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The Little Orme (Welsh: Rhiwledyn) is 141 metres (463 ft) in height and is one of two headlands that are situated at either end of Llandudno Bay, in Conwy, North Wales: the other, larger, headland is the Great Orme.

Unlike the Great Orme, the Little Orme has not been developed for copper mining or indeed tourism. There has been quarrying of the headland since the mid-19th century and you can see that the end of the Little Orme has been quarried away to provide limestone, some of it for building Rhos-on-Sea.

The Little Orme from the Rhos-on-Sea side

The biggest landowners of the area, Mostyn Estates apparently insisted that the quarrying all took place on the Rhos side to ensure that the view from Llandudno was not damaged! Quarrying ceased in 1936.

The Little Orme’s unblemished side

A view of the Little Orme from the top of Bryn Euryn

There is some farming on the lower slopes and a Site of Special Scientific Interest is located here. Approximately 12 acres forms the Rhiwledyn Nature Reserve which is managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust and incorporates several interesting habitats including limestone grassland, unimproved pastureland, scrub, cliffs and bare rocks.

(for more details of the Reserve see my page titled Rhiwledyn Nature Reserve)


9th April

We had planned to take a woodland walk this afternoon, but following a lazy lunch in the lovely garden of the Pen-y-Bryn pub, we opted for a shorter walk across the lower slopes of the Little Orme towards Angel Bay instead. There were about twenty seals reported being seen on the beach there a few weeks ago, but there were no signs of any now. Hardly surprising considering the number of people about on the seashore and walking their dogs in the late afternoon sunshine. There were some birds to be seen though, a pair of Raven up on a rocky peak, Fulmars on the cliff ledges, Cormorants, some flying back and forth over the water and others standing on the sea-splashed rocks at the very end of the headland and Jackdaws foraging on the grassy slopes. The only half-decent photograph I managed though was of a Dunnock singing prettily from the top of a gorse bush; even then I only caught a view of his back!

A Dunnock singing out towards Penrhyn Bay