Wales Coast Path: Abererch to Black Rock Sands

WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-331st March 2018 – 16.16 miles
Criccieth to Abererch: 9.43; Criccieth to Black Rock Sands: 6.73

Our B&B was right on the sea front at Criccieth, so we were on the Coast Path as soon as we stepped out of the front door. We headed west, just above the beach, looking back frequently at the view of Criccieth and the castle, until we reached the estuary of the Afon Dwyfor. WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-4We followed the river inland to the main road, where we made a short detour in to Llanystumdwy to see Lloyd George’s grave. I was rather glad we had gone as it is quite an impressive site and view.

We then had to walk alongside the main road for a good couple of miles – not too bad, but not terribly interesting, although we did get to see plenty of bus stops which showed a regular service back to Criccieth. A pleasant country lane took us under the railway, past lots of rubbish and back to the coast near the Haven caravan site, which we think must have been the old Butlins. WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-7This part, unsurprisingly, had quite a few people around, but within 15 minutes or so, it went quiet again. The headland had a trig point and this structure on it, then we turned the corner to walk along the long stretch of beach which goes all the way to Pwllhelli.WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-8WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-9

We headed back up to the station where we saw that the next train was due in less than 10 minutes, so we stopped here to catch it back to Criccieth.WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-10

We had a short break in our room in Criccieth, left some things behind, and headed out for part 2 of the walk, stopping first for an ice-cream at Cadwallader’s. WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-11The path ran slightly inland, alongside the railway. Part of it next to a pool was badly flooded and a bit tricky to get past. We could see people over to our right, obviously walking along the beach, so why the Coast Path comes here, I don’t know! Presumably it isn’t actually a right of way.WCP Abererch to Black Rock Sands-12

The path then took us inland, up and around the headland of Graig Ddu, then down a road to Black Rock Sands. This is well known as a huge expanse of beach where you can park.

We walked up to the access road where we would come in tomorrow, then returned to Criccieth. It did look as if you could have walked on the beach around the headland as the tide was out – and in fact, I am pretty sure now that you can – but we decided to play safe and head back around the hill, but we walked along the beach on the far side into Criccieth.WCP Criccieth to AbererchWCP Criccieth to Black Rock Sands


Wales Coast Path: Pentowyn to Rhiw (Hells’ Mouth)

WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-719th February 2018 – 10.9 miles

We stayed at a very pleasant B&B in Llanbedrog, then drove the short distance to the car park at the eastern end of Porth Neigwl, or Hell’s Mouth. We went down the short path to look at the beach and the bay – very impressive with a breeze blowing the waves across the enormous bay – but as the tide was coming in we then headed inland to the alternative, safer route. WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw

This crossed farmland, following quite close to the route of a stream and was fairly muddy. It was not too difficult to walk on, but you did need to watch where you were going and concentrate a bit! It was nice to get to the road for a bit of a break. This was pretty quiet so not unpleasant walking.

Near the end of this section, the route headed down a private road, where you could see evidence of the erosion of the cliffs! WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-6

Further along this section was a caravan site – it looked permanently lived in, not really tourers – and some long-abandoned machinery!WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-11

We walked up through the woodland gardens at Plas-yn-Rhiw, touched the signpost at the far side (to join up our route!) and sat in the courtyard of the closed cafe to eat lunch.

We decided that as the tide had turned while we were eating, it would be much nicer to walk back along the shore, but the path down here was closed! It looked like there had been erosion damage. I suppose if you had come the other way you would have had to clamber up, but we decided to obey the signs and not clamber down, although we did see this impressive fellow (starting to smell …).WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-12 Rather than go back over the muddy fields, we took a slightly longer route inland along the road, cutting back across more, but not so muddy, fields. It had been a fine, sunny day, but we could see rain and a rainbow in the distance and felt the merest hint of drizzle at one point. The fields here had lambs in, and one rather unusual scarecrow.

When we reached the car park, we headed back down to the beach for another look at the view. One man turned up with a surfboard. We watched him in the waves for a while, but didn’t see him actually surfing. WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-16

The pool alongside the path was packed with frogs, full of the joys of spring!WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw-15

WCP Pentowyn to Rhiw

Wales Coast Path: Aberdaron to Penllech

wcp-aberdaron-penllech19 November 2016 – 15.4 miles

We stayed at a very nice B&B in the centre of the Llyn Peninsula. The owner was chatting to us and said they had a lot of walkers staying there, including another Ruth, who was also walking the Coast Path – yes, I follow her blog! ( He very kindly also followed us as we dropped off our car from the turn around point, then drove us down to Aberdaron, so we could do a linear walk. wcp-aberdaron-penllech-2

We had a quick look at the beach and bay at Aberdaron, then set of along the cliff paths. At the next bay we saw a man heading for a dip in the sea! Now, it was a pleasant day for November … but …! wcp-aberdaron-penllech-3

We headed west along the coast, with the bulk of Bardsey Island ahead of us. We climbed over the headland to reach the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, and you could see some of the buildings on the far side of the island. wcp-aberdaron-penllech-4

The coastline became more rugged, with cliffs and jagged rocks facing the Irish Sea. From the high point of the headland, you could see for miles around the coast, up towards Anglesey, south across Cardigan Bay, and inland to the snow-capped peaks in Snowdonia. There was a small coastguard lookout here and there had been an RAF station there during the War – some concrete foundations were visible around the area. wcp-aberdaron-penllech-7

We met a couple of groups of people by the headland. Later we met a runner and a couple of dog walkers, but otherwise it was fairly quiet. There were still a few people around when we reached the wide sandy beach at Porth Oer, families, well wrapped up and kids in wellies. Time was getting on and so we decided to play safe and take the waymarked path on top of the cliff, rather than walking along the beach and finding out why it was called Whistling Sands, just in case there wasn’t an obvious route off the beach at the far end (there was!). wcp-aberdaron-penllech-9

We were conscious of the time, and the light fading. I think this section had a lot of wishful thinking – that bay ahead of us is the one we are heading for! – but it wasn’t. The path was still pretty good, and we could see where we were going, but we knew this would not last for much longer, and so decided to head inland. wcp-aberdaron-penllech-10There were not many signposts, but we headed across a field that looked like a used path heading to a group of houses . At the far end there was a waymarker. We got to the house, walked the short distance across their back garden (sorry! – didn’t set off any alarms or anything!) and to a long farm track back to the road.

By this time, it was almost dark so it was quite a relief to just walk the last mile or two on quiet roads back to the car park. The route actually turned out to be a bit further than we’d anticipated (closer to 16 than 13 miles!) and maybe if we’d checked properly we would have walked a little faster in the morning. Another adventure!wcp-aberdaron-penllech



Wales Coast Path: Towyn to Penllech

Friday, 15th August, 2014 – 7 miles


Llyn Coast

We had stayed overnight at Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel – as pretty much the nearest hostel to the Llyn Peninsula, then driven down to Towyn (via Tesco in Porthmadog to get suncream … which we would definitely have needed if we hadn’t bought it!). We parked at a farm/campsite/caravan site and even put something in the honesty box. This was a little way north of where we had turned round last time, so we initially covered about a mile that we had already done. However, it was a convenient spot!

We headed for a building on the headland which we had seen as a landmark on our previous visit. It was the gable end of a building, with some other small buildings (fisherman’s huts?) lower down, in the shelter of the cliff face. WCPSlightly further on was a launching place for fishermen (Porth Ysglaig), where there were several cars and vans parked, and a family who had been kayaking drying off and warming up. There was also a brick lined pit, which I assume had something to do with fishing, but I have not managed to find out anything so far (I wonder if the guide book to the Coast Path has interesting snippets like that?).



At the next bay, Porth Gwylan, we were a little disconcerted to see a fully-clothed man standing thigh deep in the water. We wondered if we ought to be concerned for him, but then noticed he was photographing a seal, bobbing in the water a few yards away! We stayed and watched, taking a few photographs as well!


Porth Gwylan

WCP-3We had lunch in a small bay, watching birds who were well camouflaged among the pebbles. We also found this happy pebble …


Happy pebble

We then reached the wide, sandy bay of Penllech. It was a sunny day, but with a cool wind. There were quite a lot of people and families on the beach. We were rather confused here over the route as it very definitely led us on to the beach, although the OS map shows it as above the high water mark and off the sand. We came to a set of rocks, where the tide was occasionally lapping in. There didn’t seem to be anything for it but take our shoes off, wait for a wave to be out and go for it! Once we got round, we realised it wasn’t nearly as wet as we had expected and you headed away from the water just round the first small outcrop.


An unexpected paddle

We then followed the path inland to a car park which made for a convenient stopping point. However, there should be a path heading along the coast, which we didn’t see! We didn’t walk as far today as we might have as we were heading to Prestatyn to spend a weekend with the extended family. WCP-11

The wind dropped as soon as we were slightly inland. We walked back along deserted lanes, seeing hardly any traffic, apart from a quad bike and a herd of cows crossing the road, then treated ourselves to an ice cream at the caravan site/car park.

WCP Towyn to Penllech