Post image for Wales Coast Path: Caernarfon to Bangor

Wales Coast Path: Caernarfon to Bangor

November 2, 2014 · 17 comments

Possibly the least inspiring walk that I have completed over the whole of the Wales Coast Path – well something has to be at the bottom of the pile.

Date walked: 26th June 2014

Distance walked : 12 miles

Map required:  OS Explorer  OL 17 Snowdon

I had two guide books to refer to for this walk:

Llyn Peninsula – The Official Guide- by Carl Rogers and Tony Bowerman, published by Northern Eye Books (2014). Why the walk is in this book I don’t know since it is generally accepted that the Lleyn starts/finishes at Caernarfon.

The Wales Coast Path- a practical Guide for walkers by Chris Goddard and Katherine Evans and published by St David’s Press (2014). I have reviewed this book elsewhere on the blog.

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I had stayed last night at the very comfortable and very friendly Victoria House Bed and Breakfast (free nibbles and a complimentary glass of wine available in the guests sitting room). Breakfast was good, though sadly let down by a croissant that had the texture of a sponge.

The forecast was for rain. Well, I had had four good days so I wasn’t too put out. I had planned to stay in Bangor and then get buses back the next day to my car at Morfa Nefyn but Anne suggested that I get a taxi from Bangor to the car and drive home that night. This seemed a great idea so I made a fairly early start and was on the street by nine.

The path passes through the boat-filled Victoria Dock which, though pleasant enough in a boaty kind of way, lacked, charm.

Victoria Dock, Caernarfon, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It is just a bit, well, functional

My attention was grabbed by a pavement square celebrating,  I presume , Poland.

Ceramic tiles in Caernarfon marina, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

What’s this saying then?

After passing some flats, the path piggybacks on a tarmac cycle way that runs parallel, but a hundred yards or so from the A487. One bicycle passed me on this unexciting two-mile stretch.

The wales Coast Path near Caernarfon, photographed by Charles Hawes

At least it was leafy, even if I could hear the rumble of the main road

The highlight was spying a seagull on the roof of a disused factory.

Redundant works adjacent to The Wales Coast path, photographed by Charles Hawes

It was either this or a pic of dense bramble

Just past the factory I had ventured into the Griffiths Crossing Trading Estate and took a  look at a yard dedicated to corrugated iron constructions.

This isn’t mentioned in the official guide

After crossing a roundabout (off which,out of sight, is the National Watersports Centre) another mile of road walking followed.

The Wales Coast Path follows the road to Y Felinheli, photographed by Charles Hawes

OK, so this isn’t the most inspiring pic but at least you didn’t have to walk it

Then it was back on the cycleway.

Wales Coast path approaching Y Felinheli from Caernarfon, photographed by Charles Hawes

Well, it wasn’t raining yet.

The village of Y Felinheli was a welcome change of scene and had lots of interest.

A marina…..

Boat at Y Felenheli, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Love these boat wheelbarrows

….the offices of the Youth Justice Service…..

Youth Justice Offices at Y Felinheli, phootgraphed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Almost a selfie: no youth to be seen

….and, of course, Yvonne’s beach garden.

Yvonne's Beach Garden, Y Felinheli, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I was surprised that Yvonne hadn’t spread sand on the ground.

The dock was followed by Port Dinowic – which is confusing as Wikipedia (above) says that this is the English name for Y Felinheli (the harbour was once the point of exit for slate from the Dinowic quarries near Llanberis)….

Plas Dinorwic, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

This is a nice little place if you are ever passing

… where several of the locals had embraced the seaside theme in their houses.

Lighthouse model in house in Port Dinorwic, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Maybe “embrace ” is too strong a word

Caernarfon to Bangor-13

Then it was back on a road for a bit, passing the large but failed Halfway House.

The Halfway House on the A487, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

What now for the Halfway House?

I think it began to rain about here. Waterproofs on. Out with the earphones and a dose of Lily Allen’s “It’s not me , its you”.

After half a mile by the A487 I was supposed to take a left at the complicated roundabout and walk through the Menai Business Park passing Yaynol Hall. But I missed the sign and probably the best bit of the day (it would have also taken me through Treborth Botanic Gardens (which are not that exciting but I did photograph some of their orchids once).

(The fact that my map did not show this route and neither does the Goddard/Evans Guide is no excuse; the Official Guide has got it right and I was carrying a copy. My bad)

Instead I trudged another mile along the A487.

The a487 approaching Bangor, photographed by Charles Hawes

I didn’t realise until I was writing this up that I was not supposed to be here.

I rejoined the official coast path when I reached the Antelope pub at the roundabout just before the Menai Suspension Bridge.

The Antelope pub, Banogor, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Massed white valerian: nice.

What that meant was that after a brief view of the bridge I  had another mile by the road.

The Menai Suspension Bridge, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I am going to have to walk over the bridge sometime

The path then heads back to the coast and passes through the Nant Porth Nature Reserve; in my view a pretty ordinary wood with frustratingly few views out to the Menai Strait. In the opinion of the official Guide, it is ” a lovely ancient mixed woodland” with an “undulating ” path (meaning it had lots and lots of irritating steps up and down up and down.)

The nant Porth Nature Reserve, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

This is a rubbish picture;perhaps I was feeling a bit tired and crabby

I was glad to see the back of that wood and to have a more open view over the strait.

Approaching bangor from the south on The wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

The Official Guide refers to this as the “white waterside house”. Fair enough.

The path now reached Bangor suburbia and passes a modern stone circle where a couple were soaking up the vibes.

Stone circle outside bangor, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ritual sacrifices are probably taking place

Back beside a leafy road, the path follows this down to the delightful Garth pier (opened 1896).  I had worked out that I had time to get a bus back to Caernarfon which didn’t stop much and would take £20 off the taxi fare so I resolved to walk the pier when I returned (which might be some time as  I have to do the circuit of the Anglesey coast next).

Bangor Pier, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

A quick dash up the hill past the university got me to the bus stop with ten minutes to spare. Time to phone for a taxi to meet me when my bus got in to Caernarfon.

And it all worked out very well from there. My taxi driver was an agreeable 60-year-old with a heart condition, my car was where I left it at Morfa and my journey home as pleasant as I could wish for. I stopped off at Waitrose at Abergavenny for a pizza, salad  and strawberries for the two of us. And flowers for Anne.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

John November 2, 2014 at 10:12 am

Well, your aim is to walk the whole of the Wales Coast Path (except for the bits you miss) so you have to take the rough with the smooth. It’s called “suffering for your art.” I really like that photo of the single red flower in the field with the stonework behind it.

But hey, you have the excitement of Menai Bridge ahead of you. Much more to do there. According to an online guide you can look at the bridge or “Shop in the Famous Hardware Store or in the Butchers, Bakers, Post Office, Fashion, Marine Shop and Waitrose. ” Have fun!

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Charles November 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm

You are quite right. I will press on regardless. Indeed, I already have as you will discover in the near future. As for Menai Bridge, I was already quite well acquainted with the place as I have stayed several times in the very near by Plas Cadnant gardens. It is a very exciting place. Did you know that HRH Kate shopped at that Waitrose regularly!

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Paul Steer November 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Well I like the unexpected rusty sheds – especially no. 5.

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John November 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Funny; when I was reading the blog earlier, I thought to myself “Paul’s going to like that photo”?

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Paul Steer November 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Ah ! You know my taste for scruffily abstract shapes.

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Charles November 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm

We artists love a bit of rust.

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Anne Wareham November 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Love the seaside theme in the window! Great post, worth every inch of your miserable trek. Xxx

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Charles November 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Well if you can like my miserable walks I must be doing something right!

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David Marsden November 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Pity poor Charles. A seagull on a roof was your highlight? You’re not selling me this walk, pal. But I sympathise with poor, tedious days that make you wonder why you’re bothering. Had a few of those. Chin up, I’m sure there are better days ahead. Dave

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Charles November 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for the pity. I think you can safely miss following in my footsteps here. The Pier at Bangor gave me something to look forward to. But it picks up to new heights as I start on Anglesey from Holyhead for the next walk.

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Ian Thorpe November 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Oh dear! I hope this is not going to be the same for the whole of the walk along the north coast – we feel a little bit protective of its reputation!

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Charles November 4, 2014 at 5:07 pm

I hope so too! I don’t want to lose you.

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Neil November 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Actually not as bad as your preamble suggests… Boring perhaps, but some interesting moments, nonetheless…. After all, a trip past Yvonne’s beach garden is not something you do everyday….

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Charles November 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Yes, interesting moments, perhaps but thats not a lot in the best part of a day’s walk. I wonder if Yvonne will ever get to hear about her publicity?

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Michelle November 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I agree, this walk is probably the least inspiring walk we’ve done too & we even managed to miss the path that takes you down to the dock so walked more of the road route! Never mind, it is more scenic from Bangor onwards. Michelle

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Charles November 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Well I am glad that it improves after Bangor! I think Ian (see below) was getting worried. But first I’ve got the East Anglesey coast to do.

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