Despite the fact that Welsh speakers were few and far between in mid Wales where I grew up, I still pride myself on the fact that I can work out the pronunciation of most Welsh place names – NOT THIS ONE. Llwyngwrill is in a class of its own, especially when you’re trying to establish bus and train timetables from someone speaking from the other side of the country.
Anyway, here we are on a dull overcast day at the bottom of a very steep lane that winds up past the churchyard, over slippery cattle grids until a Welsh Coast Path signs leads up to the right through bright damp green fields dotted with fluffy white sheep.
We walk through the soggy fields for an hour or so before reaching and crossing a minor road where an imposing house made of local stone stands proudly in its own grounds.
Having crossed the narrow tarmac lane we scramble up through the fields behind the house, over beautiful drystone walls until we reach a collection of ruined houses – the entrance to one of them is fenced off but it is still possible to peer into the interior and dream of who lived here and how.
The upstairs fireplace is still intact as is the kitchen range.
More stone walls – this time there’s a step ladder – other times larger stones have been selected to project out of the wall at an angle to help us oldies to climb over.
At some point the landscape opens up and we are faced with an unwelcoming path up into a coniferous forest or right down to a farm. The sign is ambiguous so we consult the map and confirm with the only human we have seen up til now, a passing farmer in his landrover.
I see no ships………………..
The track turns into newly laid tarmac to service the farm – easy to walk on. We march slowly and steadily down the lane, almost hypnotised by the miles of beautiful dry stone walls.
Eventually we reach flat land and are starting to feel weak from lack of food – but we are yet to find a good place to stop for lunch. As luck would have it the railway line up the coast from Aberdyfi is closed until December for “engineering works” so we take advantage of the bench on the platform at Tonfanau.
We tear into our sandwiches like pine martens in a hen house – nothing has ever tasted better.
……………….passing cyclists all have a joke up their sleeves “….next train 1st December!” or “You’ve got a long wait til the next train” It raises a chuckle.
After lunch we carry on down the road running parallel to the coast, crossing a bridge over what is apparently a salt water lagoon called Broad Water.
Running parallel with the footbridge is the railway bridge which usually carries the trains which run up and down this part of the coast. I find it very encouraging that all the small coastal towns and villages are serviced by a railway running from Aberystwyth right up into north Wales.
And then we hit the coast proper and start the long haul along 4 miles of sand, which by- passes Tywyn and eventually takes us to Aberdyfi. I’m hoping it’s not going to be soft sand.
A couple of pebble shrines catch my eye…….
And a poor dead seal…..I wonder what killed it……
On we go up the beach, the light dying and both very tired. This is in fact a beautiful walk and one Damian has done before on a warm summers day but coming at the end of a long day’s walking it is a little difficult to appreciate it. I start to flag ……….but finish the walk we must and I’m sure Aberdyfi must be just round the next corner no?
……..and there it is, the railway line crossing which allows us to come off the beach into the outskirts of the village.
The light at the end of the tunnel……..
Distance: 12 miles