Wales Coast Path: Mariandyrys to Traeth Bychan

11 August 2017 – 14.3 miles

WCP Mariandyrys to Traeth Bychan-13

View north of Benllech

We are staying back at Kingsbridge campsite near Beaumaris. We walked from there about two miles to where we had left the path about a year ago, near Mariandyrys. The forecast wasn’t good for today and it began to drizzle a bit as we left the road. At the bottom of some wooden steps were three young rabbits. Two scampered away and stayed still in the undergrowth (still visible) but the third stayed until we were very close, even after saying “shoo!” to him.

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Young rabbit

The path headed downhill to the beach at the eastern end of Red Wharf Bay. The tide was out and Robby decided to walk along the beach a short way, while I followed the waymarks onto the road.

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Red Wharf Bay

After a break, we both walked along the beach, then saw there were inlets ahead of us and thought we ought to head inland. We noticed we were quite a way from the road with marsh and a wide inlet between us! We skirted round the inlet where it was shallow on the beach and made our way back to the path. The tide was a long way out and not due to come in for a while so we were in no danger – I’d like to think we are sensible enough that we wouldn’t have walked on the shore if the tide had been coming in –  but it made us think about keeping an eye on the route.

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Coastal Environment Project plaque

It was amazingly quiet. We had seen one couple returning to the car park with a dog, but otherwise there was nobody out. The weather wasn’t bad at all – odd bits of drizzle, but you would expect to have seen someone! We did meet another dog walker near the car park where we had lunch. A very picturesque spot with a river inlet, an old boat, salt marsh with gulls, egrets and the obligatory heron.

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Afon Nodwydd

We followed the path along the shore, past some very desirable cottages. The tide was now high, but there was only one part of the shore path where you had to tread carefully crossing a wet patch on rocks. We then came to the village of Red Wharf Bay – what a surprise after a lonely morning to find a bustling pub, restaurant, car park etc. Only a small place, but it looked lovely. We had an ice cream (and returned that evening for a very good dinner in the Ship Inn).

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Ice cream in Red Wharf Bay

We now passed a very large holiday site full of static caravans at St David’s Park. It was pretty well hidden away though. A bit further along the coast and we came to the resort of Benllech, that did look to be full of static caravans! The drizzle had turned to light rain here, which was as bad as it got all day – much better than forecast and I didn’t get my overtrousers out!

WCP Mariandyrys to Traeth Bychan

View back to Benllech

Benllech was as far as we had intended to come, but it was still early. We had a walk round to look for the bus stop and bus times, etc, then continued on our way. The walk was pleasant among trees and hedgerows with views up the coast. A few more caravan parks, but nothing too intrusive.

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Caravans!

We finished our walk at Traeth Bychan, where a few people had boats and kayaks in the water. There is a good-sized pay and display car park here, toilets and a cafe (oh yes, and static caravans!). We walked up to the main road where we could see a bus stop – and a bus shot past! 30 seconds later and we’d have seen it coming! As the buses are every half hour, we walked a bit further on to catch one on the outskirts of Benllech. This took us to Menai Bridge where another bus took us past Beaumaris, a short walk back to our tent. WCP Mariandyrys to Traeth Bychan

 

 

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Wales Coast Path: Aberdaron to Rhiw

wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-420 November 2016 – 11.14 miles

We left our nice B&B, turning down the offer of a lift for a linear walk so that we had the option of lengthening or shortening the walk as we felt like it! We parked again at Aberdaron, heading slightly inland up a small river valley and through fields. wcp-aberdaron-rhiwWe did head down to a caravan site before realising it didn’t look right. Further back up the track there was a waymarker, more easily visible when you were going the ‘wrong’ way! wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-2

This took us back towards the coast, over rolling hills high above the sea. It was another beautiful day, sunny and clear, and fairly warm for November. We looked across Cardigan Bay, taking a bearing and decided that we actually could see Pembrokeshire on the horizon! There were a few sheep grazing and a number of ponies.wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-3

We headed inland up a lovely valley with a stream and waterfalls, and the remains of old mining industry.wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-5

The path then headed back to the coast on open access moorland, again high rolling hills. It appears that the path has been diverted and improved to run closer to the coast than it does on our map, although it has been pretty well waymarked. wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-6

We reached a minor road, close to the National Trust property of Plas-yn-Rhiw and at the western end of Hell’s Mouth Bay, and decided to make that our turnaround point. wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-7

We followed the quiet minor road back to Aberdaron, reaching it just as the sun was beginning to set. wcp-aberdaron-rhiw-8wcp-aberdaron-rhiw

Wales Coast Path: Beaumaris to Mariandyrys

wcp-beaumaris-824 August 2016 – 9.8 miles

Another lovely day. We packed up the tent and left the car at the campsite, then walked down to the coast. We had walked back to the campsite along the Coast Path on-road route last night; this morning we did it again, but along the shore. The tide was well out, but some of the shore was rocky, some parts were muddy, but there were lovely views across to Snowdonia, and Puffin Island coming into view at the corner of Anglesey. We saw a few boat trips from Beaumaris heading out that way. wcp-beaumaris-2

We then moved inland at a small car park where a river came down to the sea. I’m sure I saw a flash of a kingfisher here!

We had a rest on a dangerous bench.wcp-beaumaris-3

wcp-beaumaris-4The route was now mostly along the road, although it was fairly quiet. We passed some old works – presumably from the quarry a little further inland – then arrived at Penmon Priory. We took a little time to look round the priory ruins, the church and the dovecote before continuing along the toll-road.

Penmon point was quite busy. It is such a familiar view from photographs, but neither of us had ever been here before. There was a little excitement – I think someone had decided to swim out to the lighthouse, and had got into difficulties. People on the shore began to shout and wave at a passing yacht to get help, but soon dismissed it shouting “It’s okay. He’s alright now!”wcp-beaumaris-7

We met very few people once we headed away from this point. The route heads away from the coast, but still gave views back towards Puffin Island for a while. We then headed through farm paths and lanes, until we reached a small junction near Mariandyrys which seemed a convenient point to stop.

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From here it was a straightforward couple of miles back to the campsite.wcp-beaumaris-to-mariandyrys

 

Wales Coast Path: Prestatyn to Colwyn Bay

WCP-17Wednesday, 29th October 2014 – 16.3 miles

A cool but sunny mid-week walk in October half-term. We parked at Barkby Beach, near Pontins, where the ticket machines were out of order, as they had been at the beginning of summer. The walk today was all tarmac or pavement, right along the promenade or embankment.

Embankment near Prestatyn

Embankment near Prestatyn

There were quite a number of people around – dog walkers, cyclists, a few families – as we walked along the embankment with a footpath and cycle path. We passed the start or end of the Offa’s Dyke Path, with this rather nice sculpture, which hadn’t been there all those years ago when we were last in Prestatyn to start that walk!

Offa's Dyke start point

Offa’s Dyke start point

A short walk past a golf course, with caravans in the distance brought us to Rhyl Promenade. Rhyl is looking very run down. Even at half-term, with a good number of visitors about, many amusement arcades and cafes were shut. The Sun Centre closed down earlier this year, but we could still look in through the window. It doesn’t look any different than it did 20 odd years ago! We could also have booked tickets to see Ruth Madoc or Sue Pollard in a choice of panto … we kept walking!

Rhyl Sun Centre

Rhyl Sun Centre

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At the far end of town is a new bridge across the harbour, only opened recently to accommodate the Coast Path and cycle route. The sculptures are of famous people from Rhyl …(I can name three famous Belgians!)

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Pont y Ddraig

WCP-8We had lunch on a bench overlooking the harbour which was quite pleasant although the sun went in and it got a bit chilly. We took a short detour round the headland to see the view, then continued on a tarmac path past endless caravan parks. Some did at least have grass and some space between caravans, but I do not see the attraction at all.WCP-11 WCP-10A chatty man caught up with us and talked for a while about women’s rugby and maths! We left him at Abergele rail station with the intention of returning by train. However, it had only just gone 2 o’clock so we decided to carry on to Colwyn Bay.WCP-12Past Abergele, the path runs virtually alongside the A55, which is a familiar route. It was rather interesting to walk and see it from a different perspective. Sometimes we were level with the road; other times we dropped down, but could still hear traffic noise. Apart from that, it had a pleasant feel to it, with bushes alongside the path and the sea on the other side. We were interested to see a flock of gulls floating near a set of posts as if they were waiting in turn for the tide to go out so they could sit on the posts as they were uncovered. There were quite a number of cormorants on the posts too. WCP-14 WCP-13Llandulas was a nice spot with an inlet nestled under the dual carriageway. If there had been a station here, that would have been ideal. Instead it became a bit of a slog into Colwyn Bay. However, we did get a closer look at the jetty that takes stone from the quarry. There were people on it so it still is functional.

Jetty near quarry

Jetty near quarry

The path turned into promenade. On our map printed out from the Wales Coast Path website, this is marked as closed with an alternative inland route shown. However, it was all open. I wonder if the promenade had been repaired after last winter’s storms? Also there is a rather swish new marina building, so that could have necessitated some closures, I suppose. We walked up to the pier, arriving just before dusk, with lovely evening light across the bay. The pier is closed and nearly derelict (but looks like an interesting photographic subject!).

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Victoria Pier, Colwyn Bay

We turned off then, to the station, just a few hundred yards away. It was a pity that it was too dark on the way back to look out at the way we had come! We were both pretty tired – possibly because it was pretty level and repetitive walking. At least we’ve made it past all those caravans!!

WCP - Prestatyn to Colwyn Bay 16,3 miles