Saturday, 30 June 2012

North Wales Coast

We’ve brought the caravan to Abergeli, a temporary site we’ve wanted to try for a few years. The main attractions are proximity to home (only 40 mins) and the access to the North Wales coast.

It has occurred to me that I have, at different times, walked most of the north coast of Wales. It was never something I deliberately set out to do, it just worked out that way. We have done the walk from Colwyn Bay to Llandudno many times, it’s one of our favourites. We’ve also picked off Caernarvon to Bangor, and from the other side, Llanfairfechan to Bangor; Penmaenmawr to Conway and Conway to Llandudno. So apart from the short stretch from Llanfarfechan to Penmaenmawr we’ve done everything West of Colwyn Bay. So staying at Abergeli gave us the chance to chalk up another three or four miles eastwards.

The camp site is close to Gwyrch Castle. There’s no public access to the castle, which is a pity because from a distance it looks like a wonderful place. It is in the hands of a preservation trust right now so hopefully they can do something with it. I can’t help thinking the National Trust should get involved, it would be a terrific draw for them, given a bit of investment.

Our walk took us, about a mile, down to the coast. I didn’t expect much, to be honest, and to begin with the walk was indeed pretty dull. But it soon became varied and interesting and Sarah was amazed at the wealth of wild flowers we saw, especially the sea holly (pictured), swathes valerium, and hundreds of pyramid orchids. She was in her element and had her sketch book on the go every time we stopped.

There was a lovely little cafe/bistro nestling in a caravan park near Llanddulas along the way, and it was just in the right place for a rest and a cup of tea. The path continues along the coast until it drops onto the end of Colwyn Bay promenade and from then on becomes our often repeated walk along the bay, stopping off for lunch in the Forte cafe in Rhos-on-sea, before continuing on, over the Little Orme and down into Llandudno. It’s about 12 miles in all, and the great beauty of this route is that we were able to jump on a number 12 bus in Llandudno (after coffee in Waterstones) which brought us back to a stop right outside the castle gates, near our camp site.

An excellent day. Tomorrow I have my eye set on heading east, to Rhyl, because right now the game is on. The whole North Coast is within reach.

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