Location: North Wales, UK
Length: 4,7 miles (7,6 km)
Width: 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 8
Highest point: 429 ft
Operating times: open all year
via Marine Dr
Route: from North Shore Beach to West Shore Beach
The Marine Drive around Great Orme
If you want to drive on a road used for rallies, why not try the Marine Drive that takes you around Great Orme, in the United Kingdom. This is a designated Heritage Coast road, featuring an incredible landscape and stunning geology all the way.
You can access the Great Orme either by going past the tram stations and taking the same route as the tram or around the cliff side, on the road called the Marine Drive. This is a route that goes all the way around and has access to the summit too. It’s a popular route for drivers that want to enjoy the thrill of driving a dangerous road and one that was used for rallies.
The road following the Great Orme peninsula is a sinuous one, filled with serpentines. It also features blind crests, tight corners and challenging cambers. All these are the perfect conditions, making the Marine Drive a great rally road. The winding route hugs the cliffs as it goes from North Shore to the West Shore. All this way, you will have the rocks on one side and the open sea on the other side, with only a small rock separating you from it. The scenery is jaw-dropping too.
This is one of the roads used in the World Rally Championship. It’s quite a challenge for drivers to complete this route. This is a perfect route for rallies also thanks to the spectator viewing points. Even though it’s only 4 miles long, it’s dangerous and challenging.
For those that want to come and drive here, there is a fee of £3 as this is a toll road. This fee also includes parking at the Summit Car Park.
The roadway features sections with one and two lanes. The first 3 and a half miles is a one-way road, so there’s no risk in meeting another car coming from the other direction. Nonetheless, there are many blind corners and drops, so one must drive carefully. Also, there are many places where you can park along the way. So, you can stop and admire the views.
The Marine Drive is a great choice if you want to combine thrilling turns and blind spots with spectacular views. Along the way, you will also see a small building with the appearance of a small castle. This is actually a lighthouse used to warn boats that the Orme was close.
Photo sources: http://www.beachcove.co.uk/1464/thearea.html, https://www.visitconwy.org.uk/things-to-do/marine-drive-audio-trail-p316681, https://llandudnopictures.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/zig-zag-up-the-orme/