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.
Day two of our double-header, and I make no apology that today will be full of photographs, as this has to be one of the most stunning sections of coastal path. It needs to be though or people wouldn’t attempt it, as it is single day with the biggest climbs of any – over 780 metres if the guide book is to be believed.
So we are planning for this walk to take all day, and Bethan arrived at 9.15 to get us to the start point (thank you Bethan again). The early start is OK though as I have been promised breakfast when we get to Tresaith. I am not sure how Bonnie’s little legs will cope with all the hills today either.
The first part of the walk is on a new tarmac path, and you walk past several houses which have been converted from train carriages – explains why we couldn’t get a train to our start point today!!
The walk was already teasing us with the views ahead of us.
We arrived at Tresaith at just after 10, only to find the cafe shut and the only pub stopped serving breakfast at 10.
So we soldiered on up the hill out of Tresaith, and towards Penbryn Beach.
Penbryn also took us in land slightly to get past a river, and we decided to stop in the wooded glen, complete with ferns, to have our breakfast – which was actually half of our lunch (a bit early).
We then climbed up the other side of the wood and found ourselves in a National Trust car park, complete with a tea room. The air did turn rather blue at this point!!
The views behind us got better and better as we got higher and higher.
And ahead of us now was Carreg-y-ty with it’s sandy cove.
The view ahead then got better still as we approached Ynys Lochtyn, which is used as the main picture to advertise the Ceredigion coastal path.
The next landmark on the way to Ynys Lochtyn was Llangrannog, the village rather than the activity centre that kids stay in. We had been told of a lovely coffee shop on the sea front, and it didn’t disappoint. At this point we were 5 miles in and around 120 flights of stairs, so we still had a way to go.
The coast line ahead still showed a lot of undulations, with Cwmtydu now the distant part.
And then out of no-where comes the Llangrannog activity centre with ski slope and go karts
The climbs seemed to get steeper and steeper, and New Quay still wasn’t in sight, and ahead was the worst climb of them all, cut into the hill side.
And then, not since our first walk nearly 4 years ago in Chepstow, Sharon once again uttered the famous words “That’s a pretty sheep”. And, to be fair, it was.
The next big drop through a forest took us into Cwmtydu, and a welcome, if somewhat expensive ice-cream stop
We still had a massive climb to go, and then from the top the view looked like this, where is New Quay?
Another descent followed, and on a bridge in the middle of no-where was this….
I could have done with that a few hours earlier!!
After all the dangerous walking it was a surprise to see this warning sign right at the end, but we did follow the safer route.
Which finally gave us a glimpse of New Quay
What a welcome sight that was and what a view
The route then took us down through the town, past houses, and the harbour, ending our day with the walk out of New Quay to the caravan site.
Strava records it as 14.6 miles and 4,148 feet of height (which is 1,264 metres). This is higher than walking up Snowdon.
And that was our weekend done – 27.2 miles in total, making a grand total of 430.9 miles walked and 443.3 miles to go. One more day of walking and we should be halfway around the coast.
Our last walking weekend of the year – and also our first since May (which is very remiss) and we got off to a delayed start as the weather was so bad on Friday and on Saturday morning, so only 2 walks this weekend, but they will have lovely scenery.
Today we are walking the 13 or so miles from New Quay (where we have hired a static caravan) to Llanrhystud to join up with this previous walk. We chose this way as it is relatively flat (compared with the walk we are saving for tomorrow) and we should be able to complete it in an afternoon rather than having an all-day adventure.
You can see the sea from our caravan!
We headed down to the beach and walked along till a river meant we had to head inland.
And before we knew it our lunch-spot of Aberaeron was right in front of us.
The coastal path led down, through a forest, over a bridge and past an orange roman style house, complete with horse statue in the garden, to the town of Aberaeron.
We met up with Bethan (our taxi driver for later as buses are infrequent) and bribed her with pancakes and nutella, and then set off around the lovely harbour and back to our walking.
The walk now was mostly flat for the rest of the afternoon, which was exactly what we needed to keep the pace up and get to the end before 5.30.
Just before Llanon we got a little bit lost and had to ask for directions. The alternate Blue route goes in land to Llanon itself to get over the river, but the red route allows for you to do a bit of stepping stones (I did OK!!) over the river and then walk along the beach to the second tower and then the paths rejoin.
At this point we stopped to collect some driftwood for future projects, but it did look more like Sharon had been to the bakery!!
We then had to weave through the small town of LLansantffraed, and over a bridge next to the church of St Brides before heading past four old lime kilns, used historically to burn limestone to spread on the fields to make them more fertile and improve drainage.
Then a stop for a coffee and cake on the beach watching the waves hit the shore from the strong wind….
and then the coastal path takes you up a long straight road towards the main road.
And you arrive at the entrance to the campsite which marked the end of the previous walk.
The coastal path would then head back into the camp site and up the hills to Aberystwyth, but for us that is the end of the day, and a moment to relax before Bethan arrives to take us back to the campsite. 12.6 miles in total and around 450 metres of height gained today. Time for dinner before tomorrow’s adventures.
If yesterday was all about height then today continues that theme but also adds in distance as we not only have 590m of height and 11 miles of walk to contend with for today, we also have about 5 miles of walk left from the leg on Friday to join up.
So we start the day by walking to Borth railway station….not part of the 16 miles for today!!
The train (with the same friendly conductor as yesterday) took us to Machynlleth where we picked up from where we left off yesterday.
The first part of the walk is flat through the town and past the clock tower and school.
We then turned left and up the Roman steps which were part of the original highway into the town.
After a steep climb we “undulated” for a while through the Llyfnant Valley, which was a beautiful wood. It was here we once again met our fellow walkers from yesterday….they had stayed in Machynlleth overnight and seen our train arrive this morning whilst climbing the first big hill.
We then had a rapid descent back to sea level and across a river but then, to our dismay, the path climbed steeply again on the other side.
At this point we stopped for lunch and had a long debate about exactly where we were on the map. I felt that we still had one big climb to go, Sharon thought we had already done it.
But alas I was right, we did still have another descent to get across a river, and then another climb.
But the view was worth it.
We skirted Craig Caerhedyn to the West, and a rocky mount made a good look-out point.
Then a final descent to join the A467 and a nice new coffee shop at the village of Tre-Taliesin.
We enjoyed the coffee and cake, well deserved after 11 miles and well needed with another 4 or 5 miles still to go. Just as we were leaving the coffee shop who should arrive but our fellow walkers who had kept up a good pace today (or we were getting slower!).
Now on to the left-over walk from Friday. This was the flat part of the day, but the downside to that was that it was also across marshland.
But then the ground got wetter and wetter, and muddier and muddier. Every step was giving us that sinking feeling, but by now we didn’t really care.
Aother fellow walker caught us up at this point and walked the last section with us….he only started walking the path in January 2017 and had already made it from Chester to here and planned to complete the whole path in 2 1/2 years, half of our target. Anyway, Borth station appeared in front of us and then a quick walk down the sea front and we were back at the caravan.
So today was 16.1 miles and 590 metres elevation. It took us 5 1/2 hours as we were a bit slower today. The grand total is now 371.5 miles completed and 500.2miles to go. One more walk tomorrow.
Day 2 of our weekend and the hilliest day with 620 metres of height ahead of us. But first our journey to get there. Today we drove to Machynlleth and got a train from there to Aberdyfi. But not before Sharon discovered the cleanest railway toilets in the country.
Once in Aberdyfi (which is our first walk in the Meirionnydd section of the coastal path) we headed along the coast on the flat and found a nice little cafe for breakfast. Fully recharged we headed off on our walk through the town, but soon we were directed up to the left up a steep slope.
The path started up steps and soon opened up to fields and woodlands, with a stream running through the path….
And a field which included one where the sign had been knocked down, so Sharon was able to make her own directions.
Already the views were magnificent, but today was going to be about estuary views rather than beach.
At this point we caught up some fellow walkers who we had seen setting off while we had breakfast, they were also on day 2 of the weekend and heading the same way as us but at a slower pace.
At times we couldn’t see the estuary but instead could see inland towards Snowdonia National Park and the Happy Valley.
We climbed higher to Tyddynbriddell hill where a slate marks the spot where King Arthur’s horse Llamrai’s hoof scarred the rock according to legend.
Yes it is time for one of our 4 day walking weekends, and we are heading halfway up the west coast mainly in Ceredigion for this weekend. But before we start in Aberystwyth we have time to have a selfie with our coffees (thank you Suzanne and Laurence for the voucher).
We parked the car up in Borth near our base for the weekend and got the bus back to Aberystwyth for a short afternoon walk to start the weekend off gently.
The sun was shining as we headed along the promenade at Aberystwyth to Constitutional Hill. This is quite a steep climb, and has the hillside cliff railway which was not open today.
And hills were going to become the theme for this weekend, as we realised we have chosen to do the 4 consecutive walks on the coastal path with the highest combined total height gained of any stretch of coastal path at 1960 metres, but more of our pain later in the weekend! For today we got the Strava record for fastest ever hill climb in the section, and we stopped for photos on the way doh!!
At the top the view towards Clarach Bay was wonderful and it was less than a mile to get there.
For most of the rest of the walk the views were from the cliffs down to the rough sea below. We did drop down at Craig y Delyn to sea level but decided not to risk the beach route so then continued back up the hill to the War Memorial.
And in a sign of how easy today was we were still smiling at the end of it.
So today was 5.7 miles walked and 320 metres gained. Our total is now 342.4 miles completed and 529.3 miles to go. Tomorrow is going to be much tougher.