Tramstation is the thin line of cliffs running across the hillside above ... you’ve guessed it! ... a tram station. Although it isn’t a major venue it does contain a few technical ‘snippets’ on reasonably good rock.
Upper Empire is the big floodlit buttress. Sadly most of it is loose but it has one or two reasonable, long sport routes.
Lower Empire is hidden in the trees below and is proabably the best of the crags here. Also known as the ‘three B’s crag’; BULGES, BOLTS AND BICEPS! It is well worth a visit during poor weather because it is often drier than elsewhere and certainly more sheltered.
The Elephant’s Cave is the final attraction. It isn’t a brilliant crag since there is much loose and dirty rock, however if you are sitting in the cafe reading this then, put the book down, get your gear, and go and do the excellent Pure Conjecture; it is almost certainly dry!
Tramstation and the Empire Crags
Locate the long straight dual carriageway which runs along the far side of the town of Llandudno. Turn towards the sea front and continue to the last little roundabout. Turn left here and go roughly straight across at the next junction, up the little road to the right of the Empire Hotel.
For the Empire Crags; Drive steeply up the hill for about 150m and park on the left opposite a small quarried wall and yellow grit container. Upper Empire is above you to the left and Lower Empire is through the trees to the right of the quarried wall.
For Tramstation; continue up the hill through some traffic lights and park on the left-hand side of the road opposite a very rudimentary tram station.
The best approach to the cave is to park at Parisella’s cafe. This is approached from the sea front by continuing towards the Marine Drive. Take the first left (signed to the ‘Ski Slope’) and park behind the cafe, which is after about 200m on the left. From the cafe continue walking up the hill towards the ski slope for another 200m and the cave is obvious on your left. It is also possible to follow a path across the hillside from Upper Empire to reach the Elephant’s Cave.
Out of print: North Wales Limestone - Fax08 (1997)
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