Rock Climbing

Marine Drive / Rhodfa'r Môr | ©Si Panton


Rock Climbing

The Llandudno crags are spread across the two headlands, Great Orme and Little Orme, which mark the west and east side of Llandudno Bay.

Great Orme

The Great Orme has a wide selection of limestone crags situated both above and below the Marine Drive, the toll road that circumnavigates the headland. Craig Pen Trwyn, which runs in an almost continuous sweep above the road, is packed with numerous intense single pitch sport and trad routes. Down below the road there is the almost fully bolted sport crags of Lower Pen Trwyn and Pigeon’s Cave, plus the more adventurous expanse of Castell y Gwynt where you will find some two pitch routes.
Some of the routes mix in situ bolts or threads with traditional gear placements; it is always worth taking some wires even on a full clip-up. In general there is a lack of easier sport routes (i.e less than F6a), and it pays to be comfortable in the extreme grades to get the most out of the area.
Some of the cliffs are subject to access restrictions – check out the BMC Regional Access Database for full details.


Llandudno is blessed with relatively dry weather. Year-round climbing is certainly possible, although seepage can be a problem on some crags. During hot weather it is possible to find shade. Some of the crags are tidal or semi tidal – be sure to check the tide times before any visit.


All the crags can be reached from the Marine Drive which can easily be accessed from the sea front of Llandudno.

Little Orme

This large chunk of limestone has a number of important crags that will be appreciated by the experienced climber operating in the extreme trad grades and/or the 7th and 8th sport grades. The main event here is the spectacular Diamond, a sport crag replete with several quality test pieces and futuristic project lines.
Upper Craig y Don provides a good mix of trad and sport routes which catch the sun, but more adventurous territory and a surprising sense of isolation can be found beyond the Diamond on the huge Detritus Wall and in the adjacent Great Zawn.
Some of the cliffs are subject to access restrictions – check out the BMC Regional Access Database for full details.

Conditions: Similar to great Orme but damp rock can be a major issue on the Diamond, particularly on still, humid days. Some of the crags are tidal – be sure to check the tide times before any visit.

Approach: Individual approaches to the crags are varied. Upper Craig y Don is the easiest (a fairly straightforward walk), but other parts of Little Orme require long abseils and traverses. At low tide it is possible to walk into the Diamond, but there is a danger of getting cut off once the tide comes in.

Safety & Access
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Safety & Access

The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images. Climbing is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in this activity should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

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North Wales Limestone

The definitive guide to the North Wales Limestone crags, with all profits going to the bolt fund to support ongoing route maintenance.


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