UK Fossils Network Logo Fossil Collecting at Great Ormes HeadGeological Tools, Microscopes, Fossils and Test Sieves - UKGE LTD
Fossils and fossil collecting Fossil Collecting Locations Fossil Guides Fossil Resources Fossil Discussions Geological Links Earth Science News Fossil Events Earth Science Magazine Geological Shop

Great Ormes Head fossils and fossil collecting

There is plenty to explore along the toll-road from Llandudno that leads you up to the summit of Great Ormes Head.
From the summit you can walk from the visitors’ centre and investigate limestone outcrops. The tramway also takes you to the summit and there are many paths in the area.
You are largely free to roam across the headland. To access it by car there is a charge of £2.50 and the tramway also carries a charge.
This location is Carboniferous in age (Carboniferous Limestone D zone)

GRID REF: 53.34177°N, 3.86518°W

Corals, Brachiopods
Fossil Collecting at Great Ormes Head

A massive headland north of Llandudno, Great Ormes Head, is carved out of Carboniferous limestone. Numerous natural exposures can be examined as well as old quarry faces. A whole day can be spent exploring here.
Where is it



The headland covers such a large area and there are so many limestone exposures to investigate that a whole day can be spent exploring here. Limestone pavements and glacial erratics are present and in places the exposed limestone layers are packed with brachiopod and coral fossils.

Suitable for Children


There are various tourist attractions on Great Ormes Head, such as a visitors’ centre, a tramway, Bronze Age mines and an artificial ski slope. There are many walks across the headland’s summit and, of course, fossil hunting can be carried out. This is a location for everyone.

Excellent Access


The summit of the headland can be reached in a variety of ways. One can walk from Llandudno or take the tramway; there is also a scenic drive from the town along a toll road. Outcrops of interest are easily accessible in the main.

Rock Outcrops, Disused Quarries.


Fossils can be found in scree below old quarry workings and loose elsewhere where natural weathering occurs.

No Restrictions


You are largely free to roam across the headland. To access it by car there is a charge of £2.50 and the tramway also carries a charge.

In points there are unprotected drops at the headland summit and on its sides. Be careful around old quarry faces and wear sturdy footwear to protect against sprained ankles.

Great Ormes
Tide Times

UK Tidal data is owned by Crown Copyright, and therefore sadly we are not allowed to display tide times without paying expensive annual contracts. However we sell them via our store, including FREE POSTAGE
Click here to buy a tide table

Last updated:  2008
last visited:  2008
Written by:  Alister and Alison Cruickshanks

Other Locations similar to Great Ormes Head

Great Ormes Head is an excellent location for corals, other similar locations for Carboniferous Corals are;Parkhouse Hill, Castleton, Portishead, Weston-Super-Mare in Avon. In Derbyshire, you can find corals from Monsal Dale

In South West Wales, you can also find Silurian Corals from Freshwater East, Marloes Sands. Mortimer Forest, Shadwell Quarry, Upper Millichope , Llanymynech Quarry, and Wenlock Quarry, Wenlock Edge

in the Shropshire District. Along the South West Coast, you can also collect Devonian Corals from Torquay along Hopes Nose and Daddy Hole. In Scotland, you can also find corals at St Monans. From Wales, Carboniferous Corals can be found at Lydstep Headland, West Angle Bay, Caim, Halkyn, Great Ormes Head, Red Wharf Bay, Prestatyn, Llangollen, and Manorbier Bay.

Geological Tools

All that is needed at this location is a camera and a rucksack and packing material to accommodate your finds. This is a conservation area, so no hammering or other forms of manual extraction should be carried out. When collecting, please only take minimal samples.

Location Photos

Fossil Collecting
Your Reports

One of the best places to look for fossils at this location is near to the summit car park. Park up and walk in the opposite direction from the visitors’ centre, towards an old quarry face that is surrounded by limestone pebbles that have been arranged into peoples’ initials and names etc. To the left of this there is a shallow gully with exposed limestone sides and scree at its base.


Walk along this gully and investigate the scree as you go. At the end of it you will come to an area where large blocks have fallen from the face. These blocks are covered by very large brachiopod casts and moulds. The rock face is also packed with these fossils.

Smaller pieces of limestone with brachiopods and corals can be collected. Please do not disturb the larger pieces, leave them for future visitors to enjoy.


There are many natural and artificial exposures on the headland. The natural ones tend to be covered by lichens and fossils are hard to find but the manmade ones are often full of easily visible fossils.

Other features of interest include numerous limestone pavements and also glacial erratics; an information board at the summit will show you the location of these....[more]

Limestone outcrop at Great Ormes Head
Limestone outcrop at Great Ormes Head

Geology Guide Carboniferous, 330mya

he Carboniferous Limestone Series at Great Ormes Head is of Visean age. It is part of the Clwyd Limestone Group. This is around 330 million years old. This is a diverse range of limestone facies with subordinate sandstone and mudstone units, and exhibiting local dolomitisation. Records the initiation and growth of a carbonate platform along the northern flank of the Wales-Brabant Massif...[more]

How life in the oceans would have looked at Great Ormes Head 350mya
(C)opyright - Free Software Foundation (FSF)


Large brachiopod....[more]


More Guides
Stone Tumblers
Geology Supplies

If you are interested in fossil collecting, then you may also be interested in a stone tumbler (Lapidary). You can polish stones and rocks from the beach which will look fantastic polished using a stone tumbler.

You can polish rough rock and beach glass whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed. These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. They can even be used for amber and fossils.

At most locations, you can find microfossils. You only need a small sample of the sand. You then need to wash it in water and sieve using a test sieve. Once the sand is processed, you can then view the contents using a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, you will need a Stereomicroscope for viewing microfossils. The best one we sell is the IMXZ, but a basic microscope will be fine. Once you have found microfossils, you will need to store these microfossils.

UKGE, market leaders in Geological Supplies and Geology Equipment. We supply retail, education, wholesale and trade in the UK, Europe and beyond.

With our wide range of geological hammers and geological picks as well as fossil tools, starter packs and geological chisels.

UKGE is your geological superstore, selling a wide range of field equipment, rocks, minerals, fossils, geological and even microscopy!

Rock and Fossil Magazine, Deposits
Fossil Hunter Starter Packs with Geological Tools and Safety wear
Microscopes and Microscopy equipment
Geological Tools and Equipment
Minerals for sale
Rocks for Schools
Fossils for sale, Ammonites, Belemnites, Dinosaurs, Trilobites, Reptiles, Fish
Field Lenses, Loupes and Double LensSpecimen Boxes for Fossil Storage
Preparation Tools>
Chartwell Field Waterproof Pads

(C)opyright 2008 - UKGE Limited, UK Fossils Network and Deposits Magazine, all rights reserved.
While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
Fossil Discussions | News | Stone Tumblers | Magazine | Search Geo | UKGE | Geological Timeline | A to Z | Contact us