Monday morning it was overcast when I got up. I’m not one for lying in (why waste the best of the day?) and I knew conditions were likely to change during the day so was hopeful of some sunshine. I was faced with a minor dilemma – should I head into the hills or go for a walk along the coast? Both have their attractions. I’d been up on the hills the day before so the coast would make a change, but then… I ended up doing both!
I always feel the coast is at its best when the sun is shining and it was still cloudy when I set out, so I thought I’d head to the hills and see what transpired. A short distance down what used to be the main road (that isn’t that busy since the through traffic is on the A55 which bypasses the town) I turned off down a quiet track with the hills in sight.
It took me up to Gwylt Road, a minor road that runs parallel to the coast, turning into the Terrace Walk, with views over the town to the coast,
and then the Valley Road which eventually turned into a track up into the wilds. So a little more walking on tarmac than I like but it was a different way of accessing the fells to that I’d taken during my last break in Llanfairfechan. The Valley Road runs along the hillside above the Afon Llanfairfechan which runs through the Nant y Coed Local Nature Reserve, an attractive wooded valley.
Nant y Coed was once a tourist attraction created by late 19th century to local businessman John Rowland Jones, who charged visitors for entry. The estate was sold to the Local Authority in 1923 and can now be accessed and enjoyed for free. With proper planning I could have worked out a route that would have taken me through the woods, which would have been more pleasant than plodding along the tarmac. However, after passing the nature reserve the road turned into a track leading up onto the moors.
I was soon making my way through rough fields and heath
I carried on along the track but at one point I missed a turning and ended up following what I thought was a path but turned out to be a sheep trod. A little scrambling through scrub, under low branches and over a tree that had fallen over a fence, I managed to regain the path and carried on heading upwards
I carried on along the path until I eventually reached the old Roman road that runs along the pass through the hills towards Abergwyngeryn. Although known as the Roman Road and marked as such on the OS map, this is an ancient route that was used by prehistoric people and then later by travellers and drovers.
A long line of tall pylons carrying power lines also follows the valley. It’s hard to completely ignore them but it’s easy enough to cast your eyes to the high hills and mountains behind them or towards the sea.
It was decision time now. There were a number of options of routes up into the mountains but given that there was some low cloud and mist lingering higher up, and the sun was shining over the coast, I decided to head west along the track and then double back over Garreg Fawr towards Llanfairfechan.
I made my way to the hill that overlooks the town.
Someone had planted a Welsh flag on the top of its rocky summit
I stopped for a while – it was dinner time now so time to eat and take in the views over the sea to Anglesey and Puffin Island
and back over to the Carneddau
It was a steep descent back to the town
I made my way through the narrow streets
down to the promenade of the Edwardian resort
It was sunny, but somewhat windy as I set off heading west along the coast path, passing a group of houses which include three built in the the Arts and Crafts style which were designed by local architect H L North
I carried on towards the salt marshes of Traeth Lafan nature reserve
Since I was here last year a number of wooden benches have been installed which feature different types of birds that breed on the marshes
one even has a panorama of the hills
Reaching another Arts and Crafts style house
I left the coastal path, crossed over the railway via the railway crossing and made my way back to my accommodation. This involved walking beside the busy A55 for a short distance. It’s surprising but you don’t really notice the traffic noise when you’re on the coastal path even though the road is not that far away.
Arriving back at the flat it was time for a brew and after showering I settled down with my book for what was left of the afternoon.