Once again, although the full walk was from Aberporth to St Dogmaels, we had already completed the last little bit when we walked from Moylgrove to St Dogmaels (and stopped at Aberteifi deliberately) so we have saved ourselves a mile today. Today also completes the 6th and final leg of the Ceredigion Coastal Path.
So we drove to Aberteifi and parked the car. We were deliberately early so that we could have some breakfast in a dog friendly cafe – the castle cafe. Excellent food and service.
We then walked to the bus stop, more in hope than certainty that a T5 bus would be running on a Sunday as we had seen different reports from various timetables – but it was, and not only that but it was also free – result. So we got the bus to Aberporth, and the bay where we had started from when walking the other way from Aberporth to New Quay.
Unfortunately the first thing that the coastal path did was to take us inland, up a steep road to go around a firing range. So the first mile or so was not very interesting, and we ended up walking back past where the bus had come.
Once we got past the firing range we turned down a road, across a field and then through some woodlands…
Before finally hitting the coast again.
From then on the next few hours were all about going in-land to find a bridge to cross over the eroded cliffs and then back out to the coast again, in and out, in and out.
It was another gorgeous day, and this was a really spectacular bit of coastline, except for these two clowns who spoiled the view.
The walk took in Traeth Y Gwryddon and Pen-Peles.
Before Mwnt came into view – well to be more precise the conical hill of Foel y Mwnt which is a very tall point, but thankfully not on the coastal path. It shelters a church and a secluded beach, as well as the important things like a toilet and a cafe.
Leaving Mwnt the path then headed up again quite steeply until we were almost as high as the hill anyway.
The original coastal path then went inland to avoid a nature reserve and farmland around Cardigan Island, but when I looked at the coastal path app I could see that the path now stays on the coast a lot longer than the book or app suggest.
So the yellow line was the old coastal path and we were the blue dot, just before we had to turn inland and head across fields. There was some confusion during the fields as one of the signs was not clear (it was on a gate which had been taken off the hinges) but I guessed right and thankfully won the vote.
The coastal path then followed a road down the hill to the river Teifi estuary. At this point there were a few spits of rain and we decided to stop for a cuppa and some cake. We stopped at the Gwbert Hotel which claimed to be “dog friendly” and asked if we could come in with Bonnie – the receptionist said “one minute while I check if there are any dogs in the conservatory” which seemed a strange thing to say – surely you know whether you allow dogs in or not without having to check if there is one there??!! But then she returned and said “Yes there is a dog in the conservatory……so you can’t bring your dog in, you have to sit outside”. Baffling – so they are dog friendly, but only for the first dog that arrives, after that any additional dogs are not welcome. So be warned.
So we carried on along the path alongside the river and then it diverted off over some farm land, but not before we were overtaken by someone in more of a hurry.
The farmland seemed endless, field after field then a left then a right then another field, until eventually we came out by a car park and a boat restaurant.
Up the hill we went, and amazingly we passed by the Castle Cafe again – in our rush for food this morning we hadn’t realised it was actually on the coastal path.
And to finish the day we ended by the otter statue and the bridge.
Today’s walk was 12. 2 miles, making 506.4 in total – yes we have topped the 500 mile mark. And only 368.8 miles to go now.
Today is another day where we have already done part of the walk – so although in the book the walk is from St Dogmael’s to Newport (Parrog) we have already walked from St Dogmael’s to Moylgrove (with the kids, well the other way from Moylgrove to St Dogmael’s actually) so today is now slightly easier.
We drove to Parrog car park and waited for the bus. This has to take the record for parking close to where the bus picked us up from. This bus only runs on a Thursday and Saturday in low season, and adds a 3rd day per week from the end of May.
The bus dropped us, and quite a few other walkers, in Moylgrove village and we knew it was about a mile to get to the coast. The others all set off while we were still getting ourselves sorted and it took a while for us to find the woodland path to get to the coast but it was a lovely walk with a stream running below us and plenty of spring flowers.
Then suddenly we appeared at the familiar sight of Ceibwr Bay and the walk proper could begin.
The first landmark is Witches Cauldron, which is a collapsed sea cave.
A little further along the path dropped to sea level but on the left was a beach with the tide going in and out right underneath us.
Of course, after going down we had to then climb the other side, for some further magnificent views including Bwn Bach which is a small perfectly formed archway and then along the top of Traeth Cell-Howell.
We reached a spot where we could see a further drop ahead of us and then a massive set of steps, and decided that this would be a good spot to stop for lunch to build up the reserves for the climb.
We had a couple more descents to sea level and climbs back up again, including a chance for Sharon to re-live the stepping stones experience.
And then the sight of Newport Sands appeared around a corner.
A very steep descent followed…
and by now the coats were off, the sun was shining and the sky was a deep blue – typical walking weather for us. Newport Sands came ever closer.
The path then dropped almost to the beach before frustratingly going back up again, so at this point we decided to do a little bouldering and get ourselves down onto the sands and enjoy the beach.
After a coffee and cake stop we headed across the golf course, and followed the river inland to get to the bridge.
With the tide out we were able to see the Pilgrim’s stepping stones, which we had made a pilgrimage of our own to see previously.
The walk then continued back along the other side of the river to Parrog.
And to the car-park where we started. A day of contrasts and beautiful weather, and 9.2 miles of new coastal path for us with over 215 storeys of height. For those keeping score (like me) that makes 494.2 miles completed and 381 miles to go (roughly)
This weekend saw us take on 3 walks, complete another section of the book, pass the 500 mile point and join up some parts of walks we started 3 years ago.
So as usual we started the weekend with a drive – this time just over 2 hours to get to Fishguard, and we parked up right by our caravan site in time to get the bus to Newport (Parrog). We have been here before when we undertook the Dinas Loop and then drove to Parrog in June 2016 to see the stepping stones, but this time we are heading towards Fishguard.
After getting off the bus at Newport, and walking down a side road we reached the yacht club and a familiar starting place – had it really been 3 years since we sat in the cafe garden having an ice cream here?
The old lifeboat house was built in the late 19th Century but only in service for 11 years before being replaced.
After a flattish section past some cottages the walk started to climb and hugged the coast line as we went around Aberrhigian Beach and Aberfforrest Bay.
At some point around here I lost my drinks bottle, but didn’t realise until about 5 miles later and Sharon didn’t want to go back for it!!
After a short further walk along the hilltops you arrive at Cwm-Yr- Eglwys, again a part we had visited 3 years ago as part of the Dinas Head loop.
And then one of my least favourite signs of the whole coastal path….
It was this sign 3 years ago which made us realise that Sharon had left Cleo’s lead at Pen y Fan on Dinas Head, and gave me the pleasure of doing the walk to the peak for a second time in one day…. but today we have Bonnie’s lead so we are okay, and we quickly navigate the flat path as by now it is coffee time.
The sun has now come out and the skies are clearing, wish we had brought sun-cream after all!! I am going to let some of the pictures do the talking now on this stunning part of the coast as we rounded Pwll Cwm, then Pwll Gwylog, Aber bach and Aber Grugog.
Stunning views, and now for a dose of reality, time for a selfie….
The path then had a sign warning of deep holes, but the animals who had created these very deep holes had very thoughtfully done so between a set of posts each time – very clever.
The walk continued on hill tops past needle rock and towards Fishguard fort.
We have decided that Needle Rock should be called crocodile rock instead:
Or is it just me that can see a crocodile head at the bottom of the picture!
What can I tell you about Fishguard Fort – well it was built in the late 18th Century to protect Fishguard after an attack from the Black Prince, a pirate ship demanding a heavy ransom. This was the last attack by pirates on any town in the country but the fort’s heavy cannons saw off the French and instead they landed further down the coast – oh well, that’s someone else’s problem!!
After the fort there was a brief woodland section and then you had to join the road to walk down into Lower Fishguard.
The walk crossed the bridge and then turned right along the estuary before starting a climb. That is where we stopped for today as going on to Goodwick would have taken us away from the car – so here is the sign to pick up from on a future walk.
10.7 miles walked today, of which 9.2 miles counted towards the coastal path. That takes us to 485.0 miles completed and 390.2 miles to go. Time to find the caravan and relax before a longer walk tomorrow.