Post image for Wales Coast Path: Llandudno to Pensarn

Wales Coast Path: Llandudno to Pensarn

November 1, 2015 · 18 comments

Date walked: August 14th 2015

Distance: around 14 miles

Map used: OS Explorer OL 17- Snowdon/Conwy Valley,

and OS Explorer 264: Vale of Clwyd

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Paul and I had stayed last night at Lawton Court in Llandudno. We agreed that it was a nice place but probably neither of us would support its claim of being  the “worlds best bargain hotel” (as it claims on its website).  £66 for the single occupancy of my double room was not expensive but I would not say it was a massive bargain. I’ve been in nicer breakfast rooms, too – ours was in the basement- and although the breakfast was OK the coffee served was horribly weak.

It was a very dank and misty day as Paul and I walked along the promenade.

Llandudno promenade, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Not the nicest of days

Paul was heading back home on the train so bid adieu. I had four more days ahead of me walking on my own – which was fine, though I would have liked a little more mood-uplifting weather to start me off.  The promenade shelters where holiday makers might enjoy a sit and the view of the sea were empty…

Shelter on Llandudno promenade, photographed from The wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

I don’t think I would be sitting there, either, today

…. as was the Craig y Don Paddling Pool – despite its azure-coloured contents.

Craig y Don paddling pool, Llandudno, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Neither would I be paddling

The coast path follows the road to  Colwyn Bay climbs passed the headland of Little Orme.  It leaves the road here and  heads for the coast through the Rhiwledyn Nature Reserve. I didn’t notice much nature but I was interested to see some winding gear left from an old quarry.

Quarry remains on Little Orme, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not that much to see

Somehow I lost the path for a while, and came to Penrhyn Bay though some suburban backsteets , though  I don’t think I missed much.

The Rhos-on-Sea Golf Course looked very flat and unchallenging. It would probably suit Anne and I very well.

Rhos-on-Sea Golf Course, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Anne’s golf clubs do not get much use

Of greater interest, near Rhos Point,  was the tiny St Trillo’s chapel, said to be the smallest church in the British Isles.

St Trillo's chapel, on The Wales Coast Path at Rhos-on-Sea, photographed by Charles Hawes

Apologies for not taking a pic of the outside

 As I walked along the front of Colwyn Bay, I had to stop for a picture of a cyclist who had decided to have a bathe fully clothed. He shouted something to me as I gave him a wave, but I couldn’t make it out.

Swimmer off Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It was probably not “come on in, the water’s lovely”

The contrast between the lively Llandudno Pier and the sad and shabby ruin of the Victoria Pier at Colwyn Bay couldn’t have been starker.

Victoria Pier Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Do read the link; its a sad but interesting story

Victoria Pier Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

 A little way along the front was a more contemporary development.

Bryn Williams, Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I’d glyphosate it and start again.

I didn’t really understand what I was looking at (other than a half-hearted and not very successful planting scheme). I walked up to the top, was none the wiser, and walked back down.

Bryn Williams, Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I prefer the paving to the beds

The planting wasn’t any better on the way down. I discovered that this was a café  and restaurant  called Bryn Williams. which offered wifi and toilets so it went up enormously in my assessment and I had a coffee and a bun.

Bryn Williams, Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Here’s a subtle selfie for you

The weather hadn’t improved for my break. But this was very easy walking on a wide concrete surface with nothing to trip me up and so plenty of time to take in the sea. The A55 might have only been just above me but was reduced to a rumble by the sea wall.

the end of the promenade at Colwyn Bay, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ok, its not the prettiest of views

There were very few people about. Just the odd fisherman with little ambition.

Fisherman on the promenade at Colwyn Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

That pot of bait is not going to get him very far and what would he put his catch in?

Near a little bump in the coast near Penmaen Rhos things started to get very exciting when I passed a pile of concrete breakwater pieces shaped like chunky ship anchors.

Breakwater pieces near Penmaen Rhos, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Love ’em!

The Coast Path narrows and shares its route with an asphalt surfaced cycle path at this point. Ahead, Penmaen Head and the A55 were being protected by a breakwater made up of thousands of these “anchors”, Raynes Jetty which serves the Llysfaen limestone quarry jutting into the sea.

Breakwater and pier at Penmaen Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not seen anything like this in 800 miles or so!

For half-a-mile I was in photographic heaven.

Breakwater and pier at Penmaen Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Pier and conveyor belt for crushed stone, Penmaen Head, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Washed clean or out of use?

Llandudno to Pensarn-29

Llandudno to Pensarn-28

breakwater at Penmaen Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

With the right interpretation I reckon this could be installed in Tate Modern

After I had finished clambering around this concrete playground I passed a sign telling me not to do so.

Warning sign on Penmaen Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Sorry, too late (it seems to have been subjected to a lot of stone throwing)

The path gets very close to the road and railway lines briefly….

A55 and Railway line near Penmaen Head, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ok, it was a bit noisy here but not as bad as you might think

….before winding away towards some rough ground doubling up as a car park and where, surprisingly, an ice-cream van was waiting for my custom.

Ice cream van near llanddulas, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. One 99 coming up.

Overlooked by a caravan site at Llanduddlas, perched above the coast, and so, thankfully, mostly out of sight, the path took a seaward turn, following  the Afon Dulas that was running into the sea.

Afon Dulas, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Made a change from the semi-industrial landscape and promenade

There was a racket of gulls coming from behind a bund. I clambered up the side and saw hundreds of birds appearing to bathe in the fresh water of the steam as it entered the sea.

Massed gulls at the confluence of the River Dulas and the sea, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The caravan park experience was not to be escaped, though.

Llanddulas Caravan Site, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Greener and hidden from view than most sites I’ve walked by. I’ll give it 5.

A large pub by the sea services the caravan park, and presumably, passers by, but not today.

The Beach Comber pub, Llanddulascaravan park, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Inspired name

Looking towards the sea, a series of wooden groynes continues the coastal defences.

Groynes near Llanddulas, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I only knew they were called groynes ‘cos that’s what the map says

One line of these old pillars was populated by a dozen cormorants (and a gull) preening themselves and checking out the competition.

Birds perched on groynes near Llanddulas, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Fascinating. Why that one?

You could hardly say that they were sunning themselves today

Pensarn beach is a shingle affair, backed by the Castle Cove Caravan Park; with the A55 and the railway line as neighbours it was hardly a great loss of attractive landscape, so I was not offended by their presence.

Castle Cove Caravan Park, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

If you want to stay so close to the A55 and a railway line you are welcome

Besides, I was feeling weary at this point, and hoping that I would not have too much further to walk to my accommodation.  The path leaves the shore to be taken along the rather severe promenade of the “village”.

Pensarn promenade, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I’m sure that there is a reason it is this wide

There were the usual booths selling fresh dougnuts and overly-sweet sweeties – none doing any trade. I think the dog wash grooming salon may have gone out of business.

Dog Wash Grooming Salon, Pensarn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I wonder if those brackets have ever been used?

I crossed the road and rail bridges to be presented with a very shabby Marine Road. I was staying at Gwesty Glyndawr which I could see, offering bistro meals and facilities for functions.

Inside a rather odd looking room with a few tables and bar with no drinks, a grossly overweight man gave a shout to unseen person. My landlady appeared and true to the website gave me a friendly greeting and showed me upstairs, passed the stair lift,  to my apartment. At £30 for the night (including breakfast) this was a perfect example of you getting what you pay for.

The bedroom had a very soft double bed and a single and an arm chair with a window that would not close fully and horrid curtains that would not keep out the light. The bathroom, though clean(ish) was very basic. The kitchenette was just awful, with cupboards hanging off walls; not dirty, just needing a skip. The fridge had a four-pack of beer in it, which I took to an oversight, rather than a greeting. I had a sitting room (with another bed in it) which, apart from a few perforations in the wall, was by far the most pleasant room and the TV was working. There was a large jar of cheap biscuits. I felt depressed.

I could not face eating from Marine Road so I thought that Abergele might provide a nice pub. It didn’t. But it did have the best (chinese) takeaway Fish and Chips that I had had for years and back on the promenade at Pensarn I bought a bag of hot doughnuts from the last stall that was open. I was set up for a night’s telly. You have to make the best of things.

 

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

John November 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm

We must be grateful for Chinese fish and chip shops! Without this one, I’d have been depressed all day. Still you managed some good photos; those concrete anchors are very photogenic. It makes sense that you only saw the warning notice after clambering around. You must remember that you’re walking the wrong way along the path and the notice was clearly positioned to be seen at the right time by those walking the right way.

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Charles November 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

I was very grateful. Not sure of the logic of the warning sign location. I mean really they should have them at either end. I’m sure that it was put up before the WCP had been established. Anyway, you know me – they wouldn’t have cut any ice with me.

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MM November 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm

you do get to all the glamorous places! entertaining to read though!

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Charles November 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Haha. Nice of you to drop by. Well, you have to go where the path takes you! (more or less).

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Paul Steer November 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm

I think I might have had the best of the weather and scenery on the section we walked together – but you show it as it is – which is why I have been enjoying this blog so much.

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Charles November 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm

You did! Though I really did love the quarry and breakwater bits. More truth telling to come!

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Anne Wareham November 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm

So jealous of the glamorous times you have. (and the fish and chips….)
XX

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James Golden November 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Well, a rather depressing story. But it was a story I followed to the end.

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Charles November 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Really? I am genuinely surprised. What did you find depressing?

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James Golden November 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

The weather, the dreary beach walks (except for the concrete things), the caravan parks, the room your second night. It evokes the atmosphere of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock.

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Anne Wareham November 3, 2015 at 9:57 am

It was a depressing portrayal, though clearly didn’t have that effect on Charles. Back to the 1950s….

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James Golden November 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm

I didn’t mean to say I found it uninteresting in any way. It raises the question of why Charles walks and records the walks. It was a spur to thought.

Charles November 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Now that you spell it out I can see why it was depressing! And on reflection it probably was one of my least favourite days of the whole journey. My mum thought the anchor breakwater hideous but for me it did lift the day into something special.

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Michelle November 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

I laughed when I read the bit about coming across the warning sign after you’d been on the concrete breakwater! Your readers think this depressing; I’m waiting to read your your blog about Rhyl! lol!

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Charles November 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Haha. Yes Rhyl was …..depressing! I hope that I don’t dwell on it.

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David Marsden November 21, 2015 at 7:03 am

I’m with James on this one, Charles. At least the drudge (!) days make the good ones shine. A fourpack of beer in the fridge? Classy. I think I would have just assumed they were a welcome gift if only to drown my sorrows in that room. Well done on a very positive outlook for a day I would have seriously struggled to write anything about, let alone positive. Are you sure the guy in sea wasn’t shouting, “Save me, save me”? Dave

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matt jones August 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I will agree abergele has no nice pubs.. the Departure Lounge is okay though! surprised you didnt take a picture of the massive castle at abergele? surely you didnt miss it? abergele has some great scenery nearby.
no, im not the local tourist guide! i would highly recommend the walk up cefn yr ogof hill though..

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Charles November 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Thank you. I always hope that it is a good read even if the subject matter is not the most engaging. Why I walk? The process first and foremost. That slowly passing through a landscape with time to take it in. With the camera I think that I am focussing better. I like the exposure to the elements. And I suppose the blog is both a diary and a way of processing the experience.

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