Porth Eirias Colwyn Bay to West Shore Llandudno – Wales Coast Path

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The curved golden sands of the bay between Porth Eirias to Llandrillo yn Rhos – Rhos on Sea is a delightful contrast to the previous day’s walking, despite the fact that work is underway to dismantle the Victorian Pier.

Embedded into the walkway are a number of historic facts.
One states that Prince Madog sailed from here and discovered America 300 years before Columbus.

We follow the cycle track up the hill and turn towards Penrhyn Bay. Walking to the headland we look out for the seals, half a dozen are huddled and well camouflaged on the rocks below.

Turning back, we take the short but steep slope up the Little Orme and head through the quarries before quickly coming down Craigside to the roadside and an easy walk into Llandudno.

We pause in the bitter wind to watch the brave RNLI lifeboat crew man their boat, before wandering on and veer off the path into the Mostyn Gallery for coffee, cake and a look around their exhibition.

Llandudno has done much to preserve its Victorian charm, and we return to the Promenade making our way to the pier, where the Path skirts around to Marine Drive which takes us up the Great Orme.

The road is closed to traffic, but we are soon joined by the 700 or so participants in the Nick Beer 10k Road race.

The Kashmiri goats which roam the headland don’t take a blind bit of notice of the spectacle as they continue to graze on the uplands.

Passing the road access to the Lighthouse, now a B&B, we stopped for a breather at the aptly named Rest and Be Thankful cafe – (and we were). We poured tea from one of those stainless steel tea pots – the ones that seem to have a design fault as the tea drips past the lid!

We share a laugh with fellow customers as we watch the walkers being swirled around by the wind, while knowing we will soon be engaged in a similar pantomime.

Rounding the headland, there are stunning views across to east Anglesey and the Carneddau mountains. On the way down we overlook an old military site.

Reaching the Gatehouse to the Gogarth we hurry along West Shore beach frozen to the core, so grateful to reach the car.

A varied walk, enjoyable in the high winds, but probably preferable in warmer weather!

Conwy Marina to West Shore Beach Llandudno – Wales Coast Path

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Balmy breeze and warm sunshine. How changeable can our weather be?

We have given ourselves a day off, or at least a short stroll in the sunshine with an evening out sampling the delights of Conwy.

The Wales Coast Path passes by our home for the holidays, making it so easy. We stroll along Conwy Quays passing Bodlondab nature reserve, stopping for photographs in front of the “smallest house in Great Britain” – I wonder whether it has ever been any colour but red?

I chuckle as a seagull strikes at a woman trying to eat her fish and chips.

The stroll takes us passed the lobster pots on the Quay, up a few steps to the walkway alongside the road. Looking across at the original Telford Bridge built in 1826.

It is only a little distance along the Walkway that you can appreciate the full scale of Conwy Castle, one of Edward 1 iron ring of castles, built in the 13th century to subjugate the Welsh. Now given UNESCO World Heritage Site status

Looking up at the impressive build I want to sing the song by Dafydd Iawn, Welsh folk singer of note:- “Er gwaetha pawb a phobpeth, ry’n ni yma o hud” – roughly translated it means Despite everyone and everything, we are still here.

The promenade and cycle track gives great views across the estuary at the Walled town of Conwy and the mountains beyond.

A leisurely pace, enjoying the scenic backdrop to Deganwy and onto the West Shore in Llandudno. The White Rabbit memorial is a reminder that Alice Liddell’s holiday home was here, and she was the inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Our leisurely day was followed by an equallyleisurely evening starting at the Albion pub, dating from the 1920s by owned by local small brewers, serving a variety of local beers. The Observer newspaper said this was the best pub in the world. We loved the Smoking Room sign on the door, a reminder of bygone times.

We followed this with a short stroll to the Erskine Arms, a Georgian coaching inn. We dined on locally sourced, cockles and Mussels, fish and pork.

Both places had the most friendly staff and on a night where it had started to rain, welcoming open fires.

Sometimes you just have to let go of the longer term goal and pause to enjoy the now!

Conwy Marina to Abergwyngregyn – Wales Coast Path

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We are both determined to complete the path on mainland Wales on this trip, before completing our Wales Coast Path walk on the Isle of Anglesey.

We are joined by Louise Tambini, a good thing as she sets up a good pace. It is officially British Summer Time, the days are longer and the sun is shining. The Beast from the East 3 is forecast for a few days time, so we need to set up a bit of a pace.

We selected the Blue route, the Red route through Sychnant Pass is a walk for another day!

We walked along the beach from Conwy Morfa. You could walk along the beach as far as Penmaenmawr as long as tides permit and be wary of soft sand, but not wanting to be too disloyal to the path we rejoined at Penmaebach and worked our way through a network of
bridges and cycle paths along this stretch, heading high over the A55 is a marvel of engineering and effort.

We stopped for coffee at the cafe in Penmaenmawr. The vivid street art helps to come to terms with the brutalist architecture.

The pretty village of Llanfairfechan is soon reached, the Victorian school with the separate entrance for boys and girls, the independent shops and the chapels add a certain charm, heading under the bridge to the promenade we watched a chap feed the swans by the pond,before following the track to Morfa Madryn and a network of nature reserves, teaming with birdlife.

We could have parked the car at the nature reserve below Abergwyngregyn, but not knowing this we had parked in the village.

Greeted by a smiling George Clooney. Well on a poster, ad eating a brand of coffee, a welcome sight nonetheless.

In the evening we had dinner at the local pub, the Garddfon Inn – Desperate Dan wouldn’t have been unhappy with the size and quality of my Welsh beef steak

Abergwyngregyn to Y Felinheli – Wales Coast Path

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Today is the day we complete the path on the mainland of Wales. We want to complete our journey around the Wales Coast Path path on the Isle of Anglesey.
Little did we know that our 12 mile  walk would stretch to fifteen as the day went by.
An early start, the morning mist still hangs in the air as we parked the car at the nature reserve below Abergwyngregyn.  We set up quick a pace along Traeth Lamar quickly reaching the Spinnies nature reserve.
Note to self:  the nature reserves from Llanfairfechan to the Spinnies are well worth another visit!
We see Penrhyn Castle in the distance, and for much of the next hour we skirt the estate – so much nicer if we could have cut through the property rather than detour through to Talybont and Bryn.
Somewhere crossing the main road from Bryn we lost sight of the signs and had to tack back a couple of times before reaching Porth Penrhyn, where the slate from Penrhyn Slate Quarry used to be transported. First by railway from the quarry to the port and onwards.
We continue up the junction to the A5 and reached the Garth in Bangor with its impressive Pier. On optical illusion has you thinking that the pier reaches out as far as Anglesey – not the case.
The path does not go into Bangor,but descends to the shoreline and follows along towards Nant Borth nature reserve, through woodland then up passing a ruin and then a soccer training ground.
Back out on the A5 we head for Menai Suspension bridge, and the road to Anglesey. We continue towards the Britannia Bridge, opened in 1850 and designed by Robert Stephenson as a rail bridge. It was only in the 1970’s that it was adapted to take both road and rail traffic.
We continued left where the path heads right up to the A487, seeking the more attractive route, connecting again at the Faenol Estate. We followed the signs through the estate and found that in heading right up the field as directed there was no obvious route.  We asked some local walkers and they directed us back down the field to follow a well cut path by the straits – they said it would take us to Felinheli.  What they didn’t say was that we would be confronted by a 5 bar gate topped with a five bar metal structure. We retraced our steps only to confront another sign saying KEEP OUT.  Fortunately the owner arrived, and kindly pointed us in the right direction, and after a bit of manoeuvring we arrived at our final stop.  A robin popped his head out, as if to say “well done ladies”
Lucy’s comment of the day “the Path really doesn’t want to let go of us”
At this stage, the Wales Coast Path has developed a personality of its own!

Y Felin Heli to Caernarfon – Wales Coast Path

The Felinheli or Port Dinorwic as it is often referred to in English sits on the mainland Wales side of the Menai Straits. It is our home for the next few days as we tread the Wales Coast Path once again.

A taxi driver tells us that Felinheli means Salt mill – Felinheli = Mill, Helo = salt water or brine. Then again the name could mean the mill on the Heulyn, which is the river that runs through the village.

The small modern marina is a far cry from the days when slate from the nearby Dinorwic quarry used to be transferred by rail to the Quay then loaded and shipped

We arrive late afternoon, so a short four mile walk to Caernarfon to limber up for the next few days,followed by dinner seems a good idea.

The walk itself is not the most inspiring, it wasn’t an auspicious start as we turned right up Hen Gel Llechi instead of left!

Soon corrected, we soon accessed the A487 before we linked into the cycle path for the four mile stretch into Caernarfon.

In Caernarfon we headed to our favourite pub – The Black Boy. On the wall, the sign tells us that this used to be the red light district, the Welsh name for the street – Stryd Pedwar a Chwech – Four and Six Street. In old shillings and pence, a sailor could get a room, a woman and a bottle of gin for this price….

The taxi driver taking us back to Felinheli couldn’t understand why it was so busy for a Thursday, he was worried he wouldn’t get to his stir fry supper until around 10 pm, and by then he would probably settle for a corn beef sandwich! I love Caernarfon!