223 Pwllheli to Abersoch

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.

01 trucks on Pwllheli beach, Ruth Livingstone's coastal walk

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’.

02 sign, Ruth's coastal walk, Pwllheli

The promenade is slowly being overtaken by the dune system. I guess it takes a lot of effort to keep the sand at bay.

03 sand dunes, Pwllheli, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path

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.

04 Llyn coastal path, Ruth walking from Pwllheli

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.

05 sand moving, Pwllheli, Ruth walking the coast in Wales

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.

06 beach walking, Ruth near Llanbedrog

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.

07 multicoloured rocks, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path, Llyn Peninsula

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.

08 looking back over Y Gamias Bay, Ruth hiking the Lleyn Peninsula

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

09 coastal erosion, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path

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.

10 wooded walk through estate, Llanbedrog, Ruth's coastal walk in Wales

The woodland has apparently been cleared of invasive rhododendrons, creating a series of lovely walks.

11 wooded walk Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd, Llanbedrog, Ruth's coastal walk in Wales

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.

12 The three statues, Trywyn Llanbedrog, Ruth's coastal hike around Wales

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.

13 metal figure above Plas Glyn y Weddw, Ruth on the Wales Coast Path, Llanbedrog

The path leaves the woodland behind, and now I’m walking across an area of rocky heathland.

14 path across Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd, Ruth's coastal walk, Wales

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.

15 stone seat, Mount Pleasant, Ruth hiking around the Lleyn Peninsula

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.

16 self portrait, Ruth Livingstone on Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd, Llanbedrog

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!

17 road down to Abersoch Beach, Ruth walking the Welsh coast

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.

18 St Tudwal's Islands, Ruth walking towards Abersoch, Llyn, Wales

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.

19 Ruth walking towards Abersoch, Llyn, Wales

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.

20 Ruth looking back to Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd, Wales

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.

21 harbour at Abersoch, Ruth hiking the Wales Coast Path

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


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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12 Responses to 223 Pwllheli to Abersoch

  1. Hi Ruth. Llanbedrog is one of my favourite places on the WCP – great pics. You’ve got a long stretch of beach next – Porth Neigwl (Hells Mouth) on the way to Aberdaron (unless you’ve done it already). The exit off the beach is tricky……we missed it & ended up walking through someone’s garden/drive!! Best wishes, Michelle

    • Llanbedrog was lovely. And, yes, I’ve just done the Hell’s Mouth section. Will be writing it up soon. Was a testing day and the only time in my 6 yrs of coastal walking that I’ve got seriously cold!

  2. owdjockey says:

    Hi Ruth, buses will be essential to your next section. So my advice is yes, use Travel Cymru, but download the timetable and study it. Check out on google maps the location of bus stops and routes. For the next section you may need to park in Pwllheli (point C) get a bus to point A walk to point B, then get a bus back to point C i.e Pwllheli. BTW there is a free car park about 250m from the rail station close to the Black Lion pub.

  3. owdjockey says:

    Hi Ruth, If I may offer some further advice? The key to your next 3 to 4 walks (depending on how far you walk) is Pwllheli. . Virtually all buses in this area go to Pwllheli, so use this as your Point C. Study the schematic and bus timetables, be prepared to reverse your route OR failing all of this …..remember last year I commented on the Lleyn Coastal Bus service? Well it started running again last week. Check the information out here…


    • Thank you Alan. I’ve got two more walks to write up, both with similar tales of failure to catch the planned bus. Your advice is excellent. The thing to do is stay in Pwllhelli catch buses from there. Too late for me now, but good advice for others to follow!
      The coastal bus IS running now. But only operates on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun 😀

  4. Hi Ruth.

    The unpronouncable Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd would be (roughly) munith teer uh koomood. Mynydd is mountain or hill, tir is land and cwmwd is commote, i.e. the subdividion of a cantref or hundred. Thus Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd is Mount Land-of-the-Commote, presumably because it was an elevated piece of common land.

    A “road” in the context of St Tudwal having one is an anchorage outside a harbour, which is hopefullly more sheltered than the open sea and somewhere to wait until you can sail into the harbour.

    And now, since I appear to believe I’m a dictionary, I’m going to go and find a nice bookend to lean up against and gather dust.


  5. Marie Keates says:

    I think I like the second statue best. What a shame it rusted away. Like you I’m an inveterate pebble and shell collector. I have jars of them all over my house.

  6. The third statue reminds me of ‘Ben Mhor’ on the loch shore at Fort William, it’s 14ft tall and made out of recycled mountain bike parts and ski accessories. Have a look here for a photo of it –

    I went to Llanbedrog briefly last year but wasn’t too impressed with it. Aside from the fact there’s nothing there a great deal of the beach was covered in rotting seaweed and the smell was quite unpleasant. 😦

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