209 am Aberporth to Llangrannog

I return to Aberporth by car, and admire the mural in the parking area…

01 Aberporth mural, Ruth Livingstone

… before walking across the beach to the other side of the bay, where I can look back at the opposite headland and remember how grateful I was to arrive here yesterday.

02 Aberporth beach, Ruth walking the Ceredigion coast path

There is a small charge for parking your car in Aberporth. I am always glad to pay these fees and, compared to our big cities, the prices are very reasonable and you’re contributing to the local economy.

 missing honesty box, Aberporth, Ruth LivingstoneBut the honesty box has disappeared!

I can’t work out if it has been removed for emptying, or has it been stolen? Oh, the irony.

03b ship building centre, Aberporth, Ruth's coastal walkThere are some sculptures on the path near the beach commemorating the fact that Aberporth was once a working port, and a place where ships were built. Their names are listed on this board.

‘Mary’ and ‘Jane’ are traditional. ‘True Briton’ and ‘Britannia’ are patriotic. ‘Lovely’ is just, well, lovely. And makes me smile.

The coastal path heading out of Aberporth has been especially created to be wheelchair friendly. It’s wide, smooth and covered in tarmac. Easy walking.

04 wheelchair friendly walking, Aberporth, Ruth Livingstone on the coast path

And I am struck by how clean it is. All the way to Tresaith. Not a scrap of litter to be seen. Not a single pile of dog poo. Very odd, considering how many holiday cottages, caravan sites, and dog walkers are to be found in the area. I wonder if they use a regular road sweeper?

There is something else that is odd. The holiday cottages that dot the slopes are long and thin in outline. And look like… well, like railway carriages.

bungalows from railway carriages, Ruth Livingstone in Aberporth

I assume Aberporth once had a railway station, although there is no sign of one today.

Onwards. Towards Tresaith.

I’m walking into the morning sun, which makes photography difficult. It still seems strange to be walking eastwards, having spent so long making westward progress, and this part of the coast is north facing, so the cliffs and slopes remain in the shadows.

06 Tresaith and caravans, Ruth's coastal walk, Cardigan Bay

Tresaith is blighted by caravan parks, something my B&B landlady warned me about. But they look fine in the sunshine.

07 Tresaith beach and Ceredigion Coast Path, Ruth hiking in Wales

I walk down to Tresaith beach and wonder if it gets crowded in the summer. Today there are just a few elderly walkers, and couples out with dogs.

steep climb out of Tresaith, Ruth's coastal walk in Cardiganshire

Then I begin the long, hard slog out of the valley. This is no longer a wheelchair-friendly route! The path climbs up, via a series of steps, through the houses that crowd the bay.

Then it begins to wind up the hill on the other side of the cove. And the hill never seems to end.

I overtake a couple of middle-aged walkers. The man is telling the woman they are nearly at the top. But, when I round the next corner and see the path – now a rugged mass of rocks – continuing to rise, I know this is not true.

On and upwards. I stop for the occasional breather and to take photographs looking down into the bay below. From up here you get a better impression of how built-up this area is. It must be bustling in the summer.

09 view back along coast to Tresaith and Aberporth, Ruth Livingstone

Up and up.

Eventually I feel that freshening in the air, a cooler breeze in my face, that usually signals you’re approaching the top of a hill. And I know I’m nearly there.

Ahead the coastline stretches away. No holiday homes or caravan parks in sight. This is better! And what a glorious day. No clouds. No wind. And the sea is calm below, just a gentle roll as the waves approach the shore.

10 looking towards Llangrannog, Ruth hiking in Wales

Over the brow of the hill, and I am looking down along Penbryn Beach. This is a lovely stretch of sand, crossed by a shallow stream, and almost deserted.

11 Traeth Penbryn, Ruth walking the coast in Wales

Now the path turns inland and goes down into a wooded valley. The walking is easy, with steps. And I enjoy the change of scenery.

12 Down into Penbryn, Ruth hiking the Ceredigion Coast Path, Wales

At the bottom of the valley is a bridge across the stream, and I meet other walkers, including a long line of ramblers. They stop on the bridge for a group photo – I offer to take it for them…

13 group of ramblers, Penbryn, Ruth Livingstone

… and then they take a photo of me on the bridge too.

14 Ruth Livingstone, hiking in Wales

What goes down, must come up. On the other side of the narrow valley is a car park – which explains all the strollers and walkers – and a long climb up another steep hill. The views from the top are worth the effort.

15 looking back to Traeth Penbryn, Ruth hiking in Wales

There is a welcome, but short, period of flattish walking on the top of the cliff, and then I am looking down into another cove. This has no name on my map and appears to be inaccessible by foot. It’s very beautiful.

16 Carreg-y-ty, Ruth's coastal walk through Wales

After another steep scramble – down and up – I regain the high ground. The next beach appears. This one is definitely accessible by foot. I can see walkers on the sand and a small boat is pulled up. Ah. This must be Llangrannog.

17 Llangrannog, Ruth Livingstone walking the coast in Wales

Coming around the corner, I can look down at the small village. It looks a promising place to stop for lunch, larger than I expected, with pubs and cafes.

18 Llangrannog, Ruth walking the Ceredigion coast path

The pub is showing football on a large TV. Wales at the moment is sports mad. They won the rugby last night – beating the English in a surprising turnaround in the second half – and seem to be doing well in the football qualifying matches too.

I sit in a corner and eat a bowl of Welsh cawl. My daughter is getting married next weekend and I am determined to drop a few pounds and so I’m choosing my food carefully and, instead of my usual cider, I’m drinking diet coke!

Self control – like walking uphill – may be hard at the time, but the end result should be worth the effort.


[To be continued…]

About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, Doctor, woman, etc.
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8 Responses to 209 am Aberporth to Llangrannog

  1. theresagreen says:

    A popular area indeed, reflected in high prices for property! (I think Charles & Camilla have/had a house here) Also an adventure camp that my Welsh-speaking kids were treated to in their Yr 6s.The large rock between Llangrannog and Cilborth Beaches is Carreg Bica -according to legend it is the tooth of the giant Bica who was forced to spit his tooth onto the beach following a bad toothache!

  2. theresagreen says:

    Forgot to say, hope the wedding went well!

  3. You are getting good weather. I walked St. Dogmaels to Aberporth on 22nd April and my journal says:
    “I camped on a site east of Aberporth. It was too hot to cook in the tent until the sun had gone down, so providing shade from a nearby caravan”. Not bad for April.

  4. Marie Keates says:

    What a lot of hills. I wonder if the couple ever made it to the top and if the lady was angry with her husband for telling her she was nearly there?

    • Hi Marie. By coincidence I met them both on the bus later. They recognised me and said they found the walk very difficult. They assumed I’d stopped at Llangrannog, as they had. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I’d carried on further… They were still talking to each other on the bus. So she must have forgiven him 😉

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