Week Four | The Pre-Ride Walk On The All Wales Coast Path


See Week Three Here

Our Fourth Week Walking The All Wales Path | Anglesey

By Tuesday 26 June we had walked for 22 days covering approximately 220 miles on foot, averaging 10 miles a day may not seem a lot but on the coastal path it often felt like 20 miles due to the steep climbs up and down. In addition the weather had been really wet and windy which makes walking very difficult and there had been 3 occasions when I was reduced to crawling on my hands and knees. When the path runs up or down a grassy bank without much to grip, it becomes the only way to travel…

It had been relatively easy to find overnight parking spots in the little towns and villages such as Tudweilog, Morfa Nefyn and Dinas Dinlle, some places we would stay a few nights and we never experienced any hassle from local people, but it was becoming apparent that a woman travelling alone just with a dog stirred people’s curiosity

I think if I had been driving a ‘proper’ campervan people would have paid us less attention but the nature of the vehicle plus the written signage drew attention to it. While I had been in Machynlleth I had laminated two signs for the van, which were often read by passer bys, this in turn generated lots of conversations about the walk
The moment it was apparent that we walking for charity people’s attitude would change as their possible concerns about a possible invasion of travellers evaporated?

Anything To Avoid Paying For Parking

We were slowly heading towards Caernarfon and onto Anglesey, I was really looking forward to reaching the island partly due to two generous offers of places to camp, which in turn would mean the possibility of a shower and an easy opportunity to fill up with fresh water

What I had not banked on was my new phone breaking, for years I had managed with a PAYG Nokia mobile, but I wanted to have a lightweight camera with me so took out a contract on a smart phone, there is no reason to bore anyone with the saga that followed that decision but the phone that I had at the start of the walk was the fifth smart phone in as many months. They had all developed faults, which meant returning them, but the handset that I’d had to date seemed to be ok and the camera in it was proving to be really useful

Very Wet & Windy Camping

Until the night that I switched it off, when I switched it back on it carried out a factory hard reset that wiped all 188 photographs of the walk to date and equally importantly it wiped out the contact numbers that I had saved in a specific folder in the phone. These were the numbers of people that had contacted me via our page on facebook and had offered help with the walk. Stupidly I had not saved them to the sim card and equally stupidly they were not recorded anywhere else…so our sincere apologies to those people who may have wondered why we never got in touch and probably thought we were very rude

The broken phone resulted in several trips into Caernarfon and Bangor to sort it out, and it took a week, which meant no camera or internet access for that time, losing the photos of the first 3 weeks was really upsetting and now I lost another weeks worth, even if I walked the whole coastal path again I could never get those photographs replaced…and in any case the next time I will be on horseback which will make it an entirely different experience

Will I be riding the all Wales Coast path? At the moment it seems unlikely as despite the original promises made the path only has 7 miles available for those on horseback, so we are running a petition to improve the access for riders, if you agree please sign and share as widely as possible

By the end of June I was in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch on the island of Anglesey and had experienced a horrible walk on the side of the A4080, the lovely new bit of the coastal path suddenly runs out and you have to walk on the road which is a very busy and fast stretch with no verge. I really hope that by the time I get there on horseback they have finished laying the path

On a more positive note, it was a good week as we had somewhere great to park for a night or two near Llangaffo courtesy of Tilly and her lovely family, not forgetting the gorgeous horses and dogs they have, the weather was improving, and the scenery was amazing. One of the best bits that week was Newborough Forest, what a fantastic place to walk, ride or picnic in

It is also home to the wild Newborough ponies that we saw happily grazing on the sand dunes and within the forest, although there was no sign of the elusive Red Squirrel that also live there

Newborough Ponies Help Maintain The Sand Dunes Habitat

Horse riders have a permit system for the forest and they have their own parking complete with corral, for more information you need to speak to Traeth Rhosyr Riding Association Tel. No: 01248 430 377

The three main challenges of each day were staying dry, not getting lost and avoiding being trampled by cattle, on the Thursday of that fourth week I didn’t achieve any, I was soaked through despite changing clothes, we got lost three times and terrified twice by a huge herd of cattle…it was a horrible day and I was so relieved to get back to the van

The coastal path is a fantastic achievement for all of the agencies involved but it is still work in progress and some stretches need better way-markers, if you get lost when wet and cold you are more likely to end up where you shouldn’t be, trespassing through livestock where you have no business being and possibly upsetting local land owners and these same land owners will be the people that may or may not give me permission to ride on their land so I was mindful of my responsibility as a walker to stay on the path

It is so much easier to get lost when the weather is bad as it is far more difficult to refer to a map when the weather is wet or windy although we would have never managed the walk without the 33 OS maps that I had on the van. Most evenings were spent studying them to plan the following days route and I found the most useful ones were the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps with a 4 cm to 1 km (2½ inches to 1 mile) scale, these maps are so detailed and are widely used by many horse riders, walkers, cyclists,climbers and sports enthusiasts

Every part of England, Scotland and Wales is covered by 403 maps that include national trails, bridleways, picnic areas, viewpoints and selected places of interest. In addition, there’s Rights of Way information for England and Wales

See Week Five Here

Does The Planned Horse Ride Interest You? Contact Us Here

One Response

Write a Comment»

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.