Post image for Wales Coast Path: Tal-y-bont to Llanfairfechan

Wales Coast Path: Tal-y-bont to Llanfairfechan

September 20, 2015 · 20 comments

Date walked: 11th August 2015

Distance: around 8 miles

Map used: OS Explorer OL 17 – Snowdon/ Conwy Valley

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I had had a great evening catching up with my friends Elizabeth and Ian who live in a beautiful spot in the Clywydian Range not far from  Caerwys. After a late start and a delicious breakfast of home-made bread and marmalade, and supplied with what looked like a very good pork pie for lunch, Ian very kindly drove me all the way back to where he had picked me up last night at Tal-y-Bont.

A brief crossing of a field re-aquainted me with  the slate-built fences that I had noticed yesterday.

Slate fence near tal-y-bont, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Even if they were dirt cheap it’s still a very labour intensive way to make a fence!

The coast path had to take the perimeter of the Penrhyn Estate – partly owned by the  National Trust, it is the private owners who have not allowed access to the coast there for walkers- so I had  a mile of a quiet road with its imposing wall on my left, reaching the sea just after passing the Aber Ogwen nature reserve.

wall of the Penrhyn Estate, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

You need an 8 foot wall to keep the Welsh out

 Looking back I had a glimpse of Penrhyn Castle.

Penrhyn castle, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not so much a castle as a bigged up house

I had visited the place when reccying gardens for Discovering Welsh Gardens but Stephen and I agreed that the garden was not that interesting and at the time was not being well-gardened so we did not include it.

The path keeps close to the shore, ahead, giving a view to Great Orme,  where I would be walking with Paul in a couple of days time.

View to Great Orme, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It’s the lump on the left of the horizon

Inland, another fine slate fence provided the foreground to Snowdonia’s foothills…

Slate fence by the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

I’m not sure that a lamb might not get through some of the gaps

…. and out to sea, over the edge of the Lavan Sands was a good though slightly overcast view of Beaumaris

View to Beaumaris from across the Lavan sands. photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ok, not such a good view

….and Puffin Island.

View to Puffin Island across the Lavan sands, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes
For the  next couple of miles the path is so close to the beach that walking on it would have been an option but it was very muddy. I enjoyed the patterns of the cracked mud but this was rather too soft for comfort in places.

Cracked mud on beach near Lavan sands, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I wonder what determines precisely where it does crack?

The low sea wall below the path was made up of a crazy-paving of concrete slabs.

Sea defecnes on Wales Coast Path near Abergwyngregyn, photographed by Charles Hawes

Pity it has gone out of fashion or you could pave your garden with this

Sometimes the shore had been colonised by a coarse grass.

Tussocky grass by the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

I do love pattern

There were a couple of dog walkers on the path and despite a background hum from the nearby A55, it felt quite peaceful. There was a little bump in the coast near Abergwyngregyn, where a small wood with some  fine pines made for a change of scene…..

Wood near Abergwyngregyn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Scot’s?

… and where a footbridge passes over theAfon Aber.

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

The view looking inland, natch

The coast had become more marshy, now, with some beautiful dark-flowering reeds …..

Marsh near Abergwyngregyn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I don’t suppose they would be suitable for a garden?

… and in the pebble foreshore where the occasional sea holly had found a foothold….

Sea Holly in beach near Abergwyngregyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Or Eryngium maritimum if you prefer – not a holly at all

….and something else which I should have recognized but didn’t.

Beach plant next to the Lavan sands, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Any suggestions?

My beach view then featured a largely broken down stone sea wall that occupied my interest for a while.

Sea wall near Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Not a great wall – far too much mortar

In places it had completely disappeared, leaving only some concrete buttresses that had failed to keep it up.

Sea wall near Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Not enough mortar here?

And then it returned, looking rather splendid and I was left wondering why it had been breached in that particular spot.

Sea wall near Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

This looks much better

Inland, a white house in an Arts and Crafts style took my eye- they’ll be more of those anon.

Arts and crafts house near Llanfairfechan, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Pity about the telegraph poles

Another little nature reserve called Glan y Mor Elias had a path taking a route closer to the sea, so I took that and spotted a white Egret in the mud.

Glan y Mor Elias nature Reserve, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not a good pic, I know; you’ll just have to take my word for it.

There was a nice view back to the hills from this little promontory….

Glan y Mor Elias nature reserve, photographed by Charles Hawes

….and some enterprising artist had made a low maze in the rough grass.

Glan-y-Mor Elias nature reserve, photographed by Charles Hawes

Probably deeply significant

I was nearing Llanfairfechan now and the path had acquired a tarmac surface and began to  have seats!

Seat near the Llanfairfechan promenade, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Love this one – and am amazed those circles on the corners have not been broken off.

The mud had become a beach, but only a few gulls seemed interested in exploring it.

Tal y bont to llanfairfechan-31

Separated from the town by its boating pool, a row of  pretty cottages in the Arts and Crafts style. One had a garden which stopped me in my tracks.

Whitefriars, Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Whitefriars, designed by Herbert Luck

Normally such garish beds of clashing colours would have me shaking my head at the lack of taste but today (it had been a fairly overcast day) I thought it seemed just right.

Whitefriars, Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

He doesn’t want to open for the NGS

On closer inspection I found a QR code on its gate post, whipped out my phone and was able to follow the link to discover more about it.

The promenade at Llanfairfechan lacks charm.

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

But the town has a great deal of interest!

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Even this has a certain something about it – as well as free wifi

I had arrived nearly two hours before Ian was due to pick me up, so I had plenty of time for a cup of tea and a cake at the Beach Pavilion cafe.

The cake was described as Jaffa Cake and was very successful. The tea was disgusting. I knew it would be as the youth that made it had taken a recently emptied tea-pot that was on the counter and had simply added more hot water to the old tea bags that were inside. I should have said something but you know me – I’m not one to complain.

Still with time on my hands I made my way to the front of Whitefriars to see what that side of the house was like (it has a sweet little building made for a chauffeur) . The owner was there and we had a very friendly chat. He told me that in the town was a whole estate of Arts and Crafts houses so I went and had a look.  I’ll give you more of a view in my next post, but for now here are a few more shots I took as I waited for Ian.

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

 

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The promenade at Llanfairfechan, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Marice Bertorelli September 20, 2015 at 7:03 am

Lovely walk Charles and good pictures. I llike the patterns 🙂 we spent a very tranquil weekend in Tallybont

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Charles September 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Thanks .xx Was it the same Tal y Bont? I don’t remember Neil going up there. Not Tal- y Bont on Usk?

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Anne Wareham September 20, 2015 at 9:27 am

O Charles! morter indeed. Doh! And not a sheep in sight.

Though actually, love the pics. Great post.

You can see why people refer to our fence (visible on the book cover here…http://veddw.com/discovering-welsh-gardens/) as a take on the Welsh slate fences, though it was no part of my thinking when we made it….

Xxxx

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Charles September 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm

DOH. I will change it. Why should I know the right spelling? Sorry about the sheep. Were there really none? I actually had one available but I thought it was a bit over-stuffed with pics as it is. Nice plug for the book and our garden!

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John September 20, 2015 at 11:44 am

Nice (enhanced by the variety of photo dimensions with the occasional widescreen shot). As to the mud cracks, you’ll need to study the principles of particle adhesion. Simple really. And, of course, the “slate” fence at Veddw was designed when Anne was going through her TV Frasier period. BTW, the Whitefriars photo caption lacks direction 🙂 The “grass maze” is actually a stone spiral which has become overgrown. There’s a totally illogical YouTube upload about it (jump to 3o secs to save wasting time) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFnnBkKM96k.

Only problem is that I’m now gradually developing a sense of foreboding that “the end is night” and we’ll probably reach it in about 10 weeks.

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John September 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

Damned spellcherker. “nigh” not “night”¬!

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Charles September 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Thanks John.Particle adhesion, of course. Is that like particle physics, which I though very easy to grasp? Well spotted about the stone spiral. You did well to find that link, Sherlock. Yes, indeed, the end is Nigh. But not very nigh.

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John September 20, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Don’t forget that for the next post or two you’re in one of my childhood stomping grounds (I was a difficult child and so sent off to various relatives to give parents respite care!). Not Sherlock, just delving into the dusty bits in my cerebral void. Though in this case my childhood predates the spiral but my interest in the area doesn’t end with the end of aforementioned childhood.

Am I hoping for too much in interpreting your reply as indicating that we have longer to wait until “the end” (and the public baptism of my new watering can?). Will your forecast character decimation of Paul (poor chap who’s a better map reader than you) result in accounts of your walks being split over two posts per day? Or more? That would be welcome. [Makes mental note to take photo of new watering can before it gets dirty.]

Not to mention the fact that, despite my letting you know a while back, you walked straight past a place where, at least then, Aubracs were available for sale.

I am MORTERFIED!

🙂

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Charles September 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

Show me the child and I’ll show you the man. I don’t think I could forget about your childhood up north as I don’t think that I had heard about it! Well I hope that I don’t tread on your toes or offend over the next couple of posts. No, rest assured, I will keep to one post a day for the rest of the walk. But they will be fortnightly. Damm, I forgot about the Aubracs. Sad face.

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Charles September 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

Re the video: wonder why they are walking backwards? I am so pleased to have a typo of yours in print for once!

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Paul Steer September 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Morter, it ain’t what it oughta. Anyway it makes me feel better about myself to see your spelling mistakes. A joy to see those arts and crafts houses. The pics again capture the sense of place. Great blog and sad that this one is soon to end.

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Charles September 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm

You’ll be sadder next post when I can start on you again. And the post after that will be monstrous!Cheer up everyone. I’ll find somewhere else to write about. Mind you, I could do with a break. Its relentless!!!

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Kev "The Yank" September 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Three thoughts upon reading this new posting, Charles…
1) Great photos!
B) This can’t be in Wales, because during our almost 2 weeks in Wales last month it was sunny and warm every day… except for a brief time the afternoon The Mrs & I visited Veddw, and she continued to explore the garden while I hung out inside with the gracious owners while it poured down rain….
Thirdly) The Mrs & I were trying to decide where our next Wales walk should be…. Would you recommend the area you are currently writing about, or is there another section that is as spectacular as the Pembrokeshire Coast Walk???

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Charles September 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm

1. Thanks
B. Shh. Its really the south of France
Thirdly. Lleyn Peninsular
Hope the eye is getting better and betterer

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rob grover September 22, 2015 at 7:37 am

You were clearly captivated by the Arts and Crafts cottage, and its garden, and I can see why. It is very pleasing on the eye and the garden in perfect condition for your critical eye. The link is great in providing the social history of the house: despite its modest size, with two bedrooms, it originally incorporated a downstairs servant’s room, but then, on extension in the 50’s, the servants room went and chauffeur/handyman accommodation was built over the new garage – fascinating stuff.

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Charles September 22, 2015 at 11:05 am

I was. Yes, its a great little link isn’t it. Such a good idea to have QR codes to satisfy the curious.

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Lee September 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I like the slate fences; I think I’d have to go up to them and touch them. I go walking in the Peak District and we have something similar there, fences made out of limestone slabs. Some of us call them ‘gravestone fences’ but I don’t think that’s the correct term.

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Charles September 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Hello Lee. Nice of you to drop by. I like them, too. But I don’t find them very tactile.

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David Marsden September 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

I like the ‘gravestone fence’ term and indeed the fences themselves. I don’t suppose labour was that expensive when they were erected, Charles … but what do I know. I sympathise with your inner rage at hot water on old ‘bags and yet not saying anything. I, of course, would have asked him what the hell he was playing at – only, in reality, I wouldn’t have. But I would have enjoyed the ensuing argument in my head for ages. I really like your last three people shots, btw. Dave

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Charles September 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm

Hi Dave. This is strange. I am writing a reply from my bed in a 4* hotel in the middle of Florence after a meal out with the European Boxwood and Topiary Society (hereby known as EBTS) and having been moved to tears by the beauty of La Balze garden this afternoon. Which is a long winded way of saying that I feel slightly divorced, maybe separated would be a better word, from the WCP. But not from your always welcome and invariably enjoyable comments. When I do get to make you a cup of tea I will test your tolerance by getting the bag from the compost heap. You must realise by now that I am probably a reincarnation of Cartier Bresson. (Though I have probably plucked the wrong name from my Chianti addled brain).

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