Week One | The Pre-Ride Walk On The All Wales Coastal Path | Ceredigion

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How our walk around Wales started

Horse Ride The Welsh Coastal Path Petition

Our First Week Walking the All Wales Path


On the morning of Wednesday 6 June 2012 we started our pre ride walk at the Co-op car park in Cardigan, several hours later and worn out from the steep climbs we arrived at Aberporth having walked approximately 12 miles, the terrain and nature of the coastal path in this area making my aim of riding a horse around the Welsh coast a truly daunting prospect

That first day was a good indication as to what lay ahead, the Ceredigion Coastal path is challenging with lots of steep climbing up and down, this plays havoc with old knees but it’s a truly beautiful stretch of coastline, often isolated and rugged with stunning scenery. This section of the All Wales path runs from Cardigan to Ynyslas just north of Borth and on several occasions we came across wild Welsh mountain ponies as well as cattle, and we often walked to the lovely sound of Oystercatchers

All Wales Walk - Lovely Wild Welsh Ponies

Did You Bring Carrots?

One of the worst days of the entire walk was during that first week, the weather was so wet and windy we had to come off the path at Cwmtydu and hitch back to the van, which was parked at the lovely Ty Rhos campsite at New Quay, a free stopover courtesy of the owners, Helen and Andy. That unknown motorist that so kindly stopped to pick us up was a true Samaritan despite us leaving him with two very wet seats in his car

My Beautiful Brave Companion

If It’s Still Raining Tomorrow – I’m Not Budging

If I had known then how much bad weather was lying ahead I would have invested in better weatherproof clothing, everything I wore was sodden through despite labels claiming items to be waterproof and drying boots and clothing in the van was difficult and very time consuming

I soon learnt to put my rucksack contents inside a black rubbish bag as carrier bags let in the rain, to stuff my walking boots full of newspaper at night to help draw the moisture out and to carry a spare set of clothes while walking. Poor Jaycee just got wet and was always happy to see a bus coming; this was our most frequent way of getting back to the van after walking

As it turned out, we had to endure some of the wettest weather in Wales on record, there was severe flooding in the Borth, Tal y Bont and Aberystwyth areas that week with the emergency services working flat out rescuing people and their property. Part of the coastal path that we walked on in the Borth area has since disappeared in a landslide


It made the walking very slow and difficult as the path was wet and very slippery, at times I questioned my sanity particularly when I had hold of Jaycee due to the close proximity of the path to the cliff edge. This severe weather and path conditions confirmed that riding a horse around the Welsh coast would be an even bigger challenge then I had originally thought

We had been lucky this first week with two free stopovers at camp-sites, the first one at Newquay and the second one Morfa Farm at Llanrhystud. This is also near the coastal path and is incredibly well run by the Jones family, as the budget did not run to paying for camp-sites, most nights I was parked in a lay by or car park,so these generous folks ensured I could get a proper shower and have the van parked safely

Another challenge was finding a stockist of West Wales gas bottles and stockists of other brands were not interested in showing me how to switch a bottle over, the van carried two 6kg bottles and one had run out, eventually an obliging person at Cam Gas at Aberystwyth did it and two weeks later a friend delivered a full bottle purchased at Crymych and that bottle lasted until the penultimate day

Bridleways On or Near The Ceredigion Coastal Path

There are some off road riding opportunities – examples include the areas of Gwbert, Mwnt, Penbryn, New Quay, Mynachdyr-Graig, Aberystwyth, Borth and Machynlleth that have good bridle paths but they are not necessarily linked or circular nor do they tie in with the coastal path. The really frustrating aspect of the walk was noting where there could be some fantastic horse riding but the stiles and kissing gates restrict access onto those stretches

A lot of these stiles and gates are new, resulting from the coastal path funding but bridle gates make access for everyone easier so why not use them? If you have a large dog that cannot be lifted or is unable to climb – how do you as a walker get over a stile? A lot of older walkers we met on route have mobility problems and find climbing over stiles difficult, while the kissing gates prevent cyclists, wheelchairs, prams and pushchairs from accessing the path and don’t they cost more than bridle gates?

See Week Two Here

If you think that riding a horse all around the Welsh coast is a great idea and would like to get involved, contact us here

3 Responses

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  1. Note the use of the word “considering” but at least its a start in the right direction, it’s such an exciting prospect, being able to ride a horse all around the coast of Wales without using the roads….:)

  2. This is a copy of an email received 9 Oct 2012
    “Dear Jackie

    Congratulations on being one of the first people – and dog – to complete the whole circuit. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

    With regard to horse riders, the Welsh Government are currently considering the future management and funding arrangements for the development and maintenance of the Wales Coast Path, including loops and links from it, for all user groups, including horse riders.
    We are also discussing possible developments with the British Horse Society.”

    Regards

    Quentin Grimley
    Swyddog Prosiect Mynediad i’r Arfordir/Coastal Access Project Officer
    Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/Countryside Council for Wales

  3. It would be great to hear from walkers and riders that know and use these areas…we do realise that riding a horse on the actual path all of the way will be impossible but the less road riding that needs to be done the better, this horse ride all around the Welsh coast is a project that needs lots of planning and lots of goodwill from other folks to make it happen and any suggestions, comments or offers of help will be really appreciated 🙂
    Many Thanks
    Jackie of Secondhand Horse Stuff

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