WALES LITTLE TRAINS AND COASTAL PATHS

 

http://www.visitwales.com/things-to-do/attractions/castles-heritage/trains

May Day weekend 2016

We left home heading for North Wales; we have wanted to travel on the Highlands steam line between Porthmadog and Caernarfon http://www.festrail.co.uk/route.htm. For a number of years

Our journey up through the middle of Wales takes in some beautiful scenery mostly on the A470 road (Brecon Beacons, Builth Wells, Rhayader, Machynlleth, and Dolgellau. Portmeiron ) and over the cob into Porthmadog, It rained the sun shone, we had hail, sleet and snow before we arrived at our chosen camp site at Fford Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog http://www.tyddynllwyn.com/

After we had pitched up we walked into Porthmadog a 15 minute walk to book two seats on the early train to Caernarfon for Saturday morning, we then spend a little time at the station watching the littlie trains coming in from Blaenau Ffestiniog as there is two routes from this station. We then went into the Pub on the station as they do a good range of real ales. We then walked back to the site and enjoyed a meal in the site restaurant before heading for a bed.it was a cold day and the night even colder.

Saturday was a real nice sunny day but a chill north wind the views of Snowdon with its white cap of snow were clear of cloud. So off we go 2 hours Caernarfon up to Beddgelert chugging our way up through the pass of Aberglaslyn. Our first station stop https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beddgelert A short walk south of the village, following the footpath along the banks of the Glaslyn leads to Beddgelert’s most famous historical feature; ‘Gelert’s Grave’.

According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of ‘Gelert’, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great.

The story, as written on the tombstone reads: “In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.

The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.

Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.

On we go climbing towards the range of Snowden passing along its southern flank here there are couple of stops one being Snowden ranger station , here a large group leave the train to start their climb up to Snowden from here it is a slow chug downhill to Caernarfon where we arrive alongside the river in front of the castle.   http://www.caernarfon.com/

We have 2 hours to enjoy the town and have a meal before our return journey on the same route. We arrive back in Porthmadog around 6pm. Again it’s the station pub for a few beers then we move on back towards the site calling in the ship hotel for a few more beers, honestly we were only sheltering from that cold wind.

Sunday was a bit of a wash out as it rained most of the day.

Monday was coastal path walk time we walked along the road to Mofa Bychan then down onto the coastal path at Black rock working our way along the coast towards Porthmadog stopping at Borth y gest for a coffee on the beach front.20160502_12382820160502_12130220160502_120048

Porthmadog was very busy as the coach trips started to arrive back from their train journeys to catch their tour bus20160430_12055620160430_14425420160430_110256

Tuesday it was still not very warm, so we decided to head south again along the west coast of Wales towards Aberystwyth, as we travelled down the A487 through the Mach loop

The Mach Loop is a set of valleys, situated between Dolgellau in the north, and Machynlleth in the south (and from which the Mach Loop gets its name), which are regularly used for low level flight training, with flying as low as 250 feet (76 metres) from the nearest terrain   http://machloop.co.uk/.the ridge was lined by at least 50 people with their cameras waiting for a fast low flying jetcropped-PRP_8588

Tuesday it was still not very warm, so we decided to head south again along the west coast of Wales towards Aberystwyth, as we travelled down the A487 through the Mach loop

To Machynlleth the weather changed gone were the cold North wind and the rain. Replaced by sun and a warm wind from the south, so after a coffee stop in Aberystwyth, we decided to head down to Tenby to walk some of the coastal path over the years we have walked most of the path in Pembrokeshire but a section from Manorbier to Tenby was missing . We stayed at a campsite in Tenby and walked along the south beach then climbing the hill path to Giltar point with its views over to Caldy Island http://www.caldey-island.co.uk/ continuing on over the cliff tops to Lydstep (passing some WW1 practice Trenches https://www.loyalregiment.com/ww1-practice-trenches-at-penally-tenby/deep[1]   where we could not continue any further along the coastal path due to Military artillery firing practice on the Manorbier range. We stopped off at The Manor house and enjoyed a Thai prawn and chilli wrap with a cool beer before retracing our path in all we covered 9 miles, so now it’s a rest day before we head home20160504_114546IMG_1056IMG_1053

 

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