The Great Orme Summit Complex is charmingly old-fashioned. Originally a semaphore station where telegrams would be sent and received, the building’s beautiful panoramic views quickly became a draw for vacationing Victorians. A funicular tramway was built in 1902 to transport the tourists to the top of the hill, which still operates over a century later, along with the overhead cable cars added later. A café and a bar dedicated to a 1952 middle weight boxing champion offers vittles.
Most of the Summit Complex’s interior is dedicated to displays on the peninsula’s natural history, but the real hidden gem of the complex preserves a relatively recent piece of history. A room toward the back is covered in materials related to UFO sightings on Great Orme and the surrounding area, specifically one incident in the late 1990s.
Throughout the 20th century, Northern Wales has been the third most common place for reports of UFO sightings. In 1997, a family was driving on a motorway when they realized a massive triangular aircraft was hovering directly above their car. Terrified, they attempted to outpace it. When they looked back they found the UFO was nowhere to be seen, but also that five hours had passed in what seemed like a moment. The family reported their story to UFO investigator Margaret Fry. Various reports of a similar nature followed, but alien visitors to Orme’s Head have been neither verified nor denied.
The Summit Complex UFO room is decked out with all kinds of UFO paraphernalia, from the most authentic to the highly fictional. News clippings and model aliens hang about the crowded space, while faithful recreation of the Millennium Falcon dangles overhead. Though most of the models have more to do with alien film history than local UFO sightings, their intricacy (modeled specially in a Thailand factory) have proved a popular draw to the unexpected display.
Know Before You Go
Car park outside or alternatively, use the Orme Head cable car service or tramway.