Last October’s walks was not a great success. As a group we lost a day to weather and Dorothy and I missed the whole of the four days. The latter problem was already in hand as we hve booked to do those walks in August on our own. Not only were we a walk behind but I was coming to realise that I may be pushing too hard. Looking ahead I could see that I had planned some walks of 10 to 13 miles. We were all getting older and finding it more difficult to do four days of this length of walk. I therefore took the decision to shorten the walks where it was feasible. As a result we wouldn’t be finishing in May 2020 but would have to have an extra session taking us to September. I had originally planned that we would get to Bangor in this session but now we would be well short of that target. I also had a hotel booked in Llandudno for October which means that we would have walk the remainder of the north Wales coast out of order.
Rather than find a new hotel on the Llyn peninsular I decided to use The Victoria Hotel in Menai Bridge as we knew it well and it could cater for our needs. Over the four days we would be using a combination of our cars, buses and a minibus.
In the preceeding the years we travelled many times on the A470 to north Wales. Although it could be an infuriating road at times, you just had to accept that if you got stuck behind a tractor there was no option but to following it. On the plus side there are amazing views like these.
London, you can keep your M25!
23 May 2018 – Aberdesach to Llanfaglan: 8.8 miles (14.2 km) +78m -85m
I’m not sure why I decided to do the last walk first and in reverse but it was a nice easy one to get us started.
We drove to Caernarfon and caught the bus from outside Asda to Aberdesach. The first part of the walk was beside the A499 for about three miles and then turned onto a minor road that took us to Dinas Dinlle. There were two things to look out for here; an Iron Age hillfort and watching one of our lady walkers search for two naked men on the beach. (A few years earlier we were at Dinas Dinlle with the Chepstow Archaeological Society and two men were bathing naked in the sea. You would think she had never seen a naked man before).
We continued along the promenade, past the airport and around Foryd Bay, a 250 hectare nature reserve of intertidal mud and saltmarsh which supports huge numbers of wildfowl and waders. In the 9th century the bay was used as a shelter for Viking longboats.
We walked along the road a little further until we reached the end of the walk but then had about an hour to wait for the bus to take us back to Caernarfon.
24 May 2018 – Porth Colman to Morfa Nefyn: 10.7 miles (17.2 km) +256m -251m
We drove to the National Trust car park at Morfa Nefyn and a minibus took us to Porth Colmon where the group (without us) finished last October.
The Path took us along low grassy cliffs passing Porth Towy, one of the most popular beaches on this exposed coast.
We walked through a golf course along the Coast path which led us to the top of a headland and then along the opposite side dropping down to the beach at Porth Dinllaen and the “pub on the beach”. In 1803 local landowner and MP, William Madocks, hoped this would be the main ferry port to Ireland, in the end Holyhead was chosen. According to my guide The Ty Coch Inn was voted the third best beach bar in the world – I have no idea what came first and second.
The Path then goes back up to the top of the headland before heading south to Morfa Nefyn. As the tide was out we decided to take the easier route along the beach and back to the cars.
25 May 2018 – Lithfaen to Morfa Nefyn: 7.6 miles (12.3 km) +420m -687m
On this section we had to cross the highest point of the Wales Coast Path. Yr Eifl, the trident, rises abruptly from the rocky coastline. This iconic mountain comprises the triple peaks of Tre’r Ceiri (485m), Garn Ganol (564m) and Garn Fawr (444m). Fortunately there is a pass that we could go through but that would still mean an ascent of around 350m. The previous year we did a recce and found a car park on the top so I decided that the easiest way to walk this section of the Coast Path was to start on two days at the top. On day one walking south to Morfa Nefyn and day two walking north to Llithfaen. It would still mean that the walks would be strenuous but with significantly more down than up!
We drove to Morfa Nefyn and the minibus took us to the car park near the top of the col. From a height of about 300m we descended to sea level. We passed the old Victorian village of Nant Gwrtheryn now restored as a Welsh Language and Herritage Centre. The Path then ascended to about 150m at Porth Howel and from here we walked on a more level path, mostly inland, back to Morfa Nefyn.
On the way we passed St Beuno’s Church at Pistyll. Named after a 6th century hermit, the 15th century church was an important stopover on the medieval pilgrims route to Bardsey. The church is notable as the burial place of Rupert Davies, he played Maigret for many years on tv, and the inside of the church which is decorated at certain times of the year with wild herbs and rushes laid on the floor.
26 May 2018 – Lithfaen to Aberdesach: 8.4 miles (13.5 km) +254m -526m
For our last day of this visit to the Llyn peninsular we drove to Aberdesach and the minibus took us back the the same car park as the previous day. We began with a steady uphill walk along a wide track that took us to the top of the col at 350m. This is probably the highest point on the Coast Path. If it had been clear the views would have been spectacular but of course the visibility was not good.
We then had a steady descent past the granite quarries to sea level at Trefor. The remainder of the route was along the A499 to Aberdesach which wasn’t very interesting except for the church of St Beuno at Clynnog Fawr. Outside it has what is described as a sundial but I think it is a mass dial.
The remainder of the route was along the A499 to Aberdesach which wasn’t very interesting except for the church of St Beuno at Clynnog Fawr. Outside it has what is described as a sundial but I think it is a mass dial.
The weekend went well, with the exception of one of our party not feeling well on the final day, but he survived.We still had more of the Llyn to complete but that would have to wait until next year.