17 February 2018 – 14.98 miles
February half-term so we had a few days in North Wales to join up part of the coast path from Caernarfon to the north of the Llŷn Peninsula, and then to carry on round the southern end. We stayed for the first couple of nights in the Black Boy in Caernarfon, busy, cosy and they fed us extremely well!
We walked down to the marina and across the footbridge, where we had finished our walk last summer. We followed a quiet road along the coast, with views across to Anglesey, meeting only a handful of locals out for a walk, cyclists and a few cars. It was a pleasant day, fairly clear and bright, with a bit of a breeze – a gloves-on/gloves-off sort of day! It was cloudier inland so we didn’t get the views of Snowdonia. We passed this lonely church (St Baglan’s) in a field, some way off from the village. Apparently, it’s quite an interesting unrestored medieval church so it might be one to return to for a visit some day.
As we turned the corner we had a view in front of us of a sandy spit of land, where the airport is. It almost looked as if the sandbars met across to Anglesey. We headed slightly inland to get round the bay and across a small river, through some pleasant villages. It is good to see that a lot of work is being done on the houses and many have been renovated. They don’t all look like holiday homes either!
We had a short stretch along a grassy footpath, a bit muddy in places. I think this was pretty much the only non-tarmac stretch we did today. This led to a footbridge and a causeway alongside the salt marsh of Foryd Bay where we saw a couple of little egrets. There had been a grebe on the Menai strait earlier. It seems to be quite a good place for birdwatching.
A long, straight road led past the airport – surprisingly busy and noisy. We had seen an occasional light aircraft earlier in the day, but as we got nearer we could see planes and helicopters much more frequently.
We stopped for lunch at Morfa Dinlle, with a new view of the hills of the Llŷn and the last views of Anglesey, with St. Dwynwen’s chapel standing out really clearly.
A straight path above the beach ran parallel with the road down to the small resort of Dinas Dinlle. The route didn’t take us up to the hillfort, but instead up to the main road. This was part that I hadn’t been looking forward to – a long, straight slog along the main road! However, it wasn’t too bad. For a start the road wasn’t continuously busy, and also there were significant stretches of the path that were separated from the road, even if only by a few metres, either running through villages, or following what must have been the old road. On the plus side, the bus back to Caernarfon ran hourly along this road so we had plenty of options for our stopping point. We did check the bus stops and keep an eye on the passing buses as the hotel had warned us that some bus services had been significantly reduced, although they thought this one was unaffected (it was!).
We passed through the village of Clynnog Fawr, with St Beuno’s church and the well just outside the village. Apparently, if you had a dip in the well, then slept overnight in the church on St Beuno’s tomb, you were cured. At least, you would say you were so you didn’t have to go through it all again! It is a very large church for such a small village, but was on the pilgrim route to Bardsey and is said to be where St Beuno is buried.
We walked a little further, to the village of Gyrn Goch, where we decided to stop and wait for the bus. There looked to be few villages further along the road and we didn’t know where the next stop would be, plus we were just about ready to stop. It had been a much nicer day than expected, and I was glad that we had thought ahead to wear walking shoes rather than boots for a full day on tarmac.