182(pm) Llanelli and Seaside

After my exciting lunchtime encounter with a dead rabbit and a little weasel, the rest of the walk seems tame. The footpath doubles as a cycle path. I see more cyclists than walkers.

b01 National Wetlands Centre, Ruth walking the Wales Coast Path, Llanelli

This area is designated at the “Millennium Coastal Park”. The sign has seen better days.

b02 Millenium Coastal Park, Ruth Livingstone walking the coast, Llanelli

And just inland from here is a large area of wetlands. I was looking forward to walking among lakes and marshes, but it seems you have to pay to enter, and the Wales Coast Path takes a semicircle around the reserve. Shame.

The route has a good surface but isn’t particularly pleasant as it runs between a high fence with discouraging barbed wire, and a road.

b03 high fences to keep you out, Millenium Coastal Park, Ruth in Wales

On the other side of the road is an industrial landscape of pylons and chimneys. It’s all rather disappointing. I suppose it’s fine if you whizz along here on a bike, but not very scenic if you are walking.

b04 not very scenic walk, Millenium Coastal Park, Ruth walking to Llanelli

A short distance later, and as the path curves around the other side of the fenced-off wetland, the view improves. I walk on a bank above the cycle path, past a golf course with new housing estates in the distance.

b05 Machynys Golf Club, Ruth walking towards Llanelli

And then I am back on the coast again – well, maybe not the coast exactly. It’s still river and estuary, with plenty of mud and marsh. Across the water I can see Llanmadoc hill, and the dunes of Whiteford Sands. I remember my walk along that endless beach, and I wish I was back on the proper coast again.

b06 view over to Llanmadoc Hill, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path, Llanelli

I take a self-portrait. I’m trying to do one of these on each of my walks. It’s not that I make a particularly pretty picture (sadly), but my family seem keen to have a record of what I looked like, what I was wearing, etc.

b07 self-portrait, Ruth Livingstone walking towards Llanelli

I am getting closer to my destination, Llanelli, and I begin to meet more people on the path: walkers, joggers, and cyclists. A blue plaque catches my eye.

lost village Bwlch y Gwynt plaque, Ruth's coastal walk

 ‘Near to this site stood the “lost” village and community of Bwlch y Grynt.’ 

Millenium marker, Ruth walking in Wales

Later, I learn of the deliberate depopulation of this area, which happened during the 1960s and 1970s following the closure of  local tin-plate and steel industries.

Near to the plaque, I walk past this strange piece of sculpture. Tall and imposing. (I am to come across several more of these as I walked along the shore. It’s all part of the redeveloped Millennium Coastal Park.)

Now I approach an area of beach. Proper sand at last! The first I’ve come across since Whiteford dunes. Bordering the beach is a new housing development.

b10 new development Machynys, Ruth walking the coast, Llanelli

Past the houses, and the beach is interrupted by a waterway. I walk inland to join the road and find a bridge across the water. There are some impressive-looking sluice gates.

b11 sluice gate and B4304, Ruth walking the WCP, Llanelli

Then I follow the cycleway that runs along the side of the road, past an area of mud and marsh, towards the seaside area of Llanelli. On my map, this coastal outpost is called, simply, Seaside.

b12 walking towards Seaside, Llanelli, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path

Another bridge takes me over the mouth of another river and into the Seaside development. From the bridge I take a photograph looking along the meandering water way. The tide is low. It looks very muddy.

b13 lots of mud, The Flats, Seaside, Llanelli, Ruth hiking the coast path

Seaside seems to be a very modern development, dominated by this blue-glass and concrete building. Downstairs is a information area and toilets. On the first floor is  a café where I decide to stop and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

b14 cafe and information building, Seaside, Ruth in Llanelli

I would like to sit on one of the balconies. But the wind has picked up and it’s too fierce for comfort. So I sit inside instead. The view is still wonderful, even through the tinted glass.

After finishing my tea, I go outside and take a photograph of the view across the mouth of the estuary. That is Llanmadoc Hill. And the long, low lines of Whitesand Burrows.

b15 across River Loughor estuary to Llanmadoc, Ruth in Llanelli

Then I turn inland, leaving Seaside and crossing the bridge again. This time I take a photograph looking upstream, towards the town of Llanelli.

b16 Llanelli, Ruth walking the Welsh Coast

Then I walk through residential streets and find Llanelli’s train station. Time to return to my B&B.

Miles walked today= 13.5 miles
Total distance = 1,825.5 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
This entry was posted in 12 South Wales and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 182(pm) Llanelli and Seaside

  1. Hello Ruth! (My favourite name and name of my eldest daughter! She’s 9)
    I spent many hours on Friday ignoring housework to read through your blog. The photos are excellent, can’t believe the ones of the weasel!
    I’m doing the Coastal Path of Wales as and when I can. I started in Chepstow in September and am now in awesome Pembrokeshire. Your photos bring it all back so well. I think we got lost in all the same places!
    All the very best to you for the rest of your epic journey, can’t wait to read the next section!
    Charlotte Gilmore

  2. What kind of camera do you use? I have a compact (Panasonic TZ40) which goes into a horizontal pouch on my trouser belt. I can access it very easily. If I had a bigger camera it would have to be stowed less conveniently. I would have fewer photos but better quality.

    • I have a Canon EOS 550, DSLR. It has a good lens on it (18-55mm), which gives some zooming facility. The combo is definitely too big to fit in my pocket, sadly, and it is heavy. But I do love the quality of the photographs, and since photography is an important part of my walks, I think it’s worth the effort of carrying it around.

  3. Colin says:

    Hello, the Canon G series are worth looking at. Even a G11 is great but a G11 shoots hi res video too.

    • Having looked these up, I really want one of these. A ‘bridging’ camera. Half way between an instamatic and a full DSLR. Maybe one of the newer models. They seem fantastic. Now I just have to persuade my husband it’s another essential gadget I really, really DO need!

  4. Colin says:

    Sorry, the Canon G12 shoots the higher res video but the G11 is a fine, very slightly bigger but pocketable camera.

  5. John Gale says:

    Hi Ruth – so you have reached Pembrokeshire, that was certainly one of the ‘highs’ for me especially the section around St David’s and then some spectacular (but exhausting) cliffs before you reach Cardigan. Pity you didn’t stop long in Llanelli it has the most awarded Indian restaurant in Wales! I’ve just reached Weymouth so only have about 650 miles left to go.

  6. Marie Keates says:

    That cafe was a great find. I love places with good sea views.

I welcome your views

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