12 May 2018 – 10.7 miles
We drove over early Saturday morning and parked in the layby that we had found on our last trip.
The path led uphill and over the railway line. There were some good views back over Porthmadog and the bay, but there were too many trees in the way to make a good picture. We had to wander across a field to find the gate – the waymarker had pointed in a different direction – and then found a set of helpful, if intriguing, signs. I found out later that the Welsh weatherman had done a televised walk near here, up a hill with a view, so I assume it was pointing here.
We then skirted the village of Portmeirion, with just a glimpse of it visible. This was followed by a longish walk along the main road to Penrhyndeuddraeth where we sat at the station for a break. We followed the railway along a quiet minor road on the causeway over the Afon Dwyryd which has only recently been rebuilt and reopened. We were rather glad, as the Coast Path used to divert some way inland here.
It was something of a relief to leave road walking at the end of the causeway and head onto paths near the coast. We crossed the railway and followed an embankment along the edge of the salt marsh grazed by sheep. We had a very familiar and traditional view of Portmeirion across the bay. We met a couple of women walking who were looking for the path out to the tidal island of Ynys Gifftan, accessible at low tide, and we were able to use the GPS to point them a bit further on to the path.
We had our lunch outside an old church, seemingly by itself, then round a few hills to a small house with a few holiday chalets alongside. We crossed a farm field, slightly annoying the donkey at being on his patch, and reached Harlech recycling centre.
The path then led along a straight concrete road, through woodland. It felt decidedly military, but with no clues as to its past use. I did look it up and the nearest I came to an answer was that it could have been used as a coastal gunnery firing range during the Second World War.
The path led up to the main road at the edge of a modern estate, and straight to the station. We had a while to wait until our train, so we headed up hill (I’d forgotten quite how long and steep a hill it was!) to the Castle café, before getting back to the station in time for the train back to Minffordd and a mile walk back to the car.