Pwllheli is the end of the line. Literally. The train goes no further. From now on I’m reliant on buses, but the usually very helpful Traveline Cymru web site lets me down badly. I only manage to get to Pwllheli because I mistakenly catch the wrong bus which happens to be going the right way.
At Pwllheli, the beach is rutted by the enormous tyres of a procession of monster dumper trucks. They’re shifting loads of sand from the harbour mouth to somewhere further up the beach.
I do walk along by the edge of the sea for a while, but I find the continual passage of the trucks rather unnerving and I soon head back to the safety of the promenade. Here, rather belatedly, I find signs warning of ‘heavy plant crossing’.
The promenade is slowly being overtaken by the dune system. I guess it takes a lot of effort to keep the sand at bay.
At the end of the promenade, a sandy track takes me along the coast. To my left are dunes, hiding the trucks from view. To my right is a golf course. The path is popular with dog walkers.
At one point I decide I really do want to walk along the beach but, when I climb up the dunes to see what is happening, I see the trucks are still churning their way up and down the sand.
I continue along the track until I’m well past the end point of the trucks’ journeys. Then I clamber down onto the beach.
Interestingly, while the first part of this stretch of beach is being inundated with sand, this area is clearly in danger of being eroded. A huge protective wall of riprap has been piled up.
I’m struck by the colours of the rocks. Orange and gold, olive-green and burnt sienna, greys that vary from dark to almost white – I’ve never seen such a mix before.
I wish I knew more about geology, but I believe most of this wonderful colour variation is due to past volcanic activity. The Llyn Peninsula is still active geologically, and the epicentre for frequent minor earthquakes.
Reaching the end of the beach I follow a walkway up to higher ground.
The sun is bright and shining into my eyes. That’s one of the problems with walking towards the west. I can only take decent photographs by turning around, and so most of the photos on this page are backwards views. This (below) is the view along the beach I’ve just left.
The low cliffs here are being eroded. At one point the path has almost crumbled away, and red netting is stretched along the edge of the landslip
I reach the village of Llanbedrog, and climb a steep hill to find the pub. Apart from a group of workmen having a break, I’m the only customer. I order lunch and sit outside. It’s cool but pleasant in the sunshine.
After lunch, I return to the Wales Coast Path, which passes through an attractive estate (Plas Glyn-y-Weddw). I walk past a grand old house, past a modern open-air theatre, and then up through woodland towards a headland with the unpronounceable name of Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd.
The woodland has apparently been cleared of invasive rhododendrons, creating a series of lovely walks.
On a high point, overlooking Llanbedrog and its beach, is a strange metal figure. Apparently this is the last of three statues. The first one was a wooden figure from a ship. This was burnt down. Then a second metal figure was erected, known as the Tin Man, but this rusted away. Finally a third figure was put in place.
I must confess I don’t like the latest statue very much. It’s a bit too fussy and unstructured for my tastes. But the new Tin Man has a wonderful view over the bay and the beach below. I’m sure on a clear day he could probably see Snowdon in the distance, but the mountains are lost in a haze at the moment.
The path leaves the woodland behind, and now I’m walking across an area of rocky heathland.
This is the best part of the walk, and I enjoy it very much. Near the end of my circuit around the headland I come across a memorial bench. Perfect spot for a rest.
A local couple walk by and warn me to watch out for adders. I get quite excited, but I don’t see any snakes. Maybe it’s too cold for them. I do manage to take a self-portrait.
Leaving the headland, I mistakenly wander off the official route and end up joining a narrow lane. This takes me down towards the beach, where I’m surprised to pick up the Wales Coast Path again. I hadn’t realised I’d left it!
Now I’m only a couple of miles away from Abersoch. Out in the bay – called, rather strangely, St Tudwal’s Road – are two islands with the unimaginative names of St Tudwal’s Island East and St Tudwal’s Island West.
The sun is low in the sky and I’m squinting with the bright light. The beach is remarkably quiet, just a few strollers out. Abersoch draws nearer.
I like to take a few pebbles from my trips home with me as souvenirs to give to my hubby, and I try to choose ones that are representative of the area. But here there are so many interesting stones, and such a variety of colours and textures to choose from, I end up filling my pockets.
Reaching the end of the beach, I’m passed by a young woman running with her dog.
I climb up a slope and join the road for a short distance, which leads me into Abersoch. It’s a pretty place, with a small and unpretentious harbour. Everything always looks attractive in the golden light of evening.
I find my car, change from boots into shoes, and empty out the pebbles from my pockets. It’s time for the long drive back to Lincolnshire.
Miles walked today = 11 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 710 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,317 miles