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!!

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.

Oxwich Bay to Rhossili

19th August 2017

On a dry but very windy day we decided to walk in the Gower from Oxwich Bay to Rhossili. We had wanted to include the walk out to Worm’s head but the tide times and the bus times wouldn’t coincide – so we parked in Rhossili and got the bus to Towers.

The sign at Rhossili where we will end up
Sharon and Bonnie at the bus stop
Towers – with the road leading down to Oxwich Bay

We walked down the road to Oxwich Bay and found the coastal path sign before walking along the beach front.

The sign at Oxwich beach
Oxwich Bay

We passed St Illtyd’s church before starting a very steep climb and descent (apparently to avoid a landslip – so the book tells me).

Up we climb

And then we walked around Oxwich point and along to Lucas Bay.

Port Eynon in the distance
Lucas Bay

We had decided to stop for lunch at Port Eynon, and found ourselves walking both against the strong wind, and against 98 two person teams completing a run/swim from Rhossili to Oxwich – so on narrow parts we had to stop and let them through. We also found that part of the path had fallen into the sea so needed to detour inland and back out again.

Doh – lunch is delayed

In Port Eynon we got some cakes at the Life Boat open day and sat down to eat them when we heard “Dad!” “Sharon!” and saw Dan with his head stuck through a hole receiving a lot of sponges in the face – he was running the stall for the life boaters.

Dan enjoying a soaking

After Dan showed us the sights of Port Eynon we continued up and around to Port Eynon point.

Port Eynon beach
The Salt House
Port Eynon Point

The walk then follows the coast all the way to Rhossili – but boy is it hilly. We walked over Overton Cliff, Common Cliff, and Horse Cliff, and the altitude was clocking up.

Fabulous views but very hilly
A great coastal path sign
And the wind was whipping up the sea into a froth

In the sun it was very warm, especially up the hills.

So trendy
Bonnie leads the way
More stunning scenery

And we picked the best view of the day for our afternoon coffee and cake.

Cake tastes better with this view

We set off again having refueled and finally we could see Worm’s head in the distance.

There’s Worm’s Head

By now it was about 4.30 and we had been walking for over 12 miles, but we pushed on up a few more hills to walk around the top of the cliff above Worm’s Head and to Lookout point.

Sharon Looking out at Look out point
Rhossili Bay for another day

And we had made it back to Rhossili- A harder day than I had thought it would be, but then I was only just recovering from a night of being sick 30 hours earlier. There are more photos on the Walkies Bonnie Facebook page.

The total walk was 14.9 miles, and 14.2 of that was coastal path – and the total height gained was 2,076 feet.

Our grand total now is 306.4 miles walked and 563.6 miles to go.