Wales Coast Path – Caernarfon to Gyrn Goch

WCP Caernarfon17 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.

WCP St Baglans church

St Baglan’s Church

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.

WCP salt marsh

Foryd Bay

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.

WCP airport

Helicopter landing at Caernarfon airport

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.

Caernarfon Bay

Caernarfon Bay

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!).

WCP Llyn

Llŷn sign

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.

WCP Clynnog Fawr

St Beuno’s Church, Clynnog Fawr

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.

WCP Caernarfon to Gyrn Goch

Advertisements

Wales Coast Path: Bangor to Caernarfon

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon4th August 2017 – 11.8 miles

I’m not really sure why we haven’t done much of our longer walks in spring or early summer, but here we are again. The forecast looked better today than it has been for a while, and Friday is a better day than Saturday to drive into North Wales in August!

We found a parking place in a semi-residential area above the suspension bridge, then walked down to the bridge, only to find there were several convenient places we could have parked down there!

We soon came across a Botanic Garden. The path lead along the coast, through the trees, including this impressive Lucombe Oak.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-2

Lucombe Oak

It was a very pleasant walk, with glimpses of the Menai Strait and the Britannia Bridge, though it was obscured by trees preventing a good photograph. Just past the Britannia Bridge, we found this section which we later learned is a section of the old bridge which was damaged by fire in the 70s.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-4

Section of the old Britannia Bridge

The next section was through National Trust woodland in Glan Faenol, where we came across this impressive (and slightly spooky) mausoleum.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-5

Vaynol Mausoleum

Leaving the woods, we had lunch in a field with views across the Menai Strait to Plas Newydd on Anglesey.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-6

View to Plas Newydd

The route then took us inland along an A-road. There were few waymarks here so it was good to find some at the junction taking us onto a cycle path. We walked this section with a local lady. She told us how she had joined Slimming World and begun to walk every day. She has since lost 5 stone and stopped taking tablets for various medical conditions. She took a fork in the path to head down towards the coast and return to Bangor while we carried straight on. We later found we should have followed her, but we walked along the main road in Y Felinheli until we met up again with the path.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-8

Old station building

From here, the Wales Coast Path and the cycle path are part of the Lôn Las Menai which is easy to follow, although a few Coast Path waymarkers would be nice. It was pleasant and easy walking, although again trees prevented us from getting a clear view of the sea.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-9

Lôn Las Menai

We followed the path into Caernarfon and round to the far side of the castle.

WCP Bangor to Caernarfon-11

Caernarfon

We crossed the river, so we can park there to begin the next leg of the walk, then took the bus back to Bangor, very close to where we had parked. WCP Bangor to Caernarfon