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The Lleyn Peninsula coastal path : a walking and cycle touring guide

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This is an old Publication that is no longer available

Publication Type
Guidebook (2nd edition)
John Cantrell
Date Published
170 x 116 mm
Number of Pages
224 pp
Purchase Info
Second-hand copies may be available
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Cicerone publishes guidebooks for long distance walks and treks, day walks, family walks, scrambling, climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering, cycling guides, hill and mountain skills and outdoor photography. Cicerone's aim is to inspire you, and to provide the information needed to enable you to plan and enjoy your favourite outdoor activity, whether in the British Isles or overseas.

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Les Maple (writing in Strider) April 2007

This is the 2nd edition of a guide first written in 1997. In 2004 Gwynydd County Council received a grant from European funds to upgrade and wamark a coatal path around the Lleyn Peninsula. Hence, since that first guide many changes have been made: to the route and to the landscape. New roads have been built, cliffs have collapsed, paths have been re-routed and even pubs have changed their name.

Although the Lleyn cannon match the sheer scale of its bigger brothers, the Pembrokeshire and Cornwall peninsulas, it can however compete when it comes to scenic grandeur. In addition, for hundreds of years pilgrims walked along the northern coast to reach the holy island of Bardsey, situated just off the southern tip of the peninsula. This gives the route another attraction in that it links many historic pilgrim sites, many dating back to the 6th century.

The coastal path starts at Caernarfon, known by many for its late 13th century castle built by Edward 1, and used for the investiture of the current Prince of Wales. However, pre-dating this magnificent structure is the site of an old Roman fort (Segontium), which was built on a small hillock overlooking the present town. Near to this site is the parish church, dedicated to St Peblig. St Peblig was the offspring of a Roman emperor called Macsen Wledig. During the Roman occupation, Macsen Wledig married a local girl called Helen. She is still remembered to this day thanks to an old Roman road. I am sure you know the one I am referring to - yes it is the road that ran between Conwy in the north and Carmarthen in the south - Sarn Helen.

Author, John Cantrell, has sub-divided the 95 miles, full colour guide, of the Lleyn Peninsula Coastal Path that runs between Caernarfon and Portmadoc into 6 main sections. Each section caters for both walkers and cyclists and, as such, there is often a different varient of the rote to consider. In addition, for those who like to linger that much longer along the way each section also contains other circular walks and rides that can be taken.

In addition to the variety of landscape, there is an opportunity to see numerous seabirds and other wildlife, and you may spot a whale or some dolphins.
On reaching Aberdaron, if you arrive at an appropriate time, you may get a chance to visit the island of Bardsey (known to the Welsh as Ynys Enlli). It was said that three pilgrimages to Bardsey was the equivalent of one visit to Rome. It is a holy place and legend predicts that no less than 20,000 saints are buried there. The island is particularly noted for its birdlife and in 1986 it was declared a National Nature Reserve.

From Aberdaron the route continues on to pass Pwllheli, which claims to be the 'capital' of the Lleyn. The town was given its first charter by the Black Prince in 1355. The village of Llanystumdwy is famous as once being the home of David Lloyd George (Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922) and although the main route does not visit the village an optional walk at the end of the chapter presents one with an opportunity of visiting both the village and the site of the grave where he is buried.

Criccieth Castle, unlike many of the castles in North Wales, was not one of the chain built by Edward I. It is in fact a true Welsh castle built by Llywelyn the Great and Llywelyn the Last, although both Edward I and Edward II made improvements to it.

The Lleyn Peninsula Coastal Path ends at Portmadoc, where you could have the opportunity of extending your holiday trek by letting the 'train take the strain' to create a truly circular route. How you may ask. Well you can use one of the great little trains of Wales to take you to Bettws y Coed; catch a train from there to Llandudno Junction, from where you can use public transport (train, bus etc) to get you back to Caernarfon or wherever you wish to go.

Paths Covered by this Publication:

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