Machynlleth to Tre Taliesin – Wales Coast Path

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…I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more..

I love that song by the Proclaimers, and that was our goal today to complete the Ceredigion stage of the Wales Coast Path and reach the 500 milestone.

This walk does not go anywhere near the coast, crossing the Dyfi estuary it takes you well inland, through backlanes, coniferous forest and ancient woodlands, with some first class views over the Dyfi estuary.

We were a bit apprehensive as we had been told that the route was not clearly signposted, and we had forgotten our map book!

Our fears were misplaced, there were only two places where we were slightly unsure, otherwise clear signposting with white top posts guiding us clearly through large fields.

We left the car park at Plas Machynlleth and almost immediately turned off to the right, Glyndwr Way and the Wales Coast Path run parallel at this stage. Up the well trodden “Roman Steps”, the first of our many ascents on this walk.

There are numerous twists and turns on this route, and I am not intending to recount every one, but did note some key landmarks

We diverge from Glyndwr Way down a leafy lane, through a field, onto a road towards Garthgwynion, continuing through the woodland of Llyfnant Valley.

Pass a house called Felin Llyfnant onto a road, cross a bridge and then left at a junction – you are now into Ceredigion.

When you reach a cluster of buildings, you have reached the aptly named Caerhedyn. Good dual use of bridleways for walking and riding along this stretch. We thankfully skirt Craig Caerhedyn, and start getting tantalising glimpses of the Dyfi estuary, before being exposed to the full view from Aberdovey across to Ynys Las and Borth in the far distance.

Dry stone walls, horses grazing on Foel Fawr, the bracken covered hillside turning brown as autumn approaches; onwards towards Cwm Einon otherwise known as Artists Valley so called after the 19th century artists who made their way here.

I vaguely remember that Led Zeppelin lived in a farmhouse in Artists Valley and wrote Stairway to Heaven. Deep green Moss and lichen here hug the trees, and the white frothy crystal clear water reminds me of a line from the song…… “In the tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings”. They could have been standing right here, when inspiration struck. (I do let my imagination run away with me at times)

From Cwm Einon there is road and track then meandering through several fields neatly guided by white topped signposts, before heading down to the main road at Tre’r Ddol then through the village to Tre Taliesin.

Finally, 508.5 miles in total to date.

Tre-Taliesin – Aberystwth – Wales Coast Path

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Tre Taliesin is a small village with very limited parking. We found a lay-by on the outskirts – the Machynlleth side. Taliesin was a bardic poet from the 6th century. Frank Lloyd Wright renowned named his home Taliesin favouring the poet, but with a nod to his grandparents who emigrated from Ceredigion to America

Good signposting down Church Street and for about 4 miles the walk is fairly straight forward. Through Cors Fachno, part of the Dyfi National Nature reserve, a Designated UNESCO Biosphere site.

We were joined on our walk through the Bog by a large heron which swooped up from the ditches as we approached, leading the way through the peat mire. Its broad wingspan reminded Lucy of a Tetradactyl.

The horse flies were not such welcome companions, multiple itchy bites from the persistent beggars!

As you leave Cors Fachno head to the left and then right as you might be tempted to take the more obvious path leading directly to the right of the gate.

Onwards to Borth, where people were very friendly, telling us all about the submerged forest and pointing us to a sculpture in Welsh slate inspired by the forest and the Legend of Cantre’r Gwaelog – an ancient legend which speaks of a fabulous city covering the length of Cardigan Bay which was drowned by the incoming sea.

We stopped for a cuppa at Oriel Tir a Mor – yet another welcoming venue. They cater for small walking groups, so worthy of note.

We made our way through the sleepy town, heading up the slope to the War Memorial. Looking down at Borth, it looks very vulnerable, low on the shore line – the view takes in the curve of Cardigan Bay, across Dovey Estuary to the Lleyn and Snowdon peak.

The leisurely start to this leg had lulled us into thinking the walk was going to be super easy. Not so, from the monument to Clarach Bay the path rises and falls constantly.

Thankfully, it evened out somewhat for the last stretch to Constitution Hill, we then gratefully zig-zagged our way down alongside the Cliff Railway to the Promenade at Aberystwyth …