Peter and Cassie, who hosted us in Calgary in September, are in the UK for a few weeks. They have been staying in a rented house in Mynytho for a few days with Peter’s old school friend Rod, and his wife Kate.
We popped down for the day and enjoyed a couple of ‘gentle strolls’, the first being along Porth Dinllaen, near Morfa Nefyn. The wind was light and the sea was calm; a few seagulls were floating overhead, or bobbing gently on the water.
It was warm for the first day of November, so much so that children on their half-term holiday were playing happily in their swimsuits on the beach, with one girl venturing into waist deep water with her fishing net!
The 19th Century Ty Coch Inn, located on the beach, was too inviting to stroll past. Coffees (and some sneaky brownies that were in Martin’s rucksack) were enjoyed, with the sun occasionally breaking through the light cloud.
Another short meander brought us to the smart lifeboat station, with its shiny rescue boat ready for action (after closing the hatches, of course).
There’s a popular golf course here. Take plenty of balls! The coastguard is well positioned to watch the golf and have a seaward view at the same time. Today his telescope was trained on a flock of about twenty choughs who were practicing their murmurations, or should that be ‘chattering’?.
Meanwhile, cormorants, oyster catchers, and a variety of gulls mobbed the offshore rocks.
We weren’t the only tourists – just off the peninsula Nessie revealed that she was on tour – enjoying her half term break no doubt.
The Welsh Coast Path assiduously follows the coast as closely as possible hereabouts. So much so that Cassie decided to turn back at this point, Rod and Kate having already succumbed to the more level nature of the path through the golf course.
We soon regrouped, having wandered around the headland in various ways. Ty Coch Inn was now heaving with families enjoying their lunch. We joined them. The food was good, especially the home made soup.
Walking back along the Porth Dinllaen beach to the National Trust car park, the views to Yr Eifl, with its cap of cloud at 500 metres, confirmed that we weren’t missing out by eschewing the higher peaks of Snowdonia.
Here’s our 4.5 km route.
The afternoon saw us taking a wider road than the morning’s narrow lanes, to Llanbedrog, where the National Trust car park seems to be a winter home for lots of beach huts. These are just 8’ x 6’ sheds with robust corrugated roofs instead of the usual felt (that on our shed at home has rotted and blown away), and solid doors. The lack of any windows must grant a rather dark sort of privacy.
Down at the beach, a lone heron looked rather out of place amongst the one-legged oystercatchers, gulls, and redshanks.
What can you spot?
Away in the distance (see previous picture for the wider view), the sun caught a small section of beach.
Kate adjourned to the pleasures of Plas Glyn-y-Weddw’s tearoom, whilst the rest of us climbed about 100 metres up a steep stairway.
A short walk from the top of the steps leads to a wrought Iron Man that was a millennium project to replace a Tin Man that had looked out over Cardigan Bay to Barmouth and the Rhinogs since the 1980s.
There were good views from here, back to Llanbedrog beach and also down to the Plas Glyn-y-Weddw mansion.
We took the coast path around Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd rather than head over the summit, where the toposcope would have been informative as to the direction in which the peaks of Snowdonia lie, but given the cloud cover those peaks were well hidden today. Instead, we got an aerial view of Abersoch and an ‘estate’ of up market mobile homes.
Looking out to sea, a lone two bladed windmill lurked in the foreground.
A short descent back to Llanbedrog took us past St Pedrog's Church Hall, then past the church itself to Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, a dower house built in 1856 by Lady Love Jones Parry. The Gothic mansion became an art gallery and ballroom in 1896 and was served by a horse-tramway from the railway terminus at Pwllheli until 1927. It remains a vibrant gallery, and is one of nine locations that houses the Celtic Neighbours partnership, a group of visual artists from native Celtic communities.
Some of the art, on this occasion from a renowned Welsh abstract artist (Gillian Ayres), unlike the tea and cake, and as on previous visits, remains sadly not to our conservative taste.
The lovely sculpture, ‘Louise’ was made by David Williams-Ellis and was generously donated in 2002 and placed on a large rock from the Wern Estate.
Outside the mansion sits the only remaining carriage from the tramway that was closed in 1927/28 after part of the line was destroyed by a storm in 1927. Now immaculately restored, the carriage was found in a barn in 1967, being used to store animal feed.
Here’s our 4.5 km route. Allow an hour and a half.
Then we returned to Mynytho for more tea before driving home.
Well, that was a most enjoyable day out, and good to see Peter and Cassie again. We hope Peter’s poorly foot regains its more normal sprightly condition as soon as possible.