226 Aberdaron to Porthor

My B&B host provides a drop off and pick up service for walkers. This is excellent news, because I’m fed up with trying – and failing – to catch buses. So it should be an uneventful journey to Aberdaron and the start of my walk.

01 Aberdaron, Ruth setting off to walk the Wales Coast Path

First we need to drive to a little cove, called Porth Iago, where the map shows a convenient car park close to a new section of the coast path. Here I plan to leave my car so that I can walk back to it. But it’s all a bit mysterious. Firstly, there doesn’t appear to be a road leading to Porth Iago – at least, not according to my map. Secondly, my B&B host has never heard of this car park, although he can remember visiting Porth Iago many years ago.

Undaunted, we set off in convoy, and end up bouncing down a rutted and muddy farm track. My host spots the pay and display machine, sited next to a barn and only reached by getting out of our cars and wading through some thick farmyard slurry. I would have missed it on my own and driven straight past. (Actually, if I was on my own I think I would have chickened out and turned back long before I reached the pay machine!)

I put £3 in the ticket machine and we continue down the track, navigating through puddles and zigzagging around deep holes, until we reach a water-logged field.

Unsurprisingly, the field car park is empty of any cars. I stop on the driest patch I can find and, somewhat reluctantly, leave my car to join my B&B host in his. We bounce back along the farm track and make our way to Aberdaron.

From there on, everything gets better. The coast path is clearly marked and the route looks interesting. The sky is clear and the sea is beautiful.

02 Wales Coast Path, west of Aberdaron, Lleyn

I walk along the edge of the cliff, the path slowly rising higher, and with a wonderful view back to Aberdaron.

03 looking back to Aberdaron, Ruth walking the Llyn Coastal Path

At Porth Meudwy there is a collection of tractors and boats, and it seems this is an active little fishing harbour – something that has been surprisingly lacking in North Wales so far.

04 Porth Meudwy, Ruth walking the coast, Llyn Peninsula

The path continues and the view across Aberdaron Bay is entrancing. The cliffs are made of hard rocks here and, with little in the way of sediment, the water is beautifully clear. It reminds me of Cornwall. Or Pembrokeshire.

05 view across Aberdaron Bay, Ruth Livingstone

The area is popular and I meet several walkers, including this group of three young women who are studying their map earnestly. I ask them if they’re walking the coast path, but they confess they’re just going for a wander and have no specific plans.

06 Pen y Cil, fellow hikers, Ruth's coastal walk, Wales

I reach the high ground of Pen y Cil. This stretch of coast, from here onwards for some miles, is owned by the National Trust. The views are wonderful.

07 Aberdaron from Pen y Cil, Ruth's coastal hike, Wales

And further out to sea is Bardsey Island, a place of birds and of pilgrimage, and possibly the burial site of King Arthur. It looks mysterious.

08 Bardsey Island from Pen Y Cil, Ruth Livingstone

I join a muddy farm track for a while. There is a new section of coast path running closer to the coast, but I manage to miss this, and continue walking along the edge of fields.

09 muddy fields, Llyn Peninsula, Ruth walking the coast in Wales

After a while I realise I’ve strayed from the path and pull out my map. A trio of walkers pass me – mother, father and daughter, I think.

10 walking the Llyn Peninsula, Ruth Livingstone

I catch up with the walkers a short time later. We’re standing on a narrow road and it’s not clear where the continuation of the coast path is. I approach the group, who have their map out and seem lost, and I offer to show them the route on my Garmin, but they cold-shoulder me. They don’t refuse to look, or explain they want to read the map for themselves, they just completely ignore me. It’s as if I’m invisible.

This is the first time a group of fellow walkers has refused to speak to me. Usually everyone you meet is very friendly. Most odd and rather rude.

Leaving them to figure out where they are for themselves, I head off down the road and soon find the coast path again. Looking back, I see the trio are following in my wake, but I quickly march on ahead, determined to leave them behind.

11 Mynydd y Gwyddel, Ruth walking the Llyn Peninsula

This section of the walk is lovely. The path continues over National Trust land, getting narrow and more rugged as it rises up to follow the shoulder of a hill, Mynydd y Gwyddel.

12 rugged path, Ruth walking the Llyn Peninsula, Mynydd y Gwyddel

Around a corner, and it plunges down towards a little stream. I meet other walkers, who look nervous on the steep path, and I soon overtake them.

13 Mynydd y Gwyddel, Ruth hiking in Wales, Lleyn Coast Path

This is the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, and it’s truly beautiful. Up goes the path again.

14 Ruth walking the Llyn Coast Path, Wales

I reach the high point of Mynydd Mawr, where there is a narrow road and a car park. Great views.

15 road at top of Mynydd Mawr, Ruth walking the Wales Coast Path, Llyn

Just past the car park, on a patch of gorse-covered heathland, I stop for lunch. I’m now on the north coast of Llyn. No longer can I see back to Hell’s Mouth or across to mainland Wales. I’ve turned the corner.

16 view from Mynydd Mawr, Ruth Livingstone on the Llyn Peninsula

The view is stunning. The hill ahead is Mynydd Anelog.

17 Looking towards Mynydd Anelog, Ruth walking in Wales

Having met many walkers around Aberdaron, I now meet nobody else for several miles, until – on the other side of Mynydd Anelog, I see two figures in the distance. It’s a sign I’m approaching civilisation again.

18 Down from Mynydd Anelog, Ruth on the Llyn Coastal Path

I’ve been looking forward to reaching Porthor (or Porth Oer), otherwise known as ‘Whistling Sands’. Will it live up to its name?

Porthor turns out to be a pretty beach and popular with families. There is a café down on the sands, and I stop for a cream tea.

19 Porthor or Porth Oer, Ruth on the Whistling Sands, Wales

After an enjoyable rest, I head to the top of the beach and walk above the high-tide mark, because it seems the ‘whistling’ sound only happens if you find dry sand. I scuff my boots along. And, yes, the beach does whistle! Or rather, the sand makes a high pitched singing noise. Magical.

At the end of the beach are some dramatic rocks. I stop and take far too many photographs, reluctant to leave this pretty place.

20 end of Porthor Beach, Ruth walking the Llyn Peninsula

Onwards. I walk up and over the cliff and continue along the path. Again, this section of the path is new, as previously you had to go inland and follow the road for a couple of miles. I’m grateful the route has changed.

Ahead are a couple of walkers. And, on top of a distant slope, I see two cars. One is mine. The other theirs. They must have managed to find the same car park!

21 Porth Iago, Ruth walking towards the car park, Llyn Peninsula

I don’t go directly back to my car. Tomorrow I need to start my walk from today’s end-point, and I don’t want to face the muddy farm track again, or make my kind host drive down it either. So I continue onwards along the coast path as it curves around the next headland.

22 around Penrhyn Mawr, Ruth walking the Llyn Coast Path

It’s very muddy underfoot. Recently erected fences are designed to keep walkers on the proper path and out of the fields. But there are gates in the fence and these have been kept open for the sheep, who have left the fields and churned up sections of the path. Mud, glorious mud. I grit my teeth and mutter rude things about farmers… and carry on.

Round the next bend and I’m looking into Porth Ferin. It’s another pretty –  and deserted – cove. Nothing there but a couple of cottages. Farms? Or holiday homes?

23 Porth Ferin, Ruth hiking the Wales Coast Path, west Llyn

I find the roadway I plan to use tomorrow, and check the footpath that leads between the road and the coast path. Is it passable? It is not signposted, and is very muddy too, but there are no obstructions.

Happy that I can avoid another farmyard trip tomorrow,  I turn around and walk back along the coast path, back to my car.

Miles walked today = 12.5 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 751.5 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,358.5 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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21 Responses to 226 Aberdaron to Porthor

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    I have never come across such unfriendly walkers either. Very strange. I am enjoying your posts.

  2. owdjockey says:

    Hi Ruth, the tractors at Port Meudwy, as you probably gathered, are to launch the boats on cradles, some for Bardsey Island, the following link is my account of a visit a few years ago.


    I usually get one or two people on a walk that appear not to respond to a “good morning” as I pass them. Perhaps they don’t care for the “cut of my jib”? lol

  3. jcombe says:

    When I read how you started I was wondering “but how are you going to manage your next walk from there” but you answered that for me. Another beautiful stretch of coast. The sand at the western end of Weymouth I found makes that sort of whisteling noise too. Have you decided if you are going to go around Anglesey? Once you get as far as Nefyn you will be back on coast familiar to me, as I have walked from there as far north as Lancaster (including Anglesey).

  4. John Greensmith says:

    A good read as usual, and lovely photos. Are you allowed to tell us the B&B you stayed in? I hope to do this stretch of coast soon and the lack of buses is a pain, so good to have a drop off/pick up service.

    • Hi John and thank you for your kind comments. (There is a coastal bus along this section during spring and summer, but it only runs on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun, and it has a flexible route on request, but you are supposed to book in advance.) The B&B I stayed in was called Gwel Yr Ynys, and is about 3 miles inland, in the tiny village of Dinas. It was an excellent B&B in every way and they deliberately market themselves as a base for coastal walkers. I can’t recommend it too highly: http://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/pen-llyn-bed-and-breakfast.html

  5. Di iles says:

    Re unfriendly walkers Ruth, know what you mean. I smile and say hello to everyone I meet but occasionally I find it falls on stony ground and I get no response. People can be very odd x

  6. grahambenbow says:

    Oh dear what a poor impression of us Londoners!

    • Hi Graham. No insult intended! I just know Londoners think it’s odd when total strangers come up and try to strike up a conversation. Us country bumpkins, on the other hand, think it’s odd when total strangers *don’t* try to strike up a conversation 🙂

  7. theresagreen says:

    Brilliant post Ruth and beautiful photographs of this stunning part of the world. You’re lucky to have walked it before Ben Fogle and his dog broadcasted it to the rest of the country-I reckon it will get much busier as a result of that programme! What odd behaviour by fellow walkers and as everyone else has said, highly unusual. Even people that don’t understand English would at least acknowledge you in some way. Hope they stayed lost!

    • Hi Teresa, yes it was a stunning walk. And this was the busiest stretch of the Llyn coast path so far. In fact I think the whole area is very, very beautiful and I can’t understand why it’s not as popular as the Pembrokeshire coast, for example.

  8. Marie Keates says:

    How strange to meet such rude walkers. I’ve met some wonderful people on my walks and almost without exception always got a smile or a nod even though I probably look like a mad woman most of the time. I like the sound of the whistling sands. In Lanzarote we found lots of places where everything seems to whistle, including water bottles every time you drank, because of the wind there.

  9. jcombe says:

    I found there is a bus from Whisteling Sands to Aberdaron and Nefyn. Once per day except on Wednesday and Sunday. Route 8B.

    I did manage to catch it. The (very chatty and friendly) bus driver was amazed anyone got on there and told me I was the first person to get on there in the 4 years he’d been driving the route!


    He even stopped the bus at a bakery for me (when I asked if there was a shop in Nefyn) because he told me the bakery was much better and waited in the bus outside for me to buy lunch, though it helped I was one of only 3 passengers!

    • Hi Jon. Congratulations on finding the bus. I confess most of my attempted bus journeys on the Lynn were a total disaster, for various reasons, but your trip sounds like a gem. (I do find it funny how the powers-that-be create infrequent and erratic bus timetables, and then are surprised that nobody uses the bus!)

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