Walk 4: South Stack

7th October 2020

6.2 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1236.2 miles

I drive to the RSPB car park near South Stack & walk up the tarmac footpath opposite.

I am following a route described in my guide book but, as I enter the open moorland, there are several paths leading in different directions, I am confused to which path to take. I choose this wide gravel path as it runs in the general direction of the route I am following.

The route follows a path to the rear of Holyhead mountain.

As the path narrows, a view of Holyhead Harbour and breakwater come into view.

The path passes some allotments on the right & then descends down several steps to Holyhead Breakwater Country Park. I spot a cafe ahead!

After a cup of tea & cake, I walk passed a lake popular with people fishing and sailing model boats & join the official Wales Coast Path.

The last time I was walking this stretch of Wales Coast Path was on 29th March 2018 when I walked from Holyhead to Treaddur Bay. That was when I was walking the WCP in it’s entirety.

The route passes a quarry face.

The path climbs and narrows.

I pass a magazine building.

The path levels off.

Looking back towards the breakwater.

The path forks, I choose the right hand path which descends to North Stack (a redundant fog warning station).

The view across to South Stack.

Leaving North Stack, I start the climb up towards Holyhead Mountain.

Another ferry leaving Holyhead.

The steep climb ahead.

The view from the top of the steep climb towards South Stack.

View towards the summit of Holyhead Mountain.

I take a detour to climb to the summit (I didn’t climb to the summit last time).

The views are spectaular.

I walked the whole of the Anglesey Coast Path in 2018 and it is great to see the landmarks where I have walked.

Coming down from the summit was interesting! There were so many paths off the summit that just peter away, I had to ascent again to descent on the correct path!

I join the WCP again and walk towards South Stack.

I remember this look out shelter from last time I was here. There were signs to say that it was unsafe. It must have been repaired.

View from inside the lookout over South Stack.

I descend down the short descent to the road over looking South Stack and walk the short distance back to the car.

Walk 3: Rhoscolyn

26th September 2020

5.7 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1230 miles

I drive to Rhoscolyn and park by St. Gwenfaen’s Church. I walk along the lane and turn right down a narrower lane signed posted ‘Silver Bay’.

This is the official Wales Coast Path. The last time I walked this route (in the opposite direction) was in April 2018 when I was walking the WCP in it’s entirety.

The lane follows a farm track to Bryn y Bar farm, I pass the farm house to the fields behind. The residents have a fantastic garden with superb views across to RAF Valley.

I cross this board walk to enter a pine woods.

The last time I walked through here, there were trees either side of the path – now the trees have been felled to the left.

The short path leads to the beach at Silver Bay. It’s a stunning view with the Llyn Peninsula as a back drop.

The beach is not too busy given that it is a sunny Saturday, which makes social distancing, because of the pandemic, a bit easier.

I spot a beach hut cafe & portaloos!

I sit and have a brew & take in the view. This is not a bad spot for the cafe owner to spend all day!

I leave Silver Bay via a concrete ramp and follow the WCP signs.

I follow the well defined path across the open coastal heath.

Porth Gorsiwyn.

Rhoscolyn beacon tower visible ahead.

I walk passed some gardens and get a glimpse of the beach at Borthwen.

Borthwen beach. A speed boat is approaching.

I leave the beach via a slipway & pass this small cove Porth y Corwgl.

I walk between houses, through grazing fields (no live stock today thank goodness!) out into open heath land again.

The coastguard lookout is at the top of the hill.

The view from the Coastguard Lookout. Rhoscolyn beacon tower is now behind me.

The view ahead towards Holyhead.

I pass a holy well – Ffynnon Gwenfaen – a medieval well that was thought to have had healing powers.

Purple coloured rock formations.

At the cove Porth Saint, I leave the WCP and follow a public footpath between old field boundary walls. I pass the farmhouse and join the quiet lane back to St Gwenfaen’s church.

And complete my circular walk.

Walk 2: Aberffraw

17th September 2020

7.5 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1224.3 miles

I drive to Aberffraw and I am surprised how busy it is for a Thursday during term time. I manage to park on the grass verge across the main road.

I cross the old stone bridge.

I had checked the tide times and high tide was at 11.00am, it is 11.30 & the tide is on the turn. I am following the route in my guide book but in reverse so I can see St. Cwyfan’s Church in the sea (the last time I walked here on the Wales Coast Path was in April 2018, when I walked the trail in it’s entirety, but the tide was out when I passed St. Cwyfan’s Church then so I would like to see it surrounded by the sea this time).

I walk through Aberffraw village and along Church Street, following a country lane towards the coast.

To the left is a view of Aberffraw beach…..to the right is a view of St. Cwyfan’s Church almost surrounded by sea!

The country lane is a dead end (about a mile from the village) and leads to the beach at Porth Cwyfan. The tide has receded quite a bit now.

The beach is quite difficult to walk on due to rocks and boulders.

I walk up the beach towards St. Cwyfan’s Church.

The tide has gone out enough for me to walk along the causeway to the island.

I leave the island and retrace my footsteps back down the beach.

Leaving the beach, I go through this gate and follow the Wales Coast Path along this grassy path around the open headland.

The path is quite busy today and the path is quite narrow in places. I try and pass other walkers at a social distance because of the pandemic.

Llyn Peninsula can be seen in the hazy distance.

Aberffraw beach straight ahead.

The coast path joins the riverside (Afon Ffraw). It’s a bit muddy.

Approaching Aberffraw and back to the starting point.

After lunch back at the car, I set off walking the second half of the route, firstly along a tarmac lane then through the sand dunes.

I emerge from the sand dunes and I am greeted with this stunning view!

It is low tide now as I walk back along Aberffraw beach.

I walk back up the riverside (Afon Ffraw). I love this picture with the reflections of the houses in the river.

It has been a beautiful day. I have a cup of tea back at the car before driving home.

Walk 1: Ynys Llanddwyn

31st August 2020

6.6 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1216.8 miles



It’s the August Bank Holiday & I arrive very early at Newborough beach to get ahead of the crowds. I thought I’d have to queue to enter the car park thinking that everybody else would have the same idea but there are no queues and only half a dozen cars here already!


The sun is shining but it is a chilly 18 degrees for the time of year (it was 33 degrees on August Bank Holiday last year).

Although it is only 8.30am, there are people enjoying the beach.


Ynys Llanddwyn is straight ahead.

The water is so clear

Sandcastles left over from yesterday

Looking back at the sand dunes & forest.20200831_092223

The tide is in so I take off my shoes & socks and wade across to get to Ynys Llanddwyn.

I sit on the bench in the information board shelter to dry my feet & put my shoes back on.

Others are paddling across to the island too.

20200831_093434I turn left and walk along the Southeastern path of the island. The views of the Llyn Peninsula & Snowdonia are amazing.


Porth y Cwch


I follow the well defined path of crushed shells.


The familiar landmarks of Llanddwyn Island come into view.


The path goes through this weathered gate.


More amazing views.


Remains of Eglwyseg Dwynwen.


Pilots’ Cottages – housed Llanddwyn shipping pilots, also used for a BBC programme The 1900 Island.


Twr Bach (the small lighthouse)


I walk around Twr Mawr (the big lighthouse) before following the path passed the cross to follow the Northwestern side of the island.


I sit on the bench and take in this view.


The other side of Eglwyseg Dwynwen ruins.


Northwest side of the island.


I leave the island. The tide has gone out so can walk across where I paddled a short while ago but still need to take my shoes & socks off again to wade across a deep puddle to access the northern side of Newborough beach.

Looking back at the Northern side of Llanddwyn Island.


I leave the beach through a gap in the sand dunes.

The dunes are forever changing so the path sometimes is difficult to find.


The path joins the forestry track that doubles back for a mile or so to the car park.


The car park is full when I return so I am glad I arrived early.

After a cup of tea,  I head back to the beach for another paddle!


Walk 10: Lafan Sands low-high loop

29th August 2020

8.5 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1210.2 miles


I drive to Afon Ogwen Nature Reserve car park (free). I had wanted to complete this walk a few days ago but Storm Francis put a stop to that.

The hill I will be walking over

I join the official Wales Coast Path and walk eastward. The last time I walked on this route was in April 2013 when I was walking the WCP in its entirety.

Penrhyn Park

The familiar WCP signs. The route follows the shingle shore and enclosed field-edge path along Menai Straits.


These slate fences are everywhere.


The route continues onto this farm track. I can see Penmaenmawr & the Great Orme ahead.


The Menai Straits to the left.

Salt marsh

I pass another nature reserve car park at Morfa Aber.

I had seen images on Twitter of the flash floods & damage caused only 3 days earlier by Storm Francis in this area. I can see evidence of damage to the road caused by the storm as I turn right, away from the WCP and up Station Road towards Abergwyngregyn.

I pass under the A55 and walk into Abergwyngregyn. I walk passed this stone marking the Snowdonia National Park.


This is a popular place for day trippers coming to visit Aber Falls. Cars are trying to pass each other on this narrow road in & out of Abergwyngregyn.

I was here last week walking (see previous post). I turn right up a public footpath by this derelict cottage.


It’s a steady climb up the side of the valley.


At the top of the climb, my route joins the North Wales Path. This is a broad, grassy path that roughly runs parallel to the coast path below.20200829_123356

View looking back toward Llanfairfechan & the Great Orme.


View looking across towards Anglesey.



I meet a couple who had parked in the same car park as me but are obviously walking in the opposite direction. We compare our walks so far. I learn that the final stretch through farmers fields are ankle deep in mud. I had a feeling the fields would be muddy after Storm Francis so I had a plan B which was to walk via the road back to the car park.

I asked if they had come across any cattle, they hadn’t to my relief.

Views looking ahead towards Bangor & Beaumaris.


The clear path passes below massive power pylons.


As I approach Bronydd Isaf, oh no, I can see a field full of cows and they are stood on the path. One of them is a bull with sawn off horns! I clock where the gate is & walk quickly and quietly passed them to exit the field. I worry about cow attacks especially as I am walking solo.


The route passes along side a wood with more slate fences.


I pass the farm through a kissing gate onto a quiet lane.


The route follows the quiet lane steeply downhill along side a rather full rushing stream.


Although it is a quiet lane, there are quite a few cars passing me. It’s pretty much a single track lane so difficult to pass another car. I wouldn’t like to have to back up/down to the nearest passing place as the road is so steep.


Penrhyn Castle in the distance.


At the bottom of the hill, the route passes over the A55.


Instead of climbing the style and following the Coastal Circular Route, I continue along the road back to the car park to avoid the ankle deep muddy fields.


Just before I reach the car park, I pass the fields that I should have walked through and feel glad I chose to walk back via the roads.











Walk 9: Aber Falls

20th August 2020

4.5 miles

Total miles walked in & around Wales = 1201.7 miles

Aber Falls 1Aber Falls 2

I drive to Aber Falls pay & display car park, arriving early as Storm Ellen is due later in the day.

The track to Aber Falls is a popular one and Gwynedd council have adopted a one way system to ensure social distancing during the pandemic.


I cross the River Rhaedr-fawr….


……and join a tarmac surfaced track towards Aber Falls.


This track winds gently uphill through woodland, Aber Falls comes into view.


The path leads to a viewing area of Rhaedr Fawr (Aber Falls).


I cross this bridge……


…….and go to another viewing area on the other side of the waterfall.


I return to the path and follow a dry-stone wall to the second, smaller waterfall – Rhaedr-bach.



I cross several more streams via stepping stones. I figure these streams would be inaccessible during high volumes of rain?


I follow a broad, grassy path that heads in the direction of the coast. I look back at both waterfalls.


It’s getting quite windy, Storm Ellen is on her way! I can see the coast now, ahead is Puffin Island.


To the right, I can see the Great Orme, just.


I am following the North Wales Path but now I am leaving this path and heading downhill. I can see Anglesey & the Menai Straits. I think that is Beaumaris straight ahead – I walked the Anglesey coastline in 2018.


Roughly half way down this farm track, my route turns right to descend sharply towards Abergwyngregyn.


Halfway down this steep path my guidebook mentions the mound visible behind these houses – a medieval motte known as Llewellyn’s Mound.


This path emerges onto the lane which leads to Aber Falls car park. I turn right to complete the circular walk, glad I came early as there are several cars trying to pass each other in & out of this narrow lane & competing for car parking spaces!

Walk 8: Above Penmaenmawr

15th August 2020

5.2 miles

Total miles walked in and around Wales = 1197.2 miles

Penmaenmawr 1

Penmaenmawr 2

I drive to Penmaenmawr and park in the library car park on Fernbrook Road.

I walk uphill up Fernbrook Road and turn right just after this building onto narrow Groesfforth Lane and continue to to climb upwards.


I cross over Graiglwyd Road and continue upwards up Mountain Lane.


I pass a house with this slate on their wall reminding us there is a pandemic ongoing.


The lane is narrow and steepens but I’m rewarded with these views at the top.


This is where the vehicular access ends and the start of the Jubilee Walk, an elevated man-made path. There is a handy turning circle for cars and a picnic bench to rest and enjoy the view.


The path starts off quite wide around Foel Lus.


The steep slope of Foel Lus

The path starts to narrow around the northern side of Foel Lus and it is a steep drop to the left!


The view across to Penmaenmawr below and across the sea to Anglesey & Puffin Island.


The ahead towards The Great Orme across the water with Dwygyfylchi below.


Ahead is Conwy Mountain, I walked down off Conwy Mountain through the village of Dwygyfylchi just over 2 weeks ago. Soon I can see the Inland WCP route rising obliquely from the valley below.


I can clearly see the official WCP below following the coastline – I have previously walked that route in April 2013 (20 miles from Bangor to Conwy) when I walked the WCP in its entirety.

Jubilee Walk follows the contours around Foel Lus to the rear of the mountain.


Another glimpse of Puffin Island from the rear of the mountain.


I meet up with the junction where, if you turn right it will lead back to the start of the Jubilee Walk, I turn left following signs for ‘Druids Circle’.


I leave the inland WCP route briefly to visit the Druids Circle via this grassy path. The stone circle can be seen in the distance at the top of the rise.


The view from the rear of the mountain across to Foel Lus (& the Jubilee Walk) and over to the Great Orme in the distance.


The Druids Circle.


Further along is a smaller stone circle.


I start the descent down. Welsh Mountain ponies are grazing above.


The descent is getting steeper!…


…..and steeper still! It kills my knees.


The path zig zags because it is so steep.


At the bottom of the steep hill, the route goes through a housing estate and back to the car park.

Walk 7: Conwy Mountain

30th July 2020

10.1 miles

Total miles walked in and around Wales = 1192 miles

Conway 1Conway 2

I drive to Morfa Bach pay & display car park, park my car and walk through this underpass (under the railway) at the rear of the car park.

I have previously walked some of this section of the WCP in April 2013 (20 miles from Bangor to Conwy) when I was walking the WCP in it’s entirety.


I walk through this arch into the medieval walled town of Conwy.


I walk down Church Street & High Street through the arched gateway in the town walls onto the quay.

It’s quite busy and difficult to keep to social distancing.

Britain’s smallest house

I walk through the arch of a spur wall before turning onto Marine Walk.

View back to Conway Castle

View ahead down the Conway Estuary & the Great Orme

Marine Walk skirts around Bodlondeb Wood and passes Aberconwy School.

Bridge over the tidal creek to the school sports ground

The WCP splits here. One route follows the official coast path but I am following the alternative upland WCP following these red WCP signs.


I cross the A547 Bangor Road & over the railway line via this metal foot bridge.


I follow the wooded path to a quiet lane uphill before entering Conwy Mountain.


I steadily climb uphill through woodlands to emerge onto open moorlands.

View back towards Conway

I continue upwards following the red WCP signs, passing these angled slabs of rock.


I sit on a bench here and have my picnic & taking in the view.


The building down there is an equestrian centre. I used to go riding from there up onto Conwy Mountain when I was young.

View back to Conway again from a higher view point


The colour of the heather is beautiful.


There are several paths here so it can be a little confusing which one to follow.


As I round the corner I get a view over the Conwy Estuary & the Great Orme. I walked around the Great Orme 10 days ago and then I had a great view of where I am today!


I join a track which leads round to the Sychnant Pass.

I can see the foot path I need to follow descending steeply from the car park.


The route descends steeply down this V-shaped valley.


Looking back up at the way i have come

Descending down the Sychnant Pass.


I emerge out by cottages onto Mill Road, a quiet lane, and continue downhill.

I pass over the River Gyrach and walk into Dwygyfylchi village.

Afon Gyrach

The route follows alongside the river.


I pass St. Gwynin’s Church…..


……& the village cenotaph.


A tribute to NHS workers, a reminder of the ongoing pandemic

I turn down a narrow footpath which passes the backs of residents gardens.

I meet a group of three people so can’t pass them in a socially distanced manner. As we move further up the path so I can pass them, I learn that they are committee members of Dwygyfylchi’s communal allotment group & they were surveying where they were going to house their bee hives – what a great idea. They try and enroll me until they find out I am not a local.

I can see & hear the A55.

The Great Orme across the water

I cross the A55 via a metal footbridge, turn right and join the cycle path and the official WCP again.

I walk around Penmaenbach tunnel on the old road.


The view back to Puffin Island and Anglesey.


The old road and now the cycleway & WCP.


View across Morfa Conwy to the Great Orme.


I leave the tarmac surface of the cycleway and enter the sand dunes of Morfa Conwy along side the golf course.


The WCP goes through a car park and passes Conwy Quays Marina.


I reach Aberconwy school where I retrace my route around Marine Walk to Conwy Town.

I walk through the town wall via the same arch and back to the car.


Walk 6: Around the Great Orme

20th July 2020 (afternoon)

7.7 miles

Total miles walked in and around Wales = 1181.9 miles

Great Orme 1Great Orme 2

I drive the short distance from the Little Orme to the end of Llandudno promenade so I can start my walk around the Great Orme.

My plan was to park in the Happy Valley Car park but it was full so I find a parking space in a pay & display another car park in the town.

Llandudno Pier

I walk along the road just below Happy Valley gardens, through the arched toll booth and along Marine Drive.

The last time I walked around the Great Orme, as part of completing the whole WCP, was 1st April 2013 where I walked an 18 mile circular walk starting and finishing in Colwyn Bay.

Today, I’ll be walking a slightly different route.


This coastal road gently climbs to Pentrywyn, rising to Porth Yr Helyg……


…..where I leave the road and climb this steep footpath. It is a bit overgrown with ferns & I’m hoping I don’t step on any adders!


After walking through a tunnel made of hawthorn trees, I reach Penmynydd Isa Farm.

The route turns right at this farm joining an enclosed path.

I pass Powell’s Well.


The paths leads to St. Tudno’s Church.


I have a walk around the church but unable to go inside due to the pandemic (a sign of the door explains that the staff are currently shielding).


After a rest & a drink of coffee on the bench in the church yard, I continue my walk uphill on St. Tudno’s Road.

Photo taken through the church gateway to the graveyard


About a 100 yards passed the graveyard, I turn right onto a broad, gravel track and can appreciate how big St. Tudno’s graveyard is.


The route skirts around National Trust’s Parc Farm.

Looking back at the direction I have come

These must be the famous herd of goats that invaded Llandudno town during the pandemic lockdown – they went viral on social media and on the news!

I can smell them from here!

I reach the headland and I am rewarded with this view….

Puffin Island & Anglesey

Llanfairfechan & Penmaenmawr

Turning the corner & more great views.

West Shore, Deganwy & Conwy

A couple enjoying the view

I turn left and climb steeply towards the tram terminus and summit complex to reach the second trig point of the day.

Ahead is the Little Orme where I stood at it’s trig point looking at the Great Orme this morning!


I descend steeply keeping between the tram tracks and the cable cars. The cable cars are operational today but the trams are not.


Just after the Tram Halfway station, I turn left again and join a gravel track inland & walking underneath the cable cars.


I reach Penmynydd Isa Farm again and turn right, signposted to the dry ski slope.

I walk passed the field edges before dropping down to the Ski Centre.

Dry ski slope & the cable cars with Conwy Mountain in the far distance

I start the steep descent down many steps.


Still descending down steps, I can see Llandudno pier again.


Descending more, I enter Happy Valley Gardens.


A zig-zag path leads down through Happy Valley Gardens….


….back to the road leading to the town and I make my way back to my car.

Walk 5: Little Orme

20th July 2020 (morning)

3.6 miles

Total miles walked in and around Wales = 1174.2 miles

Little Orme 1
Obviously there are some technical issues with my Strava tracking!

Little Orme 2

I drive to Llandudno and park the car in  a side road just off Llandudno promenade.

I walk up the B5115 approaching the Little Orme.


I go through a kissing gate, leaving the B5115 & entering Rhiwledyn Reserve belonging to the North Wales wildlife Trust. I am following the familiar WCP signs once again.


I leave the WCP and turn left to climb steeply ……..


…….to reach the trig point. There are great panoramic views over Llandudno bay to the Great Orme (I plan to walk around the Great Orme this afternoon)…..


….& Rhos-on-Sea and beyond in the other direction.



I walk down a steep path through gorse to rejoin the WCP.

Looking down over the quarry edge.

The WCP descends steeply downhill to the quarry floor. I take a short detour to Angel Bay but can’t see any seals there today.


I return to the WCP.

The WCP forks off to go through the housing estate towards Penrhyn Bay but I continue on the cycle path which leads to a footpath through a farmyard.


The farm track emerges onto the B5115 where I retrace my steps back to my car.


This is a diary of our walks along the Wales Coast Path