The only cable-hauled tramway in Britain, and in fact one of the last remaining in the world, the Great Orme Tramway is one of the most beloved heritage attractions in Wales, carrying in the region of 160,000 passengers every year from Victoria Station in Llandudno to the Summit Station, a distance of around a mile. First opened at the turn of the 20th Century, and preserved in part through funding from the National Lottery and the EU, the tramway operates on a funicular system, whereby each car is attached to the cable that is winched up the hill, the weight of the descending car helping to pull up the one ascending.
Interestingly, the Great Orme Tramway was built in two sections, and that division remains. In order to reach the summit then, it is necessary to change cars at the halfway station, a 21st century addition that showcases the tramway’s winding gear in a glass-panelled room, as well as an interesting historical exhibit. On the lower stretch, travelling along public streets, the gradient can be as high as 26%. Two cars operate for each section, named after saints, and beautifully restored as you’d expect.
Travel on this unique example of Victorian engineering through the appealing surrounds of the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve. When the skies are clear you’ll enjoy breathtaking views as far as the Isle of Man and the Lake District, as well as Llandudno, known as the “Queen of Welsh Resorts”, below you.