Archive for the ‘Llyn Peninsula’ Category

A Review of 2017   18 comments

I’ve read quite a few blog post in the past few days reviewing other peoples 2017 exploits. I enjoyed them so much I thought I’d do the same. Good excuse to look back through my photos and remember what we got up to. At my age I need help remembering stuff!.

Acutely conscious of the modern trend for these awful “round robin” letters you get at Xmas (we get one of these smugograms every year) I tried to select photos that bring back a particular memory for me so its more a personal, family introspection on outdoorsy stuff, than a blow by blow account of the year. As its based on my photo collection if I didn’t photograph it, it ain’t here!

January

We started the year off in Tenerife and New Years Day was spent on this rather splendid beach (the earlier part of the day was in the mountains but I cocked up the photos from that part of the day!)

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Returning to the British winter, a walk along the Cats Back in the Black Mountains with TBF, memorable for a cloud inversion after a very wet morning. A reminder that despite our travels we are lucky to have some stunning scenery on our doorstep

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A solo day out in the Brecon Beacons, the first snowy walk near to home and pretty much the only one with significant snow during the early part of the year (made up for it at the end)

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A glorious day out in the Black Mountains with TJS and a cooked breakfast on a cold Table Mountain. I like this photo though as it has Mynydd Troed in centre shot, my very first mountain climbed when I was about 10

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And my usual skiing trip (only a weekend this year) to finish off the month. Snow was a bit rubbish but we had a laugh nonetheless

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February

Another solo day on Fan Fawr in the Brecon Beacons. I remember this day for a very mild Friday afternoon (16C) and snow in the mountains 18 hours later

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A short walk with TBF on Hatterall Hill

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March

The first weekend of the month is always spent in Scotland with friends of long standing. A new location at Bridge of Orchy and a two out of three days were magnificent winter days. The walk along this ridge high above Rannoch Moor on the first day was superb

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Me and TJS also managed a cheeky backpack into the Black Mountains. Straight from work on the Friday for a one nighter in my new tent. Need to do more of these this year

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2017 is the year I rediscovered cycling – mainly to help my knee and also to be less of a lazy layabout during the week. The Hardman – a VERY keen and VERY fit cyclist caught wind and insisted we meet up in the Peak for a trip along a couple of the old railway trails. A cracking sunny day and I survived cycling with the Hardman!

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And we finally managed a meet up in the Berwyns with Uncle Fester after a few aborted attempts

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April

More cycling and solo trip through the Brecon Beacons on the “Gap” route. Cycling to over 600m was a first for me and I started to feel that I almost, might, actually enjoy cycling.

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Easter and a major backpacking trip with TJS to the Cairngorms. The weather was wild and windy but we had a couple of superb wild camps and TJS bagged his first Scottish 4000 footer

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I even coaxed TJF out for a bike ride along the Brecon and Usk canal

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May Day weekend was mostly in April. Mixed weather but we had a fine gaggle of friends on a hike around Greendale, taking in Buckbarrow and Seatallan

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May

No finer way to celebrate a birthday than a lunchtime hike. This one was on one of my local hills, Bryn Arw with TBF

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Followed by a weekend away in Cornwall. It almost felt tropical on the white sands just north of Padstow on one of our walks

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Whitsun weekend was spent with our good friends in Silverdale. The Sunday was a real winner with a long but easy stroll and a fantastic pub lunch. Weather was mixed the rest of the time but great company, many laughs and a chance to relax

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June

A different walk from the usual mountains. One of the small hills that overlook Gloucester and across to the Cotswolds. Not something I’d do every day but a nice change

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One of the highlights of the year was the long-planned backpacking trip with the kids into the Howgills. Despite poor weather we gave it a go and it was a huge success. The kids really enjoyed the adventure and I’m hoping they have caught the wild camping bug

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July

After the backpack trip I was out of action for a few weeks recuperating and resting after a minor knee op. Didn’t affect my water based fun though, a nice albeit far too long trip down the river Wye

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By the end of July I was back in the hills again (the knee op has been a great success I’m pleased to say). A fine evening stroll with TBF and TJS on Ysgyryd Fawr (we even took a cheeky cold beer to drink on the top)

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Another “local walk for local people” – this time Garway Hill where we reached the top, saw this nasty storm approaching and raced it back to the car. We won.

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Late July brings the annual camping trip to Towyn Farm on the Llyn Peninsula. We packed in lots of walks and beach fun in a very mixed few days of weather. My abiding memory though was this game of Kubb which was huge fun with both adults and kids alike taking it far too seriously and larking about in equal measure. A happy afternoon

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August

The big family trip of the year, a rail trip around some of Europe’s finest cities. An real change from our usual outdoor camping trips and it was real success. We all took took to the city life rather well you might say. One of my best ever holidays. A few photos that made me smile

One of the many fountains in Paris (we called this one the fountain of throttled fish)

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A monster thunderstorm in Turin

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My favourite seafront walk in Venice

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The Colloseum in Rome – of course

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Schloss Belvedere in Vienna (courtesy of an unplanned extra couple of hours from a very late train)

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The thermal baths in Budapest – “like taking a bath in a wedding cake”

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A stroll along the Spree river in Berlin on a sunny Sunday afternoon

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And the railway bridge over the Rhine in Cologne

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September

Back to earth with a bump. A few days after the heat and sun of Europe we were walking in the Black Mountains in driving rain and cold winds!

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But there was still enough warm weather left for a round of the hills near the Talybont Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons

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October

A walk with friends in the Roaches on the dreariest day of the year (when everywhere else was sunny – I’m not bitter)

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More evidence of my new found cycling passion (probably too strong a word). A ride around the tracks of the New Forest while TJS took a look around Southampton University

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And why settle for one trip to see major cities when you can do it twice. As a special treat for TJS 18th Birthday we spent a week in Barcelona. Probably my favourite city but despite all its famous sights, this little known hill and its view overlooking the city was my favourite spot

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November

After sunshine comes the reality of winter. A couple of cold but beautiful days. One in the Black Mountains on the Sugar Loaf and Crug Mawr

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And one of my favourite walks in the Black Mountain

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A delayed birthday treat weekend for TBF saw us in Padstow for a couple of nice meals and walks along the Cornish coast and Dartmoor

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December

And last into the proper depths of winter. The first snows saw me and TJS head into the highest peaks of the Black Mountains

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The day after saw the biggest dump of snow I’ve seen in my own backyard for many a year. Walks around my village in deep snow under crisp blue skies were wonderful

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The start of the Xmas holidays is marked with an annual get together of my University friends and their families. Always great fun but this year we could climb the hills in snow (rather than wet rain) and play at snowballs

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Finally coming full circle with a return to the Canary Islands to spend Xmas in Lanzarote and Xmas Day sunning ourselves on the beach

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Well I enjoyed looking through my photos, choosing a few and reliving a great year. Hope you enjoyed it too. All the best for 2018 🙂

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On the Beach and in the Hills in Wales   13 comments

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Blog silence is over and I’m back from my summer travels. Much to tell you about our grand tour of Europe but before that (be patient) one post to catch up on. I don’t need a calendar or alarm to remind me the school summer holidays have started. Other than a house with two sullen looking teenagers moping about to tell me term-time is over, I find myself at Towyn Farm Campsite and beach as if to celebrate. Friends and their offspring gather and fun is had by all.

When we arrived it was glorious, a cloudless blue sky and plenty of warm sunshine to heat me up while I was putting the camper up. Excellent. When I awoke the next morning it was lashing it down. Ho hum!

By late morning it had stopped and whilst the hills were still shrouded in cloud we decided to go for a walk anyway. It was DB Jr’s Birthday so he gets to choose and he chose Carn Fadryn, better known to him as Birthday Hill. Inspired. As we drove up and walked higher so the cloud lifted. The bracken was wet and the trailblazer – me – got quite a soaking. No matter when you’re climbing a small hill with disproportionately great views!

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Bilberries were plentiful on the way up, stringing the party out somewhat

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By the time we summited, blue sky was plentiful and views stunning.

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TJS decided that he could see Pembrokeshire even though he was looking north. After a suitable period of laughter I judged the distant land we were looking at as Anglesey when in fact it was Ireland. I’ve been up here many times but never seen that far. Amazing transformation in the weather from a few hours previous. TJS continues to claim that mistaking the North Irish sea for Pembrokeshire and then having me mistake Anglesey for Ireland was some kind of moral victory – the poor deluded boy.

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A trip up Carn Fadryn is essential on these gatherings and this time it got the trip off to a great start. I don’t remember it raining at the end of the day but I guess it must have done if this photo is anything to go by

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Whatever, the weather delivered a stunning sunset. The beach faces North West, ideal for sunsets at this time of year

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We adopted the same approach the next day. Lazy breakfast, late morning walk, late lunch. This time down to the end of the peninsula. It’s a glorious walk and the Silverdale gang had never done it. They were suitably impressed

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All was going well until we all got a soaking from a vicious heavy shower a few minutes before we reached the cars. Small price to pay for cracking walk. Not sure what we did the rest of the day. It may have rained. We may have gone to the beach. Without photos I have no chance of remembering these days.

Same for the following day. I think – he said hesitantly – that we had a spell of heavy and persistent rain all afternoon. We gathered in the camper to play games, tell stories and drink tea. Spirits were high even in bad weather

Later (based on these photos anyway) we must have had a grand sunset and played games on the beach in the fading light.

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Great fun if your idea of fun is trying to catch a dark red cricket ball or catch a frisbee hurtling towards you in the twilight (it is great fun by the way)

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Now the next day I do remember. We went for a walk. Again. This time an early start and we headed up to The Rivals. We walked up here a few years ago but there was some unfinished business and unclimbed hills. It was a gloomy chilly day but again spirits were high as we headed out to an un-named point 250m above the sea

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Its an amazing spot, a view into an almost secret coastline. The cliffs are so severe that no path traverses the shoreline. The Coast path actually traverses through The Rivals

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The views down to the sea are precipitous, enough to make my legs go wobbly. The view up and along the coast in both directions magnificent even under a grey sky

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Time to move on and bag one of the obvious three summits we hadn’t done, again un-named. We found a sketchy damp path most of the way but then these mountains are made of stern stuff. The path vanished to be replaced by waist deep heather covering boulders. It took an age to climb the last few hundred feet. There was bitching aplenty including me, from my ever twisting knees. Having just had a knee op, I was warned to stay off “uneven ground”. I think this might just fit the description

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Time for a brew on the summit. I had a stove, EWO had a flask of coffee with milk. Well he would have done if his partner, TYG had not put milk in the wrong flask. He was not best pleased. “You total waste of space” was the insult he chose. Not sure why I found it so funny. I still do. In my good mood I offered him my milk to prove the space I’d been occupying was being well used

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May as well bag the main summit while were there. A steep and swift climb had us admiring further summit views

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A grand morning out and by the time we’d reached the campsite, sunshine was again plentiful. A game of, well I can’t remember actually. It involves throwing blocks of wood at other blocks of wood. Sound boring? Well its not. Way more skillful than it sounds and enormous fun with a gang of people. EWO called it “Plop”. Not the correct name but much funnier.

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An afternoon on the beach for the usual fun, games of tennis, cricket, rounders, baseball etc

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I went in the sea and body-boarded one of the days. Can’t remember which day. Might have been this one. Possibly the day before

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Not to worry. We had some sunny weather and that’s what matters

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Our last evening was spent trying to BBQ a pigs worth of local sausages (Black Pudding ones in my case – awesome) in a strong wind. The weather had been breezy for almost the entire week, making my decision to pitch facing the prevailing wind direction seem rather foolish (although it was dry warm, sunny and calm when I did)

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The last day we packed up but left enough time for another afternoon on the beach, this time to play bowls in a pathetically over-competitive way 🙂

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Another superb week away. Set us up nicely for our main holiday a week later. A Tale of Eight Cities. Coming soon…..

 

Llyn Peninsula Coast and Mynydd Anelog   6 comments

As the kids break for summer we head to the Llyn Peninsula and Towyn Farm. Familiar faces of old friends and favourite beach spots and play draws us back year on year. It was, as always a wonderful few days, relaxing and comfortable. The weather was kind, warm with plenty of sunshine and the rain restricted to nights and early mornings. I don’t seem to have taken any photos of the beach fun that dominates these holidays. If you want a flavour then just look back through my older posts and you’ll find all the evidence you need of just how special a place this and why it has such a hold on my heart.

By way of compensation I do have some photos of a walk along the coast and up to the splendidly name Mynydd Anelog.

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We did a similar walk a couple of years back and discovered just what a quiet, unspoilt and magnificent stretch of coast it is.

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It was bright but with a good spread of cloud but as we walked it cleared into a pretty much cloudless late afternoon and early evening

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We even managed to convince a few of the teenagers to join us

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The views from Mynydd Anelog – and in fact all of the various hills along the peninsula are majestic. It’s rather splendid to be able to see both north and south coasts simultaneously. There are other parts of the UK that have a much higher profile and reputation for coastal splendour but the Llyn Peninsula is as good as any of them

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At this time of year both the heather and gorse are in bloom and gives striking contrast of colour especially on a clear blue summers evening

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As always the island of Bardsey has pride of place off the coast

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We were late back to campsite to find everyone else in a deep game of – well, I can’t remember the name – that involves throwing blocks of wood at other blocks of wood. It’s a  rather strange and equally skilful and compelling game and I was bit disappointed to miss out. Made for a good spectator sport while I fired up the BBQ

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And seeing as the campsite delivers some stunning sunsets………..

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A fabulous long weekend to warm up for our main summer holiday (yes,another one!)

Annual Towyn Gathering   8 comments

The end of July. The end of the school year. The annual trip to Towyn Farm. This year I got to stay for a week rather than the snatched few days I normally get. The weather stuck its two fingers up at this and delivered 10 days of winter/spring conditions with no two consecutive days the same. We had some sunshine, lots of wind and gales, a good helping of rain and it was cold every day. I had to keep telling myself and anyone willing to listen that it was July. Could have been worse though, we only had one complete wash out and the kids managed to go in the sea most days. The wind meant we had good waves and I even got some kayak surfing in. Would have been nice to sit around in warm sunshine but in this most fickle of summers you take what you can get.

A few photos of beach antics, and campsite lazing. Apologies for the poor quality and reduced size of the beach shots. I’d set my outdoor camera to take some low-res images for sending in an e-mail and forgot to change the settings back 😦

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

It says a lot about the weather that the photos above were all taken on the same day. The ones below on one evening when the sun decided to put an overdue appearance in (it was much colder than it looked!)

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towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

We managed to get some walks in as well. A couple of short coastal excursions. This one around the impressive eminences of Mynydd Rhiw, Mynydd Penarfynydd and Mynydd y Graig. Obviously the austerity measures have even hit the vowels in this part of Wales

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towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

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A walk enlivened by some prickly undergrowth and p1ss poor sigining through the fields. There was even a padlocked gate on the Wales Coastal Path route

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towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

Another short and wildly windy walk along the coast at the far southern tip of the peninsula

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towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

No trip to the area would be complete without a walk up Carn Fadryn

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towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

DB Junior calls it Birthday Hill but it had to wait a few days this time (his birthday was alas on the washout day but we did manage a fish and chip supper, and a ride on the dodgems and a play in the penny arcades in Pwllheli by way of compensation). Here’s the little rascal picking bilberries which were in abundance this year

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It’s always teeming with insect life. DB Senior found this beetle and I got a decent shot of the local funnel web spider – I think they are actually called labyrinth spiders but they live in funnels made from web so I’m sticking with the scarier name. The beetle is crawling around on DBs sling. Yes a sling. DB has broken his arm bouncing on the trampoline. Dangerous by name, dangerous by nature

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

And of course to finish the obligatory sunset shots which Towyn Farm always delivers whatever the weather

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

towyn farm, towyn beach, mynydd rhiw, mynydd penarfynydd, mynydd y Graig, porth meudwy, pen y cil, mynydd bychest, carn fadryn, bardsey

A couple more posts to come but a fine trip making the best of the weather. I left out the photos of the rain and the videos of the wind trying to blow the camper over!

Towyn Farm Annual Gathering – The Crazy, Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer   9 comments

July and the end of the school summer term always means a trip to Towyn Farm campsite and its glorious beach.

 

This year me an TJS were the advance party, setting up camp on the Friday night. The Funsters were up in Blackpool for a cheerleading event that TJS was taking part in. They joined us very late on the Saturday night and they didn’t miss much. It was possibly the dullest, dampest, dreariest day of the whole summer. We took a coastal walk and climbed a 100m hill that was in the cloud. I made several attempts to create some photographic record of the day but this is best one I could manage

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

I had to head home to work for a couple of days on the Sunday evening but at least the weather improved markedly with an early fog clearing into a glorious afternoon on the beach and evening BBQ by the tent.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

The sunset (a real theme for this trip and blog post) was magnificent

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

By the time I returned on the Tuesday evening we were in the grip of a summer heatwave!

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

Everyone else in our little troupe arrived through the week and the the heat and wall to wall sunshine was such that we didn’t go any further afield. Just long lazy days messing about on the beach, playing sports and swimming in the sea. It was hot enough to need the sea swims to keep cool, not often you can say that in the UK. The photos tell the story better than words

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

The kids got TJS to stand in the pile of rubber rings and he then got pushed over by Z – it was hilarious so we asked them to do it again and to TJS credit he did.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

We did take a stroll up Carn Fadryn for DB Juniors Birthday. He calls it Birthday Hill as his Birthday is always while we are here and we pretty much always climb it (as anyone knows this is one of my favourite hills). He wanted to climb it on this Birthday this year and it go no arguments from me.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

It was a little grey and dreary while we up there but the kids still had a great time playing on the summit rocks and eating birthday cake with an alarming swiftness such that the kindly old fella who made all the adults a cup of tea never got a piece – bah!

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

I took out my newest tech purchase – a 500mm telephoto lens – and tried to snap a photo of our collection of tents in the campsite some 5 miles away

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

As we finished the day it rained – shock, horror – for about 2 minutes. The air cleared and we were treated to a fabulous light show by the setting sun.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

A few of us took a very late evening stroll on the cliffs to enjoy the performance and watch the late revellers in the sea. Up on the cliffs it was tranquility itself and it was gone 10:30 when we returned to the campsite

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

As if to finish the week off in style the last day dawned clear and sunny with a brisk wind.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

This fetched up some decent waves for some body-boarding to compliment the calm clear waters of earlier in the week. We had an epic game of frisbee with multiple discs flying unpredictably in the wind in all directions causing much laughter. It was a fitting and fun way to end the festivities and as always it was with a sad and heavy heart that we packed up and headed home.

beach games, carn fadryn, lleyn peninsula, Morfa Nefyn, Porth Towyn, tidepooling, towyn, towyn farm, Welsh Coastal Path

Well having spent the best part of a whole year hopelessly behind with my blog I’ve nearly caught up. The good news – I’m only one trip behind. The bad news – it was a 4 week trip with a whole host of amazing adventures that’s likely to take me several weeks to write up leaving me – well several weeks behind again. The pressures of writing a blog – do they never end

Memories of Summer – Lazing on the Lleyn Peninsula   21 comments

Radio silence from the world of Surfnslide recently. Been busy at work and planning my winter skiing holiday. Also been planning our big Family trip to Australia next summer, 4 weeks in Queensland – very excited but having just booked the flights very financially traumatised! That means I haven’t had much time to blog so I’m further behind than I’ve ever been. The usual stuff to write-up about our trip to France in the summer and a few outings since. Posts will have to be high on photos and short on words, probably a blessing for readers. I haven’t actually been out much since I got back from France so hopefully I should be able to catch up eventually when the dark winter nights draw in. Depressing thought

Anyway this is a little post – well quite a long one actually of our annual gathering on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales in the first week of the summer holidays. I’m sure I’ve bored you before with what a cracking week this always is and why its such an important part of the year for all of us. If you have nothing better to do and want to read all that stuff then you can go back in time to previous trips on 2012 and 2011

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Family Fun

This year we were first to arrive at the end of the hot spell in the summer (remember that!). We had a fine weekend all to ourselves, lazing on the beach, swimming and having BBQs by the tent (after a delayed start due to a puncture – in case anyone out there has a car with no spare but one of those strange repair kits, don’t bother, complete and total waste of time, just call the breakdown people. If you don’t have a spare and don’t have breakdown insurance – get some!)

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Surfin’ Wales

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

In Deep Water

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Summertime

Towyn Farm Campsite

BBQ Time

The first evening we took a post BBQ drive down to the headland at Mynydd Mawr to watch the sunset. You can drive to the top of the hill and its a fine viewpoint over Bardsey Island and back over the peninsula. The weather was still warm even at 10pm, a fine end to the day

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island from Mynydd Mawr,

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Bardsey Island

Sunset from Mynydd Mawr

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr

Evening Sunshine on Mynydd Mawr

Mynydd Mawr, Lleyn Peninsula

Coastguard Station, Mynydd Mawr,

I went home for a couple of days at work to pay for all this extravagance and returned when the rest of the gang showed up. More beach fun ensued with some nice warm weather for swimming. In one of the biggest shocks this blog has ever seen, both Beach Funsters went in the sea. Pigs do indeed have wings

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Row, row, row your boat

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

TBF (2) – in the water!!

One of the afternoons when TBF took the kids to the circus, me, EWO and TJS went for a stroll around the headland

Mynydd Mawr

5.6 Miles

Unlike it’s Pembrokeshire and South West Cousins, the coast path round here is deserted. Strange as it’s just as dramatic and under a clear sky simply superb

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr

Lleyn Peninsula from Mynydd Mawr

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Welsh Coastal Path

Mynydd Mawr from the Welsh Coastal Path

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Porth Llanllawen, Welsh Coastal Path

Porth Llanllawen

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Welsh Coastal Path

Mynydd Mawr, Welsh Coastal Path

We ambled at no particular pace, admired the views, stopped for a brew and chatted.

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Welsh Coastal Path

TJS & EWO

Lleyn Peninsula, Welsh Coastal Path

Lleyn Peninsula, Welsh Coastal Path

Lleyn Peninsula, Welsh Coastal Path

Arms Wide

We climbed the wonderfully named Mynydd Anelog, a hill stuck firmly in the last century, from which the views were truly awesome

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Porth Llanllawen, Welsh Coastal Path, Mynydd Anelog

Mynydd Mawrm from Mynydd Anelog

Lleyn Peninsula, Mynydd Mawr, Porth Llanllawen, Welsh Coastal Path, Mynydd Anelog

Lleyn Peninsula from Mynydd Anelog

We followed a series of quiet lanes and crossed to the south side of the peninsula where the views over the water to Bardsey were enchanting. On a warm summers day there is little better than a coastal wander next to an azure sea. The time simply flew by and we actually had to rush to get back to the campsite for tea even though we’d been out since 2pm and only walked 5 miles or so

Lleyn Peninsula, Bardsey Island, Welsh Coastal Path

Bardsey Island

Lleyn Peninsula, Bardsey Island, Welsh Coastal Path, Porth Felen

Bardsey Island from Porth Felen

Towyn Farm Campsite

Evening on the Campsite

As is the tradition we took our usual stroll up the high point of Carn Fadryn. I’ve rambled on before about what a fine hill and view-point this is so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. If you want to read more check out the post from 2011

Carn Fadryn

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn

Carn Fadryn

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn

Bracken Bashing

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn

Bilberry Bashing

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn

Summit Party

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn

Summit gathering

Lleyn Peninsula, Carn Fadryn, Yr Eifl

Yr Eifl from Carn Fadryb

More days of beach fun under blue skies followed. Beach cricket is now the game of choice. Trying to play sports with energetic kids makes me feel very young and very old at the same time. I hadn’t realised I no longer know how to run!

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Beach Cricket

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Evening sun

Porth Towyn Beach, Lleyn Peninsula

Tides out!

Towyn Farm Campsite

Ladies Night

More high quality time spent consuming vast quantities of BBQ food. You can’t beat outdoor eating on a warm summers evening by the sea

Towyn Farm Campsite

Happy Home

Towyn Farm Campsite, Carn Fadryn

Base Camp

We took a fancy to climb the hills near Nefyn as they looked rocky and interesting.

Carreglefain

3.8 Miles

We scrambled up a couple of inclines to the quarries from where it was a couple of hundred feet to the summit. There was no path and it looked a little vegetated but how hard could it be?

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Deep in the undergrowth

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Deeper in the undergrowth

Answer, bloody hard! It was the hardest two hundred feet of mountain I’ve ever climbed. Waist deep heather, gorse and brambles, no path and loose rocks and boulders. In shorts! Took us over an hour to reach the top with several moments when we simply had no idea which way to go

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Sanctuary

The summit was worth the effort though. Sensational views of the coast and The Rivals nearby. A brew was had to cheer the soul and ease the pain of severely scratched legs. If you can bear the pain it’s a worthwhile little mountain – but its wild – you have been warned

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Nefyn from Gwylwyr

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Finally at the summit

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn, Yr Eifl

Yr Eifl from Gwylwyr

We wandered over the nearby hills (more gorse and bracken) and then back to Nefyn down a succession of green lanes (more nettles) before heading back to the campsite for another spell on the beach and another BBQ (Black Pudding sausage hot dogs – mmmmm!)

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Carreglefain from Gwylwyr

Mynydd Nefyn, Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn, Carn Fadryn

Mynydd Nefyn and Carn Fadryn from Gwylwyr

Gwylwyr, Carreglefain, Nefyn

Carreglefain

Another quality holiday with fine company and a smattering of walks

Towyn Farm Campsite

The sun sets on another great holiday

Same time next year!

New Treasures – Lleyn Peninsula Coastal Walks   4 comments

Whilst on our regular summer trips to the Lleyn Peninsula and North Wales, we’ve played on the beach, walked the hills and visited the local sites. One thing we haven’t done is walk the coast. With the Welsh coast path now official we’ve corrected that and while on this years trip between the family we explored a good part of the local coastline near Towyn. It doesn’t possess the drama of the SW tip of the peninsula or of the Pembrokeshire or Cornish/Devon coast but it does have its own charming spots and views to the isolated hills that dominate the centre and Northern reaches.

P1110447

Porth Dinllaen

While I was back at work BF and D took a walk along the coast from Nefyn back to the campsite while everyone else went to the circus for one of the kid’s birthday treats. It’s one of those to file under “doesn’t look all that far on the map” but as they inevitably found out with coastal walking it’s always further than you think. With its constant ups and downs, ins and outs, bays and peninsulas, it took them hours to complete the walk and D in particular was on his last legs by the time he got back. Their reward was some stunning views of the coast and surrounding hills on this little walked section of coast on a lovely warm summer evening.

P1110448

D walks the coast above Porth Dinllaen

As always Carn Fadryn caught the eye.

P1110449

Morfa Nefyn and Carn Fadryn

I was a more than a little jealous when I saw the photos, much better than the circus (I hate clowns, something spooky about them and they aren’t even remotely funny)

P1110453

Along the coast to The Rivals

As the week progresses our friends start to head back home and on the second Saturday afternoon, ED and his brood bid us a fond farewell and we were left on our own. Whenever we have one of our get togethers it’s always leaves me feeling a little down and flat once everyone else has gone home. It’s particularly so at Towyn as having everyone there is what the holiday is about and when it’s just us left it simply doesn’t feel right. Even though it was a pleasant afternoon part of me just wanted to go home. The kids felt the same way too. When we asked them if they wanted to go to the beach they declined. From their perspective being on the beach at Towyn was something they did with their friends. Even though they will normally play quite happily on their own on any beach it’s just not something they do at Towyn.

So we decided to take a little evening stroll on the coast.

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The Rivals from Porth Dinllaen

There is a small headland at Porth Dinllaen near Morfa Nefyn that has always looked intriguing so we parked up at the golf course and wandered across the fairways to the small collection of houses on the beach.

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Porth Dinllaen and the Ty Coch Inn

There is in fact a pub there and what a splendid little spot it was. There was a blues band warming up for gig and a happy atmosphere of people sitting on the beach having a drink.  The band was pretty good to and I cursed the fact I hadn’t bothered to bring any money with me otherwise I’d have settled down for a couple of pints (I’d have probably still been there now!).

P1110530

Boats and Pubs

The setting here is perfect. A calm bay with boats bobbing about and the Rivals where we’d walked earlier in the week as a dramatic backdrop. I can’t belive I’ve been visiting this area for 7 years and never having been down here, I’ll be correcting that error in the coming years.

P1110537

Across the bay

Despite the temptation to linger on the beach and try to beg, steal or borrow money for pint we decided to walk around the headland. There is an enchanting path that meanders along the waterline around to the lifeboat station and coastguard lookout point on the tip of the headland. With intermittent sunshine and dark brooding clouds the views were just magnificent looking back to the houses at Porth Dinllaen and across the Rivals.

P1110519

The Rivals from the headland

On the return section we were even treated to rainbow to really set the seal on the views. The band was in full flow as we went past with a real low key party atmosphere and I cursed again at my lack forethought. It was warm and sheltered enough to have sat on the beach until dark but we had to return. I’ll be hoping the band returns next year so I can enjoy the place to the full.

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Somewhere over the rainbow

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The sun sets on a fine holiday

It turned out to be our last action of the holiday save a short visit to my parents at their caravan on the way home. Another memorable week in this most under-valued part of our coastline. I hope it stays that way. It’s a gem that doesn’t need the trappings of tourism and I hope to be coming here for many summers to come.

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