A huge help for our walks in this area is a lovely little train line that runs along a section of the West Wales coast from Aberystwyth to Pwllheli. This means that 15 minutes after getting on the train at Harlech we roll into Dyffryn Adudwy station, and 5 mins later we’re back on the beach where we stopped last October.
A long stretch of golden sand beckons and it is a beautiful day. The beach is fringed with sand dunes and as we walk they get higher and higher.
After a while, signs of civilisation appear and a quick look at the map tells me we are approaching Shell Island, which since the 1950’s has become one of the largest camping sites in Europe. Before this development the land was used for farming and going further back, the story goes that it was from here that King Charles 1st secretly fled the country for France in 1640. The old farmhouse is believed to be haunted and sightings of the ghost of a young female have been reported. (looking for the toilets perhaps?)
All is quiet today however as we wander around past the camping store and through a barrier onto a narrow tarmac road. The sign at the start alerts me to the fact that the road is a causeway and not always accessible. Further research reveals that the island is what is called a barrier island – here’s the link for those who are interested.
This very well kept road twists and turns through the marshes past Llanbedr Airfield where we turn right and head down a minor road, over the railway tracks at Llanbedr and then left back onto the Welsh Coast Path.
At one point we climb over a stile (getting more and more difficult as the years go by) and I am pulled up by the sight of the stream below. Who knows what has caused this but I don’t think it’s anything good.
A little later a movement in the hedge catches my eye …………he keeps us entertained for a few minutes until he gets bored and scampers off.
We are now walking along the bank of a small river and eventually come to a footbridge. There is a pretty gate to open and close.
Closing the gate we turn left which we quickly realise is the wrong way, and on retracing our steps I manage to twist my ankle on a hump of grass – not badly but enough to make me fall over and enough to make it very difficult to get up on my feet again. I have now lost count of how many times my ankle has given way underneath me right from when I was a young thing Grrrr……
Anyway, my walking boot has enough ankle support for me to carry on walking so………on we go. After a short stretch along a main road the path turns left down to Pensarn Station and down to the harbour.
We walk through a group of enthusiastic young people gearing up to some water sport or other, into a soggy field overlooking the harbour. There are some large rocks marking the small slope down to the water so we decide to avail ourselves of these and stop for lunch. The sandwiches are as soggy as the landscape but we wolf them down – there’s nothing better than eating in the open air when you’re hungry after a morning of walking.
But we have still a long way to go so refreshed we hit the road and march smartly up the minor road for a couple of miles, down a path, across the railway line (again) and through a gate which takes us on to the beach. From here it is a 2 mile walk back to Harlech.
The sand is hard and slightly damp – perfect for walking.
As we approach Harlech the path skirts the golf course and coming off the beach we are met by this quirky structure …….no idea and nor does Google.
Harlech Castle towers above the lower part of the town and as we still have some daylight we decide to pay it a visit and maybe find a cup of coffee somewhere. Alas it is Sunday and the castle and cafe are closed.
Before heading for our BnB I am struck by a ghastly statue outside the castle walls of a weary, battle worn man on a horse. The man seems to have no arms and his legs are missing from the knee down. Slung behind him with his feet sticking out, is what looks like a dead child.
This is what I discovered – the Two Kings statue at Harlech Castle in northwestern Wales was sculpted by Ivor Roberts-Jones and unveiled in 1984.The sculpture depicts the Mabinogion story of Branwen, a lament of the folly and carnage of war.
Fair put me off me dinner………..
Distance: 12 miles