Post image for Wales Coast Path: Porth Colmon to Morfa Nefyn

Wales Coast Path: Porth Colmon to Morfa Nefyn

September 21, 2014 · 13 comments

Date walked:  23rd June 2014

Distance walked : about 12 miles

Distance: Map required:  OS Explorer  253: Lleyn Peninsula West.

I had three 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).

The Wales Coast Path- a practical Guide for walkers by Chris Goddard and Katherine Evans and published by St David’s Press (2014)- which claims that the route is 892 miles). I have reviewed this book elsewhere on the blog.

The Lleyn Peninsula Coastal Path by John Cantrell published by Cicerone (2010)

All of the above guides assume that you are walking north to south. Since I am doing the opposite the detailed directions are of limited benefit but all contain various and differing practical information and historic background and I will refer to them as I feel so moved.

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For this walk we were based at a bed and breakfast just up the hill from the village called No 2 Dolfor. I had been joined yesterday by my friend Philip and we had walked to Porth Colman. Today our plan was to continue to Morfa Nefyn.  Public transport is not great for this purpose, so we drove both cars to Morfa Nefn, left Phil’s car in the National Trust car park near the beach and then drove back to Porth Colmon; which was a  great opportunity to introduce Philip to the delights of Natalie Merchant’s album “Motherland”. He liked it.

After  5 minutes we were presented with a view of Penllech beach.

Penllech beach, Lleyn peninsula, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I always feel a lift when I see the first beach of the day

The tide was out, so we chose to start the day with a beach (the official route runs along the cliff tops).

Walking on Penllech beach, Lleyn peninsula, photographed by Charles Hawes

Philip was looking for crabs

The beach was followed by what felt like a continuation of yesterday’s walk along a low cliff with a series of little coves and gullies.

Porth y Chain on the Lleyn Peninsula, photographed from Thwe Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Porth y Chain: very pretty and deserted.

Philip was very taken with a black sheep that was grazing on the closely cropped grass by the cliff.

Black sheep above Porth Gwylan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I strongly identify with black sheep

Porth Gwylan’s cove was more sheltered …

PorthGwylan, Lleyn peninsula,  photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Sheltered but still unpopulated

……but Porth Ysgaden was even more so, and here an enterprising family had staked out a good spot above the beach.

Porth Ysgaden on the Lleyn penisula, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

If you look hard you can see them

A little road runs to the harbour and a walled and gated enclosure contained fishing boats.

Sign at Porth Ysgaden, photograpged from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Anyone care to translate? (I understand “private”)

The flat promontory by a ruined building was the perfect spot to stop and have lunch.

Ruined building above Porth Ysgaden, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

According to the link I made earlier, this was a cottage belonging to a customs officer in the C18th

Just around the corner  were several huts above a cove which the official guide reports as having been herring smokeries (Porth Ysgaden is said to mean “port of herrings”).

Herring smokery huts at Porth Ysgaden, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Remains of what once was a very busy little port

More coves followed…

Porth Llydan photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

This one is Porth Llydan

…….and rather irritatingly a small caravan site had been allowed to spoil this otherwise quite remote-feeling section.

Caravan site near Towyn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Considering that there is a larger site just a little further on at Towyn, this seems an unnecessary intrusion

The sandy beach at Towyn certainly deserved some visitors on this warm afternoon.

Beach at Towyn, Lleyn penisula, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Shunned by the locals and caravan dwellers

At the caravan site a flock of sheep were staging a sit down protest. Maybe they don’t like caravans either, or perhaps their  boycott of the beach, or about the weather, or something.

Sheep by the caravan site at Towyn, Lleyn peninsula, photographed by Charles Hawes

It was difficult to tell as it was a silent protest

From Towyn  we enjoyed about three more miles of delightful coves and small beaches.

Beach at Towyn, Lleyn peninsula, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Actually this is really the second half of the beach at Towyn

The cliffs were quite low, so the little valleys, often with flights of wooden steps, were not a challenge.

The Wales Coast Path near Morfa Nefyn, photographed by Charles Hawes

Nice bank of red campion there

It had turned out to be a very warm day so we were grateful for a breeze off the sea.

Sea off the Wales Coast Path near Morfa Nefyn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The harsh light on sunny days is not usually very good for making good pics, but this one works for me.

And we did indulge in the occasional sit down.

Cove near Morfa Nefyn , photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

A nameless little cove

Borth Wen was the last dramatic cove we passed by before approaching the isthmus (that’s a word I haven’t used before in the blog) of Trwyn Porth Dinllaen.

Borth Wen, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Why is this a “borth” and not a “porth”?

We had a problem following the path around this point. We could see that we were walking next to a golf course, and the map shows the path keeps to its side by the coast so we  did the obvious thing and climbed over the fence and crossed the course. It was as quiet as all the other beaches had been: *VisitWalesFail.

Having been walking along one of the more rugged sections of the coast it felt a little strange to be walking on the edge of a manicured fairway. The golf course goes nearly all the way to the end of the peninsula; at the end a newly constructed section looked very odd indeed, its deep green turf contrasting with the surrounding rough grass.

Newly laid section of  goldf course at Porth Dinllaen, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Kinda odd

We dutifully followed the path to the coastguard lookout tower  at Trwyn Porth Dinllaen.

The Coastguard lookout tower on Trwyn Porth Dinllaen, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It looks innocuous enough from a distance

On closer inspection, the stonework had been finished off with snail trail pointing, which should be considered a crime against architecture.

Coastguard lookout station on Trwyn Porth Dinllaen, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Philip is clearly in agreement with me.

On the way back on the other side of the peninsula we passed the rather attractive lifeboat station.

Lifeboat Station at Porth Dinllaen, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Very pleasing curved roof – I think that the RNLI have adopted this design elsewhere.

It was about this time that I informed Philip that we were about to visit the pub which has been voted (according to the Guide) the third best beach bar in the world. And the view over the Ty Coch Inn  and its neighboring houses on the beach, was indeed splendid.

View over Porth Dinllaen from the Wales Coast path, photographed by Charles Hawes

Fabulous location for a pub?

But I am afraid that the pub failed to impress Philip, who thought that it was jolly nice but not world-class.

Ty Coch Inn, Porth Dinllaen, photographed by Charles Hawes

Not the third world’s best beach bar according to Phil

We were pretty thirsty so we went into the disappointing bar and had a perfectly acceptable bitter shandy.

View from the Ty Coch Inn to the beach at Porth Dinllaen, photographed by Charles Hawes

Still, the view out is quite nice

The Wales Coast Path takes a route along the clifftop to Morfa Nefyn, but the tide was out and it looked to me that we had a beach option. This was interesting. Just around the headland was a corrugated iron house built on stone pillars.

Building in Porth Dinllaen, photographed by Charles Hawes

Pre planning regulations or did it have some important function?

Along from that was the most ugly shabby house.

House on the beach at Porth Dinllaen, photographed by Charles Hawes

It was too close to the beach to get the full view of its ugliness

But what really got Philip excited was a mass of dead crabs that we found a bit further along the beach. Neither of us had a credible theory for their existence, so we had fun making up ridiculous ones and I failed to take a pic of them. Sorry.

My map reading took us off the beach at this point to walk up the hill  to reach the car park where we had parked up that morning. How impressive is that ?

Just to end on a nice note, here’s a final pic of the view from Porth Dinllaen.

Porth Colmon to Morfa-44

 

 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica A. Hawes September 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

Another Sunday treat. All those enchanting little coves – I could hear the waves on the rocks and smell the seaweed. Oh to be able to paddle there again. Ma

Reply

Charles September 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Yes, lots of super coves; though I hardly ever stop for a paddle. I should do.

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John September 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

Will we ever recover from the third successive weekly-bi-weekly post and the consequent overdose of lovely photos of lovely views (avoiding “pretty” and “beautiful” today)? Will you be able to keep this up? (If you have difficulty in finding enough to write about, some of us have not forgotten the promised walk through your waistcoat collection!)

“Cymdeithas” means society or association; “Cychod” (the plural of cwch) means boats so I would guess the translation is something like “Boat (or Boating) Association”. The difference between “Borth” and “Porth” is merely one of mutation. “Porth” (meaning port in this context) is a female noun and Welsh females mutate in certain circumstances, in this case the “P” to a “B”. While on the subject of Welshness, your suggestion that Wales is a third world country is a little insulting, you know! As a quarter-Welsh person, you should know better. (That is not proof-reading, as I have retired, so I will leave it to you to locate and correct the insult.)

I’m surprised you didn’t mention the hillfort at Porth Dinllaen (nor the Dinllaen fairies). But maybe that’s in tomorrow’s walk?

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Charles September 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

hello lovely man. I should know better than to reveal something that you can use against me! But I apologise if I caused offence, of course. And I am grateful for the Welsh lesson. And thank you for leaving my commas alone. I think Porth Dinllaen might be one or two ahead,but I lose track.

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Neil September 22, 2014 at 4:02 am

This looks like it was a lovely walk. And the worlds third best beach bar, to boot…. Great read.

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Colin September 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Your walk-reports are making me change my holiday plans!!
Intend re-living some of my youth, as I walked some of the the Pembrokeshire Coast Path when I was based at RAF Brawdy (1985-88). Strangely enough, it didn’t exert the same “pull” on me then, as a new man in his early twenties, as it does now, thirty years later!

Colin

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Charles September 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

So what are you holiday plans now? Did you mean a “new man”? (as opposed to a young man).

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Colin September 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm

“New man” inasmuch as no longer a boy (or at least, that’s what I thought at the time!)

I’ve been hiking around some of the long-distance paths here in Germany, over the past few years, when I’ve been released from the household chores. Managed Offa’s Dyke a few years back. You Blog’s pulling me further westwards, though, so I hope to do a bit of southwest Wales early next year.

Colin

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Charles September 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm

OK I get it. “New man” for me meant something in the 1970’s when some of us began to take on board and respond to feminist challenges to men. Do have a good look around the blog to help you choose where you might walk along the Wales Coast. I can really recommend much of Pembrokeshire section , but the Lleyn peninsula -where I have more blogs coming out in the next few weeks, was super, too.

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David Marsden October 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

Very inviting, Charles – dead crabs or no. I’m irritated that you have had good cause to use isthmus before me. (Sorry, seemed to have missed this post). Dave

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Charles October 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

You can’t have too many dead crabs. yes, great word, Isthmus. I must warn you that I have just managed to get a reference to Larkin in a future post.

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Ken July 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Nice to see you enjoyed your walk on our home ground. ????

A walk we do on a regular basis as it’s on our doorstep..

After living here all my 56 years, I still enjoy walking our coastal path..

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Charles July 12, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Yes, indeed, that was a great day.Hope i’ll still be walking it for another decade or two.

Reply

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