utterly delighted by the small seaside town with its mix of independent shops, wide (and completely uncommercialised!) beach promenade, and traditional pier.

Llandudno - shelter Llandudno - seagulls

We were only in town for three days, but the seaside air and change of scenery really made it feel like a much longer holiday. One thing I particularly loved about Llandudno was its proximity to rugged nature – right next to the town is a large outcropping called The Great Orme with lots of land to roam about on (in addition to a Victorian tramway, cable car, dry ski slope, etc). The train station is right in town, too, making it easy to come into town and never need to use a car or public transport the whole time!

Llandudno - tourist photo
Tourist photo from The Great Orme overlooking Llandudno

You can easily walk from your hotel in town up into the headland, or choose to take the adorable tramway up the steepest section instead. After we got the lay of the land (so to speak), I knew that Sunday’s run would encircle the Great Orme along the peripheral Marine Drive, and I couldn’t wait!

The Great Orme - running view The Great Orme - running view

Marine Drive is a one-way, toll road, with hardly any traffic on it, and a wide pavement running the whole length. There were a few other walkers, but mostly I had the views and the sea air to myself. The elevation was decidedly “undulating”, but the whole loop was only about 10k in total, and there was as much downhill as there was uphill!

The Great Orme - running selfie

I also experienced a “first” on this run, when I ran past a bunch of mountain goats! One of the even had a crow perched on his back, calmly sitting there the entire time he was in view!

The Great Orme - mountain goats & crow
Mountain goats (and crow!) on the Great Orme

Lest you think this was an entirely wholesome mini-break, I did indulge in a few of the usual seaside treats…

Llandudno - dieting

I am pleased to report that the seagull went away disappointed (I think I may have even seen a single, seagull tear roll down his cheek as I threw half my chips in the bin!). And on our way back home we drove through Snowdonia and some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. We’re both now itching to come back again for a hike/camp/run/cycle holiday as soon as we can…



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