Post image for Wales Coast Path:Mynydd y Gwyddel to Porth Colmon

Wales Coast Path:Mynydd y Gwyddel to Porth Colmon

September 14, 2014 · 23 comments

Date walked:  22nd June 2014

Distance: about 11 miles, although by the official website it should have been about 8. Go figure.

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 and the next walk I was based at a bed and breakfast just up the hill from the village called No 2 Dolfor. I had come up the day before.  Breakfast was very good (a nice fresh croissant to start was a treat). After breakfast I had time to kill as my friend Philip was driving up to meet me from Cardiff. Originally we had thought 11am was a realistic ETA, but I  had pushed this back to 1pm the day before to take the pressure off his driving. I strolled down to the beach to sit and watch the world go by. Which on this warm morning was very pleasant, apart from that sense of ‘hanging around’.

At 12:56 I received a text from Phil saying that he had “finally seen the sea”. He thought that he was half an hour away; it was after 2pm when his beaten up old Peugeot 106 appeared. He was very apologetic. I’ve known Philip for nearly 40 years; time-keeping isn’t one of his strengths.

We checked him in and then headed for our destination at Porth Colmon; a tricky place to find even with map in hand. It’s a quiet little cove with enough room for a few cars. We left Phil’s and then drove mine back to where I finished up last night, so it was about 3pm by the time we reached Mynydd y Gwyddel. Then we had lunch.

The Wales Coast path at Mynydd y Gwyddel photographed by Charles Hawes

Don’t you think he is a ringer for the actor from Hinterland?

We were only just after the longest day of the year, so daylight was not going to be a problem, but, knowing that they stopped serving at the Gwesty Ty Newydd in Aberdaron around 8.30 I thought it prudent that we didn’t seek out  the nearby St Mary’s Well. We started with a climb to find a flat area with remnants of a concrete base (a WWII construction, where “hundreds” were stationed according to a BBC website) and some concrete steps.

Remnants of Word War II camp at Mynydd y Gwyddel, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The concrete steps are still in good nick

Over the brow of that hill, a further climb took us by more evidence of man’s recent occupation in the form of several areas of rubble.

View over Aberdaron bay from Mynydd Mawr, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Phil demonstrating that is was quite a pull up to here

Near the top, on Mynydd Mawr, was a little concrete building – the old Coastguard lookout station.

The old coastguard station on Mynydd Mawr, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Just read the photo (I couldn’t find any more detail)

The lazy or disabled can reach this by car.

Car approaching Mynydd Mawr coastguard station, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Mind you, that could be me in the future

And some creative type had come equipped with spray cans.

Graffiti on rock near Mynydd Mawr, Lleyn peninsula, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It’s rather good isn’t it? I saw another a bit further on

The view was certainly superb.

View to Aberdaron Bay from Mynydd Mawr on the Lleyn peninsula, photographed by Charles Hawes

Looking back to Aberdaron Bay

We were glad on this warm day of the long slow descent towards Porth Llanllawen.

View to Porth Llanllawen from Mynydd Mawr, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It’s striking how cultivated fields stand out a mile against rough grazing

The stream above the beach is crossed by a footbridge and as we began to climb down towards it we were fascinated by a flock of sheep making their way, single file, up the opposite side of the valley.

View to Mynydd Anelog from near Mynydd Mawr, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I guess that’s why sheep paths are so narrow; Mynydd Anelog in the distance

As we approached the footbridge the tail-enders crossed before, us rushing up the hillside and forcing the rest of the gang to up their pace.

Footbridge at Porth Llanllawen, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

A couple of miles followed of wide, well-worn path between masses of bracken. Sharp descents alternated with steep climbs as we passed several coves and inlets.

View from Mynedd Anelog north, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I think we are on the side of Mynedd Anelog here

In one such valley we came across a large colony of orchids. Philip has been a city dweller since we left university in 1977 but I was still surprised that he didn’t recognize this relatively common wild flower.

Orchid colony on the Lleyn peninsula near Mynydd Anelog, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Common spotted?

Needless to say sheep continued to be our companions for much of the walk, grazing on the cliff-tops.

View to Dinas Fawr from the Wales Coast path on the Lleyn peninsula, photographed by Charles Hawes

Here providing a foreground interest to our view to Dinas Fawr (or is it Dinas Bach?)

By the time we were approaching Porthor (Porth Oer, or “Whistling Sands” according to the OS map), I was hoping that the seasonal beach shop did not keep British cafe times and close at 5.

view to Whistling Sands from near Dinas Bach on the Lleyn peninsula, photograhed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I was going to be very upset if the shop was closed

It was 5.30pm when we got there and a couple were having tea on the terrace – we were in luck. Tea and cake for me, an ice-cream for Phil. Hooray.

Whistling Sands (Porth Oer), photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The silent beach of Whistling Sand (and a squeak is hardly a whistle, is it?)

Whistling Sands is known as such because it is said that if you walk on the dry sand it squeaks.  Not for us it didn’t. We tried the back of the beach, then the middle, then headed for the firmer sand by the water and all was silent; disappointing.

Whistling Sands , also known as Porthor, photographed from The wWles Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Philip looking disappointed

Sandcastle on the beach at Whistling Sands, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

I remember building sand castles on the beach as a child and was glad the constructor of this effort was spared the trauma of seeing it washed away.

At the end of the beach my OS map indicated a need to head inland and follow a minor road for a mile or so. In fact a route keeping to the coast has been opened since it was published; so much better, keeping close to the thrift-covered cliff tops.

Thrift on the cliff tops near Porth lago on the Lleyn peninsula, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Lovely stuff, Thrift (latin name Armeria, but which species?)

Porth Lago was deserted despite its near perfect setting and gently shelving beach.

Porth Lago, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

No time for a paddle (must indulge myself sometime); apparently RS Thomas liked to.

I don’t know how long this section of the path had been opened but it seemed to have been little walked and at times it was difficult to be confident that we were walking where intended.

The Wales Coast Path near Porth Lago, photographed by Charles Hawes

I think Philip began to doubt that we were on a path- the idea!

Not that this mattered; it just meant it was a little harder work as we negotiated our way around the rocky headland.

Near Porth Ferin, photographed from The wales Coast Path on the Lleyn peninsula by Charles Hawes

I’m not sure what Porth we are passing here; must get a camera that embeds GPS info (any excuse for a new camera)

It was nearing 7pm now and I began to think that we were not going to make it back to Aberdaron for supper. The little cottages we passed at Rhwngyddwyborth were still the best part of two miles from Porth Colmon.

Rhwngyddwyborth - meaning?

Lovely spot; very isolated

And ahead, though rapturously beautiful, the rugged coastline began to feel a bit of a threat to my fantasy supper.

Twyn-Melyn to Porth Colmon_39

There we are saying: “have we got to walk around all of that still”?

The OS map showed a pub at Tudweiliog about three miles from Porth Colmon, so we agreed Plan B and  crossed fingers that hadn’t closed or had Mondays off; we upped our pace over the several gullies we had still to cross.

The Wales Coast path near Porth Ty-mawr, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It’s not good when you see these nice steps and think “all those to do”

Philip was very tolerant as I studied the map ever more closely and put back our arrival time at the car several times; we agreed that peanuts and crisps were an acceptable substitute for food if enough beer accompanied them.

Gate on the wales Coast Path near Porth Colmon, photographed by Charles Hawes

“I’m sure that its just around the corner”

It turned out to be just after 8 when we reached a flight of steps which I was confident would deliver us to the cove at Porth Colmon.

Steps down to Porth Colmon, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

“just around the corner, trust me”

And I was right, for once.

Twyn-Melyn to Porth Colmon_45

We reached the car at  8.10,  and the Lion Hotel at 8.25, a full 5 minutes before last orders for food were being taken. Sometimes a pint tastes that extra bit special. This was one of those occasions.

 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

John September 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

We are favoured! Two Sunday posts in a row! May be cos in your, liking for sheep, you couldn’t wait to share the pics? (No 2 link still not working BTW.)

Interesting set of footprints beside Phil on the beach! They just suddenly end (or is it start?). Oh, and in his disappointment he needs a “p”. There is a knack to making the sand whistle – you need to stamp your feet or drag them across the dry sand, not just walk. And the temperature makes a difference too – it has to be warm enough. Bet you didn’t know that!

And, apart from that “p” I’ve taken the proof-reading glasses off today as I want to just enjoy the photos. Got to leave something (there are a few somethings) for Anne to find. 🙂

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Hiya,
I do have posts scheduled now through to January so I thought I’d bring some forward. Having read your tweet I have done some comma and apostrophe adjustment, but am not entirely happy editing with my new tablet. Now to add that “p”.

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Anne Wareham September 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

Thanks, John – it’s this bit: “As we approached the footbridge the tail-enders crossed before, us rushing up the hillside and forcing the rest of the gang to up their pace.”

O, the tension re supper!!!

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm

What’s wrong with that bit? Is it too complicated or just badly written?

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John September 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Comma adjustment, dear boy, comma adjustment. And when adding the p, jog to the thrift pic which needs an f before the thrift (well actually before the comma before the thrift). All this effort Anne and I put in on your behalf ……

And a new tablet? And a new barometer with built in phone on order? And you want a new camera with built-in GPS too? Your new barometer can probably cope with that! At least with all this wonderful new kit to play with, you won’t be able to blame your tools ……..

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Charles September 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Ok. Never say I ignore you. Have put in the required “f”. I reckon with the barometer I’ll be putting my old GPS on eBay- one less thing to carry on the walks.

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Charles September 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Ok. Never say I ignore you. Have put in the required “f”. I reckon with the barometer I’ll be putting my old GPS on ebay- one less thing to carry on the walks.

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Marice September 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Picky, picky, picky! I liked the piccies

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Well being picked up on things is a compliment really! Xxx

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Neil September 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Lovely scenery, especially in the setting sun light of a long summers day. Sea and sky a beautiful colour. Looks a lovely late afternoon and evening walk….. Pity you were unable to appreciate it, anxious about your supper, n all. …. I trust you and Phil, like sheep, walked in single file up that stretch of coastline…. I also trust Philip, as a fellow city person, was able to identify the flowers as the ‘pale blue with hints of mauve’ ones. They’re lovely.

It actually looks a lovely walk, lovely pictures, with an entertaining, if somewhat anxious, dialogue. Nice read 🙂

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm

What a lot of “lovlies”. Clearly a walk you should have joined us for. Yes, I don’t do enough walking into the evening; its the best time of day. Come wild camping next summer!

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Paul Steer September 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Hi, I was surprised that you appreciated the symbol of welsh nationalism spray painted on the rocks – they used to burn holiday homes and tried to bomb Prince Charley .

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Are you, really? I just liked it as a well executed graffiti. I didn’t know who had done it and don’t care that much. Which I know can lead one down dangerous roads if you take the politics out of art. Still. It is there and deserved mention.

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Paul Steer September 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

It is a symbol of the Welsh Language Society now, but it was always painted on rocks as a claim of right to the land. I meant the comment to be informative and perhaps a bit tongue in cheek – sorry Charles.

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm

No need for apologies! It was informative – and I know you know me better!

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Deb September 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm

The most orderly sheep I’ve ever seen. Though at first I thought you meant the white dots on the brow of the hill, until I scrolled down to see the whole picture!

I do like the rugged coastline pic with your shadows in the corner. The composition makes my eyes happy.

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Charles September 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Me,too about the sheep. And I was rather pleased with tucking me and Philip into the corner. Only possible with low light.

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Julia September 15, 2014 at 9:23 am

Dreamy.

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Charles September 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Not my dreams! They are of lost or damaged cars, being lost or embarrassed or if I am lucky, sex.

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David Marsden September 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Beautiful light, Charles. Perhaps I ought to try June walking. You’ve reminded me why I’m wary of coastal paths. All that up and down. Sheesh. (The Armeria is probably A. maritima. Probably). Dave

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Charles September 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Thanks Dave. Come on you big, wimp, you do plenty of ups and downs! Get over the coast and enjoy yourself. Why don’t you walk in June? Thanks for the ID. Makes sense.

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David Marsden September 21, 2014 at 6:29 am

I don’t think I could leave the gardens I tend in June. It’s too busy a time, hence my February/March marches though even March can be cutting it a bit fine. You’re quite right about coastal walks – I am a wimp but I do have my eye on the SW Coast Path. One day.

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Charles September 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I’m very lucky that I can leave the garden in Anne’s safe hands- not that she does a lot when I’m not there. Now the SW coast path really is up and down. Gower and some of Pembrokeshire much gentler.

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