The complete Ceredigion Coastal Path

The 5th May walk completed the relatively short Ceredigion section of the Wales Coastal Path.  6 walks for a total of 72.6 miles and gaining over 2810 metres in height.

For us the walks were

  1. Machynlleth to Borth  16.1 miles and 590 metres high on 25th March 2018
  2. Aberystwth to Borth 5.7 miles and 320 metres of height on 23rd March 2018
  3. Aberystwth to LLanrhystud 11.3 miles on 26th March 2018
  4. New Quay to Llanrhystud  14 miles on 5th October 2018
  5. Aberporth to New Quay 13.3 miles on 6th October 2018
  6. Aberporth to Aberteifi 12 .2 miles on 5th May 2019

Aberporth to Aberteifi

5th May 2019

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.

Free sausage for Bonnie

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.

Dolphin Statue in Aberporth
Lovely beach at Aberporth

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.

The views behind us were better
In front of us was the army barracks
Today we will be mainly following these signs

Once we got past the firing range we turned down a road, across a field and then through some woodlands…

Through the woods

Before finally hitting the coast again.

Coast at last

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.

The view from a bridge
The ins and outs ahead of us
And the view behind us

It was another gorgeous day, and this was a really spectacular bit of coastline, except for these two clowns who spoiled the view.

Over another bridge

The walk took in Traeth Y Gwryddon and Pen-Peles.

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.

That’s Mwnt

The Church of the Holy Cross
Thankfully not on the coastal path

Leaving Mwnt the path then headed up again quite steeply until we were almost as high as the hill anyway.

Traeth y Mwnt
Yes that is the hill – and I reckon we are higher than it now

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.

Down and up again
Cardigan Island

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.

Cardigan Island again
St Dogmaels in the distance

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.

Dog walkers – do not stop here

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.

We did get overtaken at this point
The estuary

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.

Field after field
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.

The cafe with the coastal path sign

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.

Moylgrove to Newport Parrog

4th May 2019

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.

Yes that is the car outside the bus window
And a first for Bonnie – her own ticket

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.

Ceibwr Bay

The first landmark is Witches Cauldron, which is a collapsed sea cave.

Note the arms in shadow – I wasn’t getting any closer to the edge so had to reach up for the picture

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.

The lunchtime view
Before this climb
High above the beach

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.

Careful does it

And then the sight of Newport Sands appeared around a corner.

Newport Sands

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.

What a stunning 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.

Over the “iron” bridge

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)

Newport (Parrog) to Fishguard

3rd May 2019

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?

Our previous trip to the stepping stones had started here
The tide was out
The old lifeboat house

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.

Looking back towards Newport Bay
And Newport Sands
Sharon sets the pace inland towards Aberrhigian Beach
Aberrhigian Beach

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!!

Crossing over Aberfforrest Bay

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.

The 12th century St Brynach’s church which got partially washed away in 1859

And then one of my least favourite signs of the whole coastal path….

Noooooooooo!!

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.

Pwll-gwaelod and 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….

Say cheesy – and also a rare glimpse of Sharon’s hat before she lost it the next day

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.

Watch your step
One of the offenders

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!

That was a steep descent

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.

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.

The end point of today

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.

The North Wales section walk by walk

It took 3 separate trips up here between 7th October 2016 and 21st March 2019 but we have finally completed the 8 legs which make up the 93 miles of the North Wales element of the coastal path. Sadly Cleo never got to do any of this section but Bonnie has seen some of it.

This page details the walks we have made on this section of the coastal path in the order that they flow around the coast, and not necessarily the order that we walked them in.

9th October 2016 Flint to Chester – 12.5 miles walked mainly along the Dee Estuary, and the end point was both rather dark and an anti-climax with a very small plague to mark the end/start of the coastal path. But it was a flat day if rather quiet with not much to see.

8th October 2016 Prestatyn to Flint – 18.5 miles of coastal path today, starting with a teddy bear’s breakfast. We saw sand dunes, a haunted lighthouse, were held up by escaped sheep, a dragon and Flint Castle made for a very good day of walking.

10th October 2016 Rhyl to Prestatyn and back again – 5 miles of coastal path on a 16.2 mile walk. Glorious autumn sunshine, a beautiful beach and lots of cake. Even saw some colourful seaside huts.

7th October 2016 Colwyn Bay to Rhyl – a 10 mile walk today in quite chilly weather but it was very flat. We had time for pooh sticks with flowers, a little “wee” dance, some crabs and then our caravan had a view from the bedroom window of the coastal path.

5th May 2017 Colwyn Bay to Llandudno – 12.2 miles of coastal path and again the weather was glorious. Little Orme, an incident with Sharon on/off the bike, the smallest church in the UK, Llandudno pier, and then around Great Orme.

6th May 2017 Llandudno to Llanfairfechan – 12.1 miles where we chose the “flat” route. We had sand dunes, Conwy Castle, the smallest house in Britain, a scary route besides the motorway (with lorries 1 metre away from us) and our arrival in Llanfairfechan.

7th May 2017 Bangor to Llanfairfechan – 10 miles from the Pier in Bangor, on a glorious day through woodland and beach, and a wild bird reserve. Then Bonnie took a dip in a lake and had to be fished out before we finished with ice cream and a snooze in the sun.

21st March 2019 Caernarfon to Bangor – 10.9 miles along the Menai Strait with a lot of bike path and roads, as well as some woodland and a finish on the beach to get to the pier before it got dark.

We hope you enjoy reading about the North Wales section of the coastal path and are inspired to follow in our footsteps. There are moments of pure beauty on this part of the path, but also a lot of roads and flat parts which break up the day.  8 days seems about right and we did it in 91.2 miles all in which is a lot less than the Isle of Anglesey.

Caernarfon to Clynnog Fawr (Part 1)

26th March 2019

After a long walking weekend we decided on a helpful short walk before our long journey home – helpful because by doing a few miles of this 13.5 mile total walk today we can then, the next time we come up, complete this walk and 4 or 5 miles of the next walk to Trefor. Why is that important? Because that then means on the following walk we can add the optional detour of climbing Yr Eifl which is a 564m peak with fabulous views and a mile beyond that we can see an Iron age hill-fort at Tre’r Ceiri.  This is getting like snooker – always thinking two walks shots/walks ahead!!

Anyway, back to today and back to Morrisons in Caernarfon again but this time we turned left not right.  Almost immediately we walked around a new housing development, and found a small blue pier.

Anglesey opposite us
A long walk on a short pier

The walk then took in the harbour with all it’s sail boats.

Caernarfon Harbour
And then the outside of the castle walls.

And those were really the most interesting bits of the walk today. After that it was all flat and mostly just along the coast on quite a grey day.

Anglesey to the right of us

Ahead of us was the Caenarfon airfield and Aviation museum on the penisular, across the other side of the Y Foryd.

You can just make out the airfield

But in order to get over the river Afon Gwyrfai we had to head in land for a mile to get over a bridge.

Here is where we have to leave the coast
And by the time we get inland a mile this is all that the river looks like

We had planned to try to get to Dinan Dinlle and then get the bus back to Caernarfon, but with the buses only every 90 minutes we decided to stop at the Saron bus stop and head back. Well it was either another 2 miles of walking and a 50 minute wait or head back now and get coffee and cake. And coffee and cake always wins. So we stopped at Saron for today and will pick up from there another day.

And what a view to look at while eating lunch

Only 5 miles today, but that makes 54 miles over the whole weekend. And we have got below 400 miles to go now – 475.8 miles completed and 399.4 miles to go. Time to hang up the shoes until our next walking weekend in May.

Amlwch Port to Moelfre

25th March 2019

After Saturday’s long walk we decided to have a rest day on Sunday (well my feet decided it really) so instead we ……went for a walk in a forest hunting red squirrels (and found only one). Well it wasn’t a coastal path walk at least, although that didn’t make much difference to the feet.

But Monday was a new day and the feet felt up to doing a walk again, so after planning various options and changing our minds we decided on around 12 miles of walking from Amlwch to Moelfre which had the advantage of being the next walk in the book and kept the flow going nicely around Anglesey in an anti-clockwise direction. So we drove to Moelfre, parked up and got the bus to Amlwch. At the bus stop we met the same people we had seen on 2 previous days – they were getting off the bus at Moelfre and walking back to Amlwch, so we knew we would see them again at some point in the day provided we didn’t get lost.

The bus at Amlwch left us with a short walk to the port, our starting point, and the first task of the walk was to undertake the obstacle course.

The warm-up

The path then took us around the edge of the port…

Amlwch port

After the port the walk soon changed to one of rugged coast line with outcrops ahead of us to aim for.

Traditional Coastal Path view
Head for the lighthouse

The first landmark in site was the Trwyn Eilian Lighthouse, which actually looked like a regular house from the back. But first there were more hills and streams to cross.

On the way to the lighthouse
Eilian

Just before Porth Eilian is an ancient well called Ffynnon Eilian.

The plague is more noticeable than the well itself
A little statue on the site of the well

And then up the other side of the hill via some steps.

Yes up here!!

But the climb was worth it when you get this sort of a view.

Stunning views on another beautiful day

Porth Eilian

We didn’t detour off the path to go up to the lighthouse as we weren’t sure if it was even open.

The closest we got to the lighthouse
And as we walked away from it

The next landmark to aim for was Ynys Dulas, which is a very small island just off the coast. Legend has it that the Lady of Llysdulas Hall used to row out to the island and leave food, so that when sailors got shipwrecked on the island they could eat.  Unfortunately the current owners of Llysdulas Hall aren’t quite so obliging and the coastal path had to take a detour inland across some fields at this point to avoid going across their land.

This bridge was being built as we crossed it
Across the field with lots of lambs – these were the cutest ones
This house had a lovely garden with a pond and stream through it – Sharon was getting ideas!!

After crossing the fields we met the walkers from the bus this morning – they had got further than us, but they did have a head start. With hindsight the rest of the walk proved to be flatter than the part we had completed as well. We shared a few stories of our parts of the walk and said our farewells – they had already completed the whole of the mainland Wales coastal path and just had Anglesey to go during a 2 week holiday.

A road took us down to Dulas Bay – and although the other side of the Bay was tantalisingly close we knew we had to go inland across the marshland again to get around the bay.

Dulas Bay
Where we needed to get to
A shipwreck in the Bay
But round it we must walk

The Bay narrowed enough for a bridge to get us over the river which feeds it “Afon Goch”, and by now we had eaten all our rations and were looking for food.

Afon Goch

We found a pub on the hill (the Pilot Boat Inn), but unfortunately it was closed, so we used their picnic bench as a chance to change our socks and drink the last of our coffees.

We couldn’t even get on the fun bus!!

Then up the hill past the sheep and we came to Traeth yr Ora, not sure if is related to Rita Ora?

Up we go with some sheep leading the way
Looking back across the bay
Traeth yr Ora
We then headed past Craig-ddu

After some smaller hills the path took us down onto the beach, Traeth Lligwy, and hope of some food at the cafe.

But unfortunately the cafe was closed and being painted.

Will we ever get food?

The lifeboat station came into view, and then the lifeboat cafe, but at 4.28pm it had shut 2 minutes early.

The lifeboat station

The coastline around here had large steps in places, which are man made due to extensive quarrying of the limestone directly from the cliffs.  This area is also famous for the Royal Charter passenger clipper which was shipwrecked here on its way back from Australia in 1859. 459 people lost their lives, only 40 survived and large amounts of gold were recovered on the beach from passengers returning with personal hoards from the gold mines.

A Royal Charter memorial

We rounded the corner and there was the end point to our walk in the Porth Moelfre.

Our end point
Proof of the sign

And there was a pub in the Port, no food being served for an hour but at least we got a very nice coffee, and they were dog friendly for Bonnie as well.  So well done to the Kinmel Arms for being so friendly and welcoming.

And that was our walk. 12.9 miles completed today and 1308 feet of height, at a very slow 6 hours and 21 minutes, but that was always going to be the case with my blisters. This takes our total up to 470.8 miles completed and 404.4 miles to go. A short walk tomorrow before we head for home.