Friday, 24 July 2015

Porthmadog to Criccieth - 29 October 2014 - 8 miles on foot

It was an early train to Smethwick Galton Bridge and a 15 minute wait before catching the Arriva Trains Wales service to Machynlleth, where I changed trains, arriving at Porthmadog at 10:49.

The dominating feature on leaving the train was the factory-like Tesco supermarket that did allow me to stock up with provisions prior to my walk.  The sky was blue, the wind light and the temperature was to be expected for a late October day.

Porthmadog itself was somewhat drab for what I would regard as a resort.  The shops on the main streets were original but appeared unloved.  There were no architectural atrocities with the exception of the aforementioned Tesco - but, even in Porthmadog, people have to eat!

Porthmadog Harbour

Reaching the harbour, my mood was lifted by the sight of the boats, the sound of the rigging and the smell of the sea.  I followed the track alongside the Afon Glaslyn and the boatyards until the lovely village of  Borth y Gest was reached (11:35 - 1.5 miles).  The setting is sublime - The typical Welsh stone cottages almost dip their toes in the small tidal cove surrounded by green.

Borth y Gest

The path took me over low cliffs and sand dunes until the wide expanse of Black Rock Sands was reached (12:00 - 2.5 miles).  The sands made up the longest part of the walk and holiday makers were enjoying the few remaining days of good weather until the onset of winter.  The sands are also accessible to private cars and many drivers had ventured onto the sands, parking their vehicles well above tide's reach.

Black Rock Sands
For most of the walk along the sands, the beckoning hill top castle of Criccieth remained in constant view.  At the hill of Craig Ddu, it was necessary to venture inland, where I could enjoy the view towards Snowdonia from a higher vantage point.

View from Craig Ddu

After a little while, I crossed the railway line (1308 - 5.2 miles) and walked alongside green meadows before recrossing the railway and continuing into Criccieth on the beach side track, reaching the castle at 1340 (7 miles).


I had plenty of time to walk around the lovely town, eat my lunch of fish and chips at the cafe in Castle Street followed by an Ice cream from Cadwaladers across the road before walking the final yards to the station where I caught the 15:51 train home.

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