Walk this way - Part I

Date Posted: 06/02/2012

It’s hiking boots on and rucksacks at the ready this spring, as the brand new Wales Coast Path is officially opened on 5th May. The path has been split into eight different geographical regions, and over the next four weeks we will be exploring some of the best routes for walking groups in each of the areas.

The 870-mile path will allow walking groups to explore the coastline of Wales in its entirety. The whole path will be accessible to walkers and, where practical, some sections will also be suitable for cyclists, families with pushchairs, people with restricted mobility and horse riders. Along the way you will encounter new stretches as well as established routes; for example, the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail.

To help with planning group visits to the coast path, maps showing the route are now available for download from the Countryside Council for Wales’s website, along with other countryside access information on an interactive map.

Why not join one of the Big Welsh Coastal Walks? Organised by Ramblers Cymru, this will be a series of led walks along the Path in what promises to be one of the largest mass participation events Wales has ever seen. Ramblers’ members across Wales will be working with their local communities to create a wide range of walks suitable for all levels of fitness.

Safety

A coastal walk should always be a safe and enjoyable experience. It is worth considering the following points particularly if you are new to walking, or you intend to explore the longer and more remote walks.

• Stay on the path and away from cliff edges.
• Wear boots and warm, waterproof clothing.
• Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions.
• Always supervise children and dogs.
• Leave gates and property as you find them.
• Remember that mobile signal can be patchy in some coastal destinations so let someone know where you are heading and when you are due to arrive.
• Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home.

North Wales coast and Dee Estuary

The north Wales coast is a mixture of sandy beaches and family-friendly towns and villages. There’s some 60 miles of sea views from the north Wales path and, at Prestatyn, the Wales Coast Path joins Offa’s Dyke Path, said to be Britain’s longest ancient monument and a National Trail.

Three short coastal walks

Little Orme – 0.5 miles – a newly surfaced wheelchair access path. The path takes you out to Angel Bay which is great for bird and seal spotting. For more of a challenge, continue onwards over the Little Orme towards the town of Llandudno.

Flint Castle and Dee Estuary – Flint Castle was the first castle to be built by King Edward I and he went on to become quite a property developer leaving behind a network of castles in Wales. This spot also takes in a walk along the Dee Estuary, home to thousands of wading birds in the winter.

Great Orme Summit Trails – 1 to 1.5 miles – there are three scenic summit trails all taking in views over the town of Llandudno and across to the Menai Strait and Anglesey. The paths are steep in places.

Three long coastal walks

Dee Estuary and Greenfield Valley – 6.2 miles – a wander through Greenfield Valley with views across to the English coast before joining the coast path along the Dee Estuary.

Llanfairfechan to Dwygyfylchi – 7 miles – a walk in the foothills of the Carneddau mountains with views across Snowdonia to the Great Orme and over the Menai Strait towards Anglesey.

Great Orme Circular – 13.8 miles – a route around the Great Orme with fantastic views across the whole of the north Wales coastline. Takes in the ruin of Deganwy Castle.

Isle of Anglesey

The Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) is waiting for you to discover its riches. World class geology and picturesque beaches are found along this glorious coastline. The island is linked to the mainland by the stunning Menai Suspension Bridge built in 1826 by Thomas Telford.

Three short coastal walks

St Beuno – 1.75 miles – a short walk which takes in the village of Aberffraw, St Beuno’s Church, the pretty Ffraw estuary and some of the coast path. St Beuno was believed to have special healing powers and was known to set powerful curses.

Llyn Maelog and Llydan - 2.25 miles – a circular walk near the village of Rhosneigr. The first section takes you along a fully accessible boardwalk to a viewing platform at the edge of the lake; fringed with reeds and a haven for birds. The walk continues around the lake.

Llaneilian and Parys Mountain – 3 miles – a walk taking in the north coast. It includes some steep climbs which are rewarded by magnificent views along the coast over Point Lynas and across to Parys Mountain.

Three long coastal walks

St Seiriol – 6 miles – a circular walk from the centre of Llangoed, through fields and tracks to Penmon Point, overlooking Ynys Seiriol, or Puffin Island. This is the most easterly point on Anglesey. On your return you will pass Penmon Priory and St Seiriol’s holy well.

Cemaes to Amlwch Port – 7.5 miles – leaving Cemaes the path immediately joins the rocky cliff-tops and takes you on a breathtaking journey past Llanbadrig Church, Porth Llanlleiana and Porth Cynfor to arrive at the spectacular bay of Porthwen. Low rocky cliffs then lead you to Amlwch Port.

Pentraeth and Red Wharf Bay – a circular walk which begins in the centre of Pentraeth village. The path heads down a pretty wooded track to the beach of Red Wharf Bay (so named after the colour of its sand).

Next time... our instalment will feature the areas of Menai, Llyn and Meirionnydd, and Ceredigion. To read Part Two click here

Photo credit: © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales 

facebook twitter make as homepage