Fairbourne to Tywyn

20th September 2020

The third and final day of our weekend and again last night the wind picked up from nowhere and kept us awake most of the night. Today there are no trains so we are going to get the bus from outside the campsite to Fairbourne where we left off yesterday.

Look at that sky again

But the early part of today’s walk is not along the coast as there is no path between the sea and the cliff edge so it is inland we have to head and on one serious climb. In fact today is the 2nd biggest climb on the whole coastal path apart from Aberdyfi to Machynlleth (and we can still remember how hard that one was). That day was 620m of climb over a 12 mile walk and today is due to be 600 metres of climb but a 16 mile total walk.

What a beautiful sky today, going to be too warm
Slow down Bonnie, need to save those legs
Under the railway line to the road

The path crosses the main road and heads up a lane, which starts off innocent enough.

You can start to see the hill

And we climb, then turn right, climb again, then left and climb again and so on, weaving up and up.

Hopefully this shows the gradient

Within about 25 minutes we had this view….

And there is Barmouth.

Even at this height there are still bridges to cross.

And here is where we stopped for our coffee break, on a convenient bench right next to someone’s house.

And the climb isn’t finished yet, as we now hit a woodland area with a single track road, and down below is Fairbourne where we started out.

Sharon leads the way along the road.

Still getting higher, we would be in the clouds if there were clouds today.

Just past this gate we could wait no longer and stopped on a slope for lunch.  Straight afterwards we had a steep decline down to sea level and the village of Llwyngwril which had a pub (closed till 2.30pm) and a train station. After 100 metres of walking through the village the path turned off to the left past a cemetery and back up another steep hill for the 2nd large climb of the day.

Over a bridge into the village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t quite see this gradient but it was steep

At the top of the hill the path turned right and through a farm.

Then past a house which Sharon fancied “doing up” as a holiday home.

In need of some minor repairs

Finally the sea, but still a way to go.

We crossed some very well signposted fields where the farmer was rounding up his sheep using a quad bike – very friendly chap.

And then we started a descent again.

And along a path which probably doubles as a river bed and was very very muddy.

Before we crossed the main road and turned left to go through some more fields,

After walking along some further muddy paths the path then crossed another farm. Sharon asked some locals where the path went, and I think it was at this point we first went wrong – they directed us left and slightly uphill, but I think this was a different path. But on we ploughed  -never turn back!!

This path was not well used.

This path took us into the quarry, where we again found a coastal path sign, but unfortunately it was for the optional longer loop which used to be the main path before the bridge was build over the estuary.

By now Bonnie had had enough, and we took turns to carry her for a while, she didn’t seem to mind!!

And we cut down through the quarry

To get to their main gate, and walking around the edge of it took to the main road and a short walk back on ourselves to get to the new bridge – Pont Tonfanau

The new raised path on the way to the bridge, it crossed what would otherwise be a very marshy area.

Once over the bridge the end was almost in sight.

Along a road beside the top end of Tywyn beach.

And through a caravan park where we found a shop selling ice cream.

Finally we had made it back to the beach and to our starting point 2 days ago – just the small matter of the 1 mile walk back to the caravan now.

So with the sun setting we had completed the whole weekend with a day to spare – still, we can collect some shells and do some shopping tomorrow now.

The total walk today was over 17 miles and 16 miles of coastal path, making 35.5 miles over the 3 days, and our total is now to 621.2 miles completed and 254.4 miles to go. Time for some dinner and a well earned rest.

Llanbedr to Fairbourne

19th September 2020

Day two of our weekend and this is going to be a longer one. Due to timings of buses and trains we had to first of all start further away that we wanted (Llanbedr station was closed so we had to go to Pensarn and walk back), and at the other end we were planning to stop in Barmouth …..more about that later.

We had not had a good night’s sleep – from nowhere the wind picked up massively and 3 times in the night I had to go out and peg the awning back down and for the rest of the night things thumped against the side of the van. Anyway, up we got and off we walked to the train station, so that was our first mile (which didn’t count towards the coastal path).  At Pensarn we walked back to Llanbedr (another 0.7 mile which didn’t count) and finally we could start the walk.

Remember this bridge? Bonnie does
Here is our start point

The path immediately crosses the railway line and the station we would have got off at if it was open, and then it heads down towards Llanbedr airfield.

That would have saved 0.7 miles
The airfield

Then it was on to the tidal marshes where a convenient path cuts it way through the middle.

Can’t go to Shell Island so left we go
Our leaders
The path through the marsh
Interesting sea creatures in the marsh

The path then heads towards our first glimpse of sea of the day as it reaches Morfa Dyffryn, but first there are some sand dunes to climb over.

Morfa Dyffryn is a nature reserve
Over the dunes

I see the sea

The next 2 miles of the walk are along the sand, and we stopped here for a coffee break before heading on – we had heard it was a nudist beach but I don’t think that Sharon was quite prepared for all that was flapping around in the wind!!

I’ll take the photo from a distance for decency

The beach got busier and busier as we entered the “with clothes” section and then there was an exit to the left with a coastal path sign – someone was holding an ice cream which gave us hope of an ice cream – but could we find the van? Nope not at all 😦

The exit point from the beach

So up the boardwalk we went (not under it).

Through a car park and then along a road, before turning right into a field. We then end up following signs across the field, right, then left and then right which mean we ended up not far from where we started.

Through the fields

Over a wall, and across the bridge and we then met some Alpaca who tried to give us directions but we end up making some funny circles on Strava as we wandered around the fields.

Eventually we found ourselves back on the coastal path and on the main road into Barmouth, which we then followed for a couple of miles.

Ah-ha
The road is quite a way from the coast

After the church….

The coastal path turns right and down a steep hill, over the railway line and along a promenade. Sharon tried to get the land train to stop and give us a lift – nice try!

The beach with sand dunes
It is another lovely day

By now we were getting rather hungry so we stopped for a sit down chip dinner.  Then we had to take a decision whether to wait a few hours for the only train of the day to get us back home (the train goes over the Barmouth bridge) or to walk over the bridge and catch an earlier bus (the buses don’t go over the bridge and have a 40 minute inland detour).  We decided to go for the bus and keep on walking!!!

So through Barmouth we walked and over the old wooden bridge, paying the toll to the troll.

Yes there really is a troll toll

Don’t worry – that train is one going the other way!!

We then decided that it would be easiest to walk along to Fairbourne as we could then get the bus from there if we got a wiggle on and it would be easier to start from there tomorrow.  The next part of the walk goes along the other side of the estuary on a cycle path towards the coast again.

Afon Mawddach
The road along the coast at Fairbourne

You can just make out a miniature railway track beside the road and again Sharon was hopeful of a lift, but the little trains had stopped running for the day, so we pushed on along the promenade.

And the end point of today’s coastal path as well as the starting point for tomorrow.

We just had time to walk into town to the bus stop and get an ice-cream from the passing ice cream van while we wait.

The total walk today was over 17 miles but 15 miles of it counts towards the coastal path total. That takes our total up to 605.2 miles completed and 270.4 miles to go. Hopefully it won’t be as windy tonight and we will sleep well.

Tywyn to Aberdyfi

18th September 2020

We had this long weekend planned for a while, but ended up having to escape RCT an evening early before lockdown came in.  So after a night rough camping on my parents drive we set off for the Meirionnydd section of the path to complete the remaining 3 walks in that section over this weekend.

Our plan was for a shorter walk the first day and then to get to the campsite to set up – but we didn’t realise just how easy and short the walk would be!!

We parked in the Tywyn train station car park and walked to the coast.

Our starting point
Our starting point

The walk today is along the beach to Aberdyfi, joining up to a section of path we last walked back in March 2014 on my birthday weekend.  How different the world is now.

The first part is along the promenade

When the promenade ends the path takes you down onto the beach and then you can either walk across the sand or along the path running through the grass – we decided on the beach….. well why wouldn’t you on such a glorious day (as usual!!).

The hills are off to the left of us – I still remember those hills 30 months later!!

Bonnie loves the beach

But today is as flat as can be – and Bonnie leads the way.  There isn’t much more to say on this one really – beach, sunshine and coffee at the end of the walk – that’s all you need for an opening walk on the weekend.

Shorts and straps
And here is Aberdyfi

So only 4.5 miles today, and done inside 90 minutes, leaving us plenty of time for the coffee and then a bus back to the car. That takes our total up to 590.2 miles completed and 285.4 miles to go.  There will be more challenging days on this weekend, that is for sure.  Now off to get basecamp set up.

Aberffraw to Four Mile Bridge

1st September 2020

This walk was completed in 2 stages, the “end” part we actually completed on the Friday when we arrived and had set up the van (hence you will notice a change of clothes and more clouds in the last few pictures), and the beginning we undertook today on a beautiful sunny day.

We walked to the bus stop and watched the fighter jets taking off in pairs from the airfield by our campsite. The bus ride was about 40 minutes and when we arrived at Aberffraw we were straight onto the coastal path which runs alongside Afon Ffraw.

Bridge over the river Ffraw
Bridge over the river Ffraw
What a glorious day already

The tide was heading out, and the path was moist but fine to walk on, and it headed up to a field and around the corner, my do we pick amazing days to go walking.

Snowdonia watching over us

We found a small cove of a beach, and then along some paths, where some helpful men were strimming the long grass and nettles back for us.

Much easier to walk on it now

The path then rounded a bend and we could see this church in the middle of the bay, surrounded by water. It is St Cwyfan’s Church-in-the-sea, and it was built in the 12th century but over the years erosion meant that it got cut off from the land. In 1890 they build a wall around the church to protect it, and now it is only accessible at low tide (or by boat).

St Cwyfan’s Church-in-the-sea

Just past the church the path heads up to the right and past a farm. We then entered a cow field (and at this point Sharon was on the phone and not concentrating so we got a bit lost). We wandered around the cow field for a bit and tried to avoid treading in the worst of it before finally heading towards another fence which we climbed to escape from the cows and back on to the path. For those following our adventures and completing this walk – turn left when you enter the field and head down to the sea!!

Not sure who was more surprised that we were there

The walk then continued along the cliff top for a while before reaching Porth Trecastell where we dropped down and across a car park. As we climbed back up the other side there was a strange circular solar panel on a mound.

What is it?

When we walked down to the bottom of the mound all was revealed with a gated entrance to Barclodiad y Gawres, which was a prehistoric chambered tomb. It has lovely carved stones inside the passageway, but unfortunately to protect it, it is only open for official visits, and our visit didn’t count apparently even though all you lovely people would love to see inside it.

Just the outside sorry

The walk then took us through a lot of dunes and along the beach and up to Rhosneigr which was our planned stop for some lunch.

Will Sharon make it to lunch?
She is going well
Oh no, she’s fallen, can she make it?
We made it!!

And this is a happy Sharon post coffee and cake. The walk goes right though the town and back to the beach on the other side. Well, to be honest, you aren’t supposed to go on the beach as it hits a river that you can’t cross, but we headed over some dunes and rejoined the coastal path in time to cross this bridge besides the golf course and over Afon Crigyll.

Afon Crigyll

The walk then heads besides the RAF Valley airfield through more dunes and finally back onto the beach. By this point we felt under attack with planes taking off and landing right over our heads.

Back onto the beach
Two of the fighter planes taking off

There were also some older planes taking part in the session, and as we left the beach and went through the car park (which floods at high tide) we could see the airfield more clearly.

They do everything in pairs

That concluded the Tuesday part of the walk as we met up with the point at which we started the walk the previous Friday evening.

The end of Tuesday and the start of Friday, notice the increased cloud on Friday evening

This part of the walk starts by zig-zagging across some fields and past the landing lights for the airfield.

On the approach

We then followed the estuary up and there was an inlet called Penrhyn-hwlad which was a one mile detour where you have to do 3 sides of a square as the more obvious route of just the fourth side would result in wet feet.

The estuary
That’s the fourth side we wanted to walk across but it wasn’t clear that you can get off the other side.
The 3 sides you have to walk around
To get back here looking at the 4th side from the other side.

From there on out it was fields, a few horses, and a few walls to climb over.

No we didn’t pick some tea!!
A raised section above some “tidal doors”

And we made it to Four Mile bridge, with plenty of time to then walk back to the camp along a bike path to test out the biking route for the rest of the weekend.

Four mile bridge and the end of Friday but the start of Saturday.

So this section of walk was 10.5 miles on Tuesday and 3.6 miles on Friday making 14.1 in total and our weekend total was exactly 40 miles.

We have now completed 585.7 miles, with 289.5 to go. We have one more walking weekend planned this year, lock-down willing.

Holyhead to Trearddur Bay

Sunday 30th August 2020

So a long bank holiday weekend in Anglesey to try to complete 3 more of the walks on the big island off Wales. We arrived on the Saturday and did a few miles of the 2nd walk, but more on that later, as today we set ourselves a mammoth challenge for our first coastal path walk in 10 months:

The plan was to bike 2.5 miles from the campsite to a spot near the coastal path, and then walk a total of over 20 miles, not all of it coastal path as we needed to finish up where we started (no buses today), and then bike back to the campsite.

Our start point

The starting point for the walk today was Four mile bridge, not named because it is 4 miles long, far from it, more because it is 4 miles from Holyhead. The coastal path headed along the side of the estuary across some very marshy and muddy land to get to the only other way to cross to Holy Island, the Stanley Embankment.  It would be easy to get lost here as the signs go both ways, up towards Church Bay or left to Holy Island – left it is today.

Along the path

Great views of the estuary

Over the railway line and you are on the embankment and walking besides Holyhead Bay and into Penrhos Coastal Path.

Penhros Coastal Path

There was then a bit of a climb up to a viewpoint.

Up we climb

But the views were worth it

We then walked along the cliff tops….

and on to see the ruins of a naval battery used as a defence in the Napoleonic War.

Selfie time

and then around a football pitch before dropping into Holyhead itself and along a residential road, past the port and the railway station.

Hunger was setting in by now, and we found a nice little cafe which was serving breakfast still at 11.30am, the Beach Hut Cafe.  A nice stopping point,  and I got to count the lorries coming off the ferry (I’ll claim for the time later) and then off we went again up out of Holyhead and past the breakwater.

A strange concrete shrine

You will notice from the pictures that we were climbing all the way now and there is a good reason for that which came into view as we rounded North Stack and got sight of Holyhead Mountain, the highest point on Holyhead.

It really was this steep

And we really were this high – that is the town of Holyhead in the distance

The walk doesn’t quite hit the peak of the mountain – and if we weren’t doing 20 miles today and we weren’t socially distancing from the crowds, then we might have made the small detour to the summit, but onwards we went with the downhill part now, and the approach to South Stack lighthouse.

Just time for Bonnie to pop to the loo….

Toilet break – is this the ladies?

Unfortunately due to the pandemic South Stack lighthouse wasn’t open to the public today, but it did save us a fair few steps:

South Stack Lighthouse

We continued the descent and took a wrong turn, following a coastal path sign in the wrong direction, but a swift U-turn and we passed some amazing rock faces:

Can you see him?

Zoom in closer and you will – I am sure this is cheating though!!

Here he is

Ellin’s tower, a folly, was also not open so we walked down a step road to Abraham’s bosom – no it is just a broad bay – and a good place for a late lunch.

Ellin’s folly

Abraham’s bosom

The coastal path then continued to hug the coast line from on high, and the landscape became more and more moon like.

Bonnie on the moon

Stunning landscape

You pass a beautiful beach with a suitable toilet stop…

Porth Dafarch

The last part of the walk kept us walking along a road with no pavement, then deviating off to the right down the path to the coast, then back left to the road at least 5 times….it would have been less distance to stay on the road, but never mind as the sight of Trearddur Bay was worth the walk.

Finally our end point

Well actually Trearddur bay might have been the end point for today’s coastal path but not our walking; we still had 2 miles to walk back to the bikes and 2.5 miles to cycle!!

One last look at the beach

Thankfully we found a nice pub on the walk back and had a cider and a delicious meal, before getting back to the campsite very tired but full. Over 20 miles walked and for the record that was our longest single day ever.  16.7 miles of coastal path takes us to 562.4 miles completed and 312.8 miles to go still. And another walk tomorrow.

 

Llanbedr to Penrhyndeudraeth

6th October 2019

As the weather forecast for Monday was terrible we knew that today would be our last walk of the weekend. Unfortunately when we swapped walks yesterday we didn’t realise that there was no Sunday bus for the walk we planned (Llanengan to Llanbedrog) but there was a bus at 9am from Penrhyndeudraeth to Llanbedr, so we decide to do that walk instead.

In the book this was shown as 2 long walks, as the wooded bridge had collapsed, but we had read recently that a new road and rail bridge had opened, and this meant that we could tackle the whole walk in a single day.

So we stood at a bus stop in the rain in Penrhyndeudraeth waiting for a very late bus, wondering why the weather was not as planned. Eventually the bus turned up and we set off, getting off 20 minutes later in the centre of Llanbedr and walked along the river to get to the coastal path.

Our starting point

The first part followed the river on a raised grass bank, and then crossed the river on a new bridge which wasn’t in our book.

Sharon led the way

Better than trying to swim it

The path then cut left through the Pensarn boating centre and by the harbour and then across some very boggy marshland. Rather than head on to the beach the path then cut inland slightly and along the road.

Pensarn

The clouds looked ominous

We then joined the main road and the path turned left and dropped steeply down around 100 steps to get on to the beach.

Before we dropped down on to the beach

The beach at Harlech was wide and quite busy with visitors.

After about a mile we turned off into the sand dunes, up and over, and along the path towards the famous Harlech Castle.

Exit point

Over the dune

Luckily the path doesn’t climb back up to the castle itself

As we were in less of a rush than yesterday with no rain planned we decided to try to find a cafe for lunch, but there was nowhere around without going up into the town so we sat in the bus stop and had our sandwiches and coffee.

Not quite the Ritz

The path then continued on the road out of Harlech and turned through a housing estate, across a few fields of sheep and then along a very long road through a wood.

We couldn’t even see the end of the road

A few more fields followed and then some steps down and back up before reaching Llanfihangel-y-traethau church.

The path was well sign-posted across some fields and around a farmhouse, and then it dropped down to the estuary edge.

Thankfully a rainbow without the rain

Portmerion in the distance across the estuary

We walked along a raised grass mound, and then dropped down onto the marsh and across a small bridge.

Can’t go through the marshland

The old bridge across the marshland

Along the mound

For some reason the coastal path then hugs the top of the sea wall, inside the field and in long grass. With hindsight we could have saved a lot of effort by instead walking just the otherside of the wall nearer the estuary which had a decent track – never-mind but hopefully someone else will learn from our experience.  The path then crossed the train track, around a hill and met the main road and the new bridge which cut 8 miles off the total walk.

The bridge

And that brought us back to the train station in Penrhyndeudraeth and to the car.

The total walk was 12.9 miles of coastal path in 4 hours and 20 minutes, a much slower pace than yesterday. That is almost 40 miles over our 3 day walking weekend and the grand total now stands at 545.7 miles and 329.5 miles to go. There may not be any more walks now till the spring, time for a wedding and the honeymoon, Christmas and celebrations.

Llanbedrog to Criccieth

5th October 2019

We had planned for this walk to be on Sunday, rather than today, but because it was a flatter 15 miles and we could start earlier than the other walk (there is rain coming in around 1pm) we decided to head out early today to do this one.  So we left the campsite before 7am and were parked in Criccieth by 7.15am.

The same view as yesterday but today it is dark still

We headed up into the town which was about 0.5 miles and got on a bus to Pwllheli, and then had a 30 minute wait for the 2nd bus to get us to Llanbedrog. Even after all that we were still walking by 8.50am, and we started by getting down onto the beach.  I’ll say up front that this walk turned out to be a long walk but without too much of interest with long sections of beach and then long sections of road.

The road down to the beach

Llanbedrog beach

The beach itself has a cute line of beach huts and a mixture of sand and stone.

We missed the first exit from the beach but the book told us there was a second way up, so we took that and got around the Carreg y Defaid headland, and along to another long beach which was very rocky at Traeth Crugan – there was a path which ran parallel to the beach but behind a water defense and we used that for over a mile as it sheltered us from the wind.

2nd time lucky

Looking back to what should be tomorrow’s more hilly walk

The coastal path then headed inland around Pwllheli harbour and almost right past the bus stop we had waited at a bit earlier. We kept up the brisk pace today (with the threat of rain later) and 4 miles in and we decided not to stop at Pwllheli but instead carry on around the harbour and out to the Morfa Abererch after nearly 2 miles of road walking.

Pwllheli sea front

Pwllheli Harbour

And out on to the beach

This beach seemed to go on forever, but in reality it was about 2 miles, and then we approached Pen-ychain which was another rocky outcrop.

Pen-ychain

Bonnie found the stones difficult to walk on so had a helping hand as we left the beach.

That’s the life

We then decided to take a quick break, which was probably the latest we have ever made a first stop coming after 2 hours 40 minutes and almost 9 miles of walking. A quick coffee and sandwich, and a snooze for Bonnie then off we set again.

Time for 20 winks

 

 

 

 

 

We passed a teepee and walked around the hillside and some narrow woodland paths

The path then went through some shrubland ……

following the coast and then took a left inland. At this point we got lost as we assumed we would be turning right and following the coast again but that was private land, so we had to turn around and retrace our steps and head about 0.5 miles inland to follow the coastal path till it hit the main road into Criccieth (the A497).

I would like to say the day was all like this – yes over there in front of the peak is Criccieth castle if you look closely.

But sadly we had over 2 miles of this to follow with cars going past at 60mph

Finally the path turned right at a farm and angling centre (shown by this sign which wasn’t completely obvious).

Don’t miss this one

And we headed through the farm, across some sheep fields and over the train tracks.

Which brought us to some very marshy and muddy land where we had to jump from stone to stone – if the tide had been in we could have found this part very difficult.  By now the rain had also started so we were desperate to get to the end – the castle was our marker all the way.

The easier part of marshland

And then it got harder

Finally our path came back parallel to the sea, if very slightly inland from it.

One of us was still cheery, but it was raining on the other one of us.

What rain? Sharon is still smiling under there

Finally as we headed around a corner the car came into sight.

Even the backpack has a coat now

What a view – no not the castle, the white car which means we have finished.

So at 1.45pm we finished exhausted after quite a pace,and 16.7 miles walked, of which 16.1 miles was coastal path. That takes our total to 532.8 miles walked and 342.4 miles to go.  Another long walk again tomorrow if we recover in time.

Criccieth to Penrhyndeudraeth

4th October 2019

Our last walking weekend of the year and a final chance to get some serious mileage in before winter. This weekend we will be on the Lyn Peninsula section of the coastal path as well as the Meirionnydd Section as our campsite for this weekend is right on the edge between both sections of path.

So after a long drive up we parked up at Morfa Bychan just as the rain was stopping and decided to try to fit a 10 miler in before dark. Because of the timing of the trains we had to walk from Morfa Bychan to Penrhyndeudraeth, and then get a train right the way across to Criccieth, and then finish the walk from Criccieth to Morfa Bychan. And the train was at 4.40pm so we had to walk at a decent pace.

Our campsite was right on the beach and as we climbed over the dunes we got our first glimpse of a very nice beach

We had about a mile to walk until we needed to go up the steps at the end to get around the cove at Sampson’s Bay.

Up we go at Ynys Cyngar
Up we go at Ynys Cyngar

And here is the BayWe then walked through some woodlands, and through Pen y Banc nature reserve to get to Borth-y-Gest.

Some views of walks for later in the weekend

Borth-y-Gest used to be an important harbour until Porthmadog was built, now it is a sleepy colourful harbour.

Borth-y-Gest

Complete with car park and cafe

Rounding this harbour bought us to the much larger Porthmadog Harbour with tall masts and a maritime museum.

After joining the main road to cross the river the guidebook told us to cross over and follow the bike-path along the salt marsh – the views were nice, but we later found out we could have walked up high on ‘The Cob’ which would have been even nicer looking out to see and with the heritage trains.

Traeth Mawr salt marsh

At the end of the path we had to walk under an arch and cross the road and railway line.

Underneath the arches

Then up a steep and muddy path – but the views at the end of Porthmadog and beyond were well worth it.

We then crossed some fields and hit the edge of Portmerion – but as you have to pay to enter we skirted around it. At this point the signage became rather vague and we also found a fellow lost coastal path walker so we teamed up and walked down the Portmerion access road until the coastal path crossed over in front of us, we could rejoin it and we said our goodbyes to the slower walker as we had a train to catch.

The next section was all along the main road so we could get a good pace up and we arrived at the railway station with 2 minutes to spare.

The coastal path sign by the station to pick up from on a future walk

The station itself

A nice 15 minute train ride enabled us to catch up on cold coffee from the flasks and a snack, and then we arrived in Criccieth and walked the half a mile back to the coastal path.

The sign to start this end of the walk

In Criccieth we first had to walk up and down the hill to pass the castle.

The back of the castle

It is more impressive from the front

And then we walked along the seafront at Criccieth.

We tried to stay on the beach the whole way to Morpha but the tide was in just too far at Graig Ddu and we had to climb up the hill.

Looking back to the castle

Graig Ddu

Some of the hill we had to climb

But looking down we could see a way to clamber down the rocks and get back onto the beach rather than climb even higher, so with the light starting to fade we made our way gingerly down the rock-face, mostly backwards!!

But then down we dropped as twilight started to fall

It was then about 1 mile along the beach to get us back to the campsite and all checked in by 6.15pm. A good afternoon of walking with plenty of views and sights of interest……10.3 miles walked today, making 516.7 miles completed and 358.5 miles to go. Now off to re-plan the rest of the weekend as tomorrow the rains come in early in the afternoon and we wanted to walk 15 miles before they do!!

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.

Amroth to Freshwater East in a weekend

19th and 20th May 2018

This is a double-header update to cover the walks both sides of Tenby.

On the Saturday we set off early from home and drove to Amroth, parking right on the seafront with free parking. We were also only 10 metres from the bus stop, so today will count as the day with least extra “non-coastal path” walking.

After a delicious “Pirate” breakfast we got the bus to Tenby, and that was quite a scary ride down some narrow lanes.

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The bus heading along Amroth front towards us

And off we set from Tenby for the walk – the coastal path isn’t signposted at all through Tenby so you just make your way through the town and down to the harbour and North beach.

The coastal path then rises sharply firstly along a road and then through some fields.

The path then stays quite high for a while with views of the coast through hedges and trees before dropping down to sea-level in a little cove just before Sandersfoot. We stopped for a coffee and Sharon decided to have a paddle in the very cold water.

 

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The tide was in too far to walk around the coast on the beach, so we climbed back up to continue the walk to Saundersfoot.

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And after a surprisingly short stop for shopping we headed out of Saundersfoot in the glorious sunshine and through a tunnel, yes a tunnel, to get to Coppet Hall Point.

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One of the two tunnels

After a suntan lotion stop we went through a second tunnel and along a very well walked part of the path to Wiseman’s bridge. By now the tide was well on the way out, and we were able to walk from Wiseman’s bridge all the way to Amroth on the beach over rocks.

And there was the car – so a lovely stroll of 7.6 miles and we had joined up to our previous Laugharne to Amroth walk.

After a great evening in St Florence and a good pub meal we set off the next morning for day 2 – parking in Tenby and getting the train out to Lamphey – which is about as close to the coastal path as we could get to start today.

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By “close” I mean about 2.5 miles of walking to get to the coastal path, most of it along a road, so not the most exciting of starts, but at least we had some cloud cover today to stop it being so warm. And after a steep descent we made it to the start point by Freshwater East beach.

The coastal path heads behind the beach through dunes, and then sharply up a steep climb to get to West Moor Cliff; the views here are mainly behind us back towards Freshwater East.

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Ahead of us though from this height Sharon kindly pointed out our future path around Swanlake Bay, and it was a big drop and rise again…..

The climb up East Moor Cliff was a big one, and to then turn the corner and see another drop down, this time into Manorbier Bay was a little disheartening, but the views along here were magnificent because of the height.

We stopped for lunch at Manorbier Bay, but didn’t have time to see the castle. Then off we set again up Priest’s nose this time, and if you look closely you can see fishermen sitting in very precarious positions on the rocks below us.

We then climbed up and around Presipe Bay, where thankfully we didn’t have to drop down to the beach for once – although Alice and her family had done.

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The path then has to turn inland to avoid Manorbier firing range, and there were some neat dog openings on the stiles. It was also a chance for the pace to pick up on some concrete paths.

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Then suddenly Caldey Island came into view, and from an angle that we had never seen before.

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Caldey Island

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Then once more we dropped a fair distance towards Skrinkle Haven, but this time the way back up was steps, and lots of them. Andrew decided to tackle them in one, and then needed a 5 minute sit down to regain his breath.

Then it was quite a surprise to come out besides some caravans on the Haven Lydstep site, and we got a bit lost navigating our way around the caravans, but Sharon got us back on track, even if it was a very much unused track with lots of stinging nettles.

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A prime position for a caravan

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Lydstep bay

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Overgrown paths

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Sharon steams ahead – must need food!!

After Lydstep the path heads up again to Penally, and with the red flag down we were able to walk across the shooting range, and past the trenches used to train soldiers in WW1.

We then arrived at Giltar Point, but were not feeling brave enough to climb out on it – hard to believe that this beautiful spot is so close to Tenby South Beach, and gives such good views of Caldey Island.

Then we headed through a beautiful small wood and arrived at South Beach.

And we were back in Tenby – so a lot longer day than yesterday – around 6 hours of walking, a total of 15 miles, and over 210 storeys of height. But for the coastal path it was 11.7 miles completed.

So with 19.3 miles completed this weekend our grand total is now above the 400 miles completed mark at 403.7 miles, and 470.5 miles to go. 3 walks away from being halfway!!