Sunday 22nd June 2014 – 13.2 miles
Packed the tent away and left the car at the campsite. Followed the footpath to the coast and turned north. This took us to the top of the village near the church. Here, we went a bit wrong, walking up the main road for a way, until it became clear we had gone too far, so retraced our steps and realised we should have gone to a footpath at the side of the church. This led us gradually up the hill overlooking the main road and the coast.
We had to cross a huge buttress of spoil from the old quarries which we had been able to see from quite a way off, and then headed back down to the main road.
The path then led on the coast side of the road across rough fields. It wasn’t very clearly waymarked – there were a couple of times when it was unclear which route across a field to take.
This part of the path also forms part of the Pilgrims Way, from Holywell to Bardsey Island. We came across a lovely little church, St Beuno’s chapel, which had been part of a pilgrim route over the centuries.
We then went over a headland to a view of Porth y Nant bay, with steep cliffs heading down to a deserted beach. There was a little bit of cloud rolling in and covering the peaks.
There was a steep path leading straight down to the beach, or one that stayed higher up. We chose this one, following it around the hillside, through a wood of small, gnarled trees that had obviously grown up in salt-spray and coastal wind.
This path then led down to the beach, past some old quarrying machinery, then steeply uphill.
We had seen a few people on the beach at the end of the path, and we were quite surprised as we headed uphill to meet quite a number of people. When we got to the top we realised why – it is now a visitor centre, Nant Gwytherin, with a car park and cafe. Not many of the visitors had gone all the way down to the beach though!
We made the most of the visitor centre and had an ice cream. The old buildings have been restored and there is a heritage centre and miners cottage. It’s also a Welsh language centre, and most of the people, unsurprisingly perhaps, were speaking in Welsh.
We had decided to make a loop on the route here, and follow the Pilgrims Route inland, so we headed up the steep switchback road. There is a car park at the top, which will be useful for the next leg – deserted, as everyone must go down to the visitor centre! It also looks like a good place to start a route up Yr Eifl.
We followed the path across farm fields, including one with lots of young bulls in. That wouldn’t normally bother us, but they got a bit excited and curious about us, and one in particular was very jumpy! We were very glad to get to the other side of the fence! We also came across this herd of blue sheep …
We took the quicker option of following the roads back to Nefyn and then Morfa Nefyn.