Doing the Mawddach Trail, or not as it turned out to be…..

Wall to wall sunshine today, with just a tiny bit of cloud / haze during the later afternoon and it was warm again!

We set off for Mawddach Station, another little Station, well shelter really, in the middle of nowhere – absolutely no houses around! However it is at the end of the footbridge to Barmouth so may be?

Any way we parked up, at this point I realised I’d left my phone (for phone read camera and map!!) back in the caravan – how irritating! Still we set off anyway along what I assumed (wrong) to be the Mawddach Trail which is a 13 mile loop from Barmouth, to this place, Dolgellau and back to Barmouth – not that I intended to do it all you understand but…

It was only when we got back and studied the map that I realised we had quickly gone off Route and taken an alternative footpath along the shore of the river Mawddach that wound in and out and round about, until I decided we had walked far enough! I also discovered that if we had persevered for another 100m or so we would have ended up on the trail as it rejoined the shoreline – which was the bit we wanted to experience!!

Aah well, the sun was shining, it was a nice walk so no complaints from either of us.

Two thoughts of the day:

NEVER NEVER forget phone again!!

Hopefully all the little folk will be heading off home tomorrow and we will again have the beaches to ourselves – selfish? I think not!!

Tonfanau Station in the middle of nowhere….

Today dawned bright and sunny, though it did become quite hazy and more cloudy during the afternoon, the breeze had dropped so it was warmer. We parked up in Tywyn (free beach front car park with spaces!) and followed the coastal path along the front and then slightly inland behind the railway line. Once we had left Tywyn behind we had lovely mountain views to make up for the lack of sea view.

After a while we crossed the river Dysynni which carries water down from the tidal lake (popular for fishing) taking the opportunity of a quick dip and drink for Poppydog.

From here it was another half a mile or so to Tonfanau Station, a little halt in the middle of nowhere serving one farm as far as I could make out! Behind the station a footpath (disused roadway serving army base now derelict) led us through a couple of fields before dropping down on to the beach.

Quite pebbly amongst the coarse sand, it was empty and suited us perfectly!

We spent a good while here, me relaxing, Poppydog busy as usual and were only joined briefly by a couple of birdspotters, though in the distance we could see people trying to cross the river from the far end of Tywyn beach but it was clearly too deep and fast flowing for it to be safe. This was a shame as we had intended to walk back along the beach on the assumption that the tide would have receded enough to make it possible – never mind it was a pleasant enough walk back the way we came.

Back in Tywyn, the beach was very quiet – perhaps the mass exodus has begun?

Two thoughts of the day:

A bird has pooped big time on one of my skylights – how rude! More the point how do I get it off?

If you like long dog walks on a beach – this area is probably as good as it gets.

Fairbourne in the sun…..

Cloudy start but by midday the sun had broken through and the day just got better – still quite breezy on the coast but hey ho!

Today we set off for Fairbourne a not very pretty little village nestling on the flat land of the mouth of the wide Mawddach Estuary. On the way – this sight caught my eye – sun on the sea lovely!

Parking up in Fairbourne (plenty of free parking if you avoid the beach car park) and wandering down to the beach, over the bank of pebbles and this is what you get to the south

And to the north

Wow! And even though it is a lovely afternoon (ok a bit windy so not exactly warm) hardly anyone about.

Just a mile or so of sandy beach for us to walk along – so we did.

There is a narrow gauge railway running the two miles from the centre of Fairbourne to the end of the beach where it links to a passenger ferry to Barmouth on the opposite side of the estuary.

At Barmouth Ferry Station where the train terminates in the distance the Branchline railway bridge (also a footbridge) makes a spectacular sight across this very sandy estuary with the Snowdonia Mountains in the background.

Around this little strip of land we rejoined the beach and had our first view of Barmouth, which looks to be an attractive Victorian seaside town (to be explored at a later date).

I sat awhile on the pebble bank (to keep Poppydog entertained) and enjoyed (from a distance) the activity across the river and watching a group of riders enjoying a canter along the beach.

This end of the beach tucked around the corner from the main Fairbourne Beach was slightly more sheltered and almost deserted – we like!

Almost at low tide now – so we could enjoy the whole walk back along the beach too!

On the drive back the road hugs the coast part of the way and this view down to Llwyngwril beach was too much to miss.

Two thoughts of the day:

The view from the sea at Fairbourne must be stunning with this beautiful beach and the mountains in the background.

I think we might like to walk across the Barmouth Footbridge.

Tywyn – same stretch of beach, just the other end….

Grey day again, but dry and not so breezy – it will do! Today we parked up in a lay-by just beyond where we left off yesterday and again crossed the golf course and dunes to join the beach at the section known as Cemetery Beach (the village cemetery is opposite the lay-by).

No kite surfers around today, or that we saw and the sea was quite green and stormy looking.

The beach stretched out in front of us and as far as the eye could see in either direction.

Towards Aberdovey

And towards Tywyn.

There were also less people around today, probably because the Bank Holiday is over? Any how it was a lovely long walk into Tywyn, just before we reached the town we came upon a pile of painted stones on the path above the beach.

All sorts of personal memorials to missed loved ones- what a lovely thing.

We weren’t much impressed with Tywyn itself, non of the pretty Victorian charm of Aberdovey, several unimaginative holiday parks and some fairly ugly bungalows and holiday chalets and the beach a bit more stony than the middle section but still plenty if sand for all.

Beyond Tywyn the beach still continued, though less sand and more stone.

We’d earned a rest and I sat awhile whilst Poppydog continued to chase stones.

Time to turn around and head back,

As we approached our footpath off the beach, the far horizon showed a glimmer of better weather – too late for today though!

Two thoughts of the day:

Not sure I had any today!

Aberdovey – what a pretty little place!….

Very grey and windy today but dry so who cares? It was in fact quite nippy and a couple of extra layers were required (I’m still braving it out in shorts though!). Today we just drove the couple of miles up the road to Aberdovey, a pretty, vibrant village of cheerfully painted houses and shops, right on the corner where the Dovey Estuary meets the sea.

We found space in a lay-by a mile or so the other side of the village, where a footpath took you across the golf course and dunes to the sea.

This is a lovely stretch of dune backed beach from Aberdovey to Tywyn about 3.5 miles further north. The tide was on its way out so there was a great stretch of hard sand to walk along, luckily with the odd stone to keep Poppydog happy!

It is such a vast beach that even though there were quite a few people around, there was plenty of space for everyone. I didn’t see anyone braving the surf today but it was ideal conditions for kite surfing with quite a few around, both sides of the estuary.

We wandered along into and around the village, which was buzzing with activity, the beach front shops, cafes and pubs all seemed to be doing a fair bit of trade and there was a duck race taking place at the short pier.

We then returned to the beach to walk back, enjoying some play time on the way.

This is the sort of beach that is meant for long blustery walks – we like!

Two thoughts of the day:

All these pretty painted seaside villages – do the homeowners choose what colour they paint their house?

Is it Autumn already?